Atheists hope (don't pray) to bring ads to Toronto

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Snuckles
Atheists hope (don't pray) to bring ads to Toronto

The atheist slogan, "There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and
enjoy your life," may soon be coming to subways and buses in Canada's
largest city.

The Toronto-based Freethought Association of
Canada, inspired by a campaign that has plastered British buses with
the phrase, has contacted the private firm that handles ads on the
Toronto Transit Commission to see if the message would violate any
rules. Organizers plan to launch a fundraising page on the website
atheistbus.ca in the next few days.

The British campaign, which has inspired similar moves in
Washington, Barcelona and Madrid, has sparked complaints to the
country's advertising authority and a backlash from the evangelical
group Christian Voice, which has proclaimed that Britain is in "deep
sin."

Here in Canada, reaction to the idea from religious groups reached by The Globe and Mail was muted.

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090116.watheist16/B...

 

 

Now cue the feigned outrage from Charles McVety in 3. . .2. . .1. . .

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Continued from [url=This">http://rabble.ca/babble/body-and-soul/theres-probably-no-god][=medi... closed thread-chunk.[/][/url]

jonathanjohanson

This is great news!  Canadian athiests should work together to change the  norm which makes it taboo to criticize religion.  I barely know anyone from my generation (i'm 23) that subscribes to bogus superstitions that originated thousands of years ago before a little thing called science was established.

Tarkovsky

this would would make more sense in a theocracy wouldn't it,  Canada must be one of the least religious countires in the world.   Without the doubt - does god really exist - faith would be meaningless.

 As I stated in the other thread - how many believe that love really exists? there's no scientific proof of it's existence yet everyone I know believes in it?

remind remind's picture

Oh wow, what a wonderful presentation of...why...absolutely nothing Tarkovsky.

___________________________________________________________

"watching the tide roll away"

Unionist

Tarkovsky wrote:

As I stated in the other thread - how many believe that love really exists?

So you're proposing... something like this?

"There is probably no love. Now stop worrying and enjoy your sex."

Tarkovsky

believing in an invsible force that people think they feel is just as illogical as believing in god

 that's the point

 either they are both stupid or neither is anymore than the other

Tarkovsky

people do what they can to get through life

old_bolshie

I wonder what will happen here in Vancouver?

 

When the clothing company (I think it's a clothing company) fcuk bought some adds for the sides of busses the drivers raised such a fuss management took them off.

Noise

M.Spector...  I'll try to answer your last post in the other thread (and plz excuse my delay, I'm not a weekend rabbler).  Heh, my other posts weren't exactly clear (My posts seem to get that way on Friday afternoon) so I'll try to make my point this time:

Quote:
Do atheists, in your view, have to have an "interpretation" of God before they can deny the existence of any God?

I'd think so...  Otherwise how could you deny the existance of something you haven't defined?  That is my first bit of objection with this campaign.  I see God as a concept and what this advertising campaign is protesting is an interpretation of God.  Go ahead and reject this interpretation of God, but don't refuse to interpret the concept for yourself. 

Tarkovsky's love comment is well timed for me...  Love is a concept and ours for the interpretation.  You can reject a messed up interpretation of love (or perhaps let love manifest as you losing an ear?), but rejecting a horrid interpretation doesn't mean the concept of love doesn't exist.  Reject the distorted image returned by a funhouse mirror, but don't reject the existance of whatever is causing that reflection.  To me, the comprehension of 'We' is the  concept, which will lead me to a far different interpretation of God.

Is that a better way of explaining that objection M.Spector?  Of course it leads into your next question...

Quote:
Are you suggesting that there are "interpretations" of God which would make it impossible, unnecessary, or irrelevant to question the existence of God? What are they?

Might be hard to at first, but remove the vision of a personified omniscient fuedal lord we must pay homage to lest he punish us.

There is a branch of Hinduism that describes us as one consciousness and we embody splinters of this consciousness...  The consciousness, the sum of all of us, is God.  A lil human-centric in this case, but if we were to call us the pieces and the whole we form 'God', I think the debate as to the existance of this whole irrelevant (Somewhat like the relation between you and the cells of your body that fufill their purpose for you to exist yet are generally unaware of the 'you' that they allow to exist).
 
The Bhuddist concept of God (should note, there is no creator God here) is one bound by existance as we are, but are capable of comprehending a greater picture and influencing this existance in ways beyond Human in the same manner you or I can comprehend the world more-so than a cat or dog.  Debating the existance of God is to debate the existance of reaching a comprehension level beyond that of Human.

There are modern day equivlents...  Physics (to me atleast) will suggest that anything capable of collapsing the infinate possibilities to the one we interpret is an embodiement of 'God' (that goes along the "manifestation of thought" definition of God).  Any time God is defined as the We... The "plural interpretted"... I think the debate of it's existance is relatively irrelevant. 

Then again, trying to define God as such probably qualifies as athiest.  "Now stop worrying and enjoy your life" translates (for me) to embrace the individual and the physical only...  Hence my reaction.

Refuge Refuge's picture

Noise wrote:
The Bhuddist concept of God (should note, there is no creator God here) is one bound by existance as we are, but are capable of comprehending a greater picture and influencing this existance in ways beyond Human in the same manner you or I can comprehend the world more-so than a cat or dog.  Debating the existance of God is to debate the existance of reaching a comprehension level beyond that of Human.

I know this is a drift but I can't help myself.(makes me feel better that I am not the first!).  I have a question based on your statement that I gotta know.  You are defining enlightenment as God in Buddhism? Or I guess people who attain enlightment as Gods?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Noise:

Are we even talking about the same campaign here? I'm talking about the poster campaign that says simply, "There probably is no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." Nobody's "protesting" an interpretation of God. Nobody is saying that God is an omniscient, paternalistic, feudal lord with a long beard. They are just telling people to forget about God having any role to play in their lives and get on with living.

If your "interpretation" of God is one where God doesn't play any role in your life anyway, then fine and dandy - this campaign is not aimed at you. In fact, for most purposes, you might even be considered a conventional atheist.

Most atheists don't believe in anything supernatural. [url=The">http://the-brights.net/][u]The Brights[/url], for example, claim a worldview that is "naturalistic, free of supernatural and mystical elements." That means there's a whole lot of interpretations of God that they don't believe in. Why should they be obliged to list them?

You quibble with the simple message of the ad campaign because you would prefer it to say something like

Quote:
There probably is no God (unless you define God as "love" or "quantum physics" or "the universe", in which case we agree that those things definitely exist, but they can be accepted and understood without dragging in the idea of "God", which most other people define as something spiritual, supernatural, and non-material). Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

I have a great deal of difficulty taking your criticism of this simple ad campaign seriously.

----

Quote:
I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours. - Stephen Roberts

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

The feigned outrage in the UK came from a small number of marginal groups.  The CofE have mostly used it as an effective conversation starter.

 

While the campaign takes an open approach to the God it's rejecting (ie, God, however you understand God, doesn't exist), most of the commentary on both threads so far strikes me as having a rather narrow view of such things - essentially that religion is much as Jerry Falwell would have religion be.

 

Oddly, such figures as Tommy Douglas, MJ Coldwell, Bill Blaikie - even Jack Layton - don't seem to fit the rabble stereotype of religious believers.

 

There are assholes who are religious.  There are assholes who are atheist.  There may or may not be a God.  I'm inclined it's more likely than not.  If Chris Hitchens and Dick Dawkins want to advertise on the side of a bus, God bless 'em for supporting public transit.

Papal Bull

I'm preying to Atheismo that these signs come.

Noise

Quote:
God bless 'em for supporting public transit.

Heh, thats too funny not to repeat.

Refuge:

Quote:
You are defining enlightenment as God in Buddhism? Or I guess people who attain enlightment as Gods?

Bhuddism (like any relgion really) is hard to cover in one brush stroke...  Heh, the example I used there was around Devas as God figures.  Though to be honest, I was just using it as an example of what other people can interpret to be God.  Personally, I'd try to define the concept of Dharma as God in Buddhism before I'd go with achieiving enlightenment...  But thats another conversation (that I'm more than happy to have, just not too relevant here).

M.Spector:

Quote:
You quibble with the simple message of the ad campaign because you would prefer it to say something like

Err, right idea, but you altered the wrong part.  "There probably is no God, keep discussing and enjoy your life." 

But if you recall, my issue was with athiests (not all but a good portion of them) not just the message.  They (we?) will reject the interpretation of God(s) they are given, yet fail to define it for themself.  They (we) fail to differentiate the concept from their interpretation and ultimately reject both.  I'd also argue that only being familuar with the standard Xtian image of God (or as Malcolm put it, beleiving 'essentially that religion is much as Jerry Falwell would have religion be') is to be a Xtian non-beleiver and not a true athiest.

Thanks for the link to the Brights, I haven't seen that site before and will have to do some reading.  From what I see so far...  That is athiesm well beyond 'Probably no God'.

Quote:
I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours. - Stephen Roberts

'One fewer' implies I have some monothiestic view of God and that my interpretation of God is something to 'beleive in'.  Great quote, but still stuck to a very narrow definition of God.

Noise

Now that I've read it...  Thankyou very much for the link to the Brights, M.Spector.  I've been searching for a place like that for some time now... Judging by the topics on their forums, I think my beliefs fit it nicely.

RosaL

I love that, "There is probably no God ...." It's the careful phrasing I like. An American sign would (probably) have said, "There is no God ...." because it's simpler and more definite, accuracy be damned. Who knows what the Canadian signs will say?

Refuge Refuge's picture

Thanx Noise. That's an interestimg concept that I will ponder. But as you said little off topic so continue!

Tommy_Paine

"As I stated in the other thread - how many believe that love really exists? there's no scientific proof of it's existence yet everyone I know believes in it?"

Obviously, you don't hang around with people who have been through family court.  I congratulate you on your luck, and your artfull non sequitor.

Wink

 

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Actually, Noise, I think you misapprehend me a bit.  I'm not saying that a Falwellian faith in any way represents a traditional Christian understanding of God.  It manifestly does not.

 

Yet the typical babble response (indeed the typical response of much of the secular left) is that all religious believers are essentially little Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons.

 

One can point to any number of religious progressives - from Douglas to Layton.  In order to defend the narrow stereotype, the claim will be made that these religious progressives separated their faith from their politics, which is manifestly fatuous.

verbatim

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen Roberts

This clever statement comes to a screeching halt when deployed against a person whose dismissal of all other possible gods is based upon an imperative by his or her god to do so (i.e. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me").  It also assumes that the believer in question is anything more than vaguely aware of the existence and nature of other gods.  I'd say that most of the believers I know or have known simply believe what they were raised to believe (or were able to select according to the local context), not because they undertook a rigorous survey of the belief systems available to them and chose the most convincing deity.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

RosaL wrote:
I love that, "There is probably no God ...." It's the careful phrasing I like. An American sign would (probably) have said, "There is no God ...." because it's simpler and more definite, accuracy be damned. Who knows what the Canadian signs will say?
According to atheistbus.ca it will be exactly the same phrase as the English campaign. Here's the link to their Facebook group.

Realigned

Someones religion more often than not is simply based on geography.

Grow up in a mormon community and chances are you will believe their views.  Christian, Muslim, Jewish- you name it.  The idea that one religion is thee religion is silly.

 

Noise

Malcolm

Quote:
Actually, Noise, I think you misapprehend me a bit.  I'm not saying that a Falwellian faith in any way represents a traditional Christian understanding of God.

No, I think we're coming from the same angle, but you might be jumping in at the trail end of the discussion.  I've been going with this ad campaign as 'rejecting this athiest definition of God' rather than 'their' definition (defining 'their' as the religious)...  M.Spector had asked:

Quote:
Do atheists, in your view, have to have an "interpretation" of God before they can deny the existence of any God?

And I'll contend the narrow definition of God that Malcolm gave as 'Falwallian faith' is the interpretation of God athiests reject and the bus ad's really only work with an athiest interpretation of God (of course, this is some athiests...  If you go with 'The Brights' definition, then I'm not so sure).

Tarkovsky

So are artists like Dostoyevsky, Bach, Michaelangelo considered intellectually equal to people like Jerry Fallwell in the minds of atheist babblers?

cityms

Some of my best friends are atheists!  I am not. 

Atheism is about religion but speaks negatively, the other side of the same coin, it is the non-belief iof religion.  Thus it is a belief system and such ads as suggested on the TTC are the equivalent of proselytizing or missionary ads.

If other faiths are advertising, this would rank right along with them - "the non-faith belief system" .

Innocent

N.R.KISSED

I'm just wondering what is the difference between hoping and praying, experientially or behaviourally? Both are the projection of irrational expectations into an indeterminate future. Is one more irrational because it invokes a belief in a diety or another conception of the divine?

Tarkovsky

Albert Einstein said:

"You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our being."

I find this the most reasonable and honest response to the question - Does god exist?  Just admit you don't know.

Tarkovsky

Certainty is an unattractive characteristic in people.(for the most part)Wink

N.R.KISSED

I would agree with both your last statement and Einstien's position.

Noise

NRK : "into an indeterminate future"   or an indeterminate past...   Linear perception of time is also irrational Wink

 

 

Tarvosky:

Quote:
I find this the most reasonable and honest response to the question - Does god exist? 

I'm finding the problem with this statement is God is something different to every person, so each person you ask that to is answering a different question.

 

 

I like Einstiens line "whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth." as it's basically the type of athiesm that I try to caution against (rejecting the 'Falwallian' interpretation of faith if you will).