Monday, December 17, 2012

Billboard Vandalism and the Gold Nuggets of Commentors

Recently, an atheist billboard was vandalized:

Billboard reads "Don't believe in God? Join the Club"
Billboard modified into "Believe in God? Join the Club" and atheist group URL is removed

That happens. If a billboard has humorous vandal potential, it's likely to get vandalized, although, I apparently am just not seeing the humor in this one.

I noticed a number of comments on the website this was presented, and I thought it would make for a decent de-facto frequently-asked-questions.

I consider my self agnostic, but I never understood the point of atheism groups. I mean if it's not part of your life.... why talk about it.
You're an atheist - one who has ran away from the current stigma of the label. If your answer to the question "Do you believe in God?" is anything other than "yes", you're an atheist.

That aside, God isn't part of our lives. The hordes of idiots who claim to follow/worship him, are. For many atheists, it's nice to have a "safe zone" away from proselytism, nagging religious friends and family, and other assortments of minefields where one can't actually talk about reality without stepping on some religious toes.

It's nice to have a community of people who are like us, so we don't always have to be out in the battlefield with zombie Christians 24/7.

Some people are interested in the topic of the mythology of God. You know, anthropologists or historians. Many of us have to deal with the doctrine of these peoples' fantasies so we can properly address them when they just won't leave us alone, or stop discriminating against atheists when it comes to relationships, employment or politics.

That's why we talk about it.

Have you been living under a rock this whole time? Or maybe you're lucky enough to live in a region where religion hasn't taken over, and doesn't run virtually every aspect of the community.

I wouldn't want to join a club that doesn't believe in a God because then that would be like joining a church.
Awesome. Joining a bowling league is now joining a church. Bad analogy is bad. Gee, I forgot - joining any kind of community is just like being religious.

No. Religion didn't invent community. It's not the source, and it's not the owner. Community is a non-religious concept.

Pretty sure a billboard isn't going to change anyone's beliefs.
Did we both look at the same billboard? What part of "Don't believe in God? Join the club" do you think is an attempt to deconvert anyone? Of course it's not going to change anyone's beliefs. That's not the point. It's advertising a group, not putting on a philosophical argument.

Seriously, it's like two sentences. Did your mind trail off after the second word, when reading it?

This is equally as bad as vandalism on a religious billboard. RESPECT EACH OTHER'S VIEWS
I agree with the first sentence, but not the second. Respect is earned. There is not inherent respect for religious beliefs (or non beliefs).

If anything, Christianity has thousands of years worth of anti-respect generation to resolve.

why would you even put up these signs.
Someone else who apparently can't read. Maybe perhaps to attract members to their group? To build a community of non-believers? That's what the billboard sign was about if you bothered to read it.

Not that I agree with the vandalism, but the sign is directly anti-christian. Would care more if it was just an ad for an atheist group.
How is it directly anti-Christian? It didn't say anything about Christianity at all. This is basically the tired trope that anything that isn't explicitly pro-Christian is 100% opposed to Christianity. The very existence of atheists is affront to these people.

It is just an ad for an atheist group! What the fuck are you talking about? That's what an atheist is - someone who doesn't believe in God. Its requesting that we make a billboard that promotes atheism without using the term "atheism" or any phase that remotely indicates the definition.

I don't believe in golf. Who wants to form a group about not believing in golf and get together and not discuss golf?
Let me know when golfers are taking over the country, discriminating against you for not being a golfer, losing friends and family when they learn you aren't a golfer, losing your job because your employer finds out you aren't a golfer, being forcefully proselytized to and pressured to join the golfer's club while in the U.S. armed forces, or even having your billboards and attempts at community outreach attacked and vandalized because you aren't golfers.

When you get to that point, you might just form that group that's about not being a golfer. You'll probably spend most of the time discussing how to cope with the 80% of the country who is constantly giving you shit for not playing golf.

I'm an atheist. All my friends are religious, I just try not to be an overbearing prick about it as long as they do the same.
Does trying to form a community count as being a prick?

This is the problem with atheist and religious groups. They just can't leave eachother the fuck alone.
Maybe that's because of the "culture war"? Pop open a history book. You'll see occasional references to religion ruling the world and oppressing anyone who wasn't one of them. We didn't start this fight. We're finishing it, though.

If you think self defense is "a problem", then your perception of current events is severely messed up.


Alright, that was less of a FAQ and more of an annoyed rant.

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