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Old 02-26-2009, 08:48 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by MadelynIris View Post
I'd prefer an ad that just read...

JUST ENJOY YOUR LIFE!
AMEN!
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:47 AM   #32
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Would be great. Much better than ads in busses with a website address on which you are being told if you are not and don't become a Christian you won't be saved, like the ad that started this campaign in London.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:11 AM   #33
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An opposing bus should have a sign that says, "Don't you have better things to do than protest bus signs? - God"
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:37 PM   #34
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The difference between the Christian Right Dominionist crowd and hard core Atheists who both have to loudly proclaim beliefs...ZERO!!!

For your own good...stay away from both groups.
Yes, because its the atheists who are out there trying to impose their morality, undercut freedom of religion, subjugate women, and waiting around for the apocalypse.

These opposite and equivalent arguments are stupid and lazy, without a shred of evidence going for them, the mainstream and open atheist campaigns which have been going on for the last few years have been centered around protecting free speech (against religious censorship), freedom of religion (including peoples right to believe in God), and protecting science and the spirit of free inquiry (against challenges from the faith based).

People wouldn't bat an eyelid over a Christian bus campaign, asserting that there is a magical being that cares about your inner thoughts and will meet out rewards and punishments is normal, but have an innocuous campaign saying that its probably not true, or take the time to assert and argue your position then you're the equivalent of Fred Phelps.

Holding thoughts and beliefs about the nature of the universe is something that we all do - on that scale everybody is the equivalent of Christian Dominionists.

Having the conviction to argue your case against the competing ones is also something that most of us do - how is an atheist laying out their case any different than a Catholic (apart from the evidence thing).

Is saying that there is (probably) no God really on par as saying that there is a God and he will send Jesus down to Earth to end the world, judge humanity, and save a select few really the equivalent of Christian Dominionist thinking?

If you believe that, you'll believe anything.
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Fair enough, though by definition, science makes no claims with regard to the supernatural
This wall of separation argument doesn't hold very well, people make and believe plenty of paranormal claims (ghosts, water dowsing, homeopathy, past lives, ESP, visions of heaven, voices in their heads etc.), and scientific testing and investigation can show if the claims have any validity.

The traditional ideas about God written down in the bible by people who didn't know any better have been undercut by science. Genesis is out, except as a very metaphorical tale. Claims of demonic possessions, witches, and miracles are out for a lot of people. The lack of archaeological evidence makes exodus seem fictional.

One could spring a whole lot of questions onto the mythical "average Christian", and I would suspect quite a few would come off as Deists. Mainstream acceptance of the idea of a noninterventionist God that set the universe going couldn't really exist without the influence that science has had on our culture.

The deity becomes completely relegated to the point of first cause, no matter what the science says people can answer that their God still had a part to play at the start (and if we get a naturalistic explanation of cosmogeny, or evidence of an eternal universe, some other point of entry for God), I just don't accept we can insert such a powerful force without any evidence, it would be unjustified.

A universe with that type of God is identical to a universe without one, and in both cases religions are man made and have no divine revelation.
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:09 PM   #35
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I was tempted to post a snark-filled retort to your post, A_Wanderer, but I thought better of it.

The reality is that billboards are foolish places to try to have an honest conversation about subjects and topics of deeply profound significance. It's why I've never believed in Christian bumper stickers or billboards. But I'm not sure that the bus campaign is a step in the right direction. Honest interaction about subjects that matter will be relegated to the sidelines in favor of snarky comments that can be shredded endlessly depending on the eye of the beholder. They only seem to more deeply entrench people's already-held beliefs.

And it shouldn't take "South Park" (or, frankly, Bono's frequent introduction to "Miracle Drug") to remind us that science and religion are meant to complement each other, not replace each other.
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:37 PM   #36
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There are places where people may keep their unbelief to themselves because it's considered abnormal, or it casts suspicion on their character (looking at polls from the US, which I think are somewhat exaggerated, that give gays more public support than atheists this isn't an absurd suggestion).

I think that having little things such as the bus ad makes unbelief more respectable, atheists are not amoral scum who are out to suck the joy from life, they are a large chunk of regular people. I almost get the feeling that the only right approach is for the old softly softly approach which grants a lot of respect and concessions to religious groups but takes it as a given that nonbelievers should keep quiet on matters of faith.

And as far as science and religion goes, it seems that religion has a free hand when it comes to criticising medical research, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology, but the instant people start using the facts to question the strength of religious claims and the legitimacy of its authority it is a passive victim of atheistical onslaught.

The narrative of science versus religion doesn't hold for all time, and doesn't hold in most cases, but there are some issues where scientific research undercuts religious beliefs and there is conflict. Incidentally when it comes to religion complimenting science I would cite the beliefs of members in top scientific organisations, most seem to do terrific research without any theistic religious beliefs.
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:40 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by MadelynIris View Post
I'd prefer an ad that just read...

JUST ENJOY YOUR LIFE!
i'd prefer one along the lines of "nobody knows anything for certain, so shut the hell up and leave everyone else alone"

that applies to the atheist crowd as well.
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:48 PM   #38
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The reality is that billboards are foolish places to try to have an honest conversation about subjects and topics of deeply profound significance.
Fair enough. Where do you think the right places are for these conversations?
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:04 PM   #39
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Nobody knows anything for certain... God says abortion is wrong.

Nobody knows anything for certain... mankind is unique because we alone have a soul.

Nobody knows anything for certain... but Jesus wandered around America.

Nobody knows anything for certain... but a creative intelligence designed the universe.

Nobody knows anything for certain... but dying for the faith guarantees 72 virgins in heaven.

Nobody knows anything for certain... but cursing the holy spirit is an unforgivable sin.

Nobody knows anything for certain... but evolution was created so that human beings would exist.

Nobody knows anything for certain... but John Frum will return.

Nobody knows anything for certain... but evolution can never explain human morality because it comes from a higher power.

Nobody knows anything for certain... but the world was created 6000 years ago.

Nobody knows anything for certain... but karma is a genuine force in the universe that makes things happen.

Nobody knows anything for certain... but we should treat each other nicely because Jesus says so.

Nobody knows anything for certain... but those people that don't believe in my God will burn in hell for all eternity.

Nobody knows anything for certain... but woman was created inferior to man.

Nobody knows anything for certain... but you will be punished for desiring your neighbours property (including his wife).

Nobody knows anything for certain... but slicing off bits of our baby sons penises is something that God is alright with.

Nobody knows anything for certain... but the most ethical system in the world was revealed to prophet X.

Nobody knows anything for certain... but lighting strikes because Zeus is capricious.

Nobody knows anything for certain... but children get cancer because Adam sinned.

Nobody knows anything for certain... but naturalistic explanations have given quite good models for how the world works, and it seems that the world is as if there is no God.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:07 PM   #40
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Fair enough. Where do you think the right places are for these conversations?
I think the scientific and religious communities are fairly deeply-seated in their own cathedrals of understanding. I'd love to see more public forums -- particularly ones with intelligent people on both sides engaging each other. The tendency seems to be to see a deep chasm between science and religion, but since regular polls show that 40+% of medical practitioners in the U.S. are religious, the gap has to be closer than we realize...
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:14 PM   #41
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Fair enough. Where do you think the right places are for these conversations?


my guess is that the atheist (the one behind the billboard) thinks that it's not all all a profound topic. it's a simple topic. there isn't a god, it's the product of wishful thinking, and that's all there is to it. and once we drop the god burden once and for all, we can start to address real topics.

not necessarily my opinion, but i can understand it.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:22 PM   #42
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It's not that simple, we are hard wired to believe (that doesn't make what we believe true), and most of the oft cited negatives are ineradicable parts of human nature.

The origin of the universe, human nature, and the significance of our existence are very profound topics; taking a position of not believing in God doesn't dismiss it.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:26 PM   #43
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Holding thoughts and beliefs about the nature of the universe is something that we all do -

Having the conviction to argue your case against the competing ones is also something that most of us do -
Taking in new information and reconciling it with old beliefs rather than dismissing it is something not enough of us do.

Even fewer of us even bother to think about it at all. That's how we get slogans on buses trying to get our attention.

The key to wisdom, Socrates said, is understanding one's own ignorance. A similar thought lies at the heart of all good theology, since God is nothing if not unknown.

I like what Pope Pius XII said, "True science to an ever increasing degree discovers God as though God were waiting behind each door opened by science."

I'm also holding out for the t-shirt slogan equation on m-theory.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:43 PM   #44
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Start from the position of utter ignorance.

Be critical to your beliefs, have active doubt about your assumptions, argue with other people to find where you're thinking is weak.

I don't see how taking the existence of god as a given fits with this. I would also like to see specific examples of where science discovers God, where the scientific facts fall on the side of theism rather than nontheism.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:47 PM   #45
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i guess i'm just way too burned out from everything these days to really participate meaningfully in FYM.

i don't even watch cable news anymore.
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