07 December, 2008

Leave It In the Ditch

I've been thinking about this atheist display at the state capitol in Olympia, WA. I think it's nice that we're allowed to share space with Baby Jesus and menorahs and all that sappy religious stuff. But I'm not happy.

I mean, look at this thing:

It's just a bunch of negative words printed on a piece of white board, with a few sad sprigs of holly bunged in the corners. It's not even a fucking poem. It's just a bunch of yawping.

Dead boring.

If I wasn't already an atheist, it would have persuaded me never to become one, because it slots so neatly into all of the dull, humorless, hopeless stereotypes.

The only thing that comforts me is that the nativity scene is very nearly as lame.

Look, we're atheists. We're not fucking Vulcans. Instead of just listing off a litany of "supernatural stuff doesn't exist, religion bad, wah," why didn't the Freedom From Religion folks use this opportunity to fucking celebrate freethinking? Logic and reason are beautiful things that in no way impede the fun to be had during the holiday season. The natural world is full of wonder. Atheism is awesome.

Not that you'd know it from that fucking display.

So, while I applaud the idea of inclusion, maybe next year we can have a little less pontificating and a lot more creativity, thanks so very much. Leave the boring billboards in the ditch.


Cujo359 said...

I think I would have left it at the first three lines. Maybe someone could have put a nice picture underneath. Poetry would be OK, but I'm just afraid it would end up reading like something you'd see in a Christmas card.

Cujo359 said...

Just clicked on the nativity scene link. Where are the wise men and the camels? Does each religion send its least artistic representative to this thing?

NP said...

They should've made their own nativity scene made up of the the big names in science gathered around a globe or something.

That would've been cool!

Cujo359 said...

Or in the midst of their biggest discoveries - Newton with a plumb bob or a prism, Einstein with a clock, Darwin making notes on the Beagle. Great idea, NP.

[sarcasm] Too bad there aren't any atheistic artists who could do that sort of thing instead of writing declarative sentences most folks aren't inclined to believe anyway [/sarcasm]

Wayne said...

To be a theist or not.
I'd like to comment on the insanity of Richard Dawkins when he calls Christians insane, not because I am a Christian anymore than I am an Atheist but don't you think it is a bit Bi-polar when "supposedly" intelligent thinkers can only perceive one of two perspectives. They carry on like there is no shades of gray, only black and white, only good guys and bad guys, only their way of explaining things or the crazy guys. I don't have any trouble accepting the theists point of view when it comes to an unseen, powerful, creative force anymore than I do accepting scientific theories about Quantum Physics and why can't both be true? The long and boring debate about Evolution V's Creation can be simply understood if you can accept the possibility Evolution was the way God chose to create, end of story.

If I had to define my concept of our state of being, (rather than relying on Jewish traditions, Paulinian rhetoric, Islamic dogma, Buddhistic detachment, Hindu hocus pocus or any of the various native mumbo jumbo’s) then I chose to sit centrally positioned in the sphere of debate, drawing from all the great thinkers but beholding to none. My beliefs are easier to quantify by stating what they are not, rather than passing off assumptions as something solid. The secret to the power of the big religions is in the grouping of consciousness rather than the reality of their beliefs and therein lies their weakness as well. Minimalists have a strength superior to overblown, all encompassing, egocentric know it alls, no matter how many people they rope into their theories, therefore; what I know about creation and what I can pass onto others, is no better than the size of their ability to comprehend. Just as a computer has access to the internet, we can access the bigger picture if we are not afraid to cross cultural barriers but we cannot exceed our capacity to store truth; although we can always junk the spam.

So truth is what the group consciousness decides it is and while our world will always be made up of individual points of view, the real test of whether we will evolve into a permanent universal force will be whether or not we can establish a group consciousness that all can access and relate to, a central databank of beliefs that we can all believe in

stevec said...

The fact that the atheist display is (very, very mildly) antagonistic towards the religious point of view does not bother me in the least, and in fact, I applaud it. The religious point of view is so incredibly, ming-bogglingly ignorant and stupid -- yes stupid -- that it NEEDS to be attacked, vociferously, unrelentingly, and mercilessly. As in NO MERCY. Ridicule it until it is DEAD. DEAD. DEAD.

"Ooooh, the atheist display might hurt people's feelings, it might drive people away from atheism." Too fucking bad. Do you claim people can't handle the truth? Do you deride the truth handling ability of the people? Do you say, "No truth handler, you!" to the people?

Stating true things in a blunt way doesn't make them any less true.

Fuck 'em. It's the state capitol. If the government wants to allow such displays, but skirt the 1st amendment, then displays such as those put up by the FFRF should be encouraged. Saying, "oh, boo hoo, it's too harsh," when it is the most mild, bending over backwards avoiding saying what is really thought piece of crap sign ever is just bullshit. What is really thought is simple: Christianity is blatantly, inescapably, completely fucking retarded, embracing of retardation, celebrating retardation, promoting and nurturing retardation, turning normal people into retards is the mission of Christianity, and there is no escape from this and every Christian's nose needs to be forcefully shoved into his retarded shit until he is able to recognize the smell of his retardation.

The way to do this is not to avoid harsh criticism.

The emperor has no clothes, and THERE IS NO NICE WAY TO SAY THIS to those who are in the invisible textile industry. We have to learn to be mean about it and just shove their noses directly and deeply into their retarded shit.

That's my way anyway. But i"m a bastard that way.

Cujo359 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cujo359 said...

Wayne and SteveC, I think you're both wrong.

First off, Wayne, please read Dawkins' book and get back to us. He doesn't call Christians insane. He says that Christianity doesn't make any sense. He may have even used the word "insane" to refer to Christian beliefs. That's because there are many things about Judeo-Christian/Muslim beliefs that simply make no sense. In fact, he does a marvelous job of demolishing many of their canards. In a way, it's aggravating that people keep trying them, and that's at least partly due to the rather common mis-characterization of what he's written.

Since your initial premise is wrong, the rest of your reasoning falls apart.

SteveC, there are times when you need to administer a smackdown, and times when persuasion works better. There's a substantial difference between Christians and non-believers in this country. Most Christians aren't deep thinkers. There are exceptions, of course, like NP, but the vast majority just aren't. That's because they're the bulk of the population, and folks who can't or won't think for themselves will probably end up Christians in this country. Non-believers, on the other hand, considered what they've learned about the world and about the various religions, and made a choice.

Assuming most Christians are going to spend lots of effort resolving an issue like whether there's a god or not, because someone wrote there isn't one on a big Christmas card and stuck it in a public building, is an expectation that betrays a complete lack of understanding of your target audience.

Telling people that what they believe is stupid, with neither supporting reasoning nor demonstrations of any sort, is not going to persuade anyone. Most of the folks who roam through our capitol building are Christians. Why not just use the occasion to tell them something positive about us? This is the winter solstice, which most people in the northern hemisphere seem to equate with hope and promise. Why not tell them what we hope for, and why? There's no reason to be negative, and every reason to be positive.

I'm all for laying a smackdown on people who tell me they want to restrict my rights or make me a second-class citizen in the name of their religion. I'm also for whacking people with a cluestick who loudly declare that their philosophy is intrinsically better for no good reason. Unfortunately, that's exactly what the FFRF did. Right now, I feel like whacking them with the cluestick.

We have enough of a problem with people like Wayne telling the world that we're just a bunch of argumentative assholes with no beliefs and no social skills. It really sucks when one of us actually behaves that way. Be positive until you have to be negative. People understand that. They don't understand being told they're morons, even if they actually happen to be morons.

Wayne said...

Dear Dog,
You mistake me for someone who give a proverbial about what Dick the Dawk has to say, I could have started with a quote from any Bi-polar thinker like Steve. My point was it's weird the way supposedly intelegent people totally ride off any other opinion other than their own by saying silly things like "Your initial premise is wrong the rest of your reasoning falls apart"
or you are either totally right or totally wrong or you are either a good guy like us or a "wrong" guy like Wayne who doesn't totally agree us although he doesn't totally agree with our enemy.
Wakey, Wakey and become a Multi-dimential thinker as an alternative.