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← Preacher says atheist ad campaign backfired

Preacher says atheist ad campaign backfired - Comments

anunseenruler's Avatar Comment 1 by anunseenruler

Erm... this article fails to explain exactly how this has backfired.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 17:10:00 UTC | #346483

cam9976's Avatar Comment 3 by cam9976

I hate false courtesy, don't you?

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 17:12:00 UTC | #346485

infinitum17's Avatar Comment 2 by infinitum17

well, it says how it backfired, but, predictably, offers absolutely no evidence to back up the claim.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 17:12:00 UTC | #346484

Lord Osis's Avatar Comment 4 by Lord Osis

Got any evidence Mr Preacher?

"wondered out loud how those who lost their jobs or fled from war zones would feel about a world where God did not exist." Fair dinkum?

"Suffering is certainly a mystery for everyone, especially the suffering of innocent people, but without faith in God it becomes immensely more absurd," he said. or
"with faith in God it is immensely more absurd"

"Even the last hope of rescue is taken away. Atheism is a luxury that only those with privileged lives can afford." Fair dinkum?

"We should almost thank the people who promoted that advertising campaign. It has served God's cause more than so many of our apologetic arguments," said Father Raniero Cantalamessa, who is officially Preacher of the Papal Household.

In that case, we should have no troubles getting these adds approved in Australia then, might as well do every other place as well, Africa and US included. Church groups can pay for it.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 17:16:00 UTC | #346486

Dhamma's Avatar Comment 5 by Dhamma

For all I know, they could be right, the campaign could very well have "backfired". There's nothing convincing in the campaign, just a simple statement. Since people rarely think about god, even christians, it could only make them start thinking about something that's been slumbering.
At least it made people aware atheists exist, important enough.

"He said believers find comfort in God in difficult moments and wondered out loud how those who lost their jobs or fled from war zones would feel about a world where God did not exist."

SO WHAT? A purple elephant won't become blue because you don't fancy purple. It's as if they're saying they understand there's a reality, but if you believe something not true hard enough, it will become true. How can they not see the fallacy in their arguments?

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 17:17:00 UTC | #346487

Prince of Gonzo's Avatar Comment 6 by Prince of Gonzo

"Atheism is a luxury that only those with privileged lives can afford."

First of all, intellectually reprehensible as a statement. Second, if that were the case, all that it would entail is that it is easier to believe in God/god/gods than not to do so, and I think that most can agree that goddidit is an "easier" explanation than the truth, one doesn't have to bother with those pesky science classes (come on, who needs a LAB?).

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 17:17:00 UTC | #346489

Rodger T's Avatar Comment 7 by Rodger T

More wishful thinking from the Paedophiles Anonomous society.

"It has demonstrated the poverty of their reasons and has helped stir so many sleeping consciences,"

Like the church has any experience of poverty, the pope all camped out in his bling and prada slippers ,yesterday, telling the rest of us to forgo worldy possessions .


Speaking at the seventh Station of the Cross, where Jesus is made an "object of fun", he said: "We are shocked to see to what levels of brutality human beings can sink. Jesus is humiliated in new ways even today. When things that are most holy and profound in the faith are being trivialised, the sense of the sacred is allowed to erode.

"Everything in public life risks being desacralised: persons, places, pledges, prayers, practices, words, sacred writings, religious formulae, symbols, ceremonies.

"Our life together is being increasingly secularised. Religious life grows diffident. Thus we see the most momentous matters placed among trifles, and trivialities glorified.

"Values and norms that held societies together and drew people to higher ideals are laughed at and thrown overboard. Jesus continues to be ridiculed!"


Oh no, its the end of times ,a mythical figure is being ridiculed in the most brutal of ways.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 17:19:00 UTC | #346490

fordo252's Avatar Comment 8 by fordo252

Of course it has helped stir many "sleeping consciences" but why on earth does this mean people are more likely to believe in God? It's exactly the opposite!

He hits the nail on the head about people who are suffering finding comfort in a belief in God. It's just like telling a 12 year old that Santa doesn't exist on Christmas eve, of course they're not going to like it but does this mean we should all pretend Santa exists for ever so as not to cause any upset to the younger generations?


As for the comment about how the suffering of innocent people becomes more absurd WITHOUT faith in God. Yea right because the bible explains this far better than survival of the fittest!

All together a complete load of bull!

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 17:23:00 UTC | #346491

Daniella's Avatar Comment 9 by Daniella

He said believers find comfort in God in difficult moments and wondered out loud how those who lost their jobs or fled from war zones would feel about a world where God did not exist.

Yes, he is right. It is much more comforting to imagine a world with a god that chooses to watch and do nothing when atrocities happen.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 17:27:00 UTC | #346492

mtg101's Avatar Comment 10 by mtg101

Sorry which is more absurd?
a) I was made redundant because the VC-funded start-up I was working for couldn't get additional funding due to the credit crunch
b) An all-powerful god made me loose my job, and he expects me to love him for it

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 17:30:00 UTC | #346493

Dhamma's Avatar Comment 11 by Dhamma

Well, of course it's bull considering he makes claims without any data, but other than that, does anything suggest the campaign was a success?

We won't get any data either, sadly. I just don't think it's wise to assume it had the impact we wanted, unless something clearly suggests it.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 17:44:00 UTC | #346494

Ned Flanders's Avatar Comment 12 by Ned Flanders

You expect these people to back up claims with facts? It's their business to avoid facts.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 17:49:00 UTC | #346496

Ausgeno's Avatar Comment 13 by Ausgeno

"Suffering is certainly a mystery for everyone, especially the suffering of innocent people, but without faith in God it becomes immensely more absurd," he said.

Interesting, I personally feel the absurdity arises when we try to reconcile the suffering of innocent people with the existence of said God.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 17:53:00 UTC | #346497

ricklend's Avatar Comment 14 by ricklend

"Atheism is a luxury only those with privileged lives can afford"???

There is something odd (extremely illogical) about that statement, but it hasn't quite come to me yet. Maybe it is just a completely asinine statement without a clear meaning.

What are your ideas?

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 18:00:00 UTC | #346498

Danish's Avatar Comment 15 by Danish

That article smells of wishful thinking and reverse psychology. Interesting if this is the best "arguments" they have against the rising atheism.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 18:05:00 UTC | #346501

cerebate's Avatar Comment 16 by cerebate

so when's this preacher funding more bus campaigns with similar messages?

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 18:07:00 UTC | #346502

Lord Osis's Avatar Comment 17 by Lord Osis

rickland

Perhaps it's a compliment?

privileged may equate to "able to think"

It can't mean anything to do with 'monetary' wealth - I can assure you

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 18:08:00 UTC | #346503

NewEnglandBob's Avatar Comment 18 by NewEnglandBob

One additional delusion by a religious fool. He twisted over so far that he can lick his own butt.

ricklend @14:

"Atheism is a luxury only those with privileged lives can afford"???


The guy is too dim to realize that this means it is a privilege to be an atheist; one who thinks clearly and makes rational decisions. The fools who are delusional in the supernatural fantasies are struggling. It was a complement that he did not know he extended.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 18:20:00 UTC | #346504

j.mills's Avatar Comment 19 by j.mills

Fish in a barrel.

a top papal preacher
A what? They have league tables? What are they ranked on: souls deluded, guilt inflicted, hogwash spoken?

Buses bearing the slogan "There's probably no God. Now enjoy your life!"
Wrong. How long would that have taken to check?

It has served God's cause more than so many of our apologetic arguments.
If it's false, it's false. If it's true, it's a disgraceful admission.

wondered out loud how those who lost their jobs or fled from war zones would feel about a world where God did not exist.
Hmm. Compare:
wondered out loud how those who lost their jobs or fled from war zones would feel about a world where God did exist.


Suffering is certainly a mystery for everyone
"Top papal preacher" after 2000 years has no answer to the problem of suffering.

Atheism is a luxury
You know, compared to this guy's impoverished mind, I think I must have a luxury-model intellect. But I don't recall having to pay any subscription fees for atheism. Or having a plate shoved under my nose for my contribution to the atheist temple roof fund...

WHERE ARE THE SOPHISTICATED THEOLOGIANS WE KEEP HEARING ABOUT?!

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 18:23:00 UTC | #346505

PERSON's Avatar Comment 20 by PERSON

Pretty cynical, really.
Shorter version: "No publicity is bad publicity. Crisis causes reversion to childhood, and there's lots of latent indoctrination." A non sequitur on
a few levels: the crash has more to do with blind faith (in the magic of the market and indefinite expansion, though of the type encouraged by fundies and preachers of the "prosperity gospel") than reason, whether its consequences benefit the churches or not and whether any effect is amplified by the bus campaign or not. The crash has nothing to do with the bus campaign, though in the free-associating mind of the supernaturalist it would seem related simply by merit of one having an effect in conjunction with the other, as though being poisoned and run over due to the effects would per se mean that the toxin and the car were part of the same thing.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 18:24:00 UTC | #346506

EvidenceOnly's Avatar Comment 21 by EvidenceOnly

"Atheism is a luxury only those with privileged lives can afford"

should be changed to:

"Atheism is a luxury only those who think rationally can afford"

Pedophilia, in contrast, is a luxury that only roman catholic priests can afford to do over and over again. Non-priest pedophiles get put in jail very quickly. Roman catholic priests get reassigned before the sh*t hits the fan so they - like cats - can have 7 lives doing the same criminal acts without prosecution.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 18:30:00 UTC | #346508

Dhamma's Avatar Comment 22 by Dhamma

It can't mean anything to do with 'monetary' wealth - I can assure you

Not monetary wealth per se. However, to say that it's only education that differs between a healthy and wealthy European atheist from an incredibly poor HIV-infected African theist, would not be true.

Have you never cried out to a god, despite not really believing in one? Perhaps you have not, but in case of a crisis, very many wealthy people do. Of all the new born christians, I'm certain a majority of them are it because of a crisis. I don't have statistics to support it, but I think you agree. The difference would be that people in famine can't escape their crisis, and the thought of not having a god, wouldn't help them, no matter how true.

I'm certainly not making a case for theism, I just think it's easy to understand why they want to believe. Wealth makes a huge difference.

I do however think atheism in most cases could be more helpful than religions. Religions suggest praying to solve problems, whereas atheism can only offer solving problems practically.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 18:41:00 UTC | #346509

EvidenceOnly's Avatar Comment 23 by EvidenceOnly

"Suffering is certainly a mystery for everyone, especially the suffering of innocent people, but without faith in God it becomes immensely more absurd."

Suffering is not a mystery. Just study evolutionary biology!

It is true though that throughout history, people have pondered the question of suffering and religions have hijacked this question to keep the masses dumb:

Observation 1: there is suffering
Solution 1: God will make you suffer if you don't do what She/He/IT wants (which I abbreviate to SHIT; I know SHIT does not exist and shit does but nobody will probably claim that I'm insulting shit except the plants who want that as fertilizer :).

Observation 2: good people suffer and bad people don't. Why should I be good?
Solution 2: Invent the devil -> the devil makes good people suffer and god makes bad people suffer.

Observation 3: so everyone suffers; now what's the point of doing what SHIT wants?
Solution 3: SHIT will come back soon to punish the faithless and reward the faithful.

Observation 4: SHIT did not come back. Oh shit! (couldn't resist the humor here).
Solution 4: invent the afterlife -> SHIT couldn't give shit about your life on earth, it's all about the afterlife

So what's next? Papal blessed oil to heal the wounds of the victims of the recent earthquake in Italy to relieve them of their suffering? It's just snake oil.

Too bad that so many still fall for this SHIT.

Religions might be very different animals if they had focused on "what is the sound of shit happening?" instead :)

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 18:44:00 UTC | #346510

Lord Osis's Avatar Comment 24 by Lord Osis

22. Comment #362881 by Dhamma

"Not monetary wealth per se. However, to say that it's only education that differs between a healthy and wealthy European atheist from an incredibly poor HIV-infected African theist, would not be true."

OK, monetary wealth may provide adequate education, hence ability to think logically/sensibly however, it won't prevent indoctrination - if this is the objective. Surely there's plenty of poor African atheists too.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 18:59:00 UTC | #346514

Russell Blackford's Avatar Comment 25 by Russell Blackford


"Suffering is certainly a mystery for everyone, especially the suffering of innocent people, but without faith in God it becomes immensely more absurd," he said.


Now this is Orwellian. Suffering makes more sense if we believe that there's an all-powerful, loving, providential being in charge of everything? Right.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 19:01:00 UTC | #346515

antx's Avatar Comment 26 by antx

"It has demonstrated the poverty of their reasons ..."

That is pretty much exactly what I though while reading this article, trying to imagine what would make them say such things. It´s nothing but wishful thinking.
This campain did have an impact and it surely did not serve religion well. If religion was much smaller in the world then there might have been a chance that such a bus campain could have backfired to a certain degree. But as things are right now, it couldn´t have possibly missed. Right now still, any atheistic outcall will serve atheism and weaken religion, simply by attracting attention.

It´s wishful thinking preachers, nothing more. But feel free to fool yourselves...

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 19:09:00 UTC | #346517

chewedbarber's Avatar Comment 27 by chewedbarber

Silly atheists, all things work for the good of God.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 19:13:00 UTC | #346518

Dhamma's Avatar Comment 28 by Dhamma

Lord Osis,

I assume the vast majority of atheists on this site will never become religious despite any crisis, as all of us have a profound interest in atheism. However, e.g. most Swedes are atheists simply because they haven't been indoctrinated with religion. They're not atheists because of any knowledge in religion. Put any of them in a life-crisis, and I believe a fairly large percentage would become religious. But due to our wealth, most will never get in that situation in the first place.

If you were to educate people in famine to the same level as an ordinary Swede, I still think they'd be far more religious, because of the suffering.

Of course though, without education there's no chance they'll escape theism.

In that sense, I agree atheism is a luxury, however, poor Africans with a serious interest in atheism must exist, albeit extremely few.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 19:17:00 UTC | #346520

Greyed's Avatar Comment 29 by Greyed

I think everyone's missed the bigger point. Why is this a Reuters story considering how shoddy it is? "A top papal preacher"... who apparently Reuters feels needs to keep anonymous? Absolutely no facts which also means no fact-checking, supposedly the staple of journalism. That goes double for an organization with the reach of Reuters. This isn't a story, this is some Reuters theist's pulpit.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 19:32:00 UTC | #346523

Dustin14's Avatar Comment 30 by Dustin14

"Atheism is a luxury only those with privileged lives can afford"

This argument in particular always makes me laugh when preachers use it in situations such as this. I had always heard the opposite that it was a hard life or tragedies that made Atheists.

For me having not had such a privileged life when I became an atheist the argument put to me was always that my suffering had "hardened my heart" that through these acts "Satan had blinded me to gods love" etc. It seems if your an atheist no matter what type of life you have had, you should have had the opposite, then you would see the truth of religion.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 19:52:00 UTC | #346531