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Witless
So in January there are some new adverts being posted onto the sides of London buses. They read "There is probably no god, so stop worrying and get on with your life".

Here is a link to the story

What do you guys think about it.

Personal I love it, but not just because I am an athiest. I love that it has been allowed to go ahead. I have frequently read that I am going to burn in hell while on the London underground and buses for my lack of belief in Christianity. It's not nice and doesn't make me feel very positively of the person behind the message.

The message "don't worry" is a pretty nice thing to say as messages go. I find it pretty light hearted. If I saw that poster sat next to a poster saying "Christians believe that good people live forever in happiness" I'd have many more pleasant things to say about Christianity. Sadly I never do, normally it's messages of warning. Or at best I am being told that my life without Christ IS unhappy and unfulfilled.

I have already read on some other forums someone state that the campaign is a really insensitive "assault on religion". My view is that the reaction is overly sensitive for such a gentle statement.

What do you guys think? Awesome or insensitive?
Yannick
Awesome! Because every word of it is true. There probably isn't a god, and even if there was, you're wasting your life "worshipping" and praying or whatever it is people do.
Nice_Cup_Of_Tea
My boyfriend was telling me about this, just moments before it came up on a news item.

Very interesting, will be watching this one attentively, I can imagine this will get a mixed reponse from all quaters.
Pikasyuu
Personally? I think anybody advertising about religion is wandering around moral gray area. Every ad that tells a person that they're somehow living a misguided life if they choose not to believe in a God is insensitive and ignorant - what right does anybody, regardless of belief, have to put down somebody that might believe differently? I'm zooming out for the big picture here and scrutinizing a simple advertisement a little too harshly, but just because the ads insulting people who don't believe in a God are allowed to exist, that makes the ones telling everybody there probably isn't a good thing?

I understand it doesn't say something like, 'You are a moron for believing in something else. Stop wasting your time in church', but I still get the whole two wrongs don't make a right feel from it. Neither should come into play in advertising - religion shouldn't in general, whether or not it encourages you to believe what you believe or puts you down for it. Yeah, I know, and nobody will ever see color and men and women will always be treated as equals and there are rainbows and sunshine everywhere. This isn't a perfect world and it never will be, I get that. It just doesn't sit well with me when anyone is made to look silly or like they're wasting their time for thinking what they think.
voices_in_my_head
I sort of saw it as meaning "Enjoy your life, standards aside."
Telling people that they should just enjoy existing while they exist instead of worrying to death about what they're thinking and seeing and doing.

Anyway. Even if it is an anti-god message, isn't that only fair? Are all Christian advertisements not just denouncing the beliefs of atheist? Why can't we do the same?
Pikasyuu
Then maybe the ad should have been, 'Enjoy your life, standards aside' - when you throw the word 'god' into it, that's when people start turning their heads. Great advertising idea, not necessarily the most politically correct.

Anti-Christian? I doubt it. People..besides Christians worship deities. Christians just tend to gain notoriety because they've garnered a negative world view, thanks to the handful of radicals that have put people down for not being just like them. However, saying 'they put us down, we can put them down!' and then applying that to a public forum like the media/advertisements not only hurts people who don't harbor those 'If You Don't Believe In God, You Go To Hell' beliefs and implies that they're wasting their time on their religion, it's childish. The ad itself isn't childish, but saying 'I was insulted, now I'm totally justified in insulting back!' is.
Witless
I do believe the right to offend is more important than the right to not be offended. A world where I have to censor everything for fear of someone somewhere not liking it is a pretty bleak one. I don't like being told I am going to burn in hell. But I wouldn't for a second take away someone's right to say it.
I like the fact that the boundries of censorship are being pushed further and further back.

I personally feel that religion has been put on a rediculous pedistal for far too long. Virtially everything in human life is critisisable and rightly so. Society moves forward by questioning it's own values. For some reason religion is often given a "get out of jail free" pass when it comes to eye of critisism. Even representatives from the methodist church in the uk have come out on tv in support of the campaign because it is a fair enough statement from people that don't like being told they are going to burn in hell.

By the way the money to buy the advertising space was raised by random donators that just wanted to have a public say.
Pikasyuu
I agree - but there is a difference between one person saying to another person, 'Believing in a God is stupid' and that same tactic being used to stir up controversy for the sake of advertising. If that ad were being used to sell a material item, that's where I see the immorality. If it's just people who want that particular belief voiced, why pay money to do it? Are you just putting everybody who worries about their 'eternal soul' in their place and teaching them a lesson by yelling it from the side of a bus? Again, it's brilliant because of the opinions and feelings it stirs up, but I fail to see what anyone thinks they're accomplishing besides saying 'we think you're silly too!' - unless they're selling something. Then they're making money.

To me, religion isn't on any higher of a pedestal than race or gender. It's just another one of those human qualities. That said, I still don't consider it a positive thing to point out the flaws in any of it. No, the ad isn't blatantly insulting anybody, but I am speaking for the possible connotations to play devil's advocate. Some people will cheer, and some people will simply see the message, 'You're stupid'. Is it illegal? Absolutely not. Is it totally moral? Not really.
Witless
I agree that if it was for the sake of say selling something I would be a lot less behind the campaign. But what people accomplish is just to be heard. Think it's the human condition to want to be heard for the point of being heard. I know the feeling a lot of athiests have is that they are not a cohesive group in the way religious people are. They don't often band together behind things "in the name of athiesm". That's fine really, athiesm is not a cause or something people fight for generally.

But all to often it does make people feel a little annoyed as just quietly sigh and nod as they are told about all they various horribleness that is going to happen to them for their unbelieving ways. It is nice to just see the messages being paraded around saying "don't worry.. carry on". Which for me especially sums up my mentality. It is a fairly minor advertising campaign put together by the generous people who donated the money to the woman that originally came up with the idea. Compared to the juggernaught that is religious advertising and promotion (though admittedly it's not as much of a juggernaught as it once was) it is a like a grain of salt on a sandy beach. But it's nice to see this small thing for me.
Sir Psycho Sexy
To me this boils down to a simple freedom of speech and the right for anyone to express their beliefs openly. I fail to see how that is even a little bit immoral. I agree two wrongs don't make a right, but again, it's not wrong to express ones opinion, and if one side is going out, trying to convince people their opinion (or belief) is right, surely there should be some kind of balance. I see what you're getting at, Syuu, I'm very much of a live and let live point of view when it comes to religion, I also believe there should be a balance.

I would say this is, probably, aimed more at Christianity than any other religion. The message says "There's probably no God", God in a singular form, a monotheistic belief, the major ones being Christianity (and all it's off shoots), Judaism (who live and let live) and (oh noes!) Islam, who thanks mostly to a vocal minority, probably wouldn't deal with this in the most mature of fashions. The message still applies to other religions, but the UK is a Christian country, it may act largely as a secular state, but it isn't.
Pikasyuu
QUOTE
It is nice to just see the messages being paraded around saying "don't worry.. carry on". Which for me especially sums up my mentality.


I don't know if it'll stay small or humble - this is different to people, it pokes at their core, to a lot of them. It's something to talk about, and it will be talked about. What you've pointed out is the positive side to the campaign, and there certainly is one.

QUOTE
I would say this is, probably, aimed more at Christianity than any other religion. The message says "There's probably no God", God in a singular form, a monotheistic belief, the major ones being Christianity (and all it's off shoots), Judaism (who live and let live) and (oh noes!) Islam, who thanks mostly to a vocal minority, probably wouldn't deal with this in the most mature of fashions. The message still applies to other religions, but the UK is a Christian country, it may act largely as a secular state, but it isn't.


I'm really not comforted at the idea of this being geared mostly towards Christians. It's like people have forgotten that not every single Christian out there is trying to jam a bible down your throat or teach you how to not be gay. I'm not Christian myself - in fact, I don't even see myself as having much of a religion at all. I'd be the first person to start an argument with a Christian that hid behind their religion to say something hateful and then started screaming 'Jesus this and that' to back it up. Some Christians do that. I'm pretty sure the fact that some of them do is why people hear 'Christian' and automatically envision an extremely closed-minded person that wants to know 'Eff yew've hurd the wurd of the Lawrd tewday'.

The vast majority, though? They..don't care if you're atheist or not. They'll go to church on Sunday and use their religion as a helping hand to choosing their morals and how to deal with situations. So, if this advertisement is a message to Christians, I still don't know what it's trying to accomplish. The nutjobs will get mad and hurl things at the bus, and the non-nutjobs will go on about their day. I'm hoping that this advert is more what Witless said it was - that it's more to comfort other atheists and say, hey, don't worry, you're not alone.
Yannick
You know, I've just had a thought. This is kind of like the black-white-hispanic-whatever thing. This will get slightly off topic, but bear with me. I'm not sure how this works internationally, but in the U.S. we have Black History and Hispanic History months. People get all excited, it's all over the news, everyone's talking about how proud they are to be whatever they are, and teachers make an attempt to bring it into their lesson plans. It's P.C. and no one really seems to have a problem with it. It's not considered racist, just a thing for people to get together and stuff. Now, if a white person were to get up and go "I'm white! I'm proud to be white! Let's celebrate my whiteness!" someone would automatically jump and call them racist.
And that isn't really much isn't much different from this:
About a week ago, we were creating colonies for the Colony Fair during history. As a group, we decide how our colony should be run, and religion is among the things we make up. After arguing for a bit, it was decided (..by group vote..3:2) that it's okay to be Christian, Jewish, Catholic, or whatever, but atheists should be jailed. I'm sitting there going "Wtf? No." I don't believe in God, but it doesn't particularly bother me when other people do. I've never actually said "You're stupid and wrong", yet churches and believers do have a habit of going "Atheist! Burn in hell! Non-Believer! Blah!"

So, what gives? Why are some things viewed as positive and okay, when the same exact thing from someone else's point of view is considered offending, insensitive, and just plain mean? Yeah, the world's cruel. Equality isn't real. But is there more to it than that?

...Maybe more than slightly off topic. Sorry for the rambling, but it's already typed, and I just don't know how to say it so it'll fit.
Pikasyuu
QUOTE
I've never actually said "You're stupid and wrong", yet churches and believers do have a habit of going "Atheist! Burn in hell! Non-Believer! Blah!"

So, what gives? Why are some things viewed as positive and okay, when the same exact thing from someone else's point of view is considered offending, insensitive, and just plain mean?


This is also slightly off topic, but anybody who thinks it's alright to segregate atheists and that telling them that what they believe is wrong is, well, wrong. You can't have it both ways. Anyone who believes in God can't say that telling people off for not believing in God and atheists saying people who believe in God are wrong and bad are different. They're not. Any way you spin it, someone is attacking someone for something that isn't their business unless it's made their business.
elphaba2
Ack no. No no. No no no. I am so sick of "why don't we have white history month"--> it is because we make up 72% of the population of the states and have far too little in common, as opposed to the 12.8% of the country that identifies as black. There is no single unifying element of "white culture" that gives us anything to lend meaning to "I'm proud to be white"--> whiteness is basically defined by the lack of ethnicity, rather than by the presence of one. The only way white people celebrate culture is through whatever european origin most of their ancestors came from--eg, "I'm proud to be Italian," "proud to be Hungarian," etc. Because elsewise, what is whiteness besides non-race?

AGH.

Anyway.

I think the advert could reach a lot more people if it simply said something similarly hopeful without making people question their religious beliefs--> however, it was paid for by an atheist group and by Richard Dawkins, so his goal is to make people question their belief in a deity. There's nothing perfect about this system, but I suppose if it can make people calm down a bit (and lord, if the mass media gives any indication, you Brits never stop worrying ever) it's fine by me.
Sir Psycho Sexy
QUOTE (syuu @ Oct 21 2008, 11:54 PM) *
I'm really not comforted at the idea of this being geared mostly towards Christians.


You weren't supposed to be. You seem to be being very hyper-literal with your interpretations of peoples arguments. At no point did I say this was an attack on Christianity, at no point did I tar all Christians as vocal, bigoted and small minded, I was just trying to point out that this is a largely Christian country and as such it seems more fitting that the advert is worded with that in mind.

QUOTE
This campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think - and thinking is anathema to religion.

The aim of the ad campaign seems to have been made abundantly clear in the linked news article.
Yannick
QUOTE (elphaba2 @ Oct 21 2008, 07:18 PM) *
Ack no. No no. No no no. I am so sick of "why don't we have white history month"--> it is because we make up 72% of the population of the states and have far too little in common, as opposed to the 12.8% of the country that identifies as black. There is no single unifying element of "white culture" that gives us anything to lend meaning to "I'm proud to be white"--> whiteness is basically defined by the lack of ethnicity, rather than by the presence of one. The only way white people celebrate culture is through whatever european origin most of their ancestors came from--eg, "I'm proud to be Italian," "proud to be Hungarian," etc. Because elsewise, what is whiteness besides non-race?

Fair enough. Then we should have European History Month. Some cool culture fair where a bunch of people bring in food and flags and stuff. If we represent the minorities of America, why can't we do the same for the other 72%? Then it's fair. I'm sick of being left out and celebrating cultures I'm not a part of. If anything, abolish the Black and Hispanic months, we can have one huge combined celebration. If "All men were created equal", why celebrate our differences?
Pikasyuu
QUOTE
You weren't supposed to be. You seem to be being very hyper-literal with your interpretations of peoples arguments. At no point did I say this was an attack on Christianity, at no point did I tar all Christians as vocal, bigoted and small minded, I was just trying to point out that this is a largely Christian country and as such it seems more fitting that the advert is worded with that in mind.


I wasn't trying to say you think of Christians that way, I was saying that it's been (in my experience) the general consensus with people who have had bad experiences with them. Yeah, I can be hyper literal, but this was where I got the idea that you were suggesting it was aimed at Christians:

QUOTE
I would say this is, probably, aimed more at Christianity than any other religion.


I get what you're saying, though. Sorry about the mixup.
elphaba2
Because we're not all the same and that makes us interesting and varied and complicated and human.

The idea behind Black and Hispanic culture months is that the other eleven, on account of majority-white populations in the US, are European History Month. Think about what you learn in English and History. How much of assigned literature has been written by non-white authors? How much cultural information do we really get about other parts of the world? Our culture in the States is saturated with information about Europeans and people of European descent, and not nearly enough about the other races we grow up alongside.

Don't feel left out--or maybe, do. Because that's how close to 13% of the population feels. We don't live in a fair place, and it's important to be aware of the experience of people who don't look like you, and who don't get the privileges you don't even think about. It wasn't until I took a class in my high school on race (which, incidentally, was the one college-level course I took with more than 2 non-white students) that I realized that some of my classmates had been pulled over while driving legally more than eight times within the first year of getting a license--that my teacher, an incredibly well-dressed, successful lady, routinely gets followed around department stores by personnel, trying to see if she'll steal anything.

And now I'm talking about race, not religion. Sorry!
Yannick
QUOTE (elphaba2 @ Oct 21 2008, 07:39 PM) *
The idea behind Black and Hispanic culture months is that the other eleven, on account of majority-white populations in the US, are European History Month. Think about what you learn in English and History. How much of assigned literature has been written by non-white authors? How much cultural information do we really get about other parts of the world? Our culture in the States is saturated with information about Europeans and people of European descent, and not nearly enough about the other races we grow up alongside.

Actually, we learn about pretty much everything. 6th grade is Asia and South America, 7th Europe and Africa, and 8th American history. That seems pretty diverse to me. All three books are written the same, just with different info. All the current event stuff we do is pretty strictly America politics. Which makes sense, as we're in America.

And it's not like our English teacher assigns books based on the race of the author. As you said, 72% of America is white, which limits the amount of non-white authors and school appropriate books that my teacher would happen to choose from.


QUOTE
Don't feel left out--or maybe, do. Because that's how close to 13% of the population feels. We don't live in a fair place, and it's important to be aware of the experience of people who don't look like you, and who don't get the privileges you don't even think about.

For one, they shouldn't feel left out. By law, they have the same rights as we do. They can go to the same schools, and in some ways are even better off. A week ago, I found out that Orange County changed the way students get accepted into magnet programs. Because there is an underrepresented amount of diverse students, instead of accepting students based on achievements, grades (well, this still plays a role, but not as much), and extracurricular activities, it's a lottery. Completely stupid if you ask me. Harder workers might not get in because someone who tried half as hard and happens to be part of a minority race has their name in a hat and it gets drawn? Dumb. Dumb dumb dumb.

QUOTE
It wasn't until I took a class in my high school on race (which, incidentally, was the one college-level course I took with more than 2 non-white students) that I realized that some of my classmates had been pulled over while driving legally more than eight times within the first year of getting a license--that my teacher, an incredibly well-dressed, successful lady, routinely gets followed around department stores by personnel, trying to see if she'll steal anything.

Okay, I agree that this is racist and stupid. Profiling happens, however unfair.
Witless
Do bare in mind Yannick that a lot of improvements are recent ones. It's not really helpful to a 35 year black person that on the last 2 years schools finally started teaching more black history. In the future black history month may dissapear when people with more diverse education systems in the states get older. But they continue to exist today because the adults of today are the people that went without the a lot of the changes of today.
voices_in_my_head
The things is, though. I don't see the ad as being insulting -it's an expression of belief, the same as any other religious advertisement, though the amount of Religious messages *I* see on a daily basis does have a lot to do with the area I live in. Sigh. I have an odd way of saying things that tends to take a few paragraphs to get around to what I was trying to say so here -

I think people take themselves all too seriously. Not saying that beliefs like religion *aren't* important - but to me, this advertisement was intended to be light-hearted, sort of funny, ect. and I think that if people are very seriously offended by it, then maybe they should just...well, calm down. Because everyone *does* have the right to say as they please, after all. And the ad doesn't say anything in a paticuarly offensive way.

Is the ad awesome or anything like that? No. It's an ad, one that made me smile a little bit, sure, but nonetheless just an ad.
Insensitive? Also a no. It makes a statement, and doesn't use any insults/jabs towards those who *do* believe in God.
froggle-rock
QUOTE (elphaba2 @ Oct 22 2008, 12:18 AM) *
whiteness is basically defined by the lack of ethnicity, rather than by the presence of one.


I don't get it, please explain a bit more what you mean?
elphaba2
All white people are, de facto, non-black (non-Latino, non-Asian, non-biracial, non-whatever you like). It's the one thing we have in common and the thing that typically defines whiteness. It's like a null race, considered the societal norm. What else is there? White people (bear in mind I'm talking about Americans, here--I haven't really experienced being white in any other place) are everywhere and come from many more combinations of cultures (Irish-Hungarian-French-Icelandic-so-on aren't uncommon blends) than do most minorities, and so it's much more difficult to come up with anything that unites us in terms of culture, experience and upbringing. There is no "white culture". Ask a comedian and he'll tell bad jokes about mayonaise and the 1950's--which describes a tiny subset of White America. If you watch Dave Chappelle, when he tells jokes about white people, he always frames it in a context that shows how we don't experience something that black people do (eg, aren't afraid of the police, to use one of his examples).

While culture varies over a geographic area, there are definitely uniting elements in the American black experience. It's difficult to find someone who hasn't experienced some type of discrimination in that community, whereas it's quite easy to find a white person who's never been mistreated on account of their skin. For example, me. While my great-grandfather might have faced the "no Irish or dogs" signs, I went along my way with no problems whatsoever. Black history exists. Black culture exists. White culture is simply non-black (non-Latino, non-Asian, non-so on) culture--it's 'everything else'. How can you have a month for 'everything else?'

Any clearer? I'm trying to summarize the type of discussions we usually had in my race class. And bear in mind that this is all my opinion--there are plenty of people who believe that there's something more to unite white people rather than just being non-black. Let me know if anybody can find it.
Phyllis
Izzy, can I suggest White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh? It's a really good look at white privilege in the US, and it's a quick read.

A quick word on the culture of white people in the US: I don't buy the notion that the culture of my ancestors is my culture as well. My great-great-whatever may have been from the UK, but living here has shown me time and time again that I am not British (well, I never thought I was even before I lived here, but you get my point). I'm American, through and through. I think too often white Americans look for some link to a country they've never visited in search of a cultural identity that seems more interesting than the one they were raised with.

Anyway, the original topic! I think it's awesome, and not insensitive at all. The Christian ads that I've seen in London were far more in-your-face. I definitely agree with what Witless said about the right to offend being more important than the right to not be offended.
leopold
QUOTE (elphaba2 @ Oct 22 2008, 07:41 PM) *
All white people are, de facto, non-black (non-Latino, non-Asian, non-biracial, non-whatever you like). It's the one thing we have in common and the thing that typically defines whiteness. It's like a null race, considered the societal norm. What else is there? White people (bear in mind I'm talking about Americans, here--I haven't really experienced being white in any other place) are everywhere and come from many more combinations of cultures (Irish-Hungarian-French-Icelandic-so-on aren't uncommon blends) than do most minorities, and so it's much more difficult to come up with anything that unites us in terms of culture, experience and upbringing. There is no "white culture".

What??? Did I really read that correctly? No such thing as White culture??

I know this is off-topic, but I really ought to pull you up on this one, Elph. White people are not a "null race" collectively defined by their lack of colour. To suggest that White people have no culture is an abominable concept. Okay, it might not be so colourful or graceful as that of the African or Asian peoples, but it nonetheless exists. White culture has been defined more by the desire to conquer, to explore and to develop, which is why White people tend to live in more affluent countries - they made them richer. This is why you think Whiteness is a societal norm: The White person is not indigenous to any country outside of Europe, they just moved there - The US, Canada, Australia, South Africa... these are all occupied by Europeans. Where you live, for example, was originally annexed by the French. However, there are plenty of countries where the White man isn't in the majority: China, Japan, North Africa, the Middle East...

Elph, White culture does exist, you just don't live on the right continent to see it for yourself, in the same way that a Botswanan wouldn't see Black African culture if he lived in Luxembourg. You should spend some time in Europe, where the White people originated from; then you'll see White culture in spades.

Anyway, back on topic. I have little opinion on the campaign other than to trot out the cliché "What's good for the goose". If churches can use advertising space to tell us how only those who love/fear God can be saved, I'm more than happy to hear the opposing argument. I believe it's referred to as freedom of speech, something which political correctness tends to dispense with under normal circumstances, and it's nice to see this stupid PC nonsense on the wane.
elphaba2
Oh no no. I should make a distinction--white people have culture. It would be awful to insinuate that we're like this cold, shut-off people with nothing to define us. I just don't think there's a single unifying culture that all white people (even all white Americans, a considerably larger subset) share--and I don't think you do either, given that you've just told me to travel to Europe to see white culture tongue.gif.

I kind of object to the idea that all white people are driven by a desire to conquer, kill and pillage, though. Yes, Europeans managed to wrest control of the globe for a period by virtue of a combination of chance and environment, but it brings you uncomfortably close to the "superior race" rubbish to say that white people as a race are conquerors (or were conquerors, or whatever.) There are too many of us to have a single thing in common--I'd like to think that I could have as much in common with any given human being as I would with someone of my own race. Has anyone seen studies on DNA comparisons between racial groups? Scientists haven't been able to find a genetic basis to 'race'--> while, obviously, the genes for skin color vary between racial groups, the variance is equal between two white people as for a white person and a hispanic person, or a white person and a black person. Twenty minutes on google haven't found me the link I want yet, but eventually I'll find it.

I will.

In fact, maybe I should start another topic and stop clogging up witless's. Thoughts?
leopold
QUOTE (elphaba2 @ Oct 24 2008, 02:55 AM) *
I kind of object to the idea that all white people are driven by a desire to conquer, kill and pillage, though. Yes, Europeans managed to wrest control of the globe for a period by virtue of a combination of chance and environment, but it brings you uncomfortably close to the "superior race" rubbish to say that white people as a race are conquerors (or were conquerors, or whatever.)

No, I'm sure all White people aren't driven to conquer, but history does tend to prove my point. Britain conquered three-quarters of the globe. The Dutch and French took over chunks of Africa, which they still "own" - South Africa and Guyana respectively as examples. The French also have two Caribbean islands and a big chunk of Canada. Throughout past history, Italy, Spain, the Scandinavians and Germany have all had a crack at taking over Europe. The USA still aspire to world domination. I'm not suggesting that everybody agrees with what goes on, but the respective elected leaders have shown a tendency to show the world who's boss.

As for "Superior race": It may be uncomfortable, but let's look at the evidence again. How long were Black people oppressed in Europe? Or South Africa? The USA? Indigenous cultures in America, Australia and New Zealand have had many issues with White oppression, which have only very recently been addressed. White people are still viewed with suspicion and contempt, which is hardly surprising when you consider past behaviour. As an example of what I mean, if you were bitten by a snake, would you become suspicious of all snakes? Of course you would. The harmless grass snake would be just as guilty as the huge boa, even though one is utterly harmless and the other doesn't bite.

This is not something you see within other countries or cultures (with the exception of Japan in WWII), even when faced with despots like Mugabe. These guys tend to just oppress their own people.

QUOTE (elphaba2 @ Oct 24 2008, 02:55 AM) *
There are too many of us to have a single thing in common--I'd like to think that I could have as much in common with any given human being as I would with someone of my own race.

That'd be more down to diversification than anything else. I'd expect people from different countries to have different cultures and backgrounds, and this would be colour-neutral.

Point taken on the thread hogging, although this is a normal occurrence for this place!
Sir Psycho Sexy
QUOTE (elphaba2 @ Oct 24 2008, 02:55 AM) *
I just don't think there's a single unifying culture that all white people (even all white Americans, a considerably larger subset) share


Just a point, but there's hardly a single unifying culture that all black people share either.
Industrial Kybosh
Drawing the topic back to the original point (sorry... wink.gif), I'm rather warm towards the whole endeavour. The slogan is pretty benign, probably by necessity, but it does raise a veiwpoint that rarely gets its soapbox moment. Atheism doesn't have a church or a scripture (though Dawkins seems to think he's our high priest - what a bellend...), so it's difficult to have a unified voice. The posters don't attack any one religion, or even religion in general - it's just a throwing of the atheist hat into the theological ring, and I whole-heartedly support it.

With reference to the acticle itself, I'm loving the pullout quote:

"Bendy-buses, like atheism, are a danger to the public at large."

How to undermine your entire argument with one ill-conceived soundbite. But props to 'spirituality and discipleship officer' (buh?) Rev Jenny Ellis for seeing the bigger picture and the effect this will have on theological debate. The 'danger to the public' is not atheism, or even public transport, but apathy and a lack of connection to the larger questions.
froggle-rock
Elph, can you define what you mean by culture please- in this context?
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