Atheist bus-ads in Madison, Wisconsin


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“Have you heard the Good News that you are destined for oblivion?”


preferable to an afterlife with those guys.


That ad is great! Internet atheists always seem to lead with “your God is fake,” which is no more persuasive than “Jesus or hell.” It’s refreshing to see they can take a gentler approach, almost as if other people mattered.


“Tired of the people you have coffee and doughnuts with once a week? Come have coffee and doughnuts once a week with us instead.”


If I saw this, I would immediately suspect “AHA!” of being a front for some Christian denomination or another.

Just look at what the “Alpha course” has been doing:

You would never suspect.

Fortunately I have not seen anything quite so misleading in a while. (Of course, nothing compares to the “Book sale!” sidewalk sign that the local Scientology chapter used to employ. I was slightly tempted to slap a picture of Admiral Ackbar on that one a couple of times.)


It’s spooky how they draw people in.


It’s a trap!


I’m a little wary of capital-A Atheism as something that you sign up to and go to meetings to discuss. To me that’s like joining a special club to talk about how Susan Boyle didn’t drill a hole through the Earth’s crust, I mean, I know she didn’t; what’s this actually about?

Obviously, Atheism is about people who are transitioning from having religion to not having religion. But there’s a danger that instead of helping that transition, it just becomes a different kind of church, especially when “science” is treated as a drop-in replacement for “scripture” (the atom logo on this poster is telling). I feel like the people who are drawn to this would probably be better off joining a Quaker meeting, and googling any science questions they may have.


When operating in a world where everything is becoming increasingly nonsensical (as in, not intuitive or logical based on a surface reading), it’s just good strategy to lean on the fact that the thing you oppose “doesn’t make sense”. Of course it doesn’t: nothing does!


You would suspect a group that explicitly labels itself as “Atheists, Humanists, & Agnostics” of being a Christian denomination?

And the Alpha Course example isn’t all that misleading:

  • 2 of the 5 images say “coming to a church near you,” and a third gives the name and location of a specific church as a meeting location.

  • In my experience, any ad that talks about the meaning of life is a religious ad. Except ads for Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.


There is a lot to be said for having a community to belong to. Even if it is just a weekly get together for coffee and donuts.


There’s always Sunday Assembly, it’s like a salon every week with interesting speakers from scientific and other reality-based professions.


Oh, great, another one of you Boyle-deniers. Look at the evidence!


I have a great urge to graffiti ‘42’ on the bottom-right image there :slight_smile:


Re the “not making sense” ad. One of the lines Catholics (probably other Christians too) are fed is that doubt is ok. That it’s ok to go through period where one’s faith is being questioned. In fact, it just makes you a BETTER Catholic, not a worse one. Heck, even Jesus himself had moments of doubt. So instead of thinking “let me explore this doubt, as I think I might be on to something here” one thinks “doubt’s ok - I’m still a good Catholic - I can have some doubt.”

Genius, if you ask me.


That and the “Free stress test!” signs the Scientologists had on their kiosks at the mall. I have to thank my conservative Christian upbringing for unintentionally training me to be skeptical of anyone offering me answers through an organization’s evangelized philosophy.


Said no introvert ever. :slight_smile:


Evangelism is one of the more pernicious traits of religion.


The conservative Christian college I went to was all about confronting the questions and inviting atheists and evolutionists and such to come speak. Unfortunately for them, they brought up questions I hadn’t been able to articulate yet and which they weren’t able to provide any reasonable answer to other than “trust us.”