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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Social Autism of Atheists Growing in Intensity as Holidays Approach


It's been reported that the above billboard now appears in New Jersey just in time for the Christmas shopping rush.

"A group called the American Atheists has paid for a huge billboard on Route 495 outside the Lincoln Tunnel in North Bergen, N.J., that is raising some eyebrows.

The billboard shows a silhouette of the Three Wise Men approaching the Nativity, with the words: “You KNOW it’s a Myth / This Season, Celebrate REASON!”

The group says the billboard is not designed to convert Christians to atheism. Rather, Dave Silverman, a spokesman for the American Atheists, says the sign is designed to encourage existing atheists who are going through the motions of celebrating Christmas to stop."

One wonders if the group intentionally wanted to appear snarky and catty during The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. If they were, they are doing a magnoificent job at it.

People might wonder how members of this group can rationalize having such a billboard at Christmas time when a poll released yesterday by Rasmussen conveys the following...

"As Americans crowd stores nationwide, most still prefer being greeted by signs that say “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays.”

According to the latest Rasmussen Reports survey, just one-out-of-four Adults (24%) like “Happy Holidays” instead. Sixty-nine percent (69%) prefer that stores use signs that say “Merry Christmas.”

These figures are consistent with surveys during the holiday season for the past few years."


If I were to wager a guess, I would speculate that people find the term "Merry Christmas" preferable to the more generic "Happy Holidays" greeting because Christianity offers hope to people during the time of the year in which the announcement "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord" is celebrated and Happy Holidays offers little in the way of this type of hope.

Atheism does not offer hope. Perhaps that is why this particular group appear so sour at this time of year.

Perhaps some atheists might like to comment on this. I am of the opinion that such a group would be much better off scheduling debates with Christian historians concerning the actual birth of Jesus of Nazereth and then taking it from there, than starting off with the statement, "You KNOW it's a Myth." Your thoughts, please.


UPDATE: Catholic League counters atheist billboard


"Take that, atheists.

New York Catholics, furious about an atheist-sponsored billboard calling Christmas "a myth," lashed out with a counter-attack today — a billboard of their own that defends the celebration of the birth of Christ.

The billboard erected by the Catholic League went up near the New York side of the Lincoln Tunnel, at Dyer Avenue and 31st Street, in a bid to offset the anti-Christmas billboard at the tunnel’s New Jersey entrance.

"We decided to counterpunch after a donor came forward seeking to challenge the anti-Christmas statement by American Atheists," said Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League." Link

19 comments:

Froggie said...

Wow! I had no idea that 25% of peple preferred the greeting, "Happy Holidays!"
That is a lot!

And of course it's a myth, written many years after the supposed event. First century writers merely invented the story to fit the account in Micah that a saviour would be born in Bethlehem.

I find much hope and comfort all year long in all of those who toil in the name of humanity!!

Oh, and remember, JD, here in the USofA your rights end where the rights of others free speech begin.
Let's not forget that. Mmmmmk?

Also, just because you cannot conceive of what hopes and comforts others may have, does not make their hope's and comforts any less valid.

/F

JD Curtis said...

My larger point was that I think this group would be better served by engaging in discussions with Christian historians that specialize in the early church than going around stating something is a quote, "myth" when it's highly doubtful that they do no possess such knowledge.

JD Curtis said...

That should read..

"..when it's highly doubtful that they possess such knowledge"

Andy said...

Do you think it a good idea to describe groups of people using neurological disorders? Yeah, yeah, I know Theodore Beale does it...

Would you describe Christians as socially autistic for these billboards?
Athiests hate America
Attention atheist lunatics!
Pull the plug on atheism

How many people go to debates compared with how many people see billboards?
That's probably your reason for seeing billboards instead of debates.

JD Curtis said...

Do you think it a good idea to describe groups of people using neurological disorders?

Youre confusing Social Autism with actual, clinical autism.

How many people go to debates compared with how many people see billboards?

That's probably your reason for seeing billboards instead of debates


Probably, but the debate method would be more effective from an academic standpoint and probably wouldn't be viewed as sort of snarky and catty either.

Froggie said...

The academic argument has been debated and lost.
The bible is a collection of ancient myths.

michadelic said...

Myths can be a wonderful thing. Whether or not the nativity story is "myth", I'll still be celebrating it this year.

GentleSkeptic said...

…the debate method would be more effective from an academic standpoint…

It would also have the unfortunate, but intended, side effect of providing a veneer of academic credibility to the it's-not-a-myth position.

There is a reason you don't see this 'debated': the question is settled. It's the same reason serious biologists are disinclined to debated creationists: simply sharing the stage suggests that the two views are on some kind of equal footing.

Jill D said...

Do you think it a good idea to describe groups of people using neurological disorders?

Youre confusing Social Autism with actual, clinical autism
.

1) This excuse is nonsense.
Imagine:
X: Person Y is a whore!
Y: Do you think it's right to describe me as a prostitute?
x: Woah! You're confusing "whore" with a person who has sex for money.

2) Actual, clinical autism is sometimes called social autism.
http://www.chacha.com/question/what-are-the-symptoms-of-social-autism

JD Curtis said...

I googled it and found nothing about it on the first four pages so I gave up. Link

So I checked out the link you provided and all it did was confirm what many of us already suspect...

"It's not just a figment of my imagination, it seems atheists truly are socially autistic by their own report. Asperger's Syndrome is a disorder described as "autistic psychopathy" by its discoverer, Dr. Hans Asperger. Those with the disorder tend to be intelligent, socially awkward and difficult to converse with. They are also likely to be male.

Based on Wired Magazine's observation that atheists tend to be quarrelsome, socially challenged men, to say nothing of the unpleasant personalities of leading public atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Michel Onfray, one could reasonably hypothesize that there is likely to be a strong correlation between Asperger's and atheism. It's by no means a scientific test, but it is interesting to note the coincidence that 59 of the virulent atheists over at Dr. PZ Myers place report an average score on the Asperger's Quotient test of 27.8. And this does not include the two individuals who actually have Asperger's but did not report any test results.

The test notes that "Scores over 32 are generally taken to indicate Asperger's Syndrome or high-functioning autism". The average male score is 18, the average female score is 15. By way of comparison, I scored 14...

Obviously, more comprehensive and scientific tests would be advised before any definite conclusion can be reached..." Link

SmartLX said...

As American Atheists have explained in interviews, the billboard is principally aimed at closeted atheists who already think it's a myth but go along with it anyway. They want the 15% of Americans with "no religion", and the nominal but non-believing Christians, to come out as atheists, and of course join American Atheists.

Since this particular message isn't about actually changing anyone's opinion of the historicity of the Gospels, debating apologists wouldn't serve the billboard's intended purpose at all.

Not that another debate about Jesus would likely change anyone's opinion in any case. Witness the long-awaited debate in Mexico which, while not officially Dawkins vs Craig, at least had Dawkins and Craig in it. From what I've read, both camps think they won.

Froggie said...

It makes no difference whatsoever if they have aspergers or not since they are still right.
You lose either way.

Trying to link autism an atheism is a new low for you, JD.
And then you go on to think that you should be treated with respect. That's pathetic.

Froggie said...

"Based on Wired Magazine's observation that atheists tend to be quarrelsome, socially challenged men,...."

You must be kidding. Let's have the link.

JD Curtis said...

Since this particular message isn't about actually changing anyone's opinion of the historicity of the Gospels, debating apologists wouldn't serve the billboard's intended purpose at all

I believe that calling the claimed events surrounding the birth of Jesus as related by the Gospels a "myth" qualifies as trying to change someone's opinion about the historicity of the Gospels.

I don't think a debate would be quite as evangelical for them though.

Witness the long-awaited debate in Mexico which, while not officially Dawkins vs Craig, at least had Dawkins and Craig in it. From what I've read, both camps think they won

Post a relevant link if you like and I'll check it out.

It makes no difference whatsoever if they have aspergers or not since they are still right

Youre claiming knowledge that I seriously doubt you possess.

Trying to link autism an atheism is a new low for you, JD.
And then you go on to think that you should be treated with respect. That's pathetic



Is it any lower than making unsubstantiated claims of bigotry or racism in order to harass, annoy or stifle rational discussion?

I wouldn't say that the Asperger's/atheism link is 100% proven, but it's certainly an interesting starting point.

I would also add that I think it's important to distinguish between those "who happen to lack God belief" and those that are quite evangelical in their militancy.

JD Curtis said...

Froggie, I think this is the Link you were looking for.

Froggie said...

"Based on Wired Magazine's observation that atheists tend to be quarrelsome, socially challenged men, to say nothing of the unpleasant personalities of leading public atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Michel Onfray, one could reasonably hypothesize that there is likely to be a strong correlation between Asperger's and atheism."

You must be getting even more deserate.
You have taken Wolfe's words out of context.
He was not even talking about atheists in general. He was talking about NEW ATHEISTS, a term used by people like Wolf who think that religious people deserve respect just because they are religious. His argument falls on it's face, al la Osoma Bin Laden.

All I can say about this JD is that you could write material for Glenn Beck.
He is a master at taking anecdotal statements and turning them into supposed axioms.

I am cross posting this comment to SMRT since you are now in the business f censoring anything that disagrees with you.

JD Curtis said...

He was not even talking about atheists in general. He was talking about NEW ATHEISTS, a term used by people like Wolf who think that religious people deserve respect just because they are religious

Source?

All I can say about this JD is that you could write material for Glenn Beck

I'm disappointed. I much prefer Michael Savage who I link to over on the right.

Andy said...

First I was confusing social autism with actual autism now you say actual autism. Which one is it? It doesn't matter. This is America. You can say what you want. But don't get all huffy when other people use their free speach too. If you're gonna build a website on calling other groups names don't be surprised when they call you names back. Just saying.

And the billboard? The Christian sense of entitlement is extreme in this country. Any visible sign of dissent is taken as an insult. The TV and the radio might blare Christian messages incessantly, there's Christian billboards and churchs everywhere but a few atheist billboards and the rage is palpible!

OUR tax dollars are paying for religions (through tax exemptions) maybe its time we tax the churches.

SmartLX said...

Turns out they have a dual aim, as Silverman explained on Fox and Friends: to call out Christians and to draw out atheists. A debate would only further one of these.

To demonstrate what I said about the Dawkins-Craig debate, here's one of many atheists who think Craig was pathetic, and here's one of many believers who think Dawkins and Shermer failed completely.

Let's look at this another way: do you know of anyone whose position on the existence of gods was shifted one iota by watching a formal debate?