Friday, March 06, 2009

Love Crime

You know those atheist bus signs in Toronto? Well it looks like someone has vandalized one of them...sorta.



Um. Maybe I'm not fully understanding the author's intention, but the sign (er, piece of paper) they put on top of the ad really isn't at odds with the ad. It's a bit ambiguous, scratching out "prob" and covering "bly no go" with the sign ("there's a D?") But the message that love is the most important thing is something most atheists would agree wholeheartedly with. With no supernatural being demanding faith, of course love for others is the most important thing there is. It's all there is.

Some commenters at BlogTO suggest it's a hate crime. But it's more of a love crime. It's like smashing a church sign then spray painting a cross on it.

Maybe the vandal is just confused. Or maybe it's deeper; maybe they are pointing out the common belief that atheists, religious folks and The Beatles agree on: all you need is love.

7 comments:

E Flo said...

maybe his name is D. "There's D". I love atheists but if i was forced to vandalize a sign, I would make them say "There's Emily".

Darius Whiteplume said...

I don't think Atheists run around changing christians signs? That's more a fake-satan whorship thing, isn't it?

I must admit, I want to pry the fish off people's cars when I see them parked, but I would feel bad. That would be like shooting an abortion doctor or denying gay people their rights, or... oh, wait a minute.

Dani said...

Hey Phronk - Thanks for inviting me over here. We have similar billboard ads posted here in Denver as well and they don't bother me, I just think it's silly.

I'm always amused at how much effort atheists put into something they don't even believe exists! Seems kinda bizarre to devote your entire existence to proving something that supposedly doesn't exist. Why not have a sign, "There probably is no spaghetti monster, now stop worrying and go live life"?

It's quite a gamble to risk your eternal soul on the notion that God is "probably" not real. Wouldn't you want to be 100% certain if you are going to take such a chance? But then again, the whole reason atheists even believe they exist is by chance, so I guess it make sense.

"But the message that love is the most important thing is something most atheists would agree wholeheartedly with. With no supernatural being demanding faith, of course love for others is the most important thing there is. It's all there is."

I pretty much agree with you. The desire to love and to be loved is a fundamental belief among all of humanity. The difference with atheists and Christians is that atheists have faith that love is part of a billion year old impersonal force full of meaningless atoms and molecules undefined by any righteous standard, and Christian believe that an eternal Personal God who is full of love and righteousness created us with the desire to have loving relationships along with the ability to feel emotions, and choose to do what is right (or wrong).

Furthermore, love can be somewhat relative depending on whom you ask. Take NAMBLA for instance: North American Man Boy Love Association, where their motto is "sex before 8 or it's too late."

What one may define as love, another would define as perverse. There has to be an ultimate standard in order to know absolutely what is the right kind of love.

Love cannot be created in a test tube, nor could such feelings evolve - just like our conscience, God has written the law on our hearts and gave us the ability to love.

Phronk said...

E Flo: There's Probably a Phronk. Now Stop Worrying and Bring Him Some Cookies.

Darius: I'm sure there have been atheists vandalizing Christian messages. There are just less of them so you don't see it as much. Being a douchebag transcends religious beliefs.

Dani: Thanks for stopping by!

Why not have a sign, "There probably is no spaghetti monster, now stop worrying and go live life"?

Great question. I think the answer is that there isn't a majority of people who believe in the spaghetti monster, try to get other people to believe in him, and do horrible things in his name. If there were, atheists would probably have signs denying his noodliness.

It's quite a gamble to risk your eternal soul on the notion that God is "probably" not real. Wouldn't you want to be 100% certain if you are going to take such a chance?

This is Pascal's wager, which I've discussed with you dozens of times. There are many flaws in it, but just think of this...you're wagering your eternal soul just as much as me by believing in your god instead of the thousands of other gods that people have believed in throughout history. And maybe you're 100% certain of your beliefs, but that doesn't mean you should be. I'm sure people were 100% certain that Thor existed, but they turned out to be wrong right?

But then again, the whole reason atheists even believe they exist is by chance

Again, we've discussed this dozens of times, but most atheists don't believe we came about by chance. Atheists who also believe in evolution think that life came about by the complete opposite of chance - by natural selection. Selection ain't chance.

The desire to love and to be loved is a fundamental belief among all of humanity.

Glad we agree on that.

The difference with atheists and Christians is that atheists have faith that love is part of a billion year old impersonal force full of meaningless atoms and molecules undefined by any righteous standard, and Christian believe that an eternal Personal God who is full of love and righteousness created us with the desire to have loving relationships along with the ability to feel emotions, and choose to do what is right (or wrong).

I guess that's roughly accurate, but it says nothing about which view is actually correct.

What one may define as love, another would define as perverse. There has to be an ultimate standard in order to know absolutely what is the right kind of love.

I believe there is an absolute standard of right and wrong too. I just don't think it's as simple as reading it from a book.

Love cannot be created in a test tube, nor could such feelings evolve - just like our conscience, God has written the law on our hearts and gave us the ability to love.

Okay. Why? Did He arbitrarily decide on a definition of love then just slap it in our brains to see what happens? What absolute standard was God following? Any criticism of atheism based on an "absolute standard" of love/morality/whatever applies equally to your god.

Mark said...

*Sigh* Somtimes I feel like the only Jew in the room.

Pascal's wager, and your response, are both highly situated in a Christian worldview. Did you know that there are many, many religions, including Judaism and Buddhism, where there are no penalties for not following the "right" faith? Judaism, for example, just doesn't dwell on the afterlife much, and in Buddhism you're just trapped on the wheel longer if you don't escape it... but you've been here so long by now it hardly matters.

Phronk said...

That's good to keep in mind, Mark. The religions you mention are, in my opinion, much more level-headed in that regard.

However, I don't think it's really relevant to Pascal's wager. The wager and my response to it only depend on there being hundreds of religions that do penalize nonbelief (regardless of how many don't). Choosing any belief (whether atheism or Christianity) implicitly rejects these hundreds of punishment-friendly religions. The fact that it applies equally to all beliefs is what makes it such a silly argument for any one belief.

Dale said...

All you need is Blog, isn't that how the song goes?