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Oct 13 2013

Ken Ham’s Good Advice For Atheists

No argument is needed,
Just a simple, silent chorus;
Ken Ham, in shilling “Answers”
Made the atheist case for us.

No message on our billboard—
We can simply leave it blank—
And we still come off the winners,
And we’ve got Ken Ham to thank!

Ham considers it a triumph—
They’ve increased their views by half!
… And he doesn’t seem to notice
That they’ve all dropped by to laugh.

Ken Ham has some good advice for atheists. Mind you, like everything else he sees, he interprets it incorrectly, but once you translate it, it’s surprisingly sound.

I would like to give the American Atheists a free marketing idea.  This idea will help them get across their ultimate message of what life and the universe are all about.  I suggest they put up the following billboard:

atheist-billboard

Yes, the board really says it all.  A blank board presents the ultimate message of atheists in regard to the question of the purpose and meaning of life and the universe.  Now, as I say this “tongue in cheek,” it still makes the point about what atheism is all about.

He even suggests putting this blank billboard next to his own Answers In Genesis billboards, to immediately juxtapose the two messages.

It’s brilliant. The more people–believer and atheist–who visit Answers in Genesis, the more people will understand. No one need make any argument at all; the “own goal” scored by AiG is enough–time to simply drop the mic and leave the stage (sorry to mix metaphors).

I know my own personal experience is bound to be biased, but I have never met an atheist who was not at least passingly familiar with AiG, and I have only met one Christian who had heard of it before I called it to their attention. All the Christians I have shown it to (plus the one who knew of it beforehand) were shocked and a bit embarrassed that such a backward place exists. So… you go, Ken! Spread the word! As per your own advice, the more you say, the less we have to!

It occurs to me that there is one further possible interpretation of the two juxtaposed billboards. A similar, but not quite identical, interpretation would be that the appropriate response to AiG is stunned speechlessness. Ham’s own post illustrates it, so in the manner of A Good Cartoon, I give you:

Answers in Genesis cartoon by Dan Lietha


Bob the atheist is utterly gobsmacked, stunned into silence by the thought that any sentient being would think of the AiG billboard as persuasive. A Good Cartoon.

13 comments

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  1. 1
    left0ver1under

    I suggest they put up the following billboard:

    Too late, Ken Hamfisted. It’s already been tried, and your type still flipped out about it.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/09/18/least-offensive-atheist-ad-ever-leads-to-new-advertising-policy-in-pennsylvania-county/

  2. 2
    blf

    I wasn’t stunned into silence, I was rolling on the floor laughing so loud I got a message from the Disaster Area band to please quiet down, they couldn’t hear themselves play…

    According to Ken “Piglet Rapist” Ham’s post, “AiG cartoonist Dan Lietha decided to produce a special cartoon about our new AiG billboard campaign. …I’ve also included a special link [to the cartoon]so you can share it with others”.

    What’s the next step? Put the cartoon on a billboard. On please, please, yes. (Could the workmen stop snickering long enough to even paste up the cartoon on the billboards correctly?)

    How long before somebody like Michele Bachmann or Governer (quit) Palin or some other wingnut cites (or at least uses) the cartoon?

  3. 3
    scottbelyea

    Well, I’m thoroughly tired of both atheists and Christians who scuttle around putting up billboards, signs on buses, and other such things. Frankly, there’s an element of the schoolyard about it (“Well, they did it first”). A plague on both their houses.

    As I walk around, I see nothing on either side that offends me. And in thinking about relatives and friends, I realize that for about 2/3 of them, I have no idea what their “beliefs” are … and that strikes me as just fine.

    Mind you, I’m in Canada, not the US. Perhaps that helps.

  4. 4
    Becca Stareyes

    Yes, I am rather shocked that Ken Ham would consider his sign persuasive. It mostly seems to be a sign devoted to reassuring the choir that Atheists are Wrong* rather than convincing anyone who isn’t already a theist. I don’t even think it might be compelling to those theists questioning their faith: all it offers is that Christians think atheism is incorrect. Which… well, no shit: I think that’s not a contentious idea. (Then again, I also don’t think ‘atheists exist!’ as contentious and yet…)

    (I think you see the same thing in Ham’s atheist billboard: he may see it as an absence of all the things he likes about his religion, but Cuttlefish clearly sees it as an absence of all the religious bullshit atheists don’t have to put up with. While Ham may see the lack of a higher purpose as troubling, I see it as the foundation of making my own purpose in life; while Ham might see lack of a moral code imposed by a higher power a sign of chaos, I see it as the foundation of humanism and the idea of morality being based on what improves quality of life.)

    * Which is at least something that will return the money spent on the billboard.

  5. 5
    N. Nescio

    It’d be interesting to see the reactions to a mostly blank billboard. I imagine Ken Ham would immediately declare “See how empty their lives are! They believe in a godless, loveless void! That’s what it’s like to live without my highly specific preferred deity who totally created life, the universe, and everything in six literal days less than 10,000 years ago!”

    Hopefully most atheist folks just see the best sort of page in a coloring book.

  6. 6
    grumpyoldfart

    A blank board presents the ultimate message of atheists in regard to the question of the purpose and meaning of life and the universe.

    Why are we here?

    To provide a safe haven for tapeworms.

  7. 7
    Kagehi

    Frankly, there’s an element of the schoolyard about it (“Well, they did it first”).

    There is an element of school yard to most political issues. The problem is, you don’t gain anything by being the quiet kid, in the corner, who gets bullied all the time, but has no actual voice, because all the “cool kids” are in the “popular” clubs, while all you do is sit around with the handful of nerds, who everyone else laughs at. Its not even about somehow becoming the “popular” ones, or getting comeuppance, its plain and simple recognition that the, lets say, the computer club exists at all, and maybe its unfair that 90% of all the discretionary funds go to the football team, and its coach (i.e., to all the assholes promoting religions, while claiming they are promoting democracy, by funneling money away from pretty much everything else, and towards laws about abortion, or about religion, or about defending religious symbols on government land, or about various moralizing issues, which have nothing to do with reality, or help anyone, and just about **anything else** other than acknowledging that other people have rights, while their “coaches” take big fat paychecks, for promoting it.) Your complaining about someone scrapping together a few dollars, to make *one* halfway decent “poster” to put up, which the assholes, if it was the school yard, would likely tear up and shove in the trash can in less than 24 hours, while the “school”, i.e., everyone from city officials, to the government, hand over nearly endless amounts of money, to post as many idiot posters, symbols, pamphlets, etc., promoting their nonsense, as money can buy. And, you have the audacity to say that we have no right to sharing out opinion, or promoting out organizations, etc., because… you think its school yard?

    Pretty sure there has been some parent, at every single one of those other **real** school yards showing up to say, “Well, who cares that someone ripped up their poster, or the school decided not to let them put it up (or what ever else happened), its not like it was **that** important, or they somehow *deserved* to have their poster put it!”, probably with a snide comment on its poor quality, or even how it might have “offended” someone else that was allowed to put it up.

    That attitude is also part of the whole “school yard” mentality, and all the stupider, since its usually the adults treating the outcast like shit, and unintentionally (or even intentionally) supporting the bullies, while somehow just… “not understanding what the problem is.”

  8. 8
    trucreep

    I think if it’s going right next to Hammy’s billboard, they could just put a “lol”

  9. 9
    Matt G

    A wonderful lesson on the Burden of Proof. Thanks, Ken!

  10. 10
    theignored

    I love those AIG cartoons. Especially the parodies.

  11. 11
    SallyStrange

    I find the blank billboard to be a fantastic and inspiring idea, actually! Your life is a blank piece of paper–get out your crayons and make something awesome!

  12. 12
    Alex

    @SallyStrange,

    Phantastic Idea! :D

    ____________________________________
    | God’s Plan for you:
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |_ … so don’t worry and live your life as you see fit _|

  13. 13
    Karl Goldsmith

    Ken Ham posted the link to Daily Mail article on Twitter.

    The first two lines under the main headline are “According to a study, 46 per cent of Americans believe in creationism” and “They refuse to look at the real world, said American Atheist president!

    He doesn’t seem to see, that they are saying look at these stupid Americans, are you glad us English are not that stupid.

    I don’t think I have ever seen an article on the Daily Mail website have so many comments from Americans.

  1. 14
    That is a good cartoon » Pharyngula

    […] The Digital Cuttlefish has found an excellent expression of religious thought. […]

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