Atheist groups spread message on Sacramento-area billboards

Ever look skyward for spiritual inspiration? You won't find it on 10 new billboards that just went up in the Sacramento region.

A coalition of atheist and agnostic groups has bought billboard space to tell like-minded individuals they are not alone – but not in the godly sense.

The billboards say: "Are you good without God? Millions are." The message appears on a background of fluffy white clouds and blue sky.

The billboards are part of a national campaign that began last year in a dozen cities, including Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati and New York. Similar ads went up in Seattle and Tampa Bay, Fla., in January.

The Sacramento billboards, which will be up for a month, cost $6,450. The advertising is sponsored by the Sacramento Area Coalition of Reason with funding from the national United Coalition of Reason, based in Washington, D.C.

The advertising space includes the Sacramento Area Coalition of Reason Web site: SacramentoCoR.org

"It's a way of reaching out to people," said Fred Edwords, national director of United Coalition of Reason. "Many folks who think like us think they are the only ones."

Edwords said people who do not believe in a god are inundated by religious messages, and the billboards are meant to speak to people who believe that no god exists.

Groups that are listed on the billboard Web site include the First Atheist Church of True Science, Humanist Association of the Greater Sacramento Area, Sacramento Area Skeptics, and Atheists and Other Freethinkers.

"We non-theists are your family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers," said Rachael Harrington, coordinator of the local group, in a news release. "We're just like you, except we don't believe in a supreme being. It's about time we were equally free to be open about our views."

Rabbi Mendy Cohen of Chabad of Sacramento has not seen the billboards but said they "sound like a bunch of rubbish."

"How could you be an atheist in this world? How can you survive emotionally being an atheist – you could lose your job, your house – you could die from anxiety."

The billboards are spread out from Interstate 80 near Highway 65 in Placer County to I-80 between Sacramento and Davis.

sacbee.com/ourregion/story/2525723.html#mi_rss=Our%20Region

I think the advertisement is stupid and an example of a total non-understanding of the moral argument. As Dr Craig puts forward in his moral argument:

The question here is not, "Must we believe in God in order to live moral lives?" I'm not claiming that we must. Nor is the question, "Can we recognize objective moral values without believing in God?" I think that we can. Rather, the question is, "If God does not exist, do objective moral values exist?" Like Mackie and Ruse, I just don't see any reason to think that in the absence of God, the morality evolved by homo sapiens is objective. After all, if there is no God, then what's so special about human beings? They're just accidental by-products of nature which have evolved relatively recently on a infinitesimal speck of dust called the planet Earth, lost somewhere in a hostile and mindless universe, and which are doomed to perish individually and collectively in a relatively short time.

leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/washdeba-craig1.html#text21

I use to live in Sacramento... its a beautiful city with wonderful people.

Sad a city named for the Sacraments.. would have these billboards up.

However.. This is a good Catholic city and all it will do is strgenthen peoples faith.

May God bless Sacramento!

Looks like the Free-Thinkers don’t think.

Sacramento is beautiful! I've never lived there, but have been through there several times, en route to, and back from, Kings Canyon, the Sierra Nevadas, the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, Yosemite, and those parts.

Someone from Sacramento needs to answer this - How did you allow "Sack O' Tomatoes" to stick? :p

[quote="Mr_Skeptic, post:4, topic:186814"]
Sacramento is beautiful! I've never lived there, but have been through there several times, en route to, and back from, Kings Canyon, the Sierra Nevadas, the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, Yosemite, and those parts.

Someone from Sacramento needs to answer this - How did you allow "Sack O' Tomatoes" to stick? :p

[/quote]

Nobody? :p

How did you allow "Sack O' Tomatoes" to stick?

I thought this was a Temporarily banned, for the foreseeable future ? Topic.
Perhaps it is not a banned topic anymore? Or is it open only in the secular news forum, but not in apologetics anymore?

[quote="Mr_Skeptic, post:5, topic:186814"]
Nobody? :p

[/quote]

We always referred to it as "Sack-of-potatoes" or "Sacra-pimento," so I have no response for your question. :)

I’ve never heard of this ban. What is it a ban of? There are different moderators for the various fora. Perhaps the moderator of the Apologetics forum didn’t want discussion of news topics? :shrug:

Anyway, regarding the billboards. I don’t have a problem with them. It is basic Freedom of Speech, and it doesn’t sound like they are denigrating anyone else. I pray, though, that they eventually realize the Truth and drop to their knees in admiration of Our Lord.

[quote="lemonbeam, post:1, topic:186814"]
If God does not exist, do objective moral values exist?"

[/quote]

The two questions -- the existence of god and the existence of an objective morality -- aren't necessarily connected. It's quite possible, for instance, to argue that there are objective moral values that exist as part of the fabric of the universe, quite separate from the question of whether a god created the universe. Similarly, it's quite possible to argue that a god exists but that his divine morality is simply the decree of his arbitrary whims, such that there is no morality outside of the subjective whims of this god.

I don't agree with either of those positions, but they are possibilities, and they render your objection to the billboard invalid.

Further, it's quite possible to believe that there is no "objective morality" but that the word "good" signifies that which is useful or conducive to social cohesion, thought up entirely by human beings. To be more specific, the word "good" could simply stand for that which is affirmed by the dominant values of a culture, values being informed by natural empathy, social training, and a desire for order and stability. You don't have to believe that there's some kind of "objective morality" to value an orderly society and to not act like a jerk.

I'm not putting forward an argument for any of those possibilities, but I'm suggesting that the existence of those possibilities makes your objection to the billboard invalid.

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