Atheist Quotation Posters March 20, 2011

Atheist Quotation Posters

***Update***: Commenters are right to point out that the celebrities are not necessarily atheists, but their quotations certainly resonate with atheists.

These aren’t the latest atheist billboards, but they sure as hell should be.

George Clooney, Natalie Portman, Frank Sinatra, and Jon Stewart look even more fantastic when surrounded by their godless words:

You can see the rest of the collection here.

(Designed by Truth-Saves)


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  • Err… not to be a party-pooper… but these aren’t necessarily atheists.

    Clooney says he doesn’t know if he believes or not. Maybe that technically means he doesn’t believe now… but ‘atheist by technicality’ is nothing to crow about.

    Sinatra just said he didn’t believe in a personal god. He could still believe in a deistic kind of god.

    Portman said she doesn’t believe in an afterlife – nothing about god. (Unless she’s said more about it elsewhere; I don’t know.)

    And Stewart’s not an atheist. Joking about religion and not believing in a god aren’t the same thing.

  • Johann

    *shrug* I don’t especially care about their personal beliefs. The messages are the point here.

  • Kevin S.

    I’m fairly certain that Natalie Portman is a Conservative Jew.

  • CB

    @Mike – all the better when very salient atheist points are realized and expressed by not-necessarily-atheists. Indeed, that’s how many people become atheists.

    As the saying goes:“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” I used to think Orson Scott Card was an atheist based on how anti-religion a lot of his stories are. Then I found out he was a Mormon… I realized he wasn’t bad-mouthing religion, he was just bad mouthing any religion that WASN’T MORMONISM and either deliberately avoided or just never bothered to up talk his own. But I wonder how many borderline-atheists read Card’s work and said “you know this makes sense – it is all bullsh!t!”

  • CB

    Clarification – Card did write a number of Christian-centric stories, but most of his science fiction, for which he is better known, is quite secular in nature and unflattering of religion in general.

  • JenniferT

    I was surprised by Frank Sinatra. I looked for the quotes in context and for anyone else who’s as interested as I was, here’s the full interview they come from.

    http://www.spiritofsinatra.com/pages/articles/playboy_02_63.html

  • J.

    Stewart is Jewish, and often jokes about it on ‘The Daily Show’, just as Colbert jokes about his Catholicism.

    But – Many Jews – even ones who follow Cultural traditions, may be atheists in regard to a personal belief. I don’t know about Stewart, or Portman specifically.

  • Vahdrok

    Protip: It doesn’t matter if the entertainer is, themself, atheist.

  • Richard P.

    Hey Mike,
    What exactly makes them not being atheists poo on the party?

    Does their beliefs in a god really change the validity of what they said? Or are you more worried about complete original context?

    Seems to me there is a fairly clear point here that could create some contemplation of the subjects they present. Being Labeled as atheists is irrelevant. I would think that it would lend even more credibility to the message if they were not known as atheists.

    Not only that is seems to me to be a nice subtle way of mocking religion, and that is always a good thing. Religion needs to be mocked to the point that people are ashamed to be associated with it, only then will we ever be rid of it’s influence. Anything that presses that goal forward is a good thing. If they are known to be some kind of god botherer, that only makes the mockery sweeter.

  • Sarah

    I think it is important for the religious to question their faiths as much as atheists do not question their disbelief. I think it is important that those living wrapped up in these archaic beliefs start to see that none of it is a viable line of thinking. These quotes aren’t made by actual atheists, but it is a step in the right direction to inspire those who are living on the edge, and starting to think outside the (very small, airless, windowless) faith-box.

  • Steve

    So they aren’t atheists, but maybe agnostics, deists or just generally spiritual. So what? If more people shared those beliefs instead of being under the thumb of organized religion, we wouldn’t have the problems we have.

    Intellectually, I’d still consider them wrong, but they aren’t causing me or anyone else harm either.

  • Rich Wilson

    Portman:

    A priority for me is definitely that I’d like to raise my kids Jewish, but the ultimate thing is to have someone who is a good person and who is a partner.

  • Richard P.

    @ JenniferT
    Thanks for the link it was a great read.

  • ManaCostly

    I like Jon Stewart’s one the best.

  • Ibis

    There are, as far as I know, many who are or consider themselves to be “cultural Jews” but are intellectually or philosophically atheists. Perhaps Stewart and even Portman fall into that category.

    As for Clooney, from this statement I’d say he is an agnostic–so what’s the big deal if he isn’t firmly stating he doesn’t believe in gods? The question of the existence of God isn’t an issue for him because he can’t be certain one way or another, so he focuses on what he does know.

    I think the nitpicking is rather pointless.

  • Annie

    Thanks for the link Jennifer. Interesting article for 1963.

    I think these billboards, regardless of whether or not the quotes are from atheists, will bring about conversation… and a more productive type than, “What do you mean you don’t believe in god? You’re going to hell!” They also all seem to express that none of these people fully accept all that organized religion seems to offer. Good step forward, in my book.

  • AxeGrrl

    Richard P wrote:

    Seems to me there is a fairly clear point here that could create some contemplation of the subjects they present. Being Labeled as atheists is irrelevant. I would think that it would lend even more credibility to the message if they were not known as atheists

    .

    I wholeheartedly agree. I think more people would be inclined to listen to/read the comments if the word ‘atheist’ is nowhere around. As we all know, there are some people who go into defensive mode and/or simply stop listening as soon as the A word comes into it.

    These ads are great 🙂

    and wow, I’m surprised by Gwyneth!

    http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/190387_10150113521784107_304365859106_6390072_3133252_n.jpg

  • Rob

    I really dislike these for one simple reason. Each of these people (or for Sinatra, his estate) has the right to control the use of their likeness or image. It’s a bit different from an individual’s privacy rights because they are all public figures. But they still have the right to control how their celebrity is used.

    It’s one thing to quote something they have said. It is entirely different to use that quote in an advertisement, unless of course they have given permission.

    And regardless of whether or not these ever appear as full size billboards, the fact that they have ben published means their right to control their likeness has been infringed.

  • Demonhype

    As for Clooney, from this statement I’d say he is an agnostic–so what’s the big deal if he isn’t firmly stating he doesn’t believe in gods? The question of the existence of God isn’t an issue for him because he can’t be certain one way or another, so he focuses on what he does know.

    Exactly. This kind of thinking was a major step for me towards atheism. I realized that no one can possibly know these things about an afterlife, that anything one claims about gods or afterlife are assertions, that these unprovable assertions never seem to work out well and seem to lead to a lot of evil in the real world–which, interestingly enough, is the only world or life we can know exists. So I decided that the only thing that one can honestly work with is what you can evidence in this world, and any afterlife that requires that you ignore reality in favor of unevidenced assertions is not a worthy afterlife. Any god who would throw a tantrum and damn me for not believing in this or that religion despite not giving any evidence that that religion is “the One”, while completely de-valuing any good done on this planet to real people, is not a god worthy of worship or even common courtesy, and defying such a god would be a moral imperative anyway. It became pretty obvious to me that if there is any kind of “higher power” with any kind of expectation, that “higher power” isn’t busting its nuts to show itself in any way, and any expectations must be related to how we work in the real world towards other real people, not some kind of magical spiritual abstract undefined arbitrary bullshit beliefs or rituals. Fuck any god who feels the need to damn people based on some kind of coy cosmic game of hide-n-seek.

    So deciding to focus on who and what I can be reasonably sure exists was a huge epiphany for me. There were (and are) still some afterlife ideas I like and find more plausible than others, but I don’t pretend that plausibility or appeal constitute evidence of existence.

    Aside: I never much noticed Clooney before, but recently I saw some movie with him, Quentin Tarantino, and some vampires (and some really confused theology, unfortunately), and I realized that he is very handsome! Didn’t know who he was, and when I found out I couldn’t figure out how I’d missed that! Then I found out he was a childfree guy, which made him sexier. And now, this quote makes him sexier still–he might get hotter, but I dont’ see how that’s possible. 🙂

  • Never knew those quotes of Sinatra’s. I knew there was a reason I liked the guy.

  • Danielle

    The Facebook page says:

    “I was inspired by “Atheist, Agnostic and Secular Quotes” to make the quotes on Truth-Saves.com into graphics.”

    So yeah, its not just about atheism.

  • Lion IRC

    I can see it now.

    A popularity contest to recruit atheists.

    Celebrity atheist versus celebrity theist to see who has the most caché

    Ego versus ego. Non-stop vanity fair.

    Far be it from me to second-guess where the critical mass of celebrity pulling power rests but George Clooney seems to have a bit of competition. Orlando whatshisname? Keanu whatshisname?

    So lets take your New Atheist celebrity band wagon vote winners and see who are they up against? And who would win in terms of sheer pulling power?

    Look at the array of theists whose Tweets and Blogs we follow and whose Facebook fan clubs we join and now we ask if Hollywood atheists are just a little outnumbered?

    Sporting Superstar Buddhists (David Beckham and wife?), music industry New Agers (Sting?), R & B Christians (Beyonce?), Nobel activists Gahndi, Aung San Suu Ky, (Popular whether they like it or not.) Hindus (Julia Roberts?) Counter-culture mockumentary curmudgeons (Michael Moore?) Theists Without Hats (Scientology,) Wiccan animation heroes (Bart Simpsons sister) Kabbalah media hypnotists (Madonna) Immortalized “saints” multi-faith icons like Michael Jackson. And I’m not sure where you put religious folk like Lady Gaga.

    When atheism has to rely on the complete and utter non-sequitur of celebrity ad-pop pulling power to attract followers, rather than the quaint old idea of reason and empirical evidence, then you know the wheels are starting to fall off the wagon.

    That really deserves a LOL.

    ….and a smilie 🙂

  • Johann

    Except that you’re completely missing the point, Lion. We know we’re outnumbered. We’re very aware of it. This is not about winning by numbers or challenging theists to a popularity contest, winner take all.

    It’s about taking the ideas that talking heads on Fox vaguely connect with terrorism and hating America, and showing that they’re held by people whom most Americans will recognize. It’s a way of personalizing our views in a society where the entrenched machinery of both politics and religion works against us. These images are not a formal debate – they’re advertisements. And when you laugh at us for making good-looking, appealing ads, all I can say to you is…

    …here, have a smilie back. 🙂

  • Lion IRC

    Hey Johann,

    They’re advertisements. I get it!

    I think its funny in a “…welcome to the party pal…” kind of way.
    :cheers:

  • Richard P:

    Hey Mike,
    What exactly makes them not being atheists poo on the party?

    I was talking about myself, for pointing out that they’re not atheists when Hemant’s title was “atheist quotation posters” 😛

  • Ian

    If we complain when Christians use Einstein quotes, we should avoid using those who are potentially religious/theistic.

    Nevertheless, if you click through to the Truth-Saves sites, you’re in for a treat. It’s one of the best looking websites I have ever seen. Fantastic.

  • Lion IRC

    Speaking of advertising.

    It’s kind of funny to see the 2010 Global Atheism Convention pop up ads still showing up at the top of this site.

    http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/aclk?….&adurl=http://www.atheistconvention.org.au&nm=4

  • ash

    Completely off topic; this one’s for Natalie Portman fans and definitely NOT safe for work;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpMPFGBtE7Q

  • aerie

    Sarah said:

    I think it is important for the religious to question their faiths as much as atheists do not question their disbelief.

    I would disagree. None of us knows for absolute certainty. Extremism begins when we stop questioning our personal beliefs and our ideas about the world in which we live.

    It would be dishonest of me to not allow for the miniscule chance that any gods exist. But if they want me, they know where to find me. I’ve wasted enough precious time on that nonsense.

  • ludovico

    To paraphrase Homer [Simpson, i.e.]: “[Celebrities]–is there anything they don’t know?

  • Bertram Cabot, Jr.

    And why would the fact that a person is a celebrity give any value more or less to their opinions about God?

    This all borders on an “appeal to authority”.

    Oh, and Sinatra was a fine upstanding citizen, wasn’t he?

  • jen

    ”all the better when very salient atheist points are realized and expressed by not-necessarily-atheists.”. ( its vice versa. you can find god points expressed by athiests too. and I can equally say, that is what makes athiests god believers. but the truth can be observed by all…belongs to no one

    ”As the saying goes:“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. ”

    yep. we are the same in intellect, etc. I AM you Plus an experience.

    ”When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

    – why do top intelligent atheists waste so much time debating the worst representatives of religion?! a true god believer doesnt dismiss the rest, he recognizes the truth within all. just as athiest can see himself in others.

    ”I used to think Orson Scott Card was an atheist based on how anti-religion a lot of his stories are. Then I found out he was a Mormon… I realized he wasn’t bad-mouthing religion, he was just bad mouthing any religion that WASN’T MORMONISM”

    I fool a lot of people that way. many people think I am anti-religion. i am. because the rituals distract people from the heart of the message. just like any hollow act or fashion trend to prove you are a ‘good whole person’. I still believe in a personal god, though he is not a man. he is a person, place and thing and I purposely chose to create him as a person to express appreciation, just as people do with nature.

  • jen

    no mocking religion wont do anything because they dont join for power or pride. religion preaches humbleness and prepares them for mockery. for many religious, to be mocked is a test. sorry. you might be able to change those who are following because of information and not because of an experience

  • Dbonfa

    It is you’re right not to believe in God. But that will never stop God from loving you!