We don’t need God?

Atheists promoting people do not need God

If you happened to see the billboard saying “You don’t need God” on your drive home from Ferris last weekend, you were not daydreaming.

An atheist group is spreading the message “You don’t need God” in west Michigan and to six other U.S. cities through the use of billboards.

The campaign called the Center of Inquiry is promoting that life without God is still filled with love and compassion.

Whether you agree with this statement or not, the issue of promoting life without God is still gigantic. Think of a world without something to believe in and telling others not to believe in anything. I wonder what atheists think on their deathbed, because if they spent their whole life promoting there is no God and there happens to be one, well, I guess they are sort of screwed.

Most of us have been raised and educated in some sort of religious way by our parents, friends and even our schools. According to the article “You don’t need God,” 10 percent of Americans claim they reject believing in God. I am sure we all know believers and nonbelievers, but even so, there should not be any religious group telling others what to or what not to believe in. I understand freedom of speech and all that jazz, but I personally believe there is a major difference in the phrases “I don’t need God” and “You don’t need God.” No one has the right to tell another what they need to believe in.

There are people who live through their faith when they have nothing else, including the homeless, the depressed and the outcasts of society. Are these atheist groups going to accept everyone for whom they are, provide people a place to stay when needed and support their local community just as much as a church would? If so, that is great, but to me these billboards are just as bad as posting a billboard saying “There is no Santa Claus.” Have fun with the responses from that billboard.

If children are not allowed to discuss God in public schools and they also read these anti-God billboards (yes, children can read too) I am not sure they will be quite as understanding when asked to sit through an hour long sermon every week, let alone learn about love or compassion.

Many ethical morals a non-religious or religious person has represents some form of religious teaching. This includes lying, stealing, cheating, cursing and so on. Without knowledge of what religion is all about, how is our society supposed to improve loving others and having compassion for those who are less fortunate?

I am not alone on my personal opinion of this campaign. Multiple companies have turned down the offer to place this billboard in public. Some said it went against personal beliefs within their company to saying residents in a certain area would become offended.

I think this billboard is rude. We do not see billboards saying “You need to believe in God” around here. If so, I would love to see those billboards next to each other. Someone please take a picture and send it to our Torch website.

48 comments

“I won­der what athe­ists think on their deathbed, because if they spent their whole life pro­mot­ing there is no God and there hap­pens to be one, well, I guess they are sort of screwed.” Are you saying that God is not forgiving? He will let a murderer into his presence if they repent, but a morally good Atheist will be rejected?

I may not actively believe in God, but I believe in being good, and I try and lead a good life. I don’t go around saying He doesn’t exist, but if He does and I learn that after my death then so be it. I doubt he’s going to deny me a nice afterlife just because I didn’t believe in him.

Unlike everybody else you didn’t insult anybody. I like that.
And about what you said. I guess you would have nothing to worry about if God does not care about whether you believe in him or not but lived good according to what you define as good and not what he defines as good. Otherwise, back to what the lady said.
And by the way, you are not an Atheist. An Atheist should believe 100% that there is no God, even though God lives.
99% not sure is not good enough.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

“I won­der what athe­ists think on their deathbed, because if they spent their whole life pro­mot­ing there is no God and there hap­pens to be one, well, I guess they are sort of screwed.” Are you saying that God is not forgiving? He will let a murderer into his presence if they repent, but a morally good Atheist will be rejected?

I may not actively believe in God, but I believe in being good, and I try and lead a good life. I don’t go around saying He doesn’t exist, but if He does and I learn that after my death then so be it. I doubt he’s going to deny me a nice afterlife just because I didn’t believe in him.

I find your comment to be quite shallow and also lacking any point.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

You are either willfully ignorant or wholly disingenuous in your published statements.  There are billboards in every major city espousing the need to believe in “God”, why are you offended when a rival group puts up something similar?  Are you so insecure in the believeability of your iron age faith system that you are willing to fight tooth and nail to stop any other possibilities from being brought up?

Again with the insults.
How is expressing ones feelings on a page on the Internet fighting tooth and nail?
You are the one fighting tooth and nail trying to see that nobody who reads the author’s writing would agree with it.
There are no religious billboards in major cities attacking other belief systems. It’s you guys that invented that.
And by the way Christianity is not a religion. If you want to lie to yourself that it is, then using whatever rusted points you’ll use; Atheism is also a religion.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

Interesting. This article really covers all its bases. 

Argument Fallacies:

1) “Think of the children!”
2) Straw Man
3) Cherry picking (Where did she get those statistics?)
4) Begging the question (Proof?)
5) Complete lack of research
6) False analogy
7) “I’m entitled to my opinion”

I’ve seen horrendously biased content from The Torch before, but this is just ridiculous. In the best case, this editor should be removed. She has clearly shown that she cannot effectively write her own opinion without it sounding like an entry in LiveJournal. Worst case scenario, nothing is done and this is not addressed. Most likely scenario, we will see a half apologetic article from the Editor-in-Chief trying to cover his bases and the actual writer of this article will say nothing. How disappointing. 

Honestly, if you do end up reading these comments, I’d like to at least see a retraction or apology on behalf of the author.

A simple google search provides guidelines on how to write an effective Opinion Editorial (for those of us that are not English and Journalism majors). A good opinions piece is meant to be thought provoking and is supposed to influence the reader towards the authors point of view given that the author provides factual evidence for their argument (none of which was provided in the above article). I completely understand that this is an opinions piece but it could have been written in a way that doesn’t condescend and demoralize the Agnostic and Atheist community. 

I think most everyone pointed out the most obvious controversies of the article and biased opinions of the author. Choosing not to believe in a God doesn’t make one a bad person.  How many Agnostics or Atheists have killed, raped, and tortured someone just because they didn’t not believe in a God? How many wars have been fought over religious differences? How many people have had to suffer in the name of God? 

I am a good, loving, compassionate person and I help those who are less fortunate. I value people for who they are — regardless of their religious affiliation or lack there of. If there is a loving, merciful, all mighty God — I’m sure he/she/it will grant me an afterlife because I valued my physical life on Earth. 

How many people have Atheists killed through history. Even some Atheists reading this right now are thinking of killing me. Too bad my God brought them into this world and can take them out.
I find it interesting how you have blamed all the evil in this world on believing in God. And yet you talk about good journalism when you invent your so – called facts.
You claim that many wars have been fought because of religion.
List the wars that have been fought for religion and the prove that it wasn’t fought for political power, money, oil or greed.
Maybe in your head World War 1, World War 2, all the wars for independence that have been fought in Africa, the Vietnam war, the war in Iraq, the war for America’s independence, the wars by Alexander the great, the wars by Julius Caesar, the wars by Emperor Napoleon, and even all the wars by the ancient Chinese dynasties; where all fought for religion.
Amela, You don’t know anything about anything.
And just for the record, I have nothing but love for you.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

A simple google search provides guidelines on how to write an effective Opinion Editorial (for those of us that are not English and Journalism majors). A good opinions piece is meant to be thought provoking and is supposed to influence the reader towards the authors point of view given that the author provides factual evidence for their argument (none of which was provided in the above article). I completely understand that this is an opinions piece but it could have been written in a way that doesn’t condescend and demoralize the Agnostic and Atheist community. 

I think most everyone pointed out the most obvious controversies of the article and biased opinions of the author. Choosing not to believe in a God doesn’t make one a bad person.  How many Agnostics or Atheists have killed, raped, and tortured someone just because they didn’t not believe in a God? How many wars have been fought over religious differences? How many people have had to suffer in the name of God? 

I am a good, loving, compassionate person and I help those who are less fortunate. I value people for who they are — regardless of their religious affiliation or lack there of. If there is a loving, merciful, all mighty God — I’m sure he/she/it will grant me an afterlife because I valued my physical life on Earth. 

When will the human race finally understand people don’t need a magic bearded man in the sky to tell them how to behave?  Also, why is it such a troubling thought that your child may not want to go to church?  If a parent can’t teach the values of compassion, trust, and humility to their child without the aid of the church, how do you explain countries like France, Belgium, and Germany?  With almost a third of their population’s not believing in any kind of God, why aren’t their youth corrupt and immoral like you suggest?  Religion started out as a wonderful tool used to make sense of the world we lived in and did not understand.  Now it is used to justify genocide all over the world and throughout history.

This article is nothing more than a voicing of an age old prejudice.  Another set of beliefs that goes against my own is trying to spread their message. First you take down the billboard, then another, and another, until eventually the minority’s voice is totally silenced and people have no other options.  How this cycle is so blindly ignored over and over again by the Christian faith (and judaism, and islam, etc) troubles me.

Just to clarify, I don’t agree with this billboard either.  If I had my way, no belief system would be allowed to advertise.  Finding meaning and purpose in life is a long, deeply personal quest, not something you can find on a billboard.  This being America, however, I respect and protect everyone’s right to free speech, no matter how utterly stupid I believe the message.

With all this being said, I was one of those kids who hated sitting through sermon.  I stopped going to church as soon as my parents let me.  Not because of anti-God propaganda, but because I DIDN’T BELIEVE IT.  I have been strongly agnostic ever since.  Yet, somehow, I turned out to be  what I would think is a fairly decent person.

Finally, I found your last post. It seems you have responded to just about everyone’s comment about this article. I must say most of the responses were probably motivated by anger and only a few contained valid points. I only have one thing to say though Mr. King. In all your responses you have caused more harm than good. You casted insults and sarcasm in your responses when Jesus teaches us that that type of language has no place in our relationships with other humans. We are all God’s children and should be treated as such, even if we chose not to believe in him. And please, please stop signing your responses with “Much love & God bless”. If that were truly your sentiment you would not have posted any of the things you did in this forum. Lastly I am a Christian. I believe in God and I believe I should try to convert people to what I believe because God want’s everyone to recieve the love of Christ. But I only do so with respect, and I will never demean someone for not wanting to listen to me or chosing not to believe. Honestly I do not find the billboard offensive and it is true. Anyone can be good, for a time. But as humans we all have evil inside of us, even those who believe in God.

Thank you. The gentleman has a number of websites & was recently shut down temporarily by twitter for attempting to add too many followers at one time. Makes me suspect that this venue was a substitute.

You begin your comment with an insult and then you follow it with a flat out lie that there are tons of billiards telling us that, “WE MUST HAVE GOD TO BE GOOD.”
There is no billboard in the world that has those words on it. None whatsoever. If I’m wrong post me a picture of one.
You are saying that billboards for churches who are advertising their meetings have “WE MUST HAVE GOD TO BE GOOD”, written on them. Common, that is propaganda.
You are manipulating the truth and accusing someone of not being intelligent.
There are many things that that makes you but why should I bother to tell U what U are.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

And because you weren’t the rest of us must subscribe to your ideology. Common! Don’t be so shallow.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

Besides the fact that you are wrong in that this article is fair. Lets assume it isn’t. So if a school student doesn’t agree with Atheism the student makes the school look bad?
So now you are bullying people into Atheism and tagging everybody else that don’t believe what you believe as self righteous?
You are pathetic.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

Reading your comment was disgusting. You start with insulting and trying to intimidate a writer. Then you talk about JESUS SAVES billboards. Like that can be compared to attacking other people’s beliefs. It is a JESUS SAVES billboard not an ALL ATHEISTS ARE WRONG billboard.
You attack us but we don’t attack U. Yet U blame us for attacking you like you attack us.
That shows that not only are you biased but you are also nefarious. Common! What’s wrong with you?

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

I think your comment is rude.
In the same vein of what you said about Roman Catholics, I guess that when a mother gives birth to a baby in a certain country she is making him a citizen of the country before the baby is capable of thinking for him or herself.
As a matter of fact, parents shouldn’t give their babies baby food until the child is old enough to think for himself or herself and decide if he or she wants the baby food or not.
By the way, when a baby is raised in the home of an Atheist, is that baby raised as a Christian or as an Atheist? Why didn’t wait for the child to be old enough to think for himself or herself?
Mr. Rick, I believe it is safe to say that you are a hypocrite.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

You begin by insulting the writer and thereby implying that you are more intelligent than the writer. That is something all you Atheists have in common. A side effect of believing there is no God so no repercussions for caring about others feelings perhaps?
Anyway, you say that the billboard is encouraging people to reconsider their belief in God with a rational thought. In other words, those who believe in God are irrational and you guys are the only ones that are natural. You are saying that everybody else is dumb because they don’t believe what you believe in. That is even worse than a billboard that orders people around.
You like many other Atheists believe you are smarter and better than every other person. That is your Demi-god complex at work.
You have issues. Work them out.
And by the way, about the supernatural. Love is supernatural. It is not a physical thing. Don’t believe in Love otherwise you are a hypocrite.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

… Only because it doesn’t rhyme with your beliefs.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

So everyone who does not believe what you believe is an utter moron. And of course you are the only smart one. Well, have fun being the biased you that you are.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

You have totally gone off topic. Your comment is not about this article but is about what you think Christianity is.
Anyway, you haven’t read the bible. There is no thou shall own slaves in the bible.
Jesus came to set all men free. Both Slaves and Free.
In any case, I think it is hypocritical that you are talking about owning slaves when your ancestors probably owned a few black slaves unless they were poor.
Well, because of Jesus I love both races. Without Christianity, the eradication of racism in America would have never made the progress its made so far.
Without Christianity, there would have been no MLK but there would have been other leaders who proposed violence which would have led to the massacre of black people seeing that they are out numbered.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

In other words, children don’t see. Or when they look at an adult billboard they see Barney.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

Actually it’s Christianity that is growing faster than wild fire. It is you guys that are filling the street with billboards that have unverified statistics.
And by the way, your ad also implies that everybody who is an Atheist is good because it reads; “You can be good without God, MILLIONS ARE”
In other words, all those millions of people (which is an unverified number) are good. So you guys counted the number of atheist around the world and called them all good. So if you want to be good, become an atheist. That sounds like a religion to me. No, it sounds like a propaganda for something bigger.
So being good means being an atheist?
So all religions are bad. And thus you guys propaganda is revealed.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

Nobody implied that Atheists are less moral. The writer only implies that Atheists should respect other people’s believes because other people are people too.
Anyway, your manipulating what the writer said in other to attack it says a lot about you. It says you should stop being so small minded and try to understand that the world is full of other people too and they all have beliefs and feelings just like you.
Get off your high horse.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

Yeah! But that’s different from attacking people’s beliefs. And mass mind programming for people to assume there is a phenomenon happening around the world that as people wake up in the morning they say, “Oh – My, I don’t need God anymore.”

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

This is not even a religious article. She didn’t support Christian beliefs the same way she didn’t support Atheistic beliefs.
I suggest you learn how to read before you go around showcasing your ignorance by insulting people you don’t know.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

That is a lie. They do it some of the time not all of the time. And by the way, if you guys go around knocking on doors it would be better than pasting billboards outside our house that say what you wanted to say inside our house.
You are comparing two different things that are not the same.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

For a guy who insults the writers journalistic ability. You follow it up with lies about the American Family Association. What’s up with that?
And by the way, what does this article have to do with gays?
This is about billboards, and atheists offending Christians and saying that they don’t have a right to be offended.
This is not about your bias about interpreting Christian beliefs. What’s up with you?

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

I can think of a lot of jobs that fit you.
Perhaps, one where you get to insult strangers for a living. Example: a terrorist’s spokesman; YOU BULLY!!!

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

Not as frightening and dangerous as living in a world without religion which provides many with moral standards that weren’t created by men in the senate, YOU BULLY!!!
Why don’t you try bullying me. Better still why don’ t you get a life.
Just because somebody doesn’t believe what you believe it therefore makes them wrong and you right. Right?
Son, get off your high horse.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

Is there any place in this article that says that Atheists are wrong or all Atheists are going to hell?
Then you who have never written and article that has gathered half as many views open up your mouth to say that it is just a piece of opinion writing.
The article does not even try to prove or disprove either Christianity or Atheism. The article is about billboards and Atheists stepping on the toes of not only Christians but everybody else that doesn’t believe what they believe. Yet you guys take the matter and turn it into something else, and accuse the writer of what she didn’t say.
Why don’t you bring your bullying over here. Bring your bullying my way. You may come against me with hate. But I come against you with the greatest weapon of all: LOVE.
LOVE ALWAYS WINS. Holla!

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

Because life is all about arguing in your world.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

Are you now saying that even though everybody else’s copy of the bible says, “THOU SHALL NOT KILL”, somehow the one you read says, “THOU SHALL KILL”?
All the records of killings in the bible that weren’t punished by God were war related. Are you therefore saying that killing people when fighting for your country is wrong?
Are you saying that all the soldiers who fought for your country’s civilization is wrong? Are you saying that all the soldiers who fought in Vietnam are evil? Are you saying that all the soldiers in the American army are evil?
Men, you are a traitor. Straight Up! There is no going behind it. It is what you are.
The only kind of killing that God condoned even though it wasn’t his first choice was killing while fighting for your country. Which is even the reason why many Christians and even a popular Minister was recruited to fight during the American civil war.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

Were you there during those witch hunts? What makes U think that it was organized by Christians and not Atheists who existed back then but equally didn’t approve of witchcraft? You are only holding what you read in a text book as a fact. Last time I checked, a fact should be more than just something you see written in a book. Anybody can write a text book. And guess what? All history text books especially those of previous generations where written based on the personal view and opinions of the writer on events that the writer sometimes didn’t see the whole picture.
But let us assume that it was organized by only Christians in other to make you happy. Now, should the Christians of this generation be blamed and punished for what a small group of Christians in only one town did many generations ago?
If that is the case, then white people today should be blamed and punished for what white people a few generations ago did to black people back then. Perhaps white people today should become slaves of black people, Right?

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

“YOU CAN ONLY BE GOOD WITHOUT ATHEISM”
Do you find that offensive? Be truthful. How would you feel if you find it on a billboard outside your house?
Well if you do, then you should understand why we find “You can be good without God” offensive.
If you don’t, then you are guilty of all the things you blame us for.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

“YOU CAN ONLY BE GOOD WITHOUT ATHEISM”
Do you find that offensive? Be truthful. How would you feel if you find it on a billboard outside your house?
Well if you do, then you should understand why we find “You can be good without God” offensive.
If you don’t, then you are guilty of all the things you blame us for.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

“YOU CAN ONLY BE GOOD WITHOUT ATHEISM”
Do you find that offensive? Be truthful. How would you feel if you find it on a billboard outside your house?
Well if you do, then you should understand why we find “You can be good without God” offensive.
If you don’t, then you are guilty of all the things you blame us for.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

“YOU CAN ONLY BE GOOD WITHOUT ATHEISM”
Do you find that offensive? Be truthful. How would you feel if you find it on a billboard outside your house?
Well if you do, then you should understand why we find “You can be good without God” offensive.
If you don’t, then you are guilty of all the things you blame us for.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

“YOU CAN ONLY BE GOOD WITHOUT ATHEISM”
Do you find that offensive? Be truthful. How would you feel if you find it on a billboard outside your house?
Well if you do, then you should understand why we find “You can be good without God” offensive.
If you don’t, then you are guilty of all the things you blame us for.

Much love & God bless.
From Alfred Benjamin King.

Then perhaps you should find another school (if you are so embarrassed).  Personally, I say to each his own. Just because I believe in something, doesn’t mean that you do (& vise versa). Just because I believe in Jesus Christ & will go to Heaven doesn’t mean that you do/will.

I am a Buddhist, I do not believe in a God or Gods, nor do I believe in any form of heaven, but I do believe that all religions have goodness at their core and can help those who seek them. I also believe that there is goodness and inter-strength within all humans, and humans can do good without believing or relaying on a certain religion. I also, personally, believe that when I die my life energy will be given back to the earth or universe, because energy is neither created nor destroyed, and it will ever recycle. Some people believe that that “life energy” is your soul, others believe it is no different from any other energy and all things are the same. 
So, to answer your question,” I won­der what athe­ists think on their deathbed, because if they spent their whole life pro­mot­ing there is no God and there hap­pens to be one, well, I guess they are sort of screwed,” on my deathbed I might be scared, or ready, but mainly I think (and allow me to quote the 1991 film, Hook) “to die would be a grande adventure.” Because for all of us, eventually, death will be the only adventure we have left. 

Reminder that all comments must be posted in English.

-Brock Copus
Multimedia Editor, Ferris State Torch

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