Amen to that

January 29th, 2012

Tweet of the week, courtesy of @kjhealy, a.k.a. Kieran Healy:

Alain de Botton plans to build a series of temples for atheists. Apparently he has never heard of Apple Stores. dezeen.com/2012/01/25/ala…

[Via Crooked Timber]

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DDoS a Deity

October 31st, 2009

Best. DDoS. Ever?

As you may already be aware, recently the Atheist Founation of Australia and the Global Atheist Convention websites were the target of a significant DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack, which began on Monday 19 October.

This is a call to all non-believers and advocates for freedom of speech to join us in a global co-ordinated minute of prayer with the aim of inundating God (in this context, the Christian god, God, as distinct from the Greek god, Zeus, the Egyptian god, Ra etc etc) with so many useless prayers that it causes his divineness to go offline as as result of our own DDOS ('Divine' Denial of Service).

The prayer minute will be at exactly 8pm (Eastern Standard Time) and 9am (Greenwich Mean Time) on Sunday 8 November 2009.

The prayer can be about anything you want (but say it as frequently as possible in the minute we have assigned to ensure DDOS is achieved) or to whomever god you want. Its mostly directed at the Christian god so as to ensure we don't get too many return to senders from other gods.

[Via Net Effect]

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Indecision

January 22nd, 2009

Sadly, the Advertising Standards Authority will not be handing down a ruling on the (non-)existence of God after all:

[...] The ASA Council concluded that the ad was an expression of the advertiser's opinion and that the claims in it were not capable of objective substantiation. Although the ASA acknowledges that the content of the ad would be at odds with the beliefs of many, it concluded that it was unlikely to mislead or to cause serious or widespread offence.

[Via Kevan Davis]

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Probably no God

January 9th, 2009

I'm sure the Advertising Standards Authority was thrilled to receive a complaint about the There's probably no God campaign:

[...] Christian Voice has complained to the Advertising Standards Authority saying [the adverts on buses] break rules on substantiation and truthfulness.

[...]

The ASA's code states marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove all claims. The regulator said it would assess the complaint and decide whether to contact the advertiser.

The adverts contain the slogan: There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

But Stephen Green, national director of Christian Voice, said: There is plenty of evidence for God, from people's personal experience, to the complexity, interdependence, beauty and design of the natural world.

Humankind has spent thousands of years looking up at the vastness and variety of the universe around us and wondering who, if anyone, made it all; now we're going to get a definitive ruling on the subject from the ASA…

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Mysticism

July 29th, 2008

I suspect that Birmingham City Council will soon be changing the default settings on their web content filter:

The authority's Bluecoat Software computer system allows staff to look at websites relating to Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and other religions but blocks sites to do with "witchcraft or Satanism" and "occult practices, atheistic views, voodoo rituals or any other form of mysticism". [Emphasis added]

If the decision to block atheist sites and those devoted to non-'mainstream' religions turns out to be a result of a deliberate policy decision by some middle-ranking manager with an agenda then that individual should be making an appointment at their local Jobcentre any day now.

I wouldn't be surprised if this 'ban' turned out to be a consequence of the IT department accepting a bunch of default settings on their shiny new software package. Not that this is an acceptable situation – if you're going to buy a software package, you should make sure it's doing what you want it to, which may not be what the makers anticipated when setting the defaults – but it's an easy trap to fall into.

As it happens, I was looking at the National Secular Society's site at the weekend. It's good to see them taking the lead in this case; I may just throw a donation their way.

[Via Qwghlm]

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