i was pleasantly surprised when watching last night to see the Ron Reagan "lifelong atheist, not afraid of burning in hell" commercial run on the season finale (hopefully not the series finale) of Cosmos. i watch the show every week over at a friend's house who loves the show. yet he takes a very different lesson from the episodes. strangely, he thinks it provides MORE evidence for the existence of God. his rationale is beyond vague and convoluted - he basically thinks that the wonder of the cosmos illustrates how little we know about potential god-like figures.
so when the Reagan commercial ran it prompted him to start bashing atheists, and in particular, me. he finds my simple refutation of lack of evidence to be a bizarre pov. while he rejects all the major religions' views on god, he has his own which is very unique. basically, he thinks that god can be anything so it's stupid to claim that we know for certain that no such deity exists. i always tell him that i don't know for certain, just like 99% sure, which he takes as evidence for my weakness on the issue. weird, right?
anyway, it was a nice surprise to see the commercial run during a primetime show which gets big ratings and most people watch live. i'm sure it turned quite a few heads. Ronald Reagan's son is an atheist? you betcha, and now we're advertising with the big boys. Cosmos may be as show about science, but i have a feeling that most of its viewers slant agnostic or atheist. those that aren't may be on the fence. commercials like Reagan's may push a few towards our side.
I agree, Matthew, and I also agree 100% with the Ron Reagan commercial. Can't say for sure if it aired here over St. Louis local stations as I watch most programs in other ways like XBMC. Whether or not the Reagan spot aired locally will depend a lot on the views of local management. That should show us something.
As for your theist friend taking Cosmos to be adding more "evidence" for the belief in god, where else would he go? He either has to ignore the lack of "evidence," becoming stronger in his "faith," or he has to become a non-believer. This usually means that they lie to themselves and claim the oposite of what is shown. The Bibble says one thing. The apologists all claim it says something else. Modern apologetics has re-interpreted the Bibble, but we still have Constantine's Roman view. Strangely, that's all it ever was in the first place. A book of myth that became the official religious handbook of the Roman Empire. In that sense the Bibble is "the same yesterday, today, and forever."
thing is i would never consider him a theist. he despises organized religion and doesn't believe in an intervening god. he has a real niche belief, which is something coming from an atheist i suppose. but at least it's neat and tidy and shared by tens of millions - that i disbelieve in the supernatural. his beliefs are all over the place and inconsistent. and he calls me stupid. so weird.
I nearly jumped up and cheered when that came on. Wanted to shout out the door. But when the show ended, as if right on cue @ 10pm, somebody shot off fireworks outside. I doubt it had to do with the show- somebody who lives nearby seems to like random fireworks- but it was SO fitting!
Donated $35 to the FFRF. Not much but it won't be my last donation. Besides, there's also the Center for Inquiry, Secular Humanist Society, various other secular charities etc. etc.
good for you Christine! i donated a couple of years ago and will again now that my financial position is once again back in good shape. thanks for the reminder :)