Picking up on Shubha’s post about the current marketing campaigns being put out by atheist and humanist organizations, our Tumblr friend Jiorjia over at The Ianez Compendium forwarded this ad featuring Warren Buffett and the comment, “I’m good without God. Are you?”

The point and power of the ad — that you don’t have to be a religious believer to be a good, moral, ethical humanitarian — is an argument that comes up a lot in my reading. I just wish this wasn’t the starting point for all parties involved.

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I've seen another of these "starring" Bill Gates. There's more information about them here: http://www.secularstudents.org.... Unfortunately, the link only shows the same Mr. Buffet ad shown above, not the one for Mr. Gates.

There's additional information regarding this advertisement campaign available here:


There's another ad "starring" Bill Gates. Unfortunately, that site only shows the same one with Mr. Buffett front-and-center.

Agreed. I don't have a problem with the concept, and I understand what they are reacting against. But it's a lousy starting point, very combative. I wish the emphasis were on the good part.

On the other hand, as a person of faith who restles constantly with severe doubts (I have a lot respect for well-reasoned agnostics and atheists, which is one of the reasons I loved Krista's shows on science with a subtext of the complex interplay of faith, mystery, doubt and scientific materialism), I wish interfaith dialogue included more non-believers--the people who aren't as interested in debunking faith as is doing good, with or without the concept of god.

Joss Whedon gave a fascinating talk when he accepted an award for cultural humanism from Harvard's humanist group (the chaplain who presented it is the guy that wrote "Good Without God"). Here is an atheist talking to a group of atheists and his main message is that religion is not the enemy. (See it at http://www.thenewhumanism.org/....

His presents a much more reasonable face for atheism, one that acknowledges nuance, common purposes, and our shared humanity. It's very different from the hostility coming from the outspoken leaders of "the new atheism" movement (Dawkins, et al)--and it's much more like the atheists and agnostics most of us rub shoulders with everyday.

I would love to see more dialogue between people of faith and this strand of humanists. I think this would make a fascinating topic for Krista to cover. The "culture wars" style of argument over the existence of God (say represented by Christopher Hitchens vs. his brother) bores me, in the same way that Christian apologetics always has. But dialogues on the boundary of faith and humanism is fascinating and seldom explored.