LMNOP Corporate Newsletter No. 572
Saturday Morning Pancake Breakfast: Hint, Hint

Thou Shalt Wage Advertising Wars on Buses

From this washingtonpost.com blog post:

Last month, the American Humanist Association bought $40,000 worth of space on 200 Washington D.C. Metro buses for this ad: "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake." The humanists were copying a similar bus ad campaign by atheists in Britain.


Zing!  Although I thought the British version of the bus campaign was funnier.

Not wanting to be left behind, the Center for Family Development, a Catholic-based nonprofit in Maryland, is trying to raise $14,000 to run a bus ad campaign with this message: "Why Believe? Because I created you and I love you, for goodness' sake." The ad includes an image from Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam."


Well touché, Catholics!  And nice job on the $26,000 discount you apparently got.

And a group called Pennsylvania Friends of Christ plans to buy ads for 10 Metro buses to send this message into the streets of the nation's capital: "Believe in God. Christ is Christmas for goodness' sake".


OK, now we're just beating a dead horse.  But I think I get the point of this passive-aggressive pile-on.  At first glance, it seems like a logical response: If people are convinced by a bus sign to become atheists, than a bus sign will probably be enough to convince them to switch back! 

Except, wait a minute—why are we recruiting the kind of people who base their personal philosophies of existence on something they saw on the wall of a bus, anyway?  Isn't there a high probability that, once converted, those extremely fickle people will once again vanish because they saw another sign on a different bus telling them to go get a sandwich, so they did that?  And then they saw a sign that said to call a mesothelioma lawyer, so they did that too?  And then they just completely forgot all about deciding whether to believe in God?

Comments

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Jay

This point is valid in most situations:

"why are we recruiting the kind of people who base their personal philosophies of existence on something they saw on the wall of a bus, anyway?"

However, this is not a commodity one is dealing with; it's a human's soul. If you believe that it's your mission to save souls, even a half-wit's soul is priceless. So you want them regardless of how they come to see the light.

Pablo Gómez Valero

I simply believe that this is a reinforcement. This haven´t logic that someone going start to believe in he/she can see in an advertisement unless it is a bit stupid. That message becomes a reinforcement for someone who already previously believed. it's like: you're not alone, we are more like you, encourage you.

Whitney G

However, this is not a commodity one is dealing with; it's a human's soul. If you believe that it's your mission to save souls, even a half-wit's soul is priceless.

As someone who is an atheist (I guess that D.C. metro ad worked!), I of course don't get behind the "saving someone's soul" bit. But even if I did, I think I might find the phrase "even a half-wit's soul" a bit, well, offensive. Just sayin'...

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