November 1, 2014

The graveyard of the Gods.

On the University of Wisconsin campus yesterday, fake headstones for 200+ gods of the past, "erected by a group of UW-Madison atheists, is to suggest that one person's god centuries ago may be another person's myth today."

Better photos here

70 comments:

James Pawlak said...

Atheism is a RELIGION which, like Islam, attempts to discredit and destroy real religions.


James J. Kaufman
VS
Gary R. McCaughtey, et. al.
7th US Court Of Appeals
#04-1914
Decided Aug. 19, 2005.

Also related is the case of:
James J. Kaufman
v.
Gary R. Mccarghry and Jamyi Witch
US District Court
Western District Of Wisconsin
#03-C-027-C
Opinion & Order Given
23 March 2006.

PB Reader said...

My conclusion is that evolution exists, genetic traits important to survival persist, and that a need for religion as a societal organizing mechanism is one of these.

And God intended it to be so.

campy said...

Is there one for the Sort-Of-A-God?

Bob R said...

These Madison atheists are not very good at logic. The fact that religion is ubiquitous in human experience isn't a very good argument that God does not exist. Quite the contrary, it speaks (at least) of a widespread acknowledgement of a segment of reality that is beyond human understanding and (almost certainly) beyond the ability of humans to understand.

traditionalguy said...

That was a fascinating display of of how many gods were defeated and buried by the power of the truth in Christianity. That was over more than 1500 years ago. The Roman Church needed a Reformation 500 years ago. And an enlightenment was welcomed 300 years ago.

But theses dudes want to defeat reformed and enlightened Christianity. Ergo:Atheists are the friend of the Christian's enemies which is that entire graveyard of defeated pagan gods.

Ann Althouse said...

It seems to me that there are billions of human beings over the millennia trying to understand the world they find themselves living in and almost all have believed that there is something above or beyond us that is divine. That this God has gone by different names in different places at different times reflects the strong endurance of God, not the death of numerous "fake gods."

Diogenes of Sinope said...

So many atheists are completely pissed off at people who believe in God.

Of course atheists believe in the spontaneous generation of life from inanimate mater. No different than the false beliefs that rotten meat creates maggots or mice coming from corn.

Eustace Chilke said...

There's one aspect of the older sort of religion that I would wish to experience even if I couldn't believe. The ancients saw divinity everywhere and believed that the gods walked the earth. Their holy places were natural as often as they were human constructions. Many sects conducted their business without a hierarchy of priests or an official doctrine.

The modern model out organized them, but they did not die overnight. The first few centuries of the current era were a fascinating transitional period. I doubt that the people who lived it considered that in the long term their years would be considered such a pivot point. The atheists are making the same point I suppose.

The are as doctrinaire and generally unpleasant as nearly any ecclesiarch but their display amuses me, if not in the way they intended. If they had any nuts they could more usefully spend all their effort naming the crimes and disputing the doctrine of Islam first among all the dangers of modern religion that they would cite. Of all the generally leftist tribes, they are the only ones I see who are wiling to say anything like this. So there is that in their favor.

Gusty Winds said...

An atheist, annoyed at overhearing the prayers of the old woman next door, set a bag of groceries at her door. Upon discovery, the woman exclaimed, "Praise Jesus!" The atheist then jumped out of a bush and said, "Ha! Jesus didn't buy you those groceries, I did!"

The elderly woman looked up to heaven and said, "Thank ya Jesus...you even got an atheist to pay for 'em".

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mccullough said...

Thor is making a comeback.

traditionalguy said...

The ancient pagan world was like the The Hindu world today. It is is very tolerant since they accept and honor more than a thousand gods and goddesses...and every one gets to pick and chose his favorite combinations. One God is a Judeo-Christian power play.

The Muslims key on the one god idea to declare the Christian God worshiped in the Trinity to be idol worship.Strangely, the most important issue in Islam is now and has always been that " God has no son." That is the Islam raison d'etre, which is to clean up the Christian mistake that Jesus is God.

Tari said...

Pointing out that people used to worship what Christians call "false gods" in no way refutes the existence of God. Look at the Old Testament: it's God, the most powerful being in the universe, telling everyone " don't worship those less powerful beings when you can worship me." "False" in the OT doesn't mean "fake" or "non-existent". Who knows, the OT God might even approve of the "God graveyard" and take full credit for the defeat of those buried there.

Michael K said...

""Thank ya Jesus...you even got an atheist to pay for 'em"."

I like that. It reminds me of the guy on his roof in the flood who kept turning down rescuers because he was sure God would rescue him. He finally drowned and complained to God who said, "I sent a boat and a helicopter you dummy !"

RecChief said...

And to that I answer, Isaiah 6:8

garage mahal said...

Atheism is a RELIGION which, like Islam, attempts to discredit and destroy real religions

Nah, we just think you all are nuts. Islam has much more commonality with Christianity than atheism. Christians believe in many of the same things as Muslims do. Both trace their roots back to Abraham. Both believe in prophecy, apostles, revelation, angles, satan, scripture, virgin births, the resurrection of dead. Atheists don't believe in any of that.

Gusty Winds said...

Who do these Atheists think gave crystals their healing power or marijuana its medicinal benefits?

Phil 3:14 said...

Can I point out the irony of so many of the "head stones" having dates of "BCE",

Before the Christian Era

Gusty Winds said...

No human has ever invented a mathematical formula or equation, or scientific fact. Only the inaccurate math and science is invented, when human bias or flavor is interjected. Science and mathematics are only uncovered or discovered. I find it illogical to conclude such things evolved. These truths, like God, are timeless and have always been in existence.

Big Mike said...

Venus is still around; I saw her at a cocktail party a couple years back.

Steve Uhr said...

I prefer the flamingos.

Big Mike said...

Anyway, as a real atheist, I am ashamed of proselytizing atheists such as those who staged this stunt, clever though it may appear to the undergraduate mind. It really doesn't hurt me if someone is religious (Islam is a counter-example) so why try to "convert" people to atheism? Do the atheists who set up that display contribute as much to charitable causes as Christians or Jews? If not, then perhaps a better use of their time might be a stint or two at a soup kitchen.

EDH said...

Aren't most if not all these gods from religions that have more than one god and were confined for most if not all of their history to one nation-state?

If so, don't you really have a form of nationalism-statism masquerading through legend as religion? As a result, is it any wonder they come and go?

William said...

Some of those dead gods sounded pretty cool and were probably a force to reckon with in their prime. However, the Romans had a god for door hinges. WTF. Did idolaters hang beaded curtains in her presence.......There should be a graveyard for dead left wing ideas: Collective Farms. Eugenics. Propaganda of the Deed. Penis Envy. There are so many, and they are so soon forgotten.

Bob R said...

@Gusty - That's either an uninteresting assertion (that God created man, so anything created by man is created by God.) Or a false one - mathematics is a creation of man. The integers don't exist in nature - they are an abstraction of nature - a product of our consciousness. The fact that the square root of two is irrational did not exist before man created the rules of arithmetic. What is "imperfect" about that fact?

chickelit said...

'Perhaps one day the gods of today will be laid to rest alongside Zeus, Mars, Apollo, Aphrodite, Thor, and all the other dead gods that were once worshiped,' said Sam Erickson, president of Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics (AHA) at UW-Madison.

He's talking about political idolatry, right?

Steve Uhr said...

"Atheism is a RELIGION which, like Islam, attempts to discredit and destroy real religions."

Your argument self destructs. Atheism is not a "real religion" Hence it is a fake religion; hence it is not a religion.

furious_a said...

Thou shalt take no other gods before me. implies there were other gods to be taken before Him.

Gusty Winds said...

@Bob R - Mathematics is not a creation of man. It is something that man discovered. Somebody just wrote it down first, no matter how complex. Laws of physics are not created by man, and our mathematics fits nicely inside them.

These things existed before their discovery.

Only inaccurate sciences like alchemy, or modern day Global Warming (science through consensus of men) are eventually proven inaccurate.

Only men who believe they are their own God, would credit themselves with creating 1+1=2.



Gusty Winds said...

The only sign missing from the Atheist's display is "Vote for Mary Burke".

Eleanor said...

The reality is most atheists don't care what the rest of you believe as long as you respect our right not to believe it and pass no laws that are based on religious belief. We believe in having a moral society as long as the morals are based on common sense and human kindness. "Do unto others..." is a fine place to start no matter who we credit for the line. I get peeved when believers insist people must believe in a supernatural being to have a moral code. If you need a higher authority to make sure you're being a good person, you never left middle school.

Hagar said...

There were no "Norse" until about 400 A.D., so these people are not very strong on their hitory either.

Agressive atheism is about acting offensive and getting attention; nothing more.

chickelit said...

If you need a higher authority to make sure you're being a good person, you never left middle school.

Try telling that one to the dead guy in Ferguson. Or better, to the rioters.

Temujin said...

Obama's rein as a God lasted about 5.5 years- even for the most ardent believers. He apparently could not heal the planet.

But, I suspect of those claiming to be atheists, while they may not think they follow a God, they certainly do have a religion. How's the Global Warming debate going? Or the War on Women? Or any number of the liberal religious tenants. Don't believe me? Ever seen the fervor and hate spewing out of a liberal group? Invite Justice Clarence Thomas to speak at the UW commencement next spring. Watch and compare.

chickelit said...

Eleanor wrote: We believe in having a moral society as long as the morals are based on common sense and human kindness.

Roland Freisler may have posed the ultimate question most succinctly:

From whom do you take your orders? From the Beyond or from Adolf Hitler? Who commands your loyalty and your faith?

It's just not practical to have 300 million + individual codes of morality without a high degree of commonality, whether it be a secular or a religious state.

Eustace Chilke said...

I bet more atheists believe in angles than not, Garage.

Zeb Quinn said...

Today's myth is atheism, part and parcel of the devil's greatest trick: Convincing some he doesn't exist.

Fernandinande said...

James Pawlak said...
Atheism is a RELIGION which, like Islam, attempts to discredit and destroy real religions.


Atheism is no more a religion than not believing in flying monkeys is a religion. And it sounds like you suffer from the religion of legalism, the belief that some silly court case can prove something.

Bob R said...
Quite the contrary, it speaks (at least) of a widespread acknowledgement of a segment of reality that is beyond human understanding and (almost certainly) beyond the ability of humans to understand.


So the less someone is able to understand, the more religious they should be? Should someone who doesn't understand Velcro or magnets assume they were made by the Keebler Elves?

Diogenes of Sinope said...
So many atheists are completely pissed off at people who believe in God.


The blind stupidity and smugness are actually rather funny, but in a disturbing way.

Of course atheists believe in the spontaneous generation of life from inanimate mater.

Is a virus alive or not? The guy who built a virus in the lab called it a "chemical". What does the all-knowing Christian bible say about it? How does it define "life"?

No different than the false beliefs that rotten meat creates maggots or mice coming from corn.

No, no, mice come from Kansas.

Fernandinande said...

AA: That this God has gone by different names in different places at different times reflects the strong endurance of God, not the death of numerous "fake gods."

Not only different names, but different supposed abilities and goals, namely they're really not the same except for a belief in magic performed by beings that nobody except crazy people ever see.

David said...

The God BuckyBadger is sore displeased with the lesser deities literally invading his literal turf. BuckyBadger will have vengeance.

William said...

Here's an interesting little known fact about the Spanish Inquisition. Over the course of several centuries less than five thousand people were executed under its authorty. The Spanish Inquisition is generally referred to as one of the nadirs of organized religion.....Here's an interesting little known fact about the French Revolution. In two years over. 30,000 people were executed. No one expects the French Revolution, including Robespierre himself who met an untimely end because of it. The French Revolution can be looked on as the apex of Enlightenment ideals.....So there you have it. On behalf of God,
several thousand people die. On behalf of reason and
Enlightenment tens of thousands perish.(That number can be expanded dramatically if you throw Napoleon into the mix as the spear point of revolutionary ideals.)......What is significant here is not the various guises under which people muder one another, but the disguises which the left adapts to hide their own excesses. Robespierre, not Descartes, was the full blown epitome of Enlightenment ideals......The body count of those who submit to the will of God is much lower than those who submit to the will of The People.

m stone said...

AA: That this God has gone by different names in different places at different times reflects the strong endurance of God, not the death of numerous "fake gods."

Poor syntax and nonsense, I believe.

Better written:

That multiple god have gone by different names in different places at different times reflects the strong endurance of The God, and the death of many false gods---and false gods to come.

Every false god needs to be considered in its place and by whom it is worshipped. False gods were almost exclusively created by the people who needed that god or needed to attribute some display of power to something. None stood---or stand---the test of time. In that respect, the atheists are correct to create a graveyard.

Also look at the number of "gods" who actually claimed to be God.

n.n said...

The extra-universal God is safe from secular scrutiny. Unfortunately, the universal and mortal gods, including frame shifts outside of the scientific domain, are not.

n.n said...

James Pawlak:

Atheism is not a religion. It does not have a moral foundation. It is a simplistic philosophy based on a single article of faith: rejection of theism. This does not preclude individuals from adopting other religions, and, in fact, atheists readily adopt the moral philosophy of their host culture. The potential value of atheism is not derived from its amoral character, but that it skeptical of gods, mortal and divine. It fails when it makes it affirmative statements outside of the scientific domain.

n.n said...

PB Reader:

Evolutionary principles, yes, they are observable and reproducible. However, evolutionary creation is an article of faith. This does not imply that it is false, but that it cannot be determined -- other than through inference from circumstantial patterns -- within the scientific domain (i.e. constrained fame of reference in time and space).

Mark Nielsen said...

Bob R: You're adopting a purely formalistic view of mathematics. It's one way of looking at it, but I prefer the Platonist approach -- the integers and every other mathematical construct do indeed exist. We *discover* mathematical facts, we don't invent them.

n.n said...

The origin of divine inspiration can be traced to the need for characterization of an unknown underlying order in our physical realm. A characterization of the origin of a fitness function that directed evolution of complex constructs, which may have concluded with human life on Earth. People have a need to understand and control their environment. That said, the expansion of observation and speculation to universal and extra-universal domains is not limited to theist philosophies.

John Lynch said...

Must really piss them off that one God refuses to die after 3000 years.

Here's to wishful thinking.

cubanbob said...

garage mahal said...

Atheism is a RELIGION which, like Islam, attempts to discredit and destroy real religions

Nah, we just think you all are nuts. Islam has much more commonality with Christianity than atheism. Christians believe in many of the same things as Muslims do. Both trace their roots back to Abraham. Both believe in prophecy, apostles, revelation, angles, satan, scripture, virgin births, the resurrection of dead. Atheists don't believe in any of that.
11/1/14, 9:48 AM "

True they (atheists) don't. They believe the universe sprang out of nothing in an instant all by itself. Now who are the nuts?

Anonymous said...

Atheism is a RELIGION

And not collecting stamps is a HOBBY.
And not playing baseball is a SPORT.



chickelit said...

The "artists" are blowing air through a small hole past the graveyard.

cubanbob said...

Eleanor said...

The reality is most atheists don't care what the rest of you believe as long as you respect our right not to believe it and pass no laws that are based on religious belief. We believe in having a moral society as long as the morals are based on common sense and human kindness. "Do unto others..." is a fine place to start no matter who we credit for the line. I get peeved when believers insist people must believe in a supernatural being to have a moral code. If you need a higher authority to make sure you're being a good person, you never left middle school.
11/1/14, 10:44 AM

Its so nice to know that middle schoolers comment on this blog. Is comment part of your homework assignments?

Ann Althouse said...

"Before the Christian Era" means Before the Common Era. It's used to avoid BC.

What's absurd is that if you died before the common era, they wouldn't put a date relating to the future on your gravestones.

Also the gravestones don't look like ancient monuments.

Ann Althouse said...

"Poor syntax and nonsense, I believe."

What's wrong with the syntax? Why do you think your writing is better?

Ann Althouse said...

I loathe having my writing edited!

Just write what you think and express yourself. If I wanted editors, I'd submit material to law reviews and let law students harass me.

m stone said...

I stand corrected. Ann's syntax is correct.

The sentence is still nonsense.

Better read: That multiple gods have gone by different names in different places at different times reflects the strong endurance of The God, and the death of many false gods---and false gods to come.

Now it is accurate.

Jason said...

I'd create a graveyard for the victims of atheist/statist murderers in the last century alone, but no college campus is anywhere near big enough to hold the exhibit, and no one standing in it could see or comprehend the enormous size of it.

chickelit said...

@Jason: Call it "The Graveyard of the Godless"

furious_a said...

The body count of those who submit to the will of God is much lower than those who submit to the will of The People.

What's really impressive about the People is the body count they amassed during only 70 years of Communism.

Lucien said...

I never thought I'd agree with Garage about anything . . . maybe there is a god.

tim maguire said...

It's hardly by choice that i believe in eternal nothingness instead of eternal life. It is a vile sickness that drives the insistence that everyone with ultimate hope for the future give up and accept pointlessness.

n.n said...

furious_a:

Not only Communism, that took lives with a sickle and destroyed liberty with a hammer, but also planned parenthood. The latter has taken around one billion human lives. Nearly one hundred million in America alone. It's not a coincidence that an authoritarian ideology and a degenerate religion find comfort in each other's embrace.

The Godfather said...

Several years ago I saw one of those movies based on the Marvel Comics characters. Among the characters were Thor and his nemesis Loki (who was his brother or cousin or something). Another character was Captain America. Anyway, Thor and Loki were fighting and jumped out of a plane way up in the air, and Captain America was about to jump after them for some reason. Someone says to Captain America, Watch out for those guys, they're gods and very powerful. To which Captain America responds: There's only one God, and he doesn't dress that way.

That's my opinion, too.

Steven said...

The dates given are blatant ignorance. They should be AD (CE) death dates.

On a side note, the use of CE/BCE is extremely cultural supremacist, whatever the pretenses of its advocates. The notation goes and takes the Christian year-dating system, invented by a Christian clergyman with express religious purpose, and declares it the universal common era for everybody.

chickelit said...

On a side note, the use of CE/BCE is extremely cultural supremacist, whatever the pretenses of its advocates. The notation goes and takes the Christian year-dating system, invented by a Christian clergyman with express religious purpose, and declares it the universal common era for everybody.

I know Steven -- let's ask the Muslims how we should reckon time, and the Chinese for that matter too. We could consult the Mayans as well if their civilization and calendar hadn't expired. They'd all give us a reasonable answer.

If you wish to trim cultural hegemony -- not to mention a few roots and branches -- keep sawing.

Robert Cook said...

"The fact that religion is ubiquitous in human experience isn't a very good argument that God does not exist. Quite the contrary, it speaks (at least) of a widespread acknowledgement of a segment of reality that is beyond human understanding and (almost certainly) beyond the ability of humans to understand."

It's also not an argument--at all--that God does exist. There is a segment of reality that is beyond human knowledge--and it will always be so, no matter how much we learn about reality that we didn't know before. That belief in gods exists throughout human history speaks only to the human need to understand and make sense of reality, and our tendency to fill in the blanks, to imagine answers to our unanswered questions about reality. Science is another aspect of the human need to understand reality, but it takes a materialistic, rather than imaginative, perspective, and tries to discover what makes up our physical world and universe, and what physical processes are in play that make our universe exist.

"So many atheists are completely pissed off at people who believe in God."

Only unreasonable atheists, and, of course, unreasonable people may be found everywhere, even among religious people.

Reasonable atheists are only angry when the religiously inclined wish to impose their beliefs on the rest of us. And, of course, it is the unreasonable religious people who do this.

Robert Cook said...

Eleanor made a comment at 10:44 am that is about the most sensible remark of the entire thread, matched only by n.n. at 1:21 pm. Of course, Cubanbob, a stridently unreasonable regular here, deigns to condescend to her with his juvenile snark, in the misapprehension that she is of a lesser intellect than he. As he always is, he is wrong here.

Quaestor said...

Eustace Chilke wrote:
I bet more atheists believe in angles than not...

Without the typo Eustace makes and absurd claim. Blundering into truth.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

So... who picked up all those mini-posters? Same folks who set them out? Campus litter crews?

Steven said...

Well, looks like my side comment just zoomed over chickelit's head. Tsk.