You’re In Good Company, Heathens

This image was making the rounds online…

… but the ratio of men to women in that picture is pretty uneven. Even when it comes to celebrities, it’s not like there’s a lack of well-known ladies to put in the mix.

On Twitter, @ultraturquoise created this alternative image:

I like it! Maybe someone else can create a more gender-balanced version, though? Also: Include more minorities. And [insert some other form of diversity here].

(That’s one of the downsides of trying to inspire people with an image like the original. People will find something to complain about no matter what you do. Some of the complaints may be rightly placed, like in this case, but you’re never going to please everybody.)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • advancedatheist

    Not only that, but in hell you’ll realize that your life has meaning and purpose after all!

  • Ndonnan

    Only problem is hell  is a place of utter darkness and torment,not partys and good company, not only that,but in hell you`ll realize that your life HAD meaning and purpose after all! and you reasoned it all away.Not that hell exists right

    • Mitch W.

      I disagree.  Hell is what fundies hate, so it should be all sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll…  with maybe stale beer and STDs.  :)

      • Ndonnan

        LOL we already have that here Mitch

    • Renshia

      Ohhhh….. I am scared now.

      I used to know quite a few christians, spending eternity with them, now that would be hell.

    • http://www.facebook.com/maik.both Maik Both

      You seem to know quite a lot about hell (eg it being dark there, which to be honest I’m surprised about as I thought all that fire with give at least a little light). I presume, then, that you are someone who didn’t make the grade for getting into heaven, and that part of your punishment in hell is being forced to post to an atheist discussion board? I guess for you the resultant suffering part is getting constantly owned by other posters here.

      In that case – sorry man, we are part of your punishment, and clearly not only does god exist after all, he has a pretty good sense of humour. :^D

      • Ndonnan

        Darn you deamon Maik please make it stop,they keep posting things here and i just have to reply,its eternal torment

    • http://www.facebook.com/amandajeantetz Amanda Jean Tetz

      oh, I’m shaking in my boots now!
      we can’t be afraid of something we don’t believe in, my friend. you seem to be quite afraid, though. that must make life SO fun for you. <– see, see! I cans use snarky sarcasm too!

      • Ndonnan

        You got me there,though i never did insinuate your life doesnt have meaning, i hope you do find life happy and fulfilling,and no im not being sarcastic.Why do you think i dont respect your beliefs or think im insecure?If taking a contry opinion and disagreeing with a post is feeling threatened what does that make this whole web page.I think it worth the time,not like the unfriendly athiest, now there is a pack of dicks

        • jemiller226

          “…
          but in hell you`ll realize that your life HAD meaning and purpose after all!”

          Your words.

          • Ndonnan

            that was refering to the previous post that said “in hell you will find your life HAS meaning and purpose”,but your dead,you HAVE nothing

    • Anon

      See I don’t get that. Why would satan torment you if you’re in hell? He’s won, you’re seperated from god for eternity. Why not have a good time?

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        In The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell talks about one of the non-canon books, in which the agony of hell is the cries of Satan being separated from God.  Satan’s crime was that he loved God so much that he refused God’s order to love Man above God.

        At least, so goes one version of the story that didn’t make the final cut.

        • Ndonnan

          No satans crime was that he thought he could over power God and run things his way,he must have been convincing as he got a lot of support,but as in polatics he misjudged his influence

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            Non-canon- to Christians (and Jews and Muslims) meaning “Books we thought about including in the Bible but eventually rejected”

            To everyone else meaning “yet another version of the fairy tale”

      • Ndonnan

        Satan isnt in hell,not yet anyway

        • Anon

          That’s not my point.

          Supposing hell exists, once you’re in hell, you’re in hell, right? You can’t get out of there and be saved and go to whichever god it is that’s offering salvation.

          Which means that satan has won. Your soul is completely off limits to a god now.

          So why the torment? In fact, why wouldn’t hell be set up with all the things the bible says you shouldn’t do but humanity thinks are awesome (alcohol, drugs, orgies, masturbation, porn, shellfish, mixed fibre clothing, tattoos etc)? You might be eternally damned but hey, have a drink.

          It’s not logical that a being would exist whose sole purpose was to tempt people away from a benevolent god for eternity and then torture them. Unless the ‘benevolent’ god let it so it could say to it’s followers ‘you better follow me or you’ll be tortured forever’.

          • Ndonnan

            You simply dont get the nature of satan,pain and suffering is what hes created,he hates you,doesnt want a drinking buddy,he is trying to destroy all that God has created while he can ,he knows his time is short.Hell isnt satans “hood” where he and his gang hang,he knows what his destiny is and hes doing his best to take as many with him as he can,by whatever it takes to get them there.If he can distract you with drugs,alcahol,sex,religion or science he will,you have the free will to choose,make your choice

    • chicago dyke, mediocre of lime

      you should read Janet Morris’ “heroes in hell” series. they aren’t the best books i’ve ever read, but it’s a cute twist and multiple writers participate. my favorite is the one about Gilgamesh and Enkidu. they both come from a time that predates “punishment hell” and instead are from a time when the after life was about not being one of the shades who just floated around and didn’t do anything. Heroes get to have a life in hell, and if it’s not exactly fun all the time, it doesn’t have to mean eternal torture either. Gilgamesh is all squicked out by these “new” people (monotheists), and their strange beliefs which affect the parts of hell where they live. but there are several cute stories which are basically all about “so what if hell isn’t all physical torture, but other stuff too?”

      • Ndonnan

        sounds interesting,i might check it out.Theres someone you might be interested in,his name is Howard Storm.As an athiest he died and thinks he went to hell,he wrote a book and has some interviews on the internet,see what you think

  • Good and Godless

    One should not be thrilled by the prospect of eternity with the kind of prats populating heaven.  I can scarcely stand passing through a religious channel surfing channels – eternity with these nut jobs would be hell.

  • TheG

    I’m afraid the upset people have a different priority set than what many people (including, I believe, the creator of the image) think about the original set of pictures.

    The first image is for people who feel alone in their atheism or are on the verge of sympathy for atheists. It demonstrates there are people everybody already knows that are atheists. Their fame shines a brighter spotlight because of their celebrity and associates a humanizing element to the cause. “Hey,” someone may say after seeing this, “I really liked Morgan Freeman in Shawshank Redemption. I didn’t know he is an atheist. Maybe they aren’t such bad people after all…”

    While the second one does the same for both atheism and feminism, it doesn’t accomplish either as well as the first. I can identify 98% of the people in the first (I didn’t know about Billy Joel!), but my wife and I could identify less than half of the second image. Most of those were only because we are involved in the atheist movement. The general public won’t have a clue. It will be great for those that are inspired to go find out who those women are. But that is a very different goal than the first.

  • JD929

    Is the right end of the fourth row Morgan Freeman?  Does that mean God is an atheist?

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

      I know right? How can God be an atheist!?

      Then it dawned on me: he must have low self esteem, just doesn’t believe in himself.

      *I’m here all week, try the soup and tip your servers.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

        If their god existed, he would believe he came into being without a creator… so would that be what made him an atheist?

  • http://readythreadsew.wordpress.com/ Joolz

    I don’t know if this is a positive or negative comment.  From the first image, that I’ve seen elsewhere, I instantly recognised more than 50% of the faces with a simple first glance.  From the second, all women, image I recognise maybe 20% and a couple of those are because I read blogs – they aren’t mainstream atheists. 

    I didn’t see the first image as remotely sexist (I’m a woman) – I just though it was cool that so many people I admire (for various reasons) aren’t delusional. 

    I can, however, see that the first image could be improved by including a few more of the well-known (outside the atheist blogosphere) women. 

    (It could be that I don’t recognise many of the women in the second image because I’m not american so they aren’t part of my history.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    That second image has a few well known people… keyword: few.

  • Dorris Journeay

    Maybe I need new glasses – but where is Carl Sagan?  He was one of my first atheist heroes!  I don’t see him anywhere in this.  Surely he’s been roasting happily for awhile now, and will greet me when god casts me down!  

  • http://twitter.com/TominousTone Thomas Lawson

    Where’s Morgan Freeman? Oh, there he is. But he IS god! And he’s the only one I believe in.

  • http://twitter.com/TominousTone Thomas Lawson

    I hear the line to have Twain sign your books is already past the place where you get your new skin (after your previous skin is burned off)…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=750428174 Paddy Reddin

    Image 1 :  There’s a lot of cool Atheists.
    Image 2 : There’s a lot of female Atheists.

    Yeah, not a fan of changing the theme in the name of equality.

    Yes, the Atheist community is not dominated by white males, and this is a point worth making, but it shouldn’t be the main point all the time.

    Let’s find reasons to unite before we start segregating ourselves again.

    • solarsister

       Huh. I wasn’t aware that “cool” and “female” were mutually exclusive categories.

      • Hibernia86

        He didn’t say they were.

        • solarsister

           It’s pretty heavily implied, whether intentionally or not.

          • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

            Well, try to put together a version of the second image with people that are as widely known and easily recognisable as those in the first.

            Seriously – if you think it can be done, do it.

            • Ibis3

              The point is that the reason why the women are not as widely known is that they are generally more often ignored in lists of “cool” atheists. The only way to change this is to include them. Then they will be recognisable.

              • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

                Um, no. The only way that (say) Jen from BlagHag is going to be as recognisable to the general public as Keira Knightly is if she trades in the PhD studentship for a major blockbuster movie career.

                She’s simply not less well known because people are leaving her out of lists of world famous atheists.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=750428174 Paddy Reddin

            Interesting, so you say something can be heavily implied unintentionally.

            It couldn’t possibly be just your (mis)interpretation.

            • Patterrssonn

              A bias unintentionally expressed? Impossible, that would turn everything we know about the human mind on its head.

              • Hibernia86

                If you are going to aim that comment at Paddy Reddin, you should aim it at solarsister as well, because she is more guilty of it than he is.

          • Hibernia86

            If someone puts together a list of high school seniors with the best grades and puts together another list of high school seniors who play sports, they are not implying that high school seniors who play sports can’t get good grades. They are just putting together two lists. The same goes for a list of famous atheists and a list of female atheists. I think you had an idea of what you expected to see on this board and then misinterpreted posts in order to fit your idea of what you thought of the people here. An unintentional bias on your part perhaps, but a bias none-the-less.

    • solarsister

      Also: how about we include more women and people of color in the “general” category of atheists? The only reason why lists of women atheists or atheists of color are even made is because they’re NOT BEING INCLUDED in the first place. It’s not even close to asking for segregation to point out that domination by white males in our community isn’t really a good thing.

      • Annie

        Well said! 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=750428174 Paddy Reddin

        I agree, more diversity should be in the “general” category, but the point of the initial poster was to show recognizable faces as Atheists, people known for their intellect, good deeds, talent, but mostly recognizable.

        As many others have pointed out, in the “women only” version most people don’t know who more than half of them are.  It undermines the whole point when it becomes “here’s a bunch of atheists you don’t know”.
        You also say, they are not being included, but does that mean they are excluded?  Of course not, there are 6 women, and admittedly on;y 1 black in the main pic, so they are there, just not in the numbers some would like to see.

        Shall we complain that there are only 7 in the pic who wear glasses?
        Sure, there’s only one Irishman there.Why are there so few mustaches?

        • Patterrssonn

          Thanks for the white mansplanation. We need more brave souls like you willing to speak out against those misguided few who claim that people are discriminated against due to gender and skin colour.

          • jemiller226

            This is idiotic, frankly. Test it this way: will my cubicle neighbor–who has no connections to the atheist movement and likely has no idea that such a movement exists outside of the FFRF going after nativity scenes he likes to look at–recognize more than two or three of the people in the women-only version?

            If the answer is no, it’s a failure, plain and simple.

            If the answer is yes, you’re lying.

            I follow the community and I can’t pick out more than a couple. This is not because I’m biased against women or promoting the patriarchy. It’s because they *aren’t famous*. They’re not movie stars, they’re not big-name musicians, or comedians (and I’d include Kathy Griffin in that, frankly), or authors with the repute of Twain (with the possible undeserved exception of Ayn Rand), or generational-talent-level theoretical physicists.

            If you want to complain about my “mansplaining” to you why your idea does not work, this is where I tell you that I’m not opposed to the *idea* of  a picture of nothing but female atheists, but if you’re going to do that, make them faces that Ordinary Joe and Jane recognize. Otherwise they will not pay attention. It’s marketing.

  • Annie

    I would love to see this as a full page magazine ad!

    Also,  I was glad to see Frida Kahlo in the women’s picture.

  • 3beansalad

    I guess I should be all sorts of proud seeing these famous atheists, but I’d be happier if so many of the people from the first list weren’t such know-it-all assholes.

  • solarsister

    I love how apparently the likes of Virginia Woolf, Katherine Hepburn, Sarah Silverman, Ursula K. LeGuin, Emma Thompson, Julianne Moore, etc., to pick out just a wide range of faces from the second image, just aren’t famous enough to be included in a list of atheists, according to some of the commenters here. Not like all those incredibly famous, important MEN from the first image, of course.

    • http://readythreadsew.wordpress.com/ Joolz

       I have absolutely no idea which photographs, in which of the images, are Sarah Silverman, Virginia Woolf or Ursula K LeGuin.  I’ve never seen, or noticed, pictures of them. That doesn’t mean they are unimportant, but perhaps does say that using them in a picture of known atheists is not the best idea in a photographic ad campaign.  I was also going to say that Emma Thompson isn’t even in the second image, but a very close look makes me think that she may just be hidden under the “if” in a photo that doesn’t really look like her.  I still find no problem with the first image.

      • teressa81

         It may not be about what’s recognizable “famous-wise.” It may be about – and is for me, as this is my first time on this site and am only now, at 30, becoming comfortable with my atheism – simply letting others know (women, in this case) that they are not alone in the community.  This may be a given for a white man, but maybe not so much for a woman or a minority. (I, for instance, am a white woman. I have at least half of most of the picture already nailed into my identity.)

        It’s nice to have resonance with not only your peers and their views, but with their identities as well.

        • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

          “It may not be about what’s recognizable ‘famous-wise.’ ”

          The first image is clearly about that. It’s trying to make an immediate impact by putting people that a lot of people will know and feel positively about in front of them, and pointing out that they’re atheists. Without that recognisability it simply wouldn’t work.

        • Charon

           This is fine goal. It’s just not the goal the original image had. You can’t complain that For Whom the Bell Tolls was a crappy book about sailing when, in fact, it wasn’t about sailing and wasn’t supposed to be.

        • http://profiles.google.com/joebbowers Joe Bowers

          It’s pretty disappointing that someone could look at that list and say “Oh, those people are cool, but since they’re not MY color, I don’t feel comfortable coming out as an atheist.” 
          White people not good enough for you?  That is reverse racism. 

          • teressa81

             Yes, it’s very strange that I, as a social, communal human being would want to know that I am not the only woman atheist out there. It’s not as if humans are wired to seek similar people or anything.

            And sweetie, you’d have to accuse me of being a “feminazi”, not a racist. I’m white. REALLY white. If you shone a mirror on me it’s likely you’ll blind yourself with the reflection – I’m just that damn white.

            But I can argue that, too. (See that? I’m totally multifaceted. Neato, huh?)  To make the leap from “I’d like to see more minorities represented” to “You’re a reverse racist” requires one to have the privilege of always having their own race represented.

            Of course you think that asking for minorities is a silly and disappointing thing. You will NEVER have to ask that. You will NEVER have to question if your race will be listened to or welcome. You may consider yourself “colorblind”, but to ask another human being why they would like to see someone who looks like them represented only shows that you are blind to anything except your OWN race.

    • http://profiles.google.com/joebbowers Joe Bowers

      I couldn’t find a acceptable images of Katherine Hepburn or Sarah Silverman to use, I tried. And Julianne Moore IS on there. The rest, no, not famous enough.

  • Tony B

    Odd that you’d point out the gender disparity first when the ratio of white people to Morgan Freeman is way way more skewed. 

    • Mercyfire

      I love that you’ve made Morgan Freeman his own category!

      • Anon

        Morgan Freeman deserves his own category. He’s that awesome.

        • Tony B

          That and he’s literally the only non white person in the image. 

    • b33bl3br0x

       I’m fairly certain that Morgan Freeman is not an atheist BTW.  I recall an interview on the Daily Show where he was talking about the physics series he did for the Discovery or Science channel, and was talking about where in the physics he felt that he had found God.

      It’s possible that I’m recalling incorrectly

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        http://www.celebatheists.com has a long list with documentation.In particular http://www.celebatheists.com/wiki/Morgan_Freeman

        I personally would like a more clear statement before putting someone in the ‘atheist’ cubby (as opposed to agnostic or deist).  But it at least sounds like he’s not religious.

      • monyNH

         I was surprised–pleasantly–that Morgan Freeman was on this list…but maybe we’re too quick to recruit him to our team. On the Daily Show he did refer to “The God Factor” (i.e. god of the gaps), but he clearly didn’t mean it as overtly religious statement. On Piers Morgan he said, “If God exists it only has to — it can only exist in you, not outside you, right?” And in another CNN interview he said, “Questions of faith is whatever you actually believe is. We take a lot of what we’re talking about in science on faith.”

        None of these seem to be overtly atheistic statements. Perhaps he has said something elsewhere that is more…meaty. But so far, I think calling him an atheist may be a stretch.

        • http://profiles.google.com/joebbowers Joe Bowers

          He said in an interview that he is not a man of God, that he has faith in science. Good enough for me.

    • http://profiles.google.com/joebbowers Joe Bowers

      The ratio of white people to Morgan Freeman in the world is approximately 3 billion to 1. The fact that he was represented at 44:1 in the original image is a grossly exaggerated over-representation.

  • http://www.theaunicornist.com Mike D

    I dunno… Ayn Rand doesn’t strike me as the party-all-night type. 

    • chicago dyke, mediocre of lime

      she was a Freak, iirc. stone cold when it came to partying.

  • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich


    Also: Include more minorities.”

    OK. As soon as you make more people of minorities de-convert and/or become more vocal about their atheism, and tell all those white people to stop going public as atheists.

    I understand the need for diversity, but it can’t be forced. I don’t think it’s so much that minorities are purposefully being left out of these kinds of posters; it’s just that there aren’t as many non-white people being vocal about their atheism as there are white people.

  • mattnz

    meh, ~15% women in the original is fine with me. I recognise barely any of the people in the second image. I assume if this image was made for any non-english language then the number of ‘minorities’ would be substantial.
    I’m more concerned about the ~70% actor/’celebrity’ proportion. Who says they would be good company? Get some more people who have done something useful with their lives.

    • solarsister

       Whew. We can all relax and breath easy now that we know that having only FIFTEEN PERCENT of the depicted atheists being women is okay with you.

      Seriously. In what universe is a 15/85 ratio seen as an okay and fine and dandy representation? And again, all these people commenting to say they hardly recognize anyone in the second image, almost in a prideful tone, as if, of course, how could they be expected to? You know what, if you don’t know who any of these hardly obscure women are, that’s YOUR problem.

      • mattnz

        maybe because the person who made it included his or her personal atheist inspirations, which happens to be 15% women. That’s why I can be okay with that. Not everything needs to be a 50/50 split gender-wise.
        As to the second image, it looks like the majority are from Europe or the US. Since I am from neither of those, why would it be my problem if I don’t know who these people are? Where I come from we have our own inspiration people, atheist or otherwise, male and female, who you would have no hope of identifying.

  • teressa81

    This is my first foray onto this site, as I am just recently becoming okay with admitting that I am an atheist.

    This was the first article that I saw when I came on the site.

    And this makes me feel very welcome. :) Thank you.

     

    • Ndonnan

      Well hello teressa,hope you find what your looking for

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      Welcome, Teressa! :)

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Next step is to see how it feels to just say you’re an atheist.  No ‘admitting’ required :-)

    • amycas

       ^^This. This is why women should be recognized. This is why we should recognize all the minorities. This is why nobody should be throwing a fit over Hemant’s mere mention that maybe the first poster should have included more women and minorities.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    I’m just annoyed that people keep equating ‘heathen’ with ‘atheist’.  Heathen originally meant essentially pagan.  I know words evolve, and elsewhere I’ve argued that ‘atheist’ has, but, IDK, this one bugs me for no good reason.

  • TheAnalogKid

    I don’t have to be around Kathy Griffin, do I?

  • http://profiles.google.com/joebbowers Joe Bowers

    I created that original image, and I tried hard to find more women and minorities to balance it out, but I just couldn’t find them. My goal was not simply to make a list of well known atheists, but to make a list of celebrities that the average person might not have known were atheists.

    Your all-girl one is a nice effort, but you’ve missed the point. How many of them would the average person recognize by their face?

    • solarsister

       I consider myself pretty average, and I recognized over half of them. They’re not exactly obscure people.  Certainly there’s at least a few there that are HIGHLY recognizable that weren’t included in the original image and could have been.

      • Arclight

         Well, I’ll answer your anecdotal evidence with my own: I recognized all but five people in the first image, and recognized only four people in the second image. For me, at least, the first image is far more effective at showing notable people who I recognize to be atheists.

      • Charon

        I don’t know if they are obscure, but their faces are. Apart from a couple bloggers no one outside the atheist community would recognize, I only recognized 3 people in the second image who weren’t in the first. OK, so Katherine Hepburn should have been in the first. But… any others? I mean, I recognize and love Sarah Vowell, but let’s face it – she’s clearly not in the same league as Keira Knightley in terms of recognition (even for people who like her – she’s known for books and radio, not exactly conducive to learning her face!).

        In the first image, there are several people I recognize whose names I don’t know, but I have seen movies they were in. Whereas I wouldn’t recognize pictures of even very famous, accomplished people who weren’t in movies – say, Harriet Tubman or Lise Meitner.

    • mkwilliams1

      I recognized by name all but six faces in the first image.  Of the six I couldn’t put a name to, I knew four of the face, but couldn’t place the names.  On the second image, I only recognized 3 by name, and 4 more faces were familiar.  I’m in my forties, and have lived my entire life in southern US (with a boatload of overseas travel).

    • Patterrssonn

      But there’s also the issue of how many you’d want to spend eternity with. Richard Branson and Penn Jillette or Frida Kahlo and Marlena Dietrich?

      • http://profiles.google.com/joebbowers Joe Bowers

        Definitely Branson and Jilette.

    • Abigail

      I only recognized 7 of the faces of the first image, and none of the second. But then, I really do not care about celebrities. (I might have recognized more if they images weren’t cropped as narrowly as they are now, and had a bit more colour).

  • https://sites.google.com/site/ferulebezelssite/ Ferule Bezel

     1) I wish people would stop including people who are just actors in these types of lists.  They’re just meat puppets.

    2) Before people start crying “patriarchy”, “misogyny”, “racism”, “privilege” and the like, perhaps someone should look into the figures in the population as a whole. 

    • Mitch W.

      I think I understand you first point, but then I’d like you to consider the US public’s obscene fascination with celebrities, and general distrust of well educated people, like scientists and philosophers.  

      On your second point, I think we agree, as I recall women are under represented among non-believers, which makes sense because they are over represented on the believer side. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORRVVC5R2QWLTXEM6SX5L6BORE Jay Arrrr

    Can I be in the part of Hell far, FAR away from Ayn Rand?

    • http://twitter.com/RantBot5000 RantBot Grikmeer

       Yes, I think we may have to partition off a corner for Jeremy Clarkson, Rand and Ricky Gervais!

    • http://www.facebook.com/gregm766 Gregory Marshall

       You and me both, you and me both.

    • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

      I was thinking the same thing.  Can we find somebody else to put in that spot instead of her? 

      But hanging out with Butterfly McQueen,now that would be cool.

  • http://twitter.com/Cafeeine Cafeeine

    Can someone put names to faces (in both posters)? I recognized far fewer than I expected (18 in the first one and 9 in the second one)

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.kemmitt Mark Kemmitt

    Personally I would rather go to heaven than have to be anywhere near Pen or Teller!  Not that I have a choice and after seeing that picture I am thankful that there is no afterlife just dust!

  • http://twitter.com/nicoleintrovert Nicole Introvert

    Can I sit next to Dylan Moran on the bus? 

    Also – I don’t think we should get too bent out of shape about a stinkin’ meme.  Like folks have already said, it’s to appeal to the US/UK obsession with celebrity.  Those are (generally) who we identify with on a larger scale, and that’s just how our society is currently working.   I’ve spent more time watching Black Books over and over again than I have studying science.

    Remember, not all of us atheists are budding scientists.  In fact, some of us are really crappy at the subject.  Let us relate to who we are comfortable with.

    Even as an atheist woman I don’t know who many of the women are in the 2nd graphic.  I know Kathleen Hanna because I grew up a punk grrrl, but what if I hadn’t?  I know who some of the ladies are because I read their blogs on a daily basis and they have photos on their blogs, but what if they chose not to have a picture up?  If Annie Laurie Gaylor is on there, I don’t know what she looks like because I only listen to her voice on Freethought Radio.

    And if Bjork is coming with us can someone make sure she doesn’t sing?

  • Beau McElhattan

    Is that Shirley Manson on the top row second from right?

  • Satia Renee

    Judging by the comments, I may be the exception here in saying that I do recognize as many of the faces in the second meme as in the former.  My goodness, if we’re going to be this upset when someone modifies a meme to fit a different purpose/audience then what does this bode for the future of memes?  For me, I appreciate the fact that the second one is also more racially diverse than the former.  Not denigrating the original at all.  When did imitation stop being a sincere form of flattery?  I think I missed that memo.

    • solarsister

       I’m with you. I’m guessing it’s mostly men who are claiming they don’t recognize anyone from the second image. Which kind of says something in and of itself…

  • DG

    I wonder if there is a list of names to go with the faces.  Most of them I recognize, but there are a few I’m not sure about.   And a few it’s because I haven’t seen in a while – took me a little bit to recognize Billy Joel (thought he was someone else).  So it would be interesting to have a name graph underneath.

    • chicago dyke, mediocre of lime

      yeah, that’s my problem. it’s not that i don’t know them, it’s that i can’t make out who they are cause the photos aren’t large. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Sweet/1280927267 James Sweet

    Sadly, I must admit that while I recognize almost all of the men, I recognize very few of the women.  Blargh…  Good on the creator  for making it anyway, this sort of balance is sorely needed, and it’s not until we make a concerted effort at balance that your average Joe (or James) will be able to recognize most of the women.

    As far as the “can’t please everyone” thing, I’m inclined to say that is a good thing.  I am very skeptical that there can ever be a point in history where we can just declare, “Welp, no more diversity problems, no unfair prejudices.  We’re done here!”  Perfect inclusivity is impossible for some rather practical reasons, so it’s always going to be an ongoing project.

  • Tainda

    As a woman and an atheist I like both pictures and definitely understand the need for the first one as more of the faces are recognizable.  And as a woman, I especially appreciated them adding Cillian Murphy ;)  

    It got too serious in here, seriously.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FDGYHBEWVNGUG763L5X4TON3JQ Nazani14

    My solution would be to make a much, much bigger poster.  Big enough to make theists feel overwhelmed.

  • http://www.quietatheist.com/ Slugsie

    The thing is with the original image I think I recognise 90% of the faces involved. With the second image I’m slightly ashamed to admit I probably don’t recognise who 90% of them are. I realise that that is my failing of course, but the original image has more impact for me personally .

    Of course the whole concept is bordering on an Argument from Authority or Argument from Celebrity logical fallacy. But that’s not the point.

  • Fsq

    Once again, the namely-pamby call for false equality rears its disingenuous head.

    Really? Do you really think this is some grand anti-vaginal conspiracy?

    Good fucking humanity, give this female flag waving a break.

    I mean Norris, there is not an equal amount of vag to penis in the picture….oh no, it must mean something…..but, the again, count the number of Asians, blacks, natives, Hmong, Latino, et al it he picture. There aren’t equal numbers there either, so why does the vaginal troupe get extra special attention??

    Enough with this.

    • solarsister

       Do you derive a great amount of pleasure from barging in here and being an utter asshole?

    • Susu

      Well, minorities *are* called minorities for a reason. But women…make up half of any given population. That said, I’m sure there are more recognizable black people. Especially black men. I know America’s education system isn’t the best in the world, but I’m pretty sure that most of us know who Frederick Douglass is.

      I think it’s that it appears there wasn’t an effort made to be inclusive. And there’s always room for improvement, especially in a community that really needs to be trying very hard to make everyone feel welcome.

  • Sue

    Is there a list of who the women in the second image are?  I don’t recognise any of them.

    Not that I can think of 41 atheist women that I would recognise.

    • solarsister

       Really? Not one? I don’t know why I’m so disappointed at all these people saying they don’t recognize ANYONE in the second image. It just seems absolutely unbelievable to me. There are a lot of quite famous faces in there.

  • http://godlessandsouthern.wordpress.com/ MattyP

    I appreciate the sentiment, but the promise of mingling with Ayn Rand makes the prospect of Hell seem slightly worse, not slightly better.

  • Patterrssonn

    Awful lot of Hollywood actors in the first one. Spending eternity with the self-obsessed? Not my idea of a good time. And Richard Branson? Maybe there is something to be said for Pascals Wager.

  • MariaO

    You should not confuse heathenism with atheism! Heathenism is a recognised religion in Sweden (although they prefer to be called “the old way”), they get state money (not much, buit still) and have the right to preform legal marriages. I am sure they would not consider the people on the poster as belongiong to their religion – even though I am sure they – as do we all –  invoke the heathen gods very often: “TUESday, WEDNESday, THURSday, FRIday… for Thyr, Odin, Thor and Frey.

  • pagansister

     I’ve always admired Kate Hepburn, and indeed knew her “beliefs” .    We’re in a group of some seriously great people—not all in the movie business, of course. :o)   

  • http://www.akhnatonsjournal.org/ Dan

    It’s rather frustrating that I can’t find a list of the people for either groups! It ‘s like one of the quizes where the answer page has been torn out.  Can someone point me to list of their names? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/scumbagstyle Mark Hurley

    Re: A picture with more minorities. I have found in my own experience that there is a smaller percentage in the US of minority atheists. This is not AT ALL to be racist or condescending, but more to express what so many have said before me: Nonbelief is often a luxury of the better off. We are slowly but surely moving toward an end to inequality and racism in the US. It will probably take a few generations for the hardships of many minorities to allow for indoctrination of parents to thin out and encourage free thought. Just a thought. I could be wrong, it isn’t like I am a professional culturalist.

  • Anon Atheist

    who cares about how many women/minorities are in the pic? I don’t think you need to put someone in a pic just because there a different colour or have a vagina. I didn’t recognise 4 people in the first image and only recognised 3 in the entirely female version. 

  • thebigJ_A

    Is it a problem with me that I recognize virtually all of the people in the first immage, and only a small percentage of those in the second?

  • JamesEmery

    We get Helen Mirren?

    I LOVE HELEN MIRREN.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X