2 of 4
2
Atheist/Humanist Symbol
Posted: 18 May 2009 06:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1995
Joined  2008-09-18

Hmm, how about a simple circle, as a mandala? A circle with a dot inside?

The significance of the infinity symbol, I think, is that it communicates both the sense of how tiny we humans are while emphasizing
the rationalism of mathematics. It’s rather vaguely a combination of mysticism and rationalism. “Whoa man, infinity! Like,
that’s really heavy!”

And BTW, I think that the circle with the dot inside is also a symbol for the sun. If we don’t want to worship a god, let’s
just get back to simple sun-worshipping…

format edited to see if we can avoid having to left-right scroll.

[ Edited: 20 May 2009 06:10 PM by Occam ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 May 2009 07:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29
Occam - 18 May 2009 06:40 PM

I see two problems: 1. to find a simple, elegant symbol that’s easily recognized,
and 2. Doing a huge amount of publicity so that people DO begin to associate it with Humanism/Atheism.

Sure, once you think you are ready to turn an idea into a movement—I still have my doubts that humanism has much to
add to the well being of the people—you’ll need the proper tools to make it happen: name, slogan, logo, spokesperson,
etc. Many indeed acknowledge this, but fall under an assumption that they themselves have the capability of producing a
successful logo, for example.

Let’s see how Sam Harris does with his new “Reason Project.” Hey, at least he got the right logo: make it look like
the Economist so people take you seriously! Smart. I think that might work.

rp_logo.gif


economist_master_brand_logo.jpg

An old trick, but it often works. Here is another one. (Notice how the copycats, oops, I meant the “inspired ones” always
change the typeface. If the original was is set in serif, show yours in sans-serif, visible here in both cases, The
Economist/Reason Project and Hitchens/Keltner.

hitchens-god-is-not-3.jpg

borntobegood.bmp

format edited to avoid need to left-right scroll

[ Edited: 20 May 2009 06:13 PM by Occam ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 May 2009 08:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1995
Joined  2008-09-18

I think we need a catchy tune, too. You know, a jingle that will run through people’s heads incessantly,
driving them crazy. How about something using the music from that classic of American artistic television
endeavor, “Car 54, Where are You?”:

We’ve got Christians on the right!
Muslims getting set to fight!
And the Hebrews are inducing Palestinians to flight!
Crucifixes burn on lawns!
Evolution’s almost gone!
Why can’t we live together?


format edited to avoid need to left-right scroll

[ Edited: 20 May 2009 06:14 PM by Occam ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 May 2009 12:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5508
Joined  2006-10-22

Now you have me curious, George.  If you’re trying to ride on the coat tails of a well-known logo, why change the typeface, and
as they’ve done here, not center the words, and choose a duller, darker (lower value and chroma) red?  I would think using
the same typeface, and background color would make it even more mind-catching.

Occam

format edited to avoid need to left-right scroll

[ Edited: 20 May 2009 06:15 PM by Occam ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 May 2009 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29

I think they want to play a trick on the unconsciousness. When you see the Reason Project logo you are supposed to trust it to
be as intellectually fulfilling as the Economist. A hint is all that is needed.

If I go back to your atheist logo now, I think were I asked to design the logo, I would probably start with Chris’s circle and
a light blue colour to make a link (yes, I would try not to be to too literal wink) to Sagan’s pale blue dot, as Sagan is, IMO, the
best thing that ever happened to our community.


format edited to avoid need to left-right scroll

[ Edited: 20 May 2009 06:16 PM by Occam ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 May 2009 02:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  698
Joined  2007-10-14
Occam - 18 May 2009 03:16 PM

You have a point, Axegrrl, and maybe only those who work with mathematics and the physical sciences would relate to
infinity and the sine wave.  However, how does a cross, a six pointed star, or a crescent and star resonate?  None of these
have any inherent meaning, but people have learned to see them as a symbol of some particular belief system. 
I think the infinity or the sine wave could, with proper public relations and advertising, do the same. 

What symbol can you think of that would embody “human beings working together”?  Remember, this has to be a simple
symbol that can fit on a bumper sticker and be able to be identified from, say, 30 - 40 feet.  Your images were very nice,
but they wouldn’t work within that limitation.

Occam


I appreciate your comments Occam ~ for me, THE ‘crucial’ element in Humanism is humans.  A sine wave or infinity
symbol simply doesn’t conjure up anything to do with human beings necessarily, for me. 

The first image I posted is probably the one that ‘resonates’ most for me because of it’s simplicity of design and the simplicity
of its message ~ the ‘helping hand’ idea.  It very clearly suggests a concept that involves human interaction and
cooperation
.  Heck, I even feel that the simple image of two hands clasped together is a more ‘resonant’ symbol
for Humanism.  And that would definitely work and be visible as a bumper sticker :)

Other than Chris Crawford (who offered a short response), can anyone else express why the infinity sign or sine wave
symbol ‘resonates’ for them when it comes to representing Humanism/atheism? (again, I’m just curious and find how people
react to symbols/metaphors to be a fascinating issue :)

format edited to avoid need to left-right scroll

[ Edited: 20 May 2009 06:18 PM by Occam ]
 Signature 

‘we are so fundamentally constituted of desire that we go on hearing music…...even though we know the band is gone and the stage is silent’

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 May 2009 02:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  698
Joined  2007-10-14
George - 18 May 2009 07:43 PM

I still have my doubts that humanism has much to add to the well being of the people


`
Really?  why do you say that George?

`

 Signature 

‘we are so fundamentally constituted of desire that we go on hearing music…...even though we know the band is gone and the stage is silent’

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 May 2009 06:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29

It sounds nice, but not very realistic. It has taken us millions of years to shape our behaviour, and as much as the humanists
want to “affirm the dignity and worth of all people,” they will react to a given circumstance just like anybody else. OTOH, there
are a few individuals on this forum whom I have noticed will sometime reach out for the “tit for two tats” strategy, and subscribe
to the dignity and worth of all people for a little longer.

format edited to avoid need to left-right scroll

[ Edited: 20 May 2009 06:20 PM by Occam ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 May 2009 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1805
Joined  2005-07-20

Infinity problems can be fun and all that…  but, do you think that
∞ has that godly quality rather than the finite human quality?
The circle with no beginning and no end… that is a classic
description of the Christian god isn’t it?  Maybe we can think
of all of life as being infinite, constantly renewing itself,
but how much of life do you really expect to outlast the Earth?
Do you think that humanity will really outlast the Earth?
Maybe NASA has gotten us off to a good start on that goal, but
with over 90% of the species which have lived being now extinct,
are we different enough to be apart from that norm?  I really
don’t know.  I like infinity.

I love the idea of incorporating mathematics into a symbol, it
being so universal, and infinity is fun, but to recognize life’s
limitations perhaps a limit problem would be appropriate?

  lim
  x ➞ ∞

Maybe a hyperbola has some good qualities, two asymptotes
(the axises), two separate segments balancing one another,
approaching each other but also diverging, an attractive curve,
a simple function…

  lim       xy = c   The limit are two asymptotes x axis, and y axis.
  x ➞ ∞

sage1.png?2

    x²      y²
  ── - ── - 1           The limit are two asymptotes y = x(±0.5).

    a²      b²

sage0.png?2

An exponential curve has similar qualities.  To get it to rise
upwards towards an asymptote you have to do a bit of twisting.

    x
  e   = y

sage0.png?3

                -(x)
  lim       1-e   The limit is the asymptote y = x(0) + 1.
  x ➞ ∞

sage0.png?4

A sine wave has many of the properties of a circle, but is unfurled
out to an infinite length of time, rather than being closed.  Waves
are so natural, rhythmic, compelling.  (Click the image to see more
examples.)

  lim       sin(x)  Two lines, one drawn from upper crest to crest and
  x ➞ ∞            the other line drawn from lower trough to trough are called
                        the envelope and are the limit.

sage0.png?1

The curves are dull so they do need some style, some decoration,
some flash, but you can see basic ideas.

[ Edited: 25 June 2009 01:32 PM by jump_in_the_pit ]
 Signature 

I saw a happy rainbow recently.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 May 2009 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29
Axegrrl - 20 May 2009 02:16 AM
George - 18 May 2009 07:43 PM

I still have my doubts that humanism has much to add to the well being of the people


`
Really?  why do you say that George?

`

I also want to add that any form of idealism—be it the one based on a belief in god or that based on a belief in reason—sounds equally unappealing to me. I actually find the idea of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment’s Humanist in our times somehow dangerous. Maybe we now have a chance for the first time in our history to study our human nature and the effects of the environment and see what can be done, if anything, to improve the quality of life. We have tried religion and philosophy throughout our past and they served us well at one time or another; let’s now give science a chance.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 May 2009 12:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  633
Joined  2007-12-10

A candle in the dark, summarize science and reason as the only way to see.

 Signature 

Dan

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 May 2009 03:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1995
Joined  2008-09-18

How about a candle in the dark, with lots of spooky eyes out there in the darkness? Not much good as a symbol, admittedly…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 June 2009 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  80
Joined  2009-01-24
danlhinz - 22 May 2009 12:07 PM

A candle in the dark, summarize science and reason as the only way to see.

Not a bad idea, but unfortunately the candle’s been done to death amongst the religions (Menorah, anyone?) and the intended meaning would get lost in that sea.

I really don’t think you can have a symbol for Atheism. After all, isn’t it a lack of religious beliefs? All religious symbols are representative of a certain aspect of the religion itself…but when you don’t have these, what can you turn into a symbol?

That said, you could certainly have symbols for humanism and science. In fact, I’d contend that there are more symbols for humanism and science around than anything else. So much of the technology, the innovation, the knowledge that surrounds us everyday is a testament that science has done more for us in the past 100 years than any religion has in the past 2 millennia.

But if you want a simple little drawing…how about a stick figure just sitting and thinking, a la the famous thinker statue? Or better yet, the statue itself?

 Signature 

“From the faith that you release comes an atheist peace.”
“I’m materialist, I ain’t no deist! It’s there for all to see, so don’t talk of hidden mystery with me.”
“Credulous at best, your desire to believe in angels in the hearts of men.”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 June 2009 11:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7684
Joined  2008-04-11
cmbf117 - 27 June 2009 10:53 AM
danlhinz - 22 May 2009 12:07 PM

A candle in the dark, summarize science and reason as the only way to see.

Not a bad idea, but unfortunately the candle’s been done to death amongst the religions (Menorah, anyone?) and the intended meaning would get lost in that sea.

I really don’t think you can have a symbol for Atheism. After all, isn’t it a lack of religious beliefs? All religious symbols are representative of a certain aspect of the religion itself…but when you don’t have these, what can you turn into a symbol?

That said, you could certainly have symbols for humanism and science. In fact, I’d contend that there are more symbols for humanism and science around than anything else. So much of the technology, the innovation, the knowledge that surrounds us everyday is a testament that science has done more for us in the past 100 years than any religion has in the past 2 millennia.

But if you want a simple little drawing…how about a stick figure just sitting and thinking, a la the famous thinker statue? Or better yet, the statue itself?

Michelangelo’s ‘David’?
He is the very vision of reason!
How would Italy feel about THAT?

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 June 2009 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15435
Joined  2006-02-14
asanta - 27 June 2009 11:55 AM

Michelangelo’s ‘David’?
He is the very vision of reason!
How would Italy feel about THAT?

That would be kind of ironic, since it is after all King David ...

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 4
2