Friday, October 24, 2014

Change of Mind and Narrowing of Control Group

From Last Week:
After further discussing the memes I have chosen to focus on for this study, I have realized that these particular memes are actually religious memes. I formerly considered them to be memes about religion because of their focus on Christianity, and also because I am unsure about the designation of Atheism as a religion. There is definitely debate about this designation, but I have decided that the memes on the Atheist Meme Base Facebook page and coinciding website are religious memes. Religious memes are memes that reflect the ideas and thoughts of a specific religious group. Though Atheism may not consistently be considered a religion, the members of this Facebook page are brought together by their shared views on religion or lack of a faith-based religion. Some may even argue that the religion of Atheists is science.

This Week:
In an effort to focus my research on a particular sample group, I have narrowed down my collection to only memes that either point to contradictions in the Christian faith (in the Bible or in lived religion) or that use science to dispute Christian beliefs. In order to gather a better collection of memes, I have decided to use both the Atheist Meme Base Facebook page and website, as they share the same material. However, I intend to focus more so on the Facebook page due to its ability to contact Atheists and read their comments on images.

After looking for a section of the website and Facebook pages that explains the origination of the posted memes, I have found nothing. There appears to be no singular creator, but I still may be able to find some answers. I have sent a message through the Facebook page and am now awaiting a response. So far, I believe the page and website are meant to spread knowledge of the flaws of religion, mostly Christianity, through humor. I also think the page itself serves as an online community where people can connect with others who share their idea of Atheism. I am hoping to have more background information to share next week.
As one would expect, the focus on flaws/criticism and humor dictate the memes seen on the pages. The memes are typically laughable to the Atheist audience and poke fun at the holes in Christian belief. They are then often circulated by members of the community or by other Atheist community pages through Facebook's "share" button.
The common themes expressed on the Facebook page appear to be the lack of scientific evidence for/scientific contradictions to certain Christian beliefs, the contradictions written within the Bible, and the irony between lived Christian religion and the sacred text.

Contradiction to Scientific Evidence:
Noah's Ark is a generally well-known part of the Bible in which Noah, a follower of God, builds an Ark to house his family of 4 and 2 of each species of animal on Earth during the Flood. The measurements, as given in the Bible have been converted to modern day measurements and the number of species existing at the time have been determined through science and evolution. The result points to the lack of space each animal would have if the measurements given were to be believed.
 Contradictions in the Bible :
This meme draws attention to the 7th Commandment which states: "Thou shall not commit adultery." However, according to the Bible, Jesus was born of Mary, a virgin and wife to Joseph. Therefore, God impregnated a married woman and directly disobeyed his own commandment. Christians believe that Jesus was conceived through immaculate conception, which means God technically did not contradict himself, but science has proven that the only way to impregnate a woman involves direct sexual intercourse.

 Contradictions between Lived Religion and the Bible:
As seen in the quote above, the Bible acknowledges money as "evil."Ironically, churches take in money under the terms of donations and tithes, but are not required to pay taxes. Sometimes the leaders of these churches, such as Joel Osteen, become millionaires. Sadly, while he sits in his 10.5 million dollar home, the poor still roam the streets. His hoarding of money, instead of helping those in need further contradictions Luke 12:33: Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. 

The following are the links to all 12 memes I will be using for this study.


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