Tuesday, January 20, 2009

RIchard Dawkin's Atheist bus

In an amusing story, Richard Dawkins, noted atheist, has backed an effort that put advertisements on 800 English buses. The advertisement reads: "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

I particularly enjoyed the "probably." When I first read it, I was pleased that he was intellectually honest enough to write "probably", but, alas, that wasn't the case. Instead, he wanted it dropped, but "the British advertising authority said should be thrown in to keep the ad from being potentially misleading, on the grounds that no one can say with 100% certainty that God does not exist." When religion meets bureaucracy.

Two things that make this interesting. One, it shows atheists acting more like a religion. This would seem to fit nicely under the heading of proselytizing. I wonder if this will have an unintended consequence, for one of the common critiques of Christians is that we proselytize. Will these kinds of efforts weaken this critique.

Two, the message implies that religious people worry and enjoy their lives less. I'm not sure if this is the case. I'm sure that surveys have asked about these two things, as well as religion, so it would be interesting to find out how their levels vary by religious affiliation. Hopefully one of you will know of such data, otherwise I'll try to dig some up in the next few weeks.


yottzumm said...

More on probability. There has been some discussion about whether Jesus was a man or God. Here's the answer:

There's a 100% probability that Jesus was a man.
There's a 100% probability that Jesus was God.

Jesus was a being, that was 100% man and 100% God. How much God can we be? Bear Fruit!

Emma said...

My thoughts exactly.

Jeff and I saw this story on the news a few weeks ago, and my first thoughts were: I don't really know any Christians that spend their lives "worrying" about there being a God, and generally speaking, people who aren't Christians don't seem to be all that worried, either...

Then again, though, I think that "professing atheists" (yes, I think atheism is definitely a "religion" these days) such as Dawkins seem to subscribe to an outdated understanding of Christianity and God. Maybe the bus should say something more like: "Worry More: Your life is completely meaningless, and you are wasting your time loving and caring about God and other people" ? I think this may be a little defensive of me, but if Dawkins and his fellow atheists really want to be relevant to us misguided Christians, he may need a better "catch phrase."

Like you, I am interested in more "statistical" info on this story...

(Also, just so you know, Jeff laughed his head off at yesterday's post: I don't know why he gets such a kick out of people getting scared out of their minds, but he does.)

Brad Wright said...

Good to know that Jeff finds my terror amusing! ;-)