Thursday, October 23, 2008

Atheist Bus Advertising Campaign in Britain



My first reaction to this was negative. Advertising that there is no God strikes me as no less obnoxious than advertising that Jesus loves you or that the Rebbe will be back soon. On the other hand, religions do in fact advertise, so maybe it's better to provide atheistic ads to counterbalance them.

In any event, I always get a little thrill when I see an atheistic sentiment expressed in public. For all the popularity of Dawkins et al, reminders that not everybody in the world is religious are too rare.

17 comments:

CyberKitten said...

My local bus is often dripping with Christian propaganda - so its really refreshing to see something from the other side......

jewish philosopher said...

Enjoy your life as in what? Indulge in irresponsible sex? And what about the kids produced by that? STDs? No worries?

How about this "You probably won't get caught, now stop worrying and steal something."

Rich Perkins said...

I think they went about it in a very smart manner. That is, by challenging people's beliefs, but by doing it in a humorous manner.

Incidentally, the few articles I read about this have quoted religious leaders as saying they think the ad is good because it just gets people thinking about religion in general.

JP - similar to my comment to you on LNM's page, if the only thing keeping you from stealing is the torah then you're an idiot. It is common sense and basic morality to not take what isn't yours.

Rich
While I agree with your general sentiments on this proposition, I have to disagree with you when you say it is not a religious issue. Anyone who adheres strictly to a religion that bans homosexual marriage really has a dilemma. Just because you saw a chupah at city hall for a jewish, lesbian marriage does not mean that there are no religious issues with this proposition.

JP - If the only thing keeping you from murder is the Torah, then you are an idiot. You are basically saying that people don't have enough common sense and basic morals to know that murdering another person is wrong.

Rich
http://frustratedorthojew.blogspot.com/

Rich Perkins said...

sorry about that previous cut-paste botch, wasn't paying attention.

Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud when I saw this. I actually think people should keep their religious (or lack of) opinions to themselves but when Im bombarded on a daily basis but other peoples spiritual opinions...it's nice to see mine on the side of a bus for a change. How does it feel to them, I wonder? Nice to have the shoe on the other foot for a change. I just wish it said..."there IS no god..." this isnt an antheistic statement, just agnostic.

Jewish Atheist said...

anon:

I knew someone would say that. :-) To me, being an atheist means you just don't believe in God. It doesn't mean that you are 100% sure.

If god spoke to me tomorrow and gave me the correct lotto numbers for the next 7 days, I'd believe in it/him/her/them.

JDHURF said...

That is pretty ridiculous. I live in Oklahoma and thus see "God said..." signs and similar ones all of the time - they are obnoxious. So is this ad.
It either serves to reinforce people's beliefs who already share them - people shouldn't need the reinforcement - or it serves as an attempt to, apparently, persuade people who disagree.
The good sign about this is that the secular movement, if it can be called that, is clearly becoming organized and financed; that must be a good thing, only if they would spend their capital more wisely.

jewish philosopher said...

"JP - similar to my comment to you on LNM's page, if the only thing keeping you from stealing is the torah then you're an idiot. It is common sense and basic morality to not take what isn't yours."

I know the atheistic spiel - "I don't need God to be good. My humanitarian instincts make me a good person."

News flash - there is not a scintilla of scientific evidence that people possess such humanitarian instincts. Without the Torah, or some similar transcendent moral authority, we would eat each other.

"If god spoke to me tomorrow and gave me the correct lotto numbers for the next 7 days, I'd believe in it/him/her/them."

The chance of life evolving is far more unlikely, but that doesn't bother you. (Read "Not By Chance" by Lee Spetner.)

Margo said...

This is a cute ad. Of course, some religious people will twist it to mean, "lead a depraved life", but those people would twist anything you write, so I agree that the humor is a nice touch. Besides, according to many views in Orthodox Judaism, one should enjoy life, so those who misinterpret this ad should double-check their own precepts.
Another funny atheist billboard that I saw, but I don't think it was supposed to be funny, said, "You are not alone" but it said this with clouds as the background, so at first I thought it was theistic and then I read the reference to some atheist organization.

jewish philosopher said...

"some religious people will twist it to mean, "lead a depraved life""

I don't know what else it could mean. "There is no afterlife. Your life is short and meaningless. Enjoy life." Huh? It's like saying "You have terminal cancer. Enjoy."

Margo said...

JP--
"There is no afterlife. Your life is short and meaningless."
An infinite afterlife would necessarily make this finite life short and meaningless. Maybe you should learn some simple math.
A lack of afterlife would mean that this life is all we have, so make the most of it.

Random said...

Speaking as a religious person, I rather approve of this. It's a much healthier response than moaning about religious groups advertising. Competition in the marketplace of ideas is perfectly healthy.

jewish philosopher said...

"A lack of afterlife would mean that this life is all we have, so make the most of it."

I am making the most of it. Actually, on the average, Orthodox Jews are happier than atheists.

Margo said...

Okay, JP, in addition to learning some math, maybe you should work on reading comprehension skills, too.
I wrote, "An infinite afterlife would necessarily make this finite life short and meaningless."
How can you claim to make the most of something meaningless and then provide false data to support this ridiculous claim?

P.S. Don't bother responding to this, because I do not care to engage in any more conversation with you.

Anonymous said...

I revntly finished reading "The Irrational Atheist" by Vox Day. It was written as a rebutal to "The God Delusion", "God is Not Great Etc." The author provides a list of 52 Atheistic mass murderers from the twentieth century alone. Each one was personally responsible for at least 20,000 muders. Wow. YOu guys are scary.

jewish philosopher said...

My dear Margo, you apparently know nothing about psychology or philosophy. Life is only meaningful because it is a place of preparation for an infinite and glorious existence close to God. For Jews that is. For atheists, unfortunately not so much.

And anon, atheists are indeed scary. Let's hope they remain the small and dwindingly cult they are. After all, few have kids at a replacement level and state atheism, once so popular, is almost gone. Even in China and Russia, religion is making a comeback.

Anonymous said...

If some entity gave you the correct lotto number for the next 7 days, that would be evidence that there is somebody who knows lotto numbers. It is not any evidence for the exitence of any entity that could do EVERYTHING. The only way that could be proved is if such an entity did do EVERYTHING, and it was somehow proven that it was only ONE (rather than more) entity that did such a thing.

God is, after all, nothing and everything at the same time, and the universe itself.