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07 January 2009 @ 02:19 pm
Athesist bus  
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jan/06/religion-atheism

The thing that worries me about this campaign is the use of the word 'Probably'...There 'Probably' is no God. Now if you want me to stop worrying you need to me more firm about it and tell me that there is no God.

When going parachuting I don't want people to say 'The parachute probably won't fail'. When getting on the plane I don't want the pilot to say 'I probably know how to land this thing.'

People who believe in God don't go around saying there probably is a God and our way of worshipping his probably right so you should probably join us. No! They make a stand in Faith and say 'There is a God, dammit! And he's watching you!(Not all of them say he's watching you but they probably should)

It's such an indefinate word and all the athesists have done is paid for an evangelistic campaign in every country they're gonna do it in. And the believers are gonna be a lot more positive about what's going on in the world.

There probably is no God
So eat, drink and be merry
For tomorrow we die

Eat, drink and be merry
For tomorrow we die
There's got to be more to life than this

There's got to be more to life than this
Alpha Course
Coming soon to a church near you


See how easy that was? From no God to Alpha including a bible reference
 
 
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grondficgrondfic on January 7th, 2009 02:32 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but - let's face it - when the Christians arrive on my doorstep, I'd really rather they DID say there probably is a God, rather than all the We're Right And Hellfire that they peddle. I'd then feel better about saying "I'm probably a Pagan. Bog off!"
High Priestess of Me: space?marysiak on January 9th, 2009 12:33 pm (UTC)
Absolutely. Putting a sign on a bus saying there isn't a God is just as bad as putting a sign up saying there is. Probably is what makes it acceptable to me. Feel free to believe something your self, but you should always be willing to admit you could be wrong. Or should we all be claiming infallibility? I think not.
Ayoub™: No Godayoub on January 7th, 2009 02:32 pm (UTC)
Well, probably can also be taken to mean that "most likely..." But it's harder to scientifically disprove a creator than it is to prove one...
Carefully, Correctly Wrongdiffrentcolours on January 7th, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
You don't need to scientifically disprove the existance of God, any more than you need to scientifically disprove the Invisible Pink Unicorn, or a teapot in solar orbit.
Ayoub™ayoub on January 7th, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC)
Indeed...

Just as you can't prove God's existence to those who don't trust the books...
Carefully, Correctly Wrongdiffrentcolours on January 7th, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC)
If you need to trust a book, it's not proof...
Ayoub™ayoub on January 7th, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC)
Indeed :D
Carefully, Correctly Wrongdiffrentcolours on January 7th, 2009 02:32 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, they weren't allowed to run an advert which says There is no God - which is exactly the kind of religious bias in this country that we need to fight.
Muninn and Huginnmuninnhuginn on January 7th, 2009 02:36 pm (UTC)
Is that true? That a more definite statement wasn't allowed? And not allowed by whom?

I'd simply assumed that it was a deliberately wishy-washy it'll upset fewer people kind of statement.
Carefully, Correctly Wrongdiffrentcolours on January 7th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
I seem to remember reading in the original ABC articles that the London bus operators wouldn't let them run the advert without the probably for fear that they could be prosecuted by the Advertising Standards Authority.
Muninn and Huginnmuninnhuginn on January 7th, 2009 03:30 pm (UTC)
Interesting. I'll have to go search for the articles.
The Stainless Steel Rat: Thinker (Solarised)stainsteelrat on January 8th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
Interesting! I had always assumed it was either done on the basis of public outcry, or that they were trying to introduce the element of doubt into the minds of readers.
Allanalbowsmit on January 7th, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
Yes, but in order to be politically correct, they have to say Probably, otherwise the Church of England, Islam Council etc etc would come out and hate.

How would you like it if they put 'There is no God.' on buses? They can't say 'There is no God', just as much as religious people can't say 'There is a God', because there is no fact.

Chances are if they said 'There is no God', some religious litigious person would try and sue them.
eulipious on January 8th, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC)
Chances are if they said 'There is no God', some religious litigious person would try and sue them.

I think you over emphasise the likelihood of litigation but I wouldn't be surprised if there is a clause in the laws relating to incitement to religious hatred probably formed by the European Court for human rights. Which is tedious. Extremely tedious and depressing to contemplate.
Allanalbowsmit on January 8th, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
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sta_kittensta_kitten on January 7th, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC)
Was the song 'Jesus Walks'? because thats Kanye West and probably not christian...

And yeah, who didn't allow them to say there is no God? That sounds like a restriction on their freedom of speech and they should probably be upset about that...
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DanGdan_g on January 7th, 2009 02:53 pm (UTC)
"porn websites have enough cash to have full page spreads"

Pun 'probably' not intentional...

...but funny.
Izzyromana03 on January 7th, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
Yes, because singing about Jesus in public is every bit as offensive as singing that...
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Izzyromana03 on January 7th, 2009 03:06 pm (UTC)
I do not enjoy the objectification of women, the glamourisation of rape and that level of obscenity and I think a song with lyrics like that is far more negative than any Christian songs are likely to be.
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sta_kittensta_kitten on January 7th, 2009 03:15 pm (UTC)
Are we sure the poor girl was not just singing Kanye West? I think that 'Jesus Walks' is one of his best songs, not quite as good as 'Golddigger' but certainly better then whatever that new nonsense of his is...

Eitherway, singing on a bus is a strange thing to do regardless of what the song is and I'm not convinced that its a better form of evangelism then writing things on buses is..
Izzyromana03 on January 7th, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC)
She was singing along with a song on a bus, not trying to convert you - she may not even have realised she was singing out loud.

I can see your point. The thing is, what you proposed doing in response to her does not seem proportional to her actions.

You propose deliberately singing something offensive to Christians to someone you have assumed is Christian (never mind the levels of offense it is likely to cause to others on the bus whether Christian or not) in response to something not aimed at you, and more than likely not done deliberately at all.
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Perfidious Albionmatttt on January 8th, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
Interesting ... how does one prove whether or not something is offensive? If I were to assert that the combination of letters that combine to form 'guitarromantic' were offensive to me, how on earth would you prove that my offence isn't genuine? And if I find something to be offensive then doesn't that make it offensive, even if I am the only person to hold this view?
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Perfidious Albionmatttt on January 8th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC)
OK, but what you originally wrote was 'we actually have objective ways of testing whether something like that song (or a religious one) is offensive or not'. I have just given an example of offence that would in all likelihood not be taken seriously by the law. So how is that objective?
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Trialiatrialia on January 7th, 2009 10:32 pm (UTC)
Frankly, I'll sing whatever the hell I want to sing, and if that varies between Kristin Chenoweth's "Joyful, Joyful" and Puscifer's "Rev. 22:20", that's my lookout and I really wouldn't care if there was anyone around who didn't like it. (I do, however, moderate my swearing around very young children. I'm not a complete asshole.)
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Debparanoiaclub on January 7th, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC)
I actually prefer the wording 'There's probably no God' to 'There's no God'. Its the antithesis of the religious adverts which, if you follow the URL on the adverts, lead you to this delightful website with quotes like "Unless you have believed on Jesus you remain dead in your sin –without God and without hope in this world or the future." Oh, and if I reject Jesus 'God’s wrath includes the prospect of eternal punishment'.

Its funnier and just, well, more British somehow!
Benbenicek on January 7th, 2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
I think it was a good choice of words. I've bought the T-shirt incidentally.

http://www.atheistcampaign.org/store/

Gods are a non-falsifiable hypothesis. They cannot disproved. Therefore stating "there is no god" is in itself a faith-based belief (strictly speaking). I'd be a tiny bit uncomfortable with this stance.

Use of the word 'probably' is more accurate, because the weight of evidence suggests that it probably doesn't exist.

I feel that this simple choice of words sends a provocative, positive and far more complex message: Humanism is a rationalist philosophy which does not claim to have a monopoly on truth. This sets it apart from almost all other religions.
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sta_kittensta_kitten on January 7th, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC)
Ok, so I see the point that atheists saying there is no God would be a faith position and such however, telling me not to worry because there probably isn't a God isn't the way to get me to stop worrying ...if I were one of those people who was worried about the existance of God
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sta_kittensta_kitten on January 7th, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC)
I thought the point was to stop people worrying which it hasn't

and most of the ppl talking about them seem to have wandered on to how offensive it is to sing on buses...
eulipious on January 8th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
Successful for promoting busses?
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eulipious on January 8th, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC)
You should do PR for the Church Of England's evangelical wing. ;-)
sta_kittensta_kitten on January 8th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC)
If they offered me the job I'd soooo take it...I'm pretty sure I could do better advertising then they're currently doing...I'm also available for other religions...possibly using the same material and just changing the name of the god/gods or no god/gods
sta_kittensta_kitten on January 8th, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC)
Christian Voice seem to think 'probably' makes it a fact
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article5478036.ece

I'm not sure they're going to be able to convince anyone of this...going back to my first post..the 'probably' makes it a lil wishy washy and therefore not a fact that can't be back up with evidence...
Bathycolpian Infidel: blackadder other newssorscha on January 9th, 2009 01:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Christian Voice seem to think 'probably' makes it a fact
That's the whole point of atheism though - we don't have proof. Neither do we have proof of God. Scientific evidence would suggest God is highly unlikely, but there's nothing as yet to explain what actually happened at the start of everything. Using anything but the word "probably" would be a lie.

And while the campaign might not have stopped you from worrying, it's 'probably' helping people out there who might be too frightened to admit their true beliefs to their very religious families. It's a message letting them know, "You are not alone and you're probably right".

Anyway, do you honestly only try to be a good person because you're afraid of punishment from an invisible creator? I find that hard to believe. That seems a cold and depressing way to live.