Yes, I know this is old news. But now you can’t go two steps in Oxford without being greeted by this merry little message on the side of basically every bus that zooms past – and every time I see it I just get extensively cracked up!
I mean, seriously. “There probably is no God.” What kind of gung-ho message is that?! Honestly – they’re practically begging every resident of the UK to seriously consider Pascal’s Wager . . . which you know they never would have done in a million years otherwise.
What kind of atheism is this anyways? I think they need to get out more and read a bit more Nietzsche. Nietzsche would never have settled for a peppy little message in pink that contained the word “probably”. And that little word “probably” is no doubt unsettling numerous middle aged women across the nation who had never given it a thought up until now, and are suddenly wondering every five minutes if they’re willing to bet their soul on that very uncertain message.
They’re also selling t-shirts by the way. It’s quite hilarious that now there’s a category of atheist kitsch. It must mean that all those Christian billboards and John 3:16 shirts are working far more than I suspected they were. The atheists have finally had it up to here, and are now copying the pop evangelical methods of getting the message out there! It’s kinda fun to have it go that direction for once. It used to be that across from every music store in every mall there was the Christian answer to it – full of knock-offs and almost-as-good-as paraphernalia. But it’s quite hilarious to think of the atheists then having to put up their own little kiosk with their not-quite-as-powerful answer to the evangelicals . . . tacky little key chains with humanist slogans and “I’m pretty sure there’s no Hell” bookmarks and inspirational posters that say things like, “I don’t think that Final Judgments are very nice to think about.”
Itâ€™s quite heartening, really.
25 thoughts on “Takin’ it to the streets!”
Oh, you are your father’s daughter. Thank you for the laughs. SO many Christians would see this and start stewing.
That is hilarious. I haven’t seen anything that funny in awhile.
I smell a contest: come up with the best atheistic kitsch item!
Kay Arthur is getting pretty steamed about all of this post millienial business as well. It is kind of fun to know that we’ve got people worried.
Your commentary is hilarious.
It would be hard to come up with a funnier one that than the real one…
I think you nailed it: Christian retail has worked so well and promoted such a great brand of Christian living and culture, tha atheists want in.
That? They can have it. In fact, let’s give them that.
I wonder who sponsors those ads? I can’t imagine that the: “We might be atheists because there’s probably not a god” group would have many dedicated members!
Bekah told me it is sponsored by Richard Dawkins….I think that is the man himself in the picture.
Oh, but they’re being exactly who our culture wants them to be. Tolerant and “kind” enough to just simply suggest their thoughts, or feelings rather, because feelings are what we’re in to. I mean really, it’s catchy. “There is no God” just turns people away right of the bat. That’s smart marketing when you’re looking at modern evangelicals today. Most of us would advertise in pink, too.
Dawkins, huh? Didn’t he say we probably were spawned by aliens on the backs of turtles???
Wouldn’t bet the farm on that.
Quite the howl….. oh, and Kendra, if I rightly recall, Mr. Dawkins’ speculation was that life began on some OTHER planet (begging the question HOW???, not answered in the least) and the aliens from that place SOMEHOW brought it here… and, of course, left without a trace. He not only poses the same dilemma WE do, WHO designed and formed life, he sets it out THERE somewhere, and complicates the matter greatly by the transporting of it here then leaving no trace of the occurence. Seems he is either barmy himself, or having a laugh by having us on. No surprice he’s the one behind the pink words of comfort on the busses. Perhaps this is a landmark of sorts for him, having come round from THERE IS NOOOO GODDDDDD!!! to there’s probably no God….. perhaps the Jewish Ben Stein has got under his skin a bit? Take his logic to its bitter end, and one might make a good case for the statement “there’s probably no Richard Dawkins” I mean, is he DEAD CERTAIN he exists? And not some cosmic figment of imagination, or a meaningless (in the sense of the aeons) and random conglomeration of electromagnetic collisions? I rather expect the chap is having a great laugh on the lot of us who read those busboards. He can’t be serious, now, can he?
I think Richard Dawkins started it but then when people heard about it then they started to chip in – within a couple of days there was about Â£140,000 to finance these adverts.
I agree that it’s just plain funny. It has also given people great material for cartoons – this is my favourite: http://etrangere.blogspot.com/2009/01/abusism.html
I wonder if the adverts will actually be more effective than we think, and suspect that the atheists are being smarter than we’ve given them credit for. Rather than bother with definite statements and appeals to unfashionable certainty, they ‘playfully’ suggest the question is obviously unanswerable and the pleasurable way forward is to ignore God and enjoy life. I reckon Screwtape would be pretty happy with that one.
Wow! I guess Dawkins isn’t quite the confident atheist that I thought he was! It looks like he’d rather be hip with young ladies 1/3 his age then promote his atheism; at least that would explain the pink.
Didn’t C.S. Lewis write a story about a bus ride of unbelievers? Maybe Dawkins has been doing some reading, but he probably doesn’t remember where that bus ended up.
I just watched the Expelled movie again.
I think that Dawkins said that there was no PROOF of a God, not that there just plain outright was none.
Spot on! Thanks for this irony observed. I’ve quoted you on my blog.
Ha! And the battle intensifies…
Ha! So THAT’s the bus in The Great Divorce?!?! Hilarious!
They should make bracelets: WWDD? (What Would Dawkins Do?)
Rebekah, that was priceless.
No doubt Jonty is right about the intention, but for many people to be told by non-believers that probably God does not exist will turn out to be a stronger, more disturbing evangelistic message than to be told by Christians that surely He does.
Thank you Rebekah. As a born-Londoner, I was really shocked & annoyed by this silly “marketing” ploy, but you’ve given me a really helpful, refreshing perspective on it. Praise God indeed that he does have the victory over this nonsense!!!! 🙂
Anna Jeffers, UK
Thank you for your humor, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy yourself.” Christianity Today says the ads are from the British Humanist Association. The American Humanist Association has copied the Brits.
“Why believe in God, just be good for goodness sake”
I have a question for the Brits. What is the probability? What are the odds? Would a bookmaker give me odds? People who take the advice are betting on a very very long shot and will lose.
“He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Acts 10:42, 43 (NIV)
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)
“There’s probably no God; no judge, so lets continue to sin and not worry.” or “so lets continue to sin and worry even more because there might be God” or “lets pretend there is no God but try to be good just in case” or “I have already had my quota of sin so I might as well continue to sin. There is no hope anyhow.”
Thank you Bekah, thank you. I’m so grateful for folks that can eloquently “nail it” so well and so humorously. I had a good chuckle reading your post and had to put a little link to it on my blog.
I wish we could plaster those British busses with your response to the atheist slogan. That would get ’em all thinkin’!