I know the short atheist bus issue is getting stale, but I thought I should comment on it because it keeps coming up. To get the gist of the story, read this article.
The first thing that comes to mind is the message itself: “There’s Probably No God. Now Stop Worrying And Enjoy Your Life.” I don’t know about you, but the word ‘probably’ isn’t the word I would have gone with. ‘Probably’ leaves room for error. Had it said definitively that “There is no God” I might have left it alone. But if life after death is a possibility, ‘probably’ is not a chance I’m willing to take.
Whatever it is you believe, you need to consider why you believe it. A public advertisement telling you not to worry about it isn’t helpful because there’s no introspection. You should worry about… well not worry, but think about it.
Moving on. My question to you is would you care if Toronto (or your city) welcomed this sort of advertising?
To answer my own question, if irreligious advertising makes the bus any slower then I definitely care. Otherwise, I don’t. I feel that any sort of political or religious promotion is for the people who belong to those groups. If I’m a liberal, I don’t care if the NDP bash my leader in their commercials and I’m certainly not swayed by a few lawn signs. That’s not how persuasion works… at least not for me. If atheists want to promote their beliefs, it’s a free country. Will I take their word for it based on a bus? Probably not.
Actually, I would argue that most atheists (the thoughtful ones, not the angry, System-of-a-Down listening anarchists) wouldn’t want people to take the ad at face value. From what I understand, atheism is a serious study. What do you think?