The Raving Theist

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January 13, 2009 | 54 Comments

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54 Responses to “Daily Headline”

  1. qlb
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:31 am

    Dawkins is on to something, but he doesn’t take it far enough.

    There’s probably a God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

    Morality might exist. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

    I’m willing to bet that somewhere in England there is an uneaten key-lime pie. Now stop worrying, etc.

    Endless possibilities here.

  2. Kurt
    January 13th, 2009 @ 2:07 am

    There’s probably no free will. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

  3. Barbara
    January 13th, 2009 @ 2:16 am

    Funny, that one little word “probably” actually seems to twist the phrase right around to imply the opposite of its intended meaning “there is probably no God, no Final Judgement, No Hell, so stop worrying and enjoy your life”. It actually almost sounds like an ominous warning about those exact things.

  4. Beelzebub
    January 13th, 2009 @ 3:08 am

    The bus message isn’t the most interesting thing in that photo. Understandable that Dawkins is smiling.

    That’s probably shagalicious — yeah baby!!!

  5. jolly atheist
    January 13th, 2009 @ 4:06 am

    ‘Allegedly’ there is a God and Jesus is ‘allegedly’ His son. This is what needs be said. (according to AC Grayling)

  6. Taquoriaan
    January 13th, 2009 @ 4:53 am

    I always remark to the Dawkins clan when they say ‘I don’t believe in God, don’t worry and enjoy my life’ that I probably also don’t believe in the God they aren’t believing in. ;)

    It’s so strange… I stopped worrying after I found out there actually a God and am enjoying my life to the max.

    Atheists are opposed to what they think is religion or God, not to the real thing. ;) Which is a comforting thought for me. :)

  7. Melissa
    January 13th, 2009 @ 7:56 am

    LOL RT!

    There are “probably” no absolutes…..I think we can be absolutely sure about that. ;) LOL

  8. Christina
    January 13th, 2009 @ 8:05 am

    I can’t see the supposed logical connection between the likely lack of a deity and the enjoyment of life.

    Say I’m a victim of a stalking ex-lover who has already threatened to kill me twice, but is still at large. How would the idea that there’s probably NOT a deity going to allow me to relax and enjoy life?

    Say I have an inoperable brain tumor and three small children and a spouse who will be left inconsolable by my death. How would the idea that there’s probably NOT a deity allow me to relax and enjoy life?

    Say my teenage son has just been diagnosed with schizophrenia, has gone off his meds, and is living on the streets somewhere, convinced that space aliens are trying to get him and bound and determined to fight them to the death? How would the idea that there’s probably NOT a diety going to allow me to relax and enjoy life?

    Say my child has been kidnapped and is still missing after years of fruitless search. How is the idea that there is NOT a deity going to allow me to relax and enjoy life?

    Wouldn’t the idea of an afterlife with a loving deity be far more of a comfort than the idea that this sucky life is as good as it’s ever gonna get?

  9. Christine the Soccer Mom
    January 13th, 2009 @ 8:20 am

    Christina nails it on the head. Gosh, the idea that I’m alone in this big, awful world…that this Culture of Death has won??? Oh, man! Sometimes it’s bad enough to make me cry now, and I KNOW that God is there and Who wins in the end. That’s the one thing that continues to keep me going.

    Really, I highly recommend anyone who is thinking along the lines of this bus campaign to do something extraordinary. Read Spe Salvi (Saved by Hope), Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical. You don’t even have to pay for it – download it free online. It’s about 25 pages, give or take, with footnotes. But it’s a wonderful outline of why Christians hope, and exactly Who we place our hope in. (Hint: He is not being inaugurated next week.) The Holy Father has such a really wonderful way of presenting the idea of hope.

    And if you do it, keep an open mind (atheists are supposed to have those, right?) instead of reading it with the idea that you are about to tear it apart. Demonstrate your willingness to look at the evidence presented. At the very least, read it with the idea that you’re going to try to see what makes us Christians tick, not with the goal of ripping into us. You know…gain understanding for our point of view, just as you ask us to do for you in your unbelief.

    But when you read it, I do predict that at the very least, you’ll see why this bus campaign makes us laugh. We can enjoy life because we have true hope – the kind that has no beginning and no end. God has no term limits, you see.

  10. jolly atheist
    January 13th, 2009 @ 9:36 am

    Most of the commentators above do not seem to know or seem to have forgotten that the campaign started as a ‘counter’ argument to an earlier Christian ad saying “Those who do not believe will go to hell.” That’s why the slogan says, ‘don’t worry’. There’s no God and therefore, no hell.

  11. Brian Walden
    January 13th, 2009 @ 9:46 am

    Jolly Athiest, the reason I’ve heard for the “probably” in the ad is that advertising laws in Britain required it as they couldn’t definitively prove there is no God (I hope both believers and atheists can appreciate the irony). Do you (or anyone) know why the Christian ad wasn’t forced to also include a “probably?”

  12. Brian Walden
    January 13th, 2009 @ 10:07 am

    I did a little Googling, the original ad said “When the son of man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” and listed the website for jesussaid.org. In Ariane Sherine’s description she made it sound as if (while not explicitly saying) that when she went to the site she immediately received the warning about hellfire. The “lake of fire” bit is under the second to last link on the site, God’s Wrath Against Sin (the only link after it is Contact Us). And in the context of the page it’s under the last section, “What are the consequences if you reject the answer?” – in fact higher up on the same page it says, “However God is also a compassionate God and in His mercy has provided a solution to the problem of sin and the sins of each person.”

    While the jesussaid.org site seems a little cooky to me, it doesn’t appear that they ran a bus add specifically to tell people they’re going to hell (as the common story has evolved into). I personally think the secular humanists’ message of “There probably is no God” is much more controversial than the Christians’ “When the son of man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (which adds yet another layer of irony to the whole situation).

  13. jolly atheist
    January 13th, 2009 @ 10:19 am

    BW You are right about the ad agency insisting on ‘probably’. As far as I know, AC Grayling wrote an article insisting that, in this case, the ad agency should use ‘allegedly’with Christian ads from now on. Stephen Green of Christian Voice is trying to remove Dawkins’ ad, saying that it has no proof. However, atheists do not take him seriously. We’ll see altogether what the ad agency is going to do. I think the problem arose now, because this is the first serious attempt of the atheists acting together. In my opinion, until now, Christian ads were not a problem because faith is such a widely accepted phenomenon, no ad agency dared or cared to question it.

  14. Brian Walden
    January 13th, 2009 @ 10:35 am

    Just for a little humor, does Budweiser run it’s “drinkability” ads in Britain. I’ve yet to see any evidence that such a thing as drinkability exists.

    I guess the laws are just weird over there. Most advertising claims here in the States are unprovable; they know that if they say something that is provable and it’s wrong then they’re in trouble. So the usual advertising message is something in the line of “X will make your life better.” Is that not allowed in Britain? Or are people just being nitpicky because these ads are religious in nature?

    I’m personally happy to let both sides say what they believe in the ads that they pay for, but from a prudential standpoint I doubt that billboard evangelization is very effective – at least as a means of communicating ideas. If your message is “Come to our church service or secular humanist meeting, we’ll welcome you with open arms” that’s probably going to be a much more effective advertisement than telling people what they should believe in 20 words or less. Is the advertising of religious ideas common in Britain, or is it just the latest fad?

  15. Christine the Soccer Mom
    January 13th, 2009 @ 11:29 am

    I found another bus campaign (in Washington, DC, I think) and linked to it, as well as this post.

  16. Ellyn
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:22 pm

    Nuts…and I was counting on that fiery comet to solve that little overdraft problem.

  17. UnspeakablyViolentJane
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:34 pm

    All this mockery serves the humanists right for rejecting my slogan suggestions.

    “Hey Morons, You sure are stupid.” ~Paid for by the UK Atheists.

  18. Christine the Soccer Mom
    January 13th, 2009 @ 1:46 pm

    Jane, that cracks me up.

    ‘Course, Christians with a combative attitude aren’t going to get anywhere, either.

    “Hey, heathen, you’re going to burn in an everlasting fire. LOSER!”

    Yeah, way to win ‘em to Christ, buddy. Very Christian-like of you.

    *eye roll*

  19. jolly atheist
    January 13th, 2009 @ 2:06 pm

    The buses in Washington roll: “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness sake!” If you want to follow further news, buses and ads in England, Spain, Germany, Australia etc.: http://atheistcampaign.org If you want to follow or make a donation: http://www.justgiving.com/atheistbus

  20. UnspeakablyViolentJane
    January 13th, 2009 @ 2:19 pm

    Christine, I’m so glad someone got my humor. I posted that elsewhere and got a lot of froth from both sides.

    JA, the Washington buses sounds much better.

  21. James Stephenson
    January 13th, 2009 @ 3:09 pm

    There’s probably no sensible Dawkins argument. So stop worrying and get on with your Christianity.

  22. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 3:21 pm

    Were you ever going to do anything else? Honestly. So do your thing and let others do theirs provided no actual harm comes to you as a result of their choices. How hard would that be?

    If you believe in Jesus, let him sort it out. After all, you are not big enough for that job.

  23. James Stephenson
    January 13th, 2009 @ 3:54 pm

    ‘If you believe in Jesus, let him sort it out. After all, you are not big enough for that job.’

    – Irreligious

    If you had the cure to cancer, you would probably want the cancer-ridden to come and be healed.

    I believe I have stumbled upon something more important than the cure for cancer.

  24. Irreligious
    January 13th, 2009 @ 4:01 pm

    But you don’t have the cure for cancer. You have a strong conviction in your beliefs. That’s all. And they are a dime a dozen in this world.

  25. skeptimal
    January 13th, 2009 @ 4:16 pm

    The interesting thing about this discussion is that it underscores how uncommon non-theistic messages are in our societies. There is no gasp of horror (or even news coverage) when Christian messages appear in public (unless they imply government endorsement).

  26. Chris Sanford
    January 13th, 2009 @ 5:12 pm

    How do we know the Bible is truly the Word of God?? There are over 25,000 archeological finds that verify the Bible, there has never been one, I repeat there has never been one archeological find that disproves the Bible!! That is a pretty good track record. Many secularist and other non-believers in the Bible will say that the N.T was not complete until the end of the 2nd, the beginning of the 3rd century A.D. This is another lie that the evolutionist and non believers conjure up to discredit what God has said. The fact is, if you go to the writings of the early church leaders (who wrote from 90 to 127 A.D.) you can from their quotes and their sermons compile the N.T. in its entirety!! So that says the N.T. was complete and was in good circulation before the end of the 1st century. Another indisputable proof t the validity of the Word of God.
    Yet the strongest argument for the authenticity of the Scriptures is the fact of fulfilled prophecy. This is truly the nail in the coffin when it comes to whether or not the Bible is truly the Word of God. Isaiah 46:9-10 says “I am God and there is no other, I am God and there is noone like Me, I declare the end from the beginning.” So God says He declares what is to come, the future. Do we see this in the Bible. Isaiah 45 names King Cyrus by name 200 years before he was even born. The Dead Sea Scrolls prove that Isaiah wrote that before and not after Cyrus came to power. Ezekiel 26 God says that the city of Tyre would never again be rebuilt and the only thing it would be used for is to dry fishing nets, the very purpose it is used today!! Psalm 22 is a Messianic Psalm, it mentions some of the last words Jesus spoke from the cross “My God My God why have Thou forsaken Me?” It says they divide My clothes and cast lots for them, this Psalm says dogs have surrounded Me (speaking of Gentiles), it says they have pierced My hands and My feet. This was written 1100 years before Christ came to this earth. It was written 800 years before crucifixion was even practiced and yet it says they have pierced My hands and My feet. Micah 5:2 says Christ would be born in Bethlehem, Zecheriah 12:10 says they will look on Me whom they have pierced. All written before Christ came into the earth.
    Jesus fulfilled hundreds of prophecies when He lived here on the earth. The mathematical odds for Jesus to fulfill 7, (keep in mind He fulfilled 100’s) would be the same odds as you someone covering the entire earth in 4×4 white tiles. Hiding a gold star under one of them, and you walking up on the very 1st try and finding that gold star. By the way, you are blindfolded!! This would absolutely be impossible, think about the mathematical odds of Jesus fulfilling all the prophecies that He did!! It would be impossible yet with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26

  27. nkb
    January 13th, 2009 @ 5:32 pm

    Chris Sanford,
    Regurgitate Christian propaganda much?

  28. abnoxio
    January 13th, 2009 @ 5:38 pm

    “Jesus fulfilled hundreds of prophecies when He lived here on the earth.”

    Which ONE prophecy do you think Jesus fullfilled?
    Give us your favorite one.

  29. Christina
    January 13th, 2009 @ 6:13 pm

    After I left for work this morning, I realized that the message is really about as dismal a message as you can give to anybody who isn’t having a jolly time in this life: “There is probably no hope. Go try to have fun anyway.”

    The idea that this life is all you get isn’t so bad if you’re rich, smart, healthy, and loved. But if you’re flipping burgers for a living, or your kids are sick, or your loved one has died, or you’re facing any sort of crappy life, “This is probably the best it’s ever gonna get” isn’t a very cheering message and not conducive to enjoying life.

  30. jolly atheist
    January 13th, 2009 @ 7:36 pm

    Chris Sanford:

    1. “There are over 25.000 archeological finds that verify the Bible..” This is verification of the presence of the book, not that it’s Word of God.

    2. “NT was good in circulation before the end of the 1st century. Another indisputable proof to the validity of the Word of God” Again, this proves that there was a book, not that the book was Word of God.

    3. From Wikipedia about Dead Sea Scrolls:
    “While some of the Qumran biblical manuscripts are nearly identical to the Masoretic, or traditional, Hebrew text of the Old Testament, some manuscripts of the books of Exodus and Samuel found in Cave Four exhibit dramatic differences in both language and content. In their astonishing range of textual variants, the Qumran biblical discoveries have prompted scholars to reconsider the once-accepted theories of the development of the modern biblical text from only three manuscript families: of the Masoretic text, of the Hebrew original of the Septuagint, and of the Samaritan Pentateuch. It is now becoming increasingly clear that the Old Testament scripture was extremely fluid until its canonization around A.D. 100.” [3]

    4. Theological explanations are not considered as proof in a philosophical argument. On the other hand, historical data about that period of the fertile crescent is very controversial. There are several sects, mystical interpretations, use of pseudo king and prophet names, gnosticism, esoterism, etc. It is very difficult to claim that some phenomenon has truly taken place or that something is true in the scientific sense.

    5. Just take into consideration that the age of the universe is not 6000 years as was revealed! Try to imagine what could happen in billions of years. Evolution did not take place in a few thousand years. Just for comparison I will give a few examples from the year 1908, so that you see how much change can take place only in 100 years:

    Life expectancy was 47 years old.

    Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind,regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.”

    The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 30.

    Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used
    Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

    Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.

    Five leading causes of death were:

    1. Pneumonia and influenza
    2. Tuberculosis
    3. Diarrhea
    4. Heart disease

    5. Stroke

  31. nkb
    January 13th, 2009 @ 9:09 pm

    Christina,
    So wishful thinking is a valid reason to believe in god?

  32. Louise
    January 14th, 2009 @ 12:59 am

    There is probably no God. So, relax, you probably won’t go to Hell.

  33. Louise
    January 14th, 2009 @ 1:02 am

    Chris Sanford,
    Regurgitate Christian propaganda much?

    Probably wouldn’t have to regurgitate it so much if atheists would actually address it. Probably.

    *Yawn*

  34. Louise
    January 14th, 2009 @ 1:08 am

    The bus message isn’t the most interesting thing in that photo. Understandable that Dawkins is smiling.

    That’s probably shagalicious — yeah baby!!!

    Well, Beelzebub (gosh, that suits you!) she’s probably up for it. She probably won’t have an STI. She probably won’t get knocked up. Her father will probably not shoot you with his shotgun.

    You will probably not learn how to treat people as anything other than probable fuck-buddies…

  35. Irreligious
    January 14th, 2009 @ 1:16 am

    Are devout Christians allowed to say “fuck?” Seriously.

  36. Louise
    January 14th, 2009 @ 1:17 am

    The interesting thing about this discussion is that it underscores how uncommon non-theistic messages are in our societies. There is no gasp of horror (or even news coverage) when Christian messages appear in public (unless they imply government endorsement).

    I don’t know that I’d agree with the second half of your statement, but I think you’re right about the first half.

    OTOH, non-theistic messages are just so unappealing, aren’t they?* So maybe that accounts for it.

    *Unless you’re about to do something a bit shabby.

  37. Louise
    January 14th, 2009 @ 1:27 am

    Are devout Christians allowed to say “fuck?” Seriously.

    Sure. In context. While armed with appropriate proof-texts. And after adhering to obscure, but ancient rituals. And prior to ritual cleansing.

  38. Irreligious
    January 14th, 2009 @ 1:33 am

    Hmmm. Hardly seems worth it after all of that.

  39. Irreligious
    January 14th, 2009 @ 1:36 am

    I like fornicating-friends. It’s alliterative and it sounds more reproving.

  40. Louise
    January 14th, 2009 @ 2:24 am

    fornicating-friends

    Never heard of it. Hasn’t caught on I suppose.

  41. Skeptimal
    January 14th, 2009 @ 8:41 am

    Are devout Christians allowed to say “fuck?” Seriously.

    Louise answered: “Sure. In context. While armed with appropriate proof-texts. And after adhering to obscure, but ancient rituals. And prior to ritual cleansing.”

    Oh now stop it. If you keep up that kind of humor I’m going to start liking you.

  42. BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)
    January 14th, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

    >Are devout Christians allowed to say “fuck?” Seriously.

    I reply:Yes & no.

  43. Pauli
    January 15th, 2009 @ 10:17 am

    Instead of absolutes… Probablutes?

  44. jolly atheist
    January 16th, 2009 @ 11:19 am

    News from the atheistbus: News of a driver refusing to drive an atheistbus,made the donations surge.

  45. Kenneth Hynek » Blog Archive » Is New Atheism really all that “New”?
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:19 pm

    […] the same thing that Richard Dawkins and his ilk are currently saying (albeit in fewer words) from the sides of London buses. (Personally, I half-suspect Dawkins is less interested in anyone actually reading the banner, and […]

  46. Vince R
    January 17th, 2009 @ 2:04 pm

    Its beautiful it is, that Bus. I am so in love with it. Roll on, roll on, roll on you beautyyyyyyy
    http://www.adoptanatheist.blogspot.com

  47. Vince R
    January 17th, 2009 @ 2:16 pm

    Christina, you said: The idea that this life is all you get isn’t so bad if you’re rich, smart, healthy, and loved. But if you’re flipping burgers for a living, or your kids are sick, or your loved one has died, or you’re facing any sort of crappy life, “This is probably the best it’s ever gonna get” isn’t a very cheering message and not conducive to enjoying life.

    But what if this life is all we do have? Should we not try to make the best of it we can? The problem with orthodox Xtianity is that it strangles the bit of hope we DO have right out of life with the doctrine of salvation. If you do not believe in jesus, you are damned. Try these links, do they give you hope?

    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Basics/hellisreal.htm

    http://www.av1611.org/hell.html

    http://www.precious-testimonies.com/Exhortations/f-j/IsHellReal.htm

  48. jolly atheist
    January 23rd, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

    News from the atheistbus: Advertising Standards Authority has ruled in favour of the atheistbus campaign, in spite of the 326 complaints.

  49. Адриан
    May 27th, 2009 @ 2:04 am

    Ну конечно, жизнь не может быть идеальной :)

  50. Денис Милюков
    May 27th, 2009 @ 1:11 pm

    Мне вот интересно, а комменты которые не нравятся автору здесь удаляют? :)

  51. Banker
    September 9th, 2009 @ 6:58 am

    Спасибо!
    Отличная информация!

  52. Deon
    December 19th, 2011 @ 8:34 am

    I much prefer informative articles like this to that high brow leitrautre.

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