Sunday, January 11, 2009

There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

I'm giving a talk in five weeks (unless the baby arrives around then!) at Bristol University that in some way is a response to the atheist bus...  very helpfully raises some of the key questions for me to engage with.

If anyone would like me to wear this t-shirt whilst giving the talk, please feel free to offer to buy me one (£13+p&p) or contribute towards the cost. Medium/Black.

More information at
T-Shirt's at Blue Apple Music
Ariane Sherine in the Guardian

The bus campaign is said to be a response to hell-fire advertising by Christians - which you do see occasinoally in stations etc. It's real equivilant is the less-prescriptive Alpha approach which raises questions like "If there was a God, what would you ask him?". No harm in using ad-space to get people thinking either way as far as I can see.

The probably has produced much debate for various reasons - I'd say it helps promote conversation. As for the conclusion draw "now stop worrying and enjoy your life" is an interesting comment on the perceived effects of claim of God's existence. Particularly since it was Jesus who said, don't be anxious and was somewhat of a joy-promoter. That said, if you're atheistically inclined I suppose the possibility of there being a God who might hold you accountable for what you do could cause you some concern...

Anyways, I'm provoked by it to think more. How should I approach the talk I'm giving? Should I look at the word probably - and the whole question of evidences? Should I look at our motivation as we approach the question and whether we might be predisposed to want there to be no God? Or some other angle.

Comment welcome.

Update: Hmmm: A Christian bus driver has refused to drive a bus with an atheist slogan proclaiming "There's probably no God". Ron Heather, from Southampton, Hampshire, responded with "shock" and "horror" at the message and walked out of his shift on Saturday in protest. Seems a shame to respond that way. Maybe atheist bus drivers will boycott Alpha Buses...?