“…now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”
According to BBC news, bendy-buses with this slogan could soon be running on the streets of London.
‘The atheist posters are the idea of the British Humanist Association (BHA) and have been supported by prominent atheist Professor Richard Dawkins.’ In Dawkins’ (humble) opinion, ‘this campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think – and thinking is anathema to religion.’
On the same day, (Tuesday 21st October 2008), two rather more sobering stories were also in the news:-
In the first story, the charity Serve Afghanistan has suspended operations in Afghanistan after a British volunteer, Gayle Williams, was shot dead in the capital Kabul. The Taleban said they killed her for spreading Christianity.
In the second story, a journalism student from northern Afghanistan has had his controversial death sentence for blasphemy commuted to 20 years in jail. Sayed Pervez Kambaksh, 24, was sent to prison in October 2007 after reportedly downloading material from the internet on women’s rights in Islam.
These two distressing stories will provide the British Humanist Association and Prof Dawkins with further ‘proof’ that religion is a ‘bad thing’.
Christians, far from being pathologically unable to think (as Dawkins supposes) actually have several thoughts to offer on this matter:-
- We think that religion is neither a ‘good thing’ nor a ‘bad thing’. It is either or both, depending on what aspect of what religion you are talking about.
- We think that Professor Dawkins (along with other polemicists such as Christopher Hitchens) have done little to advance the intellectual debate about religion because of their refusal to take any religious argument or evidence seriously. They take the worst examples of religious ignorance and bigotry and treat them as if they were typical.
- We think that the comments frequently made by unbelievers against religious people do not commend the atheist ’cause’ as either reasonable or tolerant. A couple of examples from supporters of the Atheist Bus Campaign: ‘I don’t need to be told by some paedo what is right or wrong’; ‘The God-Botherers won’t like it up ’em though: nor the Islamist loons.’
- We think that the claim ‘there’s probably no God’ is arrogant and unreasonable. It is widely accepted that the universe began with a ‘big bang’ roughly 14 billion years ago. Atheists have no explanation for this event. Prof Dawkins rather lamely says, ‘We’re working on it.’ Atheists are unable to improve on the theistic account of the origin of the cosmos.
- We think that a large portion of what many atheists regard as ethical behaviour is derived from a theistic (and often a specifically Christian) world view. Atheism is, in a specific and non-perjorative sense of the term, parasitic.