This is Just Getting Silly….

atheistbus460Now, a UK Christian bus driver has refused to drive one of the buses bearing the atheist slogan.

He said, “This is a public attack on people’s faiths. I have a lot of passengers who are over 90 or are seriously ill, and to tell them there is no God seems a bit insensitive, when God is probably all they have left in the world. Faith is a very important thing in people’s lives, and I think [the poster] pushes the issue too far.”

You know what? Even as an atheist , I agree with him.

But let’s get rid of all this advertising from both sides.

26 Comments

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26 responses to “This is Just Getting Silly….

  1. I find the dogmatic fervour of atheists to be as odious as the dogma of born again christians. God or No God- no one can prove either. Just leave God out of all of the rhetoric and our private lives.

  2. brucehood

    hear hear fadingad!..I noticed your cool blog on AI

  3. Same to you! Nice to see people of like minds with the same passion.

  4. brucehood

    Your site is really quite remarkable..take a look anyone out there.
    http://fadingad.wordpress.com/

  5. shamelesslyatheist

    Ah, yes. But would you agree with him when he has no problem with theistic advertising?

  6. brucehood

    two wrongs don’t make a right. The god ads should never have been allowed on public buses in the first place.

  7. brucehood

    but shamelessly…. I take your point, there are two issues here… one about ads and one about whether he should be allowed to not work

  8. I think anyone who disagrees with anything written in their place of work should be freed from all of their responsibilities. My department library contains the works of Immanuel Kant. I object heartily as many of his claims are false while others are not provable. So, I’m off to have a holiday.

  9. brucehood

    Heh Konrad… I love Kant ….Have you not read “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”???…

    I am sorry but that means that we can’t communicate anymore…. joke

    that’s what I mean by “silly”

    If we start to draw up these boundaries of belief, then it gets so messy.

  10. On the issue of fervent atheists being as bad as dogmatic born-again Christians… yes, I can understand and sympathise with this position. However, as someone who is quite often very vocal about his lack of belief, I tend to feel that much of the high visibility atheism we see these days is very solidly defensive — it’s a reaction to the encroachment of religion into areas where it simply doesn’t belong.

    I’m perfectly happy for people to believe whatever they wish but, as I say on my blog, when that starts to impact on the things we know — and to restrict rational enquiry — then I feel duty bound to speak up, as vehemently as seems necessary.

    All that said, this is indeed very silly. I think the atheist/humanist response was required — if only to spark debate — but this should never have been allowed to happen in the first place. There should have been no need for the response, but now that the point has been made I think it’s very definitely time to call it a day.

  11. In Michigan they wouldn’t sell me booze on Christmas. Something about it making baby Jesus cry.

  12. brucehood

    WELCOME Dr. Fong… I am a big fan and had your site as one of the first in my cool blogroll.

    But Dr. Fong, did you not have any alcohol in your pharmacy for pickling the toads?

    People go to Dr. Fong’s Store

  13. What can I say, I got halfway through “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” and couldn’t be bothered to read the rest. Frankly, I can’t even remember why. As for Kant, the only way that I can stomach him is via the Lorenz observation that what is a priori for the individual is a posteriori for the species. I guess that David Hume suits me a lot more, both in temperament and in philosophical outlook. As for Gary’s point, I think what it comes down to is not so much what one believes but why one believes it and how. It is possible to be a thoughtless, dogmatic atheist or a thoughtful, open-minded theist. It’s just more difficult.

  14. Arno

    I believe a recent bus add told me that “Karlsberg is probably the best beer in the world”. As a dedicated Leffe drinker, I take great offense in that statement and I will never take that bus again.
    As a matter of fact, I will throw stones at it.

    Seriously though, I believe that this campaign is exactly the thing that will stop advertisements for both religious and non-religious groups on public transport. And that’s a good thing too. So yes, in the long term I agree with you, Bruce, but in the short term that bus driver must get over it and get back on that damn bus. He is setting a poor example and actions like this just beg for abuse by other groups. I look forward to the first Muslim driver that refuses to ride a bus because there’s a advertisement for pork or dogfood on the side. I mean, imagine how offensive that message must be to them!

  15. brucehood

    To be honest, I also gave up on Zen & TAOMM
    about half-way through… but I worry about your emotional response to Kant.

  16. i enjoyed the comments even more than the post here! AND i certainly did enjoy the post…hehehe

  17. Gus

    Bruce, you’ll be unsurprised to hear that I completely disagree with the premise that buses shouldn’t have atheist slogans on them because old or unwell people might travel on them.

    The bus poster was conceived as a very small counter to the many and various specifically religious ‘advertising’ messages with which we’re bombarded on a daily basis. In a similar way, the recent Radio 4 ‘Thought for the Day’ slot given over (for the first time) to an atheist perspective should be seen in the context of the specifically religious content of every other contribution.

    All of these are commentaries on faith, of one sort or another. The idea that one should be disallowed because it happens to be contrary to the view of some (or even many) is, clearly, a bus without brakes, so to speak.

    Fadingad’s proposal that we should ‘Just leave God out of all of the rhetoric and our private lives’, whilst admirable seems regrettably unrealistic in the light of the history of the world.

  18. brucehood

    WELCOME Lawman2 , I am honored that one of the biggie bloggers should visit.

    Gus yes, I understand your position. But I am not sure that this campaign is working. It is “raising consciousness” as Dawkins would like but I find the whole thing irritating. People hold the strangest beliefs, and forcing a “be rational” campaign is unlikely to make one jot of difference to believers. Now if we were in a totalitarian society that would be a different thing.

  19. Gus

    You’re probably right – it won’t make much of a difference (no more, at least, than the huge posters outside churches telling us all what to believe) but, as a scientist surely you’d applaud any attempt to encourage people to be rational – whatever the nature of our society?

  20. brucehood

    Hi Gus, yes it needed to be said. The bus campaign was a good thing but sadly, as I get older, and review the evidence from how the mind works…. I think that rationality is over-rated.
    Harris and Dawkins might call me “an apologist” but I am a realist, and I know that people believe the weirdest stuff and hold down sensible jobs.

  21. Bruce, the point about people holding down sensible jobs while believing the weirdest stuff, that is pretty much one of the things that amaze me the most and, as a result, that motivate my own research the most. It really does seem that it is enough to just scratch beneath the surface of most people’s beliefs and you’ll find the most amazing weirdness. One part of it seems to be people’s readiness to hold opinions on topics where they have no reliable information and which are of no practical relevance. Personally, I find it liberating to often say “I have no idea and, thankfully, do not need to form one”.

  22. brucehood

    Too true Konrad… I do reseach on adults who keep hold of their childhood attachment objects. You’d be so surprised not only the number of them but also the various bizarre rituals they engage with them.

  23. Gus

    Now that would be a really excellent bus-side poster: “Does God exist? I have no idea and, thankfully, do not need to form one”. Much better than the one that’s caused all the fuss.
    Re rational people believing weird stuff, at a recent party I listened to a long story about how an (otherwise very rational) neighbour’s house was definitely haunted. At the end, his wife finished the story: “My problem with it is that I really struggle to find a theological explanation for it…”

  24. brucehood

    Gus & Konrad….That’s a winner… much funnier line, but it would need one of those long bendy buses to get it all in and you know how welcome they are.

    I hope you didn’t guffaw too loudly at the dinner party

  25. Arno

    Sweet; someone used the line for Russell’s Teapot!

    (for the argument itself, check wikipedia )

  26. Pingback: Just Stop It With the Bus Signs!!!! « Bruce M. Hood

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