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

Monday, January 19, 2009

23 Comments

Written by Scott Gilbert

The slogan "There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life" may be coming to a bus near you.

Across Britain this slogan appears along the side of many public transportation vehicles and is funded by an array of atheist groups. Now a group based out of Toronto called the Freethought Association of Canada is making moves to get this message plastered all over the place in downtown Toronto.

At present, the TTC and the ad agency involved in booking the ads are reviewing the content to see if violates any rules.

The fundraising website atheistbus.ca was launched recently by Chris Hammond who is a first-year student at York University and a member of the Freethought Association.

The group said it hoped to raise $6000 to purchase bus ads and is soliciting the public for contributions. At the time this article was posted the group had already more than doubled its target for contributions at $12,900 and counting.

"There's atheists that are out there. This will show them they are not alone," Mr. Hammond said.

Would you support pro-Atheist bus ads in Guelph? Please comment below and vote in our online poll.

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  1. Posted by: itshardtopost on Jan 19, 2009 @ 11:58am

    If the buses in Guelph can proudly display "This is a child, not a choice" then I don't see why we can't have this message on buses.

    All for it!

  2. Posted by: oh boy on Jan 19, 2009 @ 12:46pm

    I can just imagine the barrage of comments this will spark up 0__0

    *cowers in the corner*

  3. Posted by: lol on Jan 20, 2009 @ 5:28am

    i think its great...freedom of speech, everyone should have an open mind!

  4. Posted by: RebeccaS on Jan 20, 2009 @ 10:07am

    I think that it is a really bad idea. It could potentially be offensive to more than just one religion. I mean, the concept is great, atheism is a minority, and minorities need publicity to become a major player in culture. However, is it a good idea to vociferously post something that directl belittles independant thought and cultural diversity itself. I don't care what religion you are, the majority have some form of belief that involves a God or multiple deities. It is ok to have an open mind, but media should not shove ideas down our throats. Come on, you should be able to get on a bus and not have to contemplate your deepest most private relgious views. A bus is not the place for this. People just want to get to school/work in peace.

  5. Posted by: itshardtokeepquiet on Jan 20, 2009 @ 10:51am

    I agree with Rebecca. It's definitely just for shock value. If the beliefs were widely accepted or debated with intelligence (which they are already), they need not this extreme method. It's not about to convince anyone that, "oh shit, my god don't exist. well shucks."

    To be clear, I also don't think a bus (let alone any place) is the place to advertise the "This is a child, not a choice" ads that run.

  6. Posted by: Joe Blow on Jan 20, 2009 @ 12:18pm

    "minorities need publicity...A bus is not the place for this."

    Tell that to Rosa Parks.

  7. Posted by: Chad on Jan 20, 2009 @ 3:25pm

    @Joe Blow:
    ZING!

  8. Posted by: Chad on Jan 20, 2009 @ 3:26pm

    @RebeccaS

    >It could potentially be offensive to more than just one religion.
    Offensive? Isn't one of the central concepts of Christianity or Islam or Judaism that there is only one true god and that your faith is unwavering and stedfast, a reassurance of his benevolent and divine presence?
    We aren't to question anyone else's assumptions or perspectives?
    Good thing you're at university, learning and applying those critical thinking skills…

  9. Posted by: Chad on Jan 20, 2009 @ 3:28pm

    >I mean, the concept is great, atheism is a minority, and minorities need publicity to become a major player in culture.
    Saying that since atheists are a minority isn't quite accurate. For you see, atheism is defined as being a non–believer. The difference between you and an atheist is that an atheist simply denies the existence of one more god that you do. All monotheists are atheists where gods other than their preferred deity are concerned. Unbelievers!
    That aside, what exactly are you trying to say? That you support similar public funding for atheist organizations that religious groups receive? I'd agree with you "vociferously" on that.
    Or that as a "minority group", you support giving atheists "publicity", which is what this program will do, and runs contrary to your purported position.

  10. Posted by: Chad on Jan 20, 2009 @ 3:28pm

    >However, is it a good idea to vociferously post something that directl belittles independant thought and cultural diversity itself.
    Is it a good idea to "vociferously" post something that directly belittles independent thought by arguing against allowing independent thought in public? Especially when it's independent thought that calls in to question your dogmatic beliefs?
    How does belonging to a religion make you a part of "culture", yet atheists, well, not only are they godless, but they have no culture either!
    [I enjoyed another chuckle at your expense. The image of the person posting the story doing so in a "vociferous" manner is humourous. I can see Scott Gilbert mashing his keyboard, slamming on his mouse/trackpad button. Perhaps some frothing as he did so.]

    >I don't care what religion you are, the majority have some form of belief that involves a God or multiple deities.
    You don't care as long as we're part of a religion? One that believes in a single or multiple gods?
    That's open–minded.

  11. Posted by: Chad on Jan 20, 2009 @ 3:29pm

    >It is ok to have an open mind, but media should not shove ideas down our throats.
    It's far more than "ok" to have an open mind. You don't seem to want to have to put on that face when you read an advert on a bus.
    Is EconoLube shoving their ideas "down our throats" when they rent billboard space somewhere? Why aren't you railing against the proliferation of advertising and the loss of public space to private interests if your concern is with media omnipresence?
    It's unfortunate your delicate sensibilities have been put into a state of disequilibrium by the mere thought of this happening in your current home, and that you seem to have personalized this to a great extent.
    Let's consider the aforementioned adds re: abortion, that are put in place and funded by faith-based groups. It's not "media" (though I really expected you to say "THE media", like it's a big conspiracy or single entity. Maybe even "The Liberal Media!" as was en vogue in the US leading up to and during the last election), it's the people who wrote and paid for the advert saying, "Our truth is The Truth!"

  12. Posted by: Chad on Jan 20, 2009 @ 3:31pm

    Which is a far different message from "(S)top worrying (about an invisible man in the clouds and whether you've done enough to impress him to get on his magic list) and enjoy your life."
    To quote PZ Myers: "The message of atheism is personal responsibility. You cannot blame your wickedness on a rebellious ancestor with an appetite for apples. You cannot say the devil made you do it. Your actions are not dictated by invisible deities whispering in your ear. Your actions have consequences, and they are your actions."

  13. Posted by: Chad on Jan 20, 2009 @ 3:31pm

    >Come on, you should be able to get on a bus and not have to contemplate your deepest most private relgious views.
    As to Rebecca and her "deepest most private (sic)relgious views", if they were so private, then we wouldn't be subsidizing faith based groups with public money, or give them tax advantages [again, affecting public coffers for things like, transfer payments for infrastructure, post-sec funding, and health care, to name a few].


    >A bus is not the place for this. People just want to get to school/work in peace.
    What is an appropriate public venue for this kind of discussion? Where/when would you allow atheists/humanists to have overt symbols of their "deepest most private relgious views"?


    Let's consider words from the man who gets to escort G.W.Bush off the premises today:

    "Given the increasing diversity of America's population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers."
    -Barack Obama, "The Audacity of Hope"

  14. Posted by: harrumph on Jan 21, 2009 @ 11:15am

    "Zing" was more succinct.

  15. Posted by: Jess on Jan 21, 2009 @ 9:22pm

    I'm really sick of getting pro-life ads thrown in my face every time certain buses go by. Anything would be better than staring at a picture of a fetus and being told that it's a child.

  16. Posted by: Kris on Jan 22, 2009 @ 2:12pm

    you were a fetus once too, Jess. What made you into a child? Breathing air? Being self aware? Welcome to the endless debate of what makes you human and worthy of life.

    As for this bus, who cares? Stop worrying about our lives? Maybe a little morality might help our social situations.
    The wording is catchy though, "probably is no God"...and what if there is? Guess we're all screwed.

  17. Posted by: itshardtopost on Jan 22, 2009 @ 2:20pm

    A little religious morality might indeed help our social situation. Just ask all those people in the middle east about how religion has helped their social situation.

  18. Posted by: @kris on Jan 22, 2009 @ 7:19pm

    Exiting my mothers vag a la live birth was my graduation from fetus to child. When was yours?

  19. Posted by: Victoria on Jan 23, 2009 @ 11:35am

    I have no problem if this ad is a small ad inside the bus, like the ones for "It's a child, not a choice." What I do have a beef with would be if this ad was on the outside of the bus in huge gigantic letters like the ads are in the UK. If you want to express your opinion, that's fine, but please don't shove it in my face in big bold letters with a 10 foot (I am exaggerating here) sign. That, to me, is more disrespectful than productive, and I do find that offensive.

  20. Posted by: Veronica on Jan 23, 2009 @ 4:17pm

    I am an atheist and proud of it, however I do not fully agree with this bus ad. There's nothing I hate more than religious bigots preaching their beliefs to people who don't really want to listen, and this is no different. Yes, I am an atheist and I am opposed to religion, but I also do not think it is right to blatantly put down others' beliefs like that. In fact, it's downright immature, and obviously just there to stir controversy.
    A poster on a bus is not going to make any believer into an atheist, so what's the point? All it does is make atheists look pompous and arrogant.

  21. Posted by: Christina on Jan 24, 2009 @ 2:57am

    I agree with you Veronica. It's just about controversy.

  22. Posted by: Hammad on Jan 26, 2009 @ 5:16pm

    1. Why are they trying to get ppl to stop believing in religion? Seriously. (Veronica is correct.)

    2. What worry will anyone be free of if they choose to believe there is no God? Get rid of God and you're worry free? (Pay attention and you'll notice smthing. ~I recommend looking into Islam (the religion, not the ppl). ISLAM AWARENESS WEEK March 9-13 @ UC, btw; come with any questions!)

    3. They can come and publicize all they want, it won't effect me and many others, but if they go to the extent of actually bothering me or anyone - someone needs to be held back (and that should be the provoker).

  23. Posted by: TBK on Feb 1, 2009 @ 9:48pm

    I think one question you need to ask yourself is whether you would be offended by an ad on a bus that says "There is a god, Don't beleive? Enjoy hell" or "Praise Mohammed, for he will show you the way" or any other religious slogan.

    If you would take offence, then you have no right doing the same thing with an atheist slogan. Conversely, if you would support a slogan advertising support for your religion, you have no right to complain about an atheist slogan on the side of the bus either.

    Then again, there may be those that don't want to see either. That's fair as well.

    Personally I'm indifferent to the whole ad as it is not going to affect my beliefs and I have better things to do then worry about a sign on the side of a bus.

    Then again, I did take the time to write this.

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