Thursday, January 8, 2009

"Probably" as in "You probably won't get eaten by an alligator" or "probably" as in "It probably won't rain today"?

I'm kind of shaking my head over the ad campaign from the British Humanist Association (aka atheists). They paid 140,000 pounds to buy ads on the sides of 800 buses and other vehicles in England, Scotland and Wales, and the reason is understandable--even laudable: Comedy writer Ariane Sherine who devised the campaign "was inspired to seek donations after objecting to a set of Christian advertisements on a bus."

When people went to a highlighted website address, they were told that whose who rejected God were condemned to spend all eternity to "torment in Hell".

Ms Sherine said she sought donations for a "reassuring" counter-advertisement.

The problem, though, is that they undermined their own position! The slogan plastered on the sides of these buses, as you see above, is: "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

Ummm...probably? Have you never heard of Pascal's Wager? "Probably" doesn't exactly cut it. The real problem is the nature of the God being promoted (assuming there is a God, of course). If people believe in a wrathful God, this ad is not going to help.

I appreciated the Church of England's response. Among other things, the C of E spokesman said, "Christian belief is not about worrying or not enjoying life." Thank you! Put that slogan on a bus!

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