Saturday, February 07, 2009

Got God?

This is an ad that I'd like to put on a bus. Go here to make your own ad.
My ad reads: "Arguing About God is Dumb. Have A Nice Day. P.S., Eat Your Vegetables"

You may have heard about the atheism ads in the U.K. that were placed on buses. Well, in a new twist that sounds like something out of a Monty Python skit, the "believers" are striking back with their own series of ads:

LONDON, Feb. 5 -- Three Christian groups in Britain are putting ads on city buses proclaiming that there is a God, a reaction to a high-profile atheist campaign here that has spread around the globe. From the United States and Canada to Italy, Spain and Australia, nonbelievers have been placing anti-religious ads on buses -- usually seen promoting toothpaste, cellphones and other products -- and stirring up national debates about God. Thousands of people in Britain recently raised $200,000 to place an ad on 800 London buses that reads: "There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." Now, just as that campaign has ended, the Christian Party is putting up its response: "There definitely is a God." The Russian Orthodox Church's bus ad reads: "There is a God. BELIEVE. Don't worry and enjoy your life." And in the next few days, the Trinitarian Bible Society will be posting a line from Psalm 53:1: "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." (Read the whole thing here)

I've been pondering the so called "new atheism" or "militant atheism" for some time. I've been asking myself why I don't feel compelled to combat it in some way. There are incredibly brilliant people of all faiths who are debating God's existence with Dawkins and Hitchens and so on. What I've discovered is that atheism simply bores me. I don't mean that athiests themselves are boring. Their ideas and arguments are boring. Trying to convince someone who doesn't believe it that God exists strikes me as a huge waste of my time. Secondly, atheists have not been very successful in their efforts. The vast majority of people on this planet believe in a deity of some kind and that belief isn't disappearing any time soon. The New Atheism strikes me as a mirror image of religious fundamentalism, it is a world view that has failed to capture the imagination of the masses and so must be argued more stridently in the hopes that someone will listen. The voices of 21st century atheism (like fundamentalism) sound more desperate than confident to my ears. If ads on the side of a bus are the best that atheists can do, those who believe in God have little to fear and should just get on with their lives.