If you’ve been hanging around London lately, you’ll no doubt have noticed some posters like the one depicted on the left there, informing us that “there’s probably no god, now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”
These have been put up by the British Humanist Association. To some extent, I can sympathise with the motives behind it – after all, if religious groups can put up adverts, surely anti-religious groups should be granted equal freedom. The “probably” has been condemned as a little bit wishy-washy, but seems perfectly sound to Yr. Humble Chronicler. The argument there is that as we can’t prove there is no god, saying outright that He/She/It/They don’t exist is a faith position.
Of course it wasn’t going to end there.
This is the point at which I lose sympathy for both sides. First of all, it bugs me that there’s this “Christian God or no god” concept. If, say, Islam produced a poster like this, the Daily Mail would no doubt be up in arms. Actually, there was an Islamic poster campaign – the “Proud to be a British Muslim” one. Now there’s a nicely non-jackassish slogan.
Secondly, Britain does not need a campaign like this. We’re a multicultural society. Take this sort of thing to the Middle East or to the US Bible Belt. Over here, people generally don’t give a damn about your religious views, so long as you aren’t a dick about it. Speaking personally, I’m an atheist. I have never been discriminated against because of it. Nor do I particularly feel the need to convert every believer in the land. Contrary to what many militant atheists would have you think, religious representatives aren’t leaping out from behind every tree trying to convert me. If anyone seriously proposed teaching creationism instead of evolution in the UK, they’d be laughed out of the room. All in all, this is not the sort of country that needs a holy tiff like the above.
Let me tell you a secret. Militant atheists and militant Christians love each other. Seriously. Go to YouTube, look up a video for either point of view. Huge numbers of comments from both the militant atheists and the militant Christians, very few in-between points of view. I mean, if you hate this person’s views so much, why don’t you stay away? Why do you have to keep going at each other? Seriously, militants, if this were a romantic comedy it would end with you totally getting it on with each other.
I wonder how much it would cost to fund an advertising campaign with the slogan “Believe what you like, just don’t be a jackass about it.”
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