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Previous Entries

January 16, 2009

Atheist bus ads may be crossing the pond

Posted by Melissa Wilson at 01:01 PM ET | Comments (3)

Last week This editor Graham F. Scott blogged about a group of atheists in England who raised money to buy ad space on 200 London buses with the slogan: "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

Now the Globe and Mail is reporting that the ad effort may soon be making its way to the streets (and subways) of Toronto. York University student Chris Hammond launched last week, and hopes to raise at least $6,000 to buy ad space on the TTC. The ads are meant to be a reaction to the Christian ads featuring Bible quotes that can sometimes be seen around Toronto. He told the Globe,

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

More entries on: Atheism

January 06, 2009

UK public transit ads promoting evangelical atheism

Posted by Graham F. Scott at 02:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

Atheist ad on side of London bus

A new ad campaign launched on British public transit systems today promoting atheism. The campaign was spearheaded by readers of England's Guardian newspaper website Comment Is Free, who together raised more than £135,000 ($230,000 CAD) to pay for the campaign (they say their initial goal was £5,500 and 30 buses, a deliberately modest goal that they have far exceeded, as obviously intended). In London there are 200 buses sporting the ads, and more featuring quotations from prominent atheists throughout history (Emily Dickinson, Albert Einstein) will be put up in the London Underground next week. More are on the way in Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, York, Cardiff, and several other cities.

Is the world ready for evangelical atheists? We're about to find out.

More entries on: Atheism

March 09, 2007

The God Discussion

Posted by shawnsyms at 12:31 PM ET | Comments (16)

Over the past month, I got into the habit of reading Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion on the bus and streetcar most mornings. I try to walk to work as much as I can but it's been just too cold!

It's proven to be a very controversial book, and with its shiny cover with the title in big letters, I'll confess I've been a bit afraid someone pious might come up and accost me as my Ossington Street bus roars through some of the more church-lined parts of the trip to the office. And there's a section called "Stalin and Hitler were atheists, weren't they?" that reproduces and later dissects some of the arguments of Hitler and Stalin. I'd hate to have a person sitting next to me read some Nazi propaganda over my shoulder and become hurt or offended.

Ironically enough, getting over the fear of hurt or offense is one of the key thrusts of Dawkins' book. He believes that religion on the whole does more harm than good, and that people shouldn't shy away from making that case. He also makes provocative arguments against the religious indoctrination of children.

After reading both the book and much of the hype surrounding it, the hype—including the argument that Dawkins is a "fundamentalist atheist"—doesn't hold up. The God Delusion doesn't mince words, is bound to offend many, and may in fact be "preaching to the (atheist) choir"—but it offers some fascinating challenges to progressives.

On the one hand, many people involved in movements for social change, and doing greatly valuable and important work, get their philosophical inspiration from a deep spiritual commitment. On the other hand, it is in fact problematic that religion is seen widely as the one area that is untouchable in terms of rational inquiry. Across history and cultures, different religions have been in various positions in terms of social power and in relation to one another. The bottom line is that all of them should be equally up for discussion.

More entries on: Atheism | Religion

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