There is No God

Or is there? An age-old debate that can’t be proved or disproved. But now the atheists have decided to campaign with a poster that first started on the sides of buses in England, with the slogan: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” I don’t know whether they actually capitalized god or not since this was put out by the British Humanist Association. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/7681914.stm

Canada’s Freethought Association is running a similar campaign and supposedly the BHA raised more money than anticipated, making their run of ads longer and more far reaching. http://freethoughtassociation.ca/n2ew/ Okay, so atheists don’t believe there is a god, or gods, or divine forces, or mythic animals, or talking snakes or whatever. They have felt a need to champion their side against various ads that have promised salvation or damnation.

This has upset some people, offending some religious groups with “probably” no god. Stephen Green (of pressure group Christian Voice, though I’m not sure what that means) , in the BBC Newsarticle said, “Bendy-buses, like atheism, are a danger to the public at large.” Errr, really? Like Christianity, and Muslim and all those other beliefs in which people have died for not believing or during a holy crusade or pogrom?  I wonder what the danger is, questioning things? That has got people into trouble since the beginning of time: human curiosity.

Of course, one of the star supporters is a writer named Richard Dawkins who said, “This campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think – and thinking is anathema to religion.” http://richarddawkins.net/article,366,The-God-Delusion-Review,Barney-ZwartzCBC-News Hmm, this guy starts to fall into the same realm as the religious right (any religious right) where they assume one thing and believe not only should everyone follow their version but if they don’t, they’re blasphemers or worse, should be killed for being unbelievers. Sweeping statements tend to fall into the realm of bigotry and blind faith, whether for believing in a god or believing there is none.

Dawkins is a bit into sweeping statements like the bendy bus guy. Thinking is anathema to religion. Noo, not really. But thinking is anathema to some religious sects or branches, those that tend to like the fundamentalist “our way or the freeway to hell” version of belief. Many religions enjoy and encourage open dialogue and discourse, and if one is firm in their faith, questioning it shouldn’t be a problem. Many theologians exist just to study religions, to ask and discuss questions. Maybe Dawkins is an atheist theologian.

I don’t care if one believes in a beard guy in a white nightgown, a sentient mist, the flying spaghetti monster, a three-headed talking god, sparkling fairies, or in the great abyss of nothingness. Every person should be allowed to believe in what makes them comfortable, as long as they don’t injure another in the pursuit of their beliefs. If any god needs people to campaign for it, then that god  is in trouble. I can see why atheists might campaign and there were some good points of view presented on CBC yesterday by a speaker for the Freethought Association.

I’m not an atheist, nor do I believe in the Christian god, but that shouldn’t matter. I can coexist with a whole bunch of belief systems and think that thinking about religion or there being no god is not a bad thing. And yeah, atheists should get their piece to say as well. Maybe it should be Atheists, capitalized. They’ll help keep a balance and I firmly believe church and state should be separate because power can be abused. There are some exceptions maybe, like the Dalai Lama, but I’d need to do more research into that before I could speak knowledgeably about it.

But I’ve always liked the signature line my brother (who loves to play devil’s advocate) put on his emails: “God hates me because I’m an atheist.”

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5 Comments

Filed under Culture, entertainment, history, life, myth, people, religion, spirituality

5 responses to “There is No God

  1. “There are some exceptions maybe, like the Dalai Lama”

    I could be talking out of my ass, but I’ve read some things that indicate that the Lama is not exactly the best of rulers. Being deposed, he’s fine and uplifting. But in charge, or so I read, he supported an elite and rich priest class and firmly suppressed the Tibetan peasants.

  2. SaraMiller

    i have read much of the same about the dali lama. that most of it is opressive under his rule

    • colleenanderson

      I have heard mixed things. It just that I really don’t think that the Chinese government is LESS oppressive than the Dalai Lama. And hey he hasn’t ruled Tibet since he was a young man. Why not let him try. I think countries and their governments go through changes from time to time. If nothing else, the Dalai Lama would have a much different perspective after this time and China just doesn’t have a great reputation of doing things for humanitarian purposes.

  3. “It just that I really don’t think that the Chinese government is LESS oppressive than the Dalai Lama.”

    And that is the question. I wish I knew the answer.

    Perhaps the Tibetans should be allowed to choose for themselves, or create their own government? In a perfect world, maybe.

    I honestly don’t know where I stand on this issue. But I don’t feel that the west should necessarily make a movement to try and prop up either side.

  4. BigDave

    I have actually travelled that part of the world. I can tell you the ‘peacefulness’ of the Tibetans is a media thing. However, the Chinese govt. is radical at best. They simply are good at hiding things from the public eye.

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