A new advertising campaign will be running the slogans 'There is probably no God, now stop worrying and enjoy life' on the side of London buses. (HT Dave Walker).
The Beeb report quotes Richard Dawkins:
Professor Dawkins said: "Religion is accustomed to getting a free ride - automatic tax breaks, unearned respect and the right not to be offended, the right to brainwash children.
"Even on the buses, nobody thinks twice when they see a religious slogan plastered across the side. This campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think - and thinking is anathema to religion."
'Accustomed to getting a free ride' says the Oxford academic who gets a prime time TV slot for his anti-religious propaganda.
'Unearned respect' - sure, if you discount founding the school system, hospitals, welfare state, care for orphans and the homeless, not to mention several Premier league football clubs, and most of the founding fathers of modern science.
'The right to brainwash children' - really? Scientific evidence please, Mr Dawkins, you've obviously not heard of the national curriculum.
'thinking is anathema to religion' - it may be anathema to certain campaigning atheists (did you read your own book reviews?), but that's just insulting nonsense. Most great thinkers have been people of religious faith, several were strongly motivated by their religion to 'think God's thoughts after him'.
And as for that slogan: who is actually worrying because they believe there is a God? What research there is seems to show that people of faith have longer and happier lives, and are more content with their lot, than those without. It's more a counsel of despair to claim that this is all there is, that your life has no greater purpose or meaning, and that you are the product of random chance plus time and nothing more, and that survival of the fittest is the only 'moral' system which goes with the grain of the universe. If you get run down by one of those buses, tough, you clearly were too stupid or slow to react not to get ejected from the gene pool.
The original idea actually makes a bit of sense: a Guardian writer who saw Bible verses on buses and found that the advertised website told her she'd burn in hell if she didn't accept Jesus. The thing is, if this is so off-putting, you don't actually need adverts for atheism. I'm pretty sceptical about Bible verses in public myself, especially if they're from the King James version. The Alpha 'questions' campaign is much better, and somewhere in the middle is the 'Billboards from God' that ran in the US a few years ago.