Saturday, January 10, 2009

Agnostibus Comments Roundup

Pretty much everyone has had their say on this, and whether Christians should be welcoming the ads or trying to get them banned, so here are a few links:

Update: more passengers on the bus:
Dave Bish is doing a talk on the campaign, and would like some ideas.

Nick Baines finds the whole thing rather cheering. Good follow up post on language, tactics, and what kind of stuff we should get offended by in the first place.

Tim Norwood sees it as a gift to preachers everywhere.

Jonathan Bartley at Ekklesia wonders if Christians should be advertising in the first place, or whether the medium distorts the message.

...and the original list....

Kouya Chronicle, "I thought that the posters on the buses were great: they got the question of faith and religion out into the public arena, which is extremely difficult to achieve in the UK"

Doug Chaplin "Stephen Green really is a pillock"

Ruth Gledhill "there will be an inquiry. What fun!"

Bishop Alan notes the similarity between the ads and a certain brand of doughnut.

The Richard Dawkins fansite is, shall we say, unimpressed with Christian Voice. To be honest, so are a lot of Christians, but more politely.

Greensboring makes a fair point: "Are these people so fragile in their faith that they can't bear the thought of even seeing the existence of other points of view?"

Vegas Cohort (ht Friendly Atheist) posts with 'how I wish more Christians would respond' "Well, what made these people feel it was necessary to put these ads on buses in the first place? Maybe its them who are striking back, at us, not starting a fight or anything. Maybe we started it... We should feel sad that we make Atheists feel like they need to defend themselves, sad that they are getting aggressive and pushy, because we caused it. We caused it because we made them our enemy ". Cracking post, Gromit.

Marketing Fundi looks at how the atheist bus campaign got off the ground, and became such a success.

Very funny photo at Sacred Sandwich.

and the Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley have, surprisingly, done the maths:
according to the Sherine Principle, there's a 60% chance of God existing in England, a 100% chance in Saudi Arabia, and a 5% chance in Islington.... in order for not believing in God to be (on a risk/reward basis) worthwhile:

dH * L * (1-p(G)) must be greater than H(h) * E * p(G)
where dH is the difference in happiness if you don't believe in God

L = the average human lifespan
p(G) = the probability of God existing
H(h) = the happiness of heaven compared to those in a state of hell/oblivion (again, taking into account the Church of England)
E = the length of Eternity.

which pretty much sews it up.


  1. Thanks for linking to Marketing Fundi.

    Just as an side, if churches and ministers could work out how to create a tribe they would have packed services all week. People do want to follow. And they want to follow ministers/churches. So where is the message going wrong?

  2. Of course, Bartley's critique has nothing to with the fact that a rival Thinktank got more publicity out of its response to this one.

  3. Anja - interesting point. In one sense the gospel does create a tribe, a brand new family with a new identity, it would be interesting to have a marketeers take on how we go about sharing our faith. Of course, Christians aren't asked to 'market' Jesus, it's a relationship not a product, but we could still learn plenty from folk who do it for a living.

    Doug: you might think that, I couldn't possibly comment!