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Lighter Moment: Why Richard Dawkins’s anti-God bus ad campaign would tank in Australia

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In “Atheists Pick on God” (Sydney Morning Herald, November 2, 2008), Simon Webster explains:

LONDON buses will carry the slogan “There’s probably no God” next year, in a campaign paid for by an atheist organisation. Transport chiefs say it would never work in Sydney, where commuters wait at bus stops for so long that they eventually die and go to heaven, where God tells them: “There’s probably no bus.”

The British Humanist Association and prominent atheist Professor Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, are paying for the ads. They believe God is nothing but a figment of the human imagination, much like the T-Card and the North West Rail Link.

The news comes at a time when record numbers of Sydneysiders say they have lost their faith: despite all the promises of a second coming, there never will be an extension to the light rail network.

Premier Nathan Rees has called on them to find it again quickly: if Sydney Ferries is privatised it may be necessary for commuters on the less popular routes to learn to walk on water …

The rest here. The campaign would never work in Toronto either. Here, once you give up waiting for the bus and call a taxi, the bus turns the corner just as the taxi pulls up – which proves that the atheist’s explanation of the universe cannot be quite right.

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Macchi, Chrisitanity doesn't claim that everyone knows what 'good' is. It claims there is an absolute good that can be known. In our fallen state we don't really care about it. That's why we need Christ. What you are stating is what the Bible addresses as 'every man did what was right in his own eyes'. That is where we are now. Relative 'goodness'. It's exactly what Scripture predicts happens when we get away from God's absolute good. ellijacket
My first thought (and sorry to jump in on your conversation) is that 'abuse' by the very definition of the work cannot be 'good' in any sense. Abuse, by its very nature, is a negative thing. Now, if you mean (as I think you do) that what if you think that hitting a child is a good thing? Does that make it good? Well, the only way to answer that is with another question, that being, good for who/what? Clearly it is good for you, just on the basis of the question. So when you ask
Does that make child abuse good?
whom do you think makes the final decision? Because good is a relative term no matter how one uses it. Whether it is good for me, good for you, good for the universe, or even good for God (or the gods). Just because God thinks something is good, does not necessarily make it so, does it? Why? If there is some overarching 'goodness' that exists (a huge if) and is somehow innately known in all of us than we would all act the same in each circumstance and there would be no good, because good cannot exist without bad. If there is some overarching 'goodness' that exists and is not know to us, it's a useless discussion. We have to do the best we can making relative choices about what we think is right and what we think is wrong as a community. If there is some overarching 'goodness' that exists and is known to use, but we can innately follow it the rules, we have to do the best we can making relative choices about what we think is right and what we think is wrong as a community. If there is no overarching 'goodness', well, we have to do the best we can making relative choices about what we think is right and what we think is wrong as a community. Winston Macchi
If there is no independent definition of what good, love, or truth is then how can we know? What if I say, and truly mean in my heart, that child abuse is good. That's what is really coming out of me and is 'truth' for me. Does that make child abuse good? If not, by whose definition and how does that definition carry any weight? ellijacket
Digdug: I understand there is mental illness and that chemicals can affect me. As a Christian I believe we live in a fallen world and that corruption has come in through fall. Thus bipolar disorder can have an affect on someone. Leaving the extremes out at the moment....When I typed this message was it a response that I made or was it predetermined at the big bang that I would type this message (factoring out quantam physics)? It's important to know. If it's really pretty much determined then there is no good or bad, love, truth, or anything else that worthwhile for that matter. We're just a bunch of dirt that walks around. The Bible says we are a bunch of dirt as well but made in God's image. We have a spirit that's part of the equation. We can love, know truth, know good from bad, etc. It's not faked through chemisty but a real thing. Love is a real thing. How you decide to look at this has huge ramifications for all 99.9999% of the world holds dear. ellijacket
Digdug: "To show that predestination is more a concern of theism than of atheism." How does your rhetorical question show that? Vladimir Krondan
"Quantam physics" --------- Since God created quantam physics I don't think He has to worry about it. So, if I am guided by my brain chemistry do I have free will? If yes, how so from a materialist point of view. If no, then nothing I do is really what it seems. It's all fake chemical reactions. On God being more obvious...Paul touches on that firmly in Scripture and states that it's obvious from viewing creation that God is real. It's really a matter of worldview from there. ellijacket
Digdug: "if God knows everything, then doesn’t he already know exactly everything I’m going to do all my life?" The answer to your rhetorical question is yes. What is the point of your rhetorical question, by the way? Vladimir Krondan
"Predestination and atheism don’t have anything to do with each other. In fact, the question is usually posed the other way around: if God knows everything, then doesn’t he already know exactly everything I’m going to do all my life?" --------------------- Actually, the whole idea of free will comes from the idea of God. I've never seen a materialist that believed in free will. I've always been taught that God's sovereignty and my free will did not conflict. Kind of like a chess game. I can move my pieces however I like and so can God. I can do anything I want but ultimately God's purpose will be done since he is the omni-chess player. With materialism I don't get to make the move I want. I have to do what the chemical reactions tell me. Therefore, the love isn't real. Big difference. ellijacket
That's funny what you say about Toronto. I got to live there for one year (I'm an American). I loved the public transportation system. The TTC, the buses, they always got me where I wanted to go. My friends from Toronto, though - they complained all the time about the system. Maybe it's the difference in expectation between a visitor and a residence. feebish
Sydney is the second priciest place to park your car ... in the world!!! Apart from those poor Londoners in the West End, in Sydney you'll pay a median daily rate of USD54.47 and monthly at USD774.76. That even blows midtown New York away. Brisbane and Perth (two Australian Capital Cities) are also in the top 10. Thankfully, there is a lot of Australia, so just park closer to the centre ... and walk. AussieID
"There's probably no God"... I really do wonder what numbers Dawkins is going by. He has admitted that the existance of humans is astoundingly improbable on a cosmic scale, has he not? And yet here we are. I think an ad campaign in which buses carry the slogan "There's probably nobody at all" is in order. Zakrzewski
That was hilarious. On to a serious question...I'm a believer and a YEC guy. I hang out here because it's interesting stuff and I enjoy it. I've been thinking about materialism. If there is no God, matter/energy/etc. is all there is, and I have no free will then that means everything I do and everything everyone else does or has ever done was determined at the big bang. Is that a correct statement? I've tried to remove myself from my beliefs and ponder that. It would mean that the hug I just gave my daughter and the love I felt at that moment are not real. They are chemical reactions that had to happen based on the bb. The joke my other daughter told that made me laugh...she had no choice. She had to tell that joke and I had to find it funny. The more I ponder it the more I can't believe that people can hold this position. Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled article comments. God says, "There's probably no bus.". I love it! ellijacket

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