I Am Probably the Way and the Truth… November 8, 2008

I Am Probably the Way and the Truth…

Jesus and Mo take on the wording of the Atheist Bus Campaign:

I like the word “probably” in the ad. It’s more honest. You rarely hear religious people saying they are anything less than 100%-certain in their faith. (Is that a contradiction?)

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  • justin jm

    I also like the word “probably” in the ad, but it doesn’t seem to register for some people. Case in point; even with the word “probably” in the ad, some English bishop was quoted in a (London?) newspaper saying that the backers of the ad are “fundamentalist atheists.”

    There must be a chronic dictionary shortage in the world. President-elect Obama’s going to have to do something about it.

  • J. J. Ramsey

    justin jm, do you have a link? I haven’t found anything quite like what you mentioned, though I did find something sort of similar by Roger Aubrey, whoever he is.

    Anyway, a bus billboard like that in the irreligious U.K. is okay, but when is it going to get on U.S. buses, where it’s arguably more useful?

  • The “probably” is good, but so many people have spoken out against it without realizing that it was only put there to appease the advertising agents. I doubt the campaign would have gotten very far with “there is no god” etc.

    The fundamentalists would have called it offensive or something. By saying “probably” the statement becomes half-neutral.

  • I would have preferred “There’s probably no god, but if there is, it for sure isn’t yours.”

  • justin jm

    I couldn’t find the original story, J. J. Ramsey. Here’s something close enough:


    Here’s the money quote:

    The religious think tank Theos said it had donated $82 to the campaign, on the grounds that the ads were so bad they would probably attract people to religion.

    “It tells people to ‘stop worrying,’ which is hardly going to be a great comfort for those who are concerned about losing jobs or homes in the recession,” said Theos director Paul Woolley.

    “Stunts like this demonstrate how militant atheists are often great adverts for Christianity.”

  • Loren Petrich

    Actually, in some of the debates on the merits of religion that I’ve seen, the believers brag about how doubtful they are — Andrew Sullivan did that with Sam Harris, there was some debate in Britain where someone did that, etc.

    But what counts is what they are doing when they are not trying to pose as the undogmatic ones.

  • I like the “probably” because it feeds into the whole get on with living your life idea. It sort of undermines the imperative importance of religious hierarchies.

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