There’s probably no God

“There’s probably no God.”  So billboards on buses will soon say in London, England.  The British Humanist Association (BHA) raised money to purchase the ad space, with a matching contribution from Richard Dawkins.  The entire slogan reads “There’s probably no God.  So stop worrying and enjoy your life.”  Read the full story here.  I must admit I’m surprised.

Richard Dawkins is one of the foremost leading voices for atheism alive today.  He is what Becky Garrison refers to as one of the New Atheists that is not just content to not believe in God, but has launched a war against all belief in God.   What surprises me is that Dawkins would settle for such a weak position.  “There’s probably no God” is not spoken with nearly the certainty with which Christians recite the Apostles’ Creed.  I’ve never sung a hymn nor heard a street preacher shout “There probably is a God.”  The slogan even allows the possibility the God may exist.  If all atheists were this soft, I probably wouldn’t give them such a hard time. 

*Click here  to read my review of Garrison’s book The New Atheists Crusaders, and their unholy grail.

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24 thoughts on “There’s probably no God

  1. Pingback: Best webBlogs reView » There’s probably no God

  2. No matter what you believe, I would think that all people feel that they have done things that were “bad” and should not have been done. Wouldn’t you like to know for sure that all of those sins are forgiven? If yes, the only way to know this is through accepting Jesus as your Lord. You are gambling with your life if you are assuming there is no God.

    Let’s say you are right and there is no God. What are the options? You trust Him and the world never ends and you just live here forever as you are. No skin off your nose.

    Or, you don’t turn to God and the world does end and you are sent to live in hell for all of eternity? Do you really want to risk the chance that this is true?

    http://www.OverflowLiving.com
    “Learn to enjoy the good life that God planned for you!”

    Reply from The Master’s Table: The argument outlined above is commonly known as Pascal’s wager, and is a weak premise for evangelism. There are far greater reasons to believe in the gospel than to get “fire insurance.” I allowed the comment, but notice the commenter did not read the post. I’m obviously not saying there is no God. (That was obvious, right?)

  3. Pascal’s wager is a fairly good apologetic tool, in that it demonstrates the inherent injustice in atheism/secularism/materialism. If the atheist is right and the theist wrong, the atheist will never KNOW he was right and the theist will never KNOW he was wrong, given that life ends at death. The theist can persecute, ridicule or mock the atheist all his life and the atheist is never vindicated and the theist never shown to be wrong.

    As far as evangelism goes, I have serious doubts that anyone has ever come to Christ because of Pascal’s wager. “Gospel preaching” that involves this tactic is probably more manipulative than it is evangelistic.

  4. So hang on… someone must be investing money / raising funds for this? Who exactly is extreme enough to think that pushing people to be less religious is a more worthy cause than, say, helping starving children in Zimbabwe or Darfur genocide victims?
    Makes you wonder…

  5. Thanks for the comment on my (brief!) post on this subject. Glad to have found you, and I shall read more of your stuff when I have time.

  6. Dude,

    As I mentioned briefly in the post, atheists are waging war on all types of faith. I recently watch a video on YouTube of a girl ranting for 9 minutes about why an atheist would care about religion. Appearently religion starts wars, deprives people of their rights (mainly abortion) oppreses women and others, etc. The problems of the world would be eliminated and we would live in a modern Utopia if all people of religious faith would just give up and live normal lives. That’s the common atheist line of thinking, and it’s gaining an audience. There is an atheist movement. Many of them have more religious fervor for atheism than the average, marginal Christian.

  7. What surprises me is that Dawkins would settle for such a weak position. “There’s probably no God” is not spoken with nearly the certainty with which Christians recite the Apostles’ Creed.

    I think it’s a common misconception amongst the religious that atheists claim certain knowledge of the non-existence of gods. The vast majority are “weak atheists” – who would agree with the statement “There’s probably no God”.

    The following article quotes Dawkins directly on this:
    “Dawkins’ central argument against religion is probabilistic, and his scale of belief reflects this, ranging from 1: ‘Strong theist. 100% probability of God’ to the equivalent 7: ‘Strong atheist’. He doesn’t see 7 as a well-populated category, placing himself as 6: ‘Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist’.”

    The reason “Strong atheism” is not believed by many people is that it is as logically indefensible as solipsism – the idea that the world is nothing more than a figment of your imagination.

    I admit I am suspicious of anyone who spells truth with a capital T or makes claims with absolute certainty. Perhaps they are compensating for a lack of evidence, or maybe it’s because their beliefs couldn’t survive doubt or honest investigation.

    Again contrary to what you may have been told, the vast majority of atheists do not desire a banning of all religions, with Bibles confiscated, etc. They wish for freedom of belief (including non-belief) and the non-interference of religious views in public matters. So for example, you wouldn’t have to be a Christian to get elected. The morality of a person’s actions would be determined by their consequences and the harm they do.

    The best way to find out what someone believes is to ask that person, not someone commenting on them. For those not aware, Humanism could be summed up as, “In the absence of evidence for any god or gods, we might as well try to do our best for humanity during the short stay we have on Earth.”

  8. Eshu – According to you, a “weak atheist” says that there is probably not a God, but falls short of saying there is not one. There is a word for that type of theistic uncertainty; agnostic. An agnostic says there may be a higher power of some sort, but does not know what it is. An atheist, by definition, believes that there is not a God. Here lately, some atheists have gotten more aggressive and not only do they not believe in God, they don’t think anyone else should either. I’m not talking about the “vast majority of atheists,” but about a new breed of atheism which is spreading. Click the link to Becky Garrison’s book.

  9. They’re probably wrong but…

    In as much as our organization exists to teach people of the character of God, we do, of course, disagree with the philosophy that “There probably is no God…”

    Never-the-less, so long and they do not demean others as they express their beliefs, atheists have as much right to publicly express themselves as others.

    We cling to God’s promise that “…he rewards those who EARNESTLY seek him” Hebrews 11:6, and we testify to the fulfillment of that promise.

    David

    “Helping change lives one bus ride at a time”

    David Harrison, President
    Bus Stop Bible Studies

  10. Never-the-less, so long and they do not demean others as they express their beliefs, atheists have as much right to publicly express themselves as others.

    Thanks David, I hope we can agree on some definition of “demean” that is objective and doesn’t include simply disagreeing with someone’s beliefs. Sadly for some, disagreeing with their deeply-held beliefs is taken as an insult.

    We cling to God’s promise that “…he rewards those who EARNESTLY seek him” Hebrews 11:6, and we testify to the fulfillment of that promise.

    Well, many atheists are former Christians (myself included), earnestly seeking the truth. I hope you’re not saying that anyone not finding God obviously wasn’t seeking earnestly enough.

  11. Clark,

    That sounds just like the Christian one.

    Dude,

    Who exactly is extreme enough to think that pushing people to be less religious is a more worthy cause than, say, helping starving children in Zimbabwe or Darfur genocide victims?

    Do you feel the same way about the erection of enormous crosses?

  12. Eshu,

    Yes, I definitelly do feel the same way about that. There are many good causes out there if you are looking for places to donate your money. If your heart doesn’t ache for the starving people in Africa, and you prefer spiritual things, there are still better causes than enormous crosses. Like bible translations to languages that hasn’t been translated to yet, for example.
    Or the work in progress as we speak in Israel by the Bible Society in Israel to make the first ever cross reference system for the Hebrew old testament. There are tens if not hundreds of them in English, and not even one single for the original language. How can we expect jews and other native Hebrew speakers to find the Messiah in their Bible if we don’t at least give them a tool to find Him by themselves?

  13. I had a friend once who was an agnostic. He was also dyslexic and suffered with insomnia. Poor guy would lay awake for hours each night and wonder if there really is a dog. I myself often struggle with the concepts of heaven and hell. I don’t think any of us have all the answers, but we do all have our faith; whether in God or that there is no god. Ain’t free will cool?

  14. RT – After the first sentence, I almost bought that. I believe that joke goes: Do you know what a dyslexic, agnostic, insomniac is? That’s someone who sits up all night wondering whether or not there’s a dog. Nice twist.

    And that my friend just got you on the blogroll.
    (Hover over your name and read the description)

  15. I heard about a girl who was diagnostic – she knew there was something wrong with her, and was trying to work out what it was. 🙂

  16. Pingback: There’s “Probably” No God - Says British Humanist Association « Thinking Out Loud

  17. Atheism equates to the existential state of outer darkness. The aetiology of atheism is much different to that of polytheism, and it’s ontological resultant agnosticism.

  18. Pingback: Definitely maybe « Cubik’s Rube

  19. Pingback: Why Atheist Buses Rock « Fitness for the Occasion

  20. Clark,
    you just touched the tip of an iceberg. I would like to explore this topic more, maybe break it down into the following parts.

    · Would you call this reverse psychology?

    · Have you encountered someone so afraid of hell that they became a Christian?

    · Is negative thinking OK if it leads to a positive outcome?

    Some atheist claim they turned away from God, (at least the concept of a god), after encountering Christians spewing venomous insults about unbelievers. And the same can be said of some Christian who begun seeking God after observing the depravity of mankind.

    It is said of Carl Sagan that the more he tried to disprove the existence of God, the more he wondered if the existence of God might be a workable theory. One of Carl’s quotes; “Personally, I would be delighted if there were a life after death, especially if it permitted me to continue to learn about this world and others, if it gave me a chance to discover how history turns out. “ –Carl Sagan.

    Glen Haun
    “Lov’n the Lord & Liv’n the Life…”

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