October 24, 2008

Famous atheist Richard Dawkins supports ad for Agnosticism?

Famous atheist, Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, is supporting a London advertising campaign promoting atheism. One would think an atheist would not see much value in evangelizing others to atheism, but evidently Dawkins and the British Humanist Association (BHA) think otherwise.

According to MSNBC, the BHA has raised $113,000 for the ad campaign with Dawkins donating $9,000. The ad appearing on the side of London buses says the following:

“There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

Atheism, however, does not use the word “probably” in reference to the existence of God. Interestingly, Dawkins in Ben Stein’s recent movie, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, said that he is 99% sure God does not exist:

Evidently Dawkins, the BHA and author of the ad, Ariane Sherine, are not actually atheists, but are agnostics. Or perhaps they are hedging their bets as evidently 21% of atheists did who expressed a belief in God in a recent Pew poll. Interestingly, Dawkins admitted that he “wasn’t wild” about using the word “probably,” but apparently he wasn’t too bothered by it because he supports an agnostic message to promote atheism. Apparently in Dawkins’ world this slogan will make people think - and thinking is anathema to religion.”

Sherine said, "Atheists believe this is the only life we have, and we should enjoy it." Evidently enjoying life entails accepting that God “probably” does not exist. Oh happy day! …..probably……for agnostics…ur uh, atheists that is….oh you probably know what I mean!


Bramsey said...

I don't understand why agnostics, or atheists for that matter, would feel the need to evangelize in the first place. Both views are explicitly posed as ones which not only affirm the nonexistence of any type of diety, they also stand against any concern for it. Why should any of them care? As for the slogan itself, it reads as a plug for hedonism or egoism more than the agnostic intent. How very confusing for the observer.

Anthony said...

Its is interesting to see Dawkins, a man who prides himself in his rationality, be so irrationally. thanks for the post. great stuff.


Reuben said...

"Thinking is anathema to religion." -Richard Dawkins
Wow. I'm pretty sure when Mr. Dawkins mentions religion, he's thinking about Christianity. Even though I disagree with Mr. Dawkins, I can see the basis of the formulation of his above mentioned statement. Christians today, and for that matter, even a lot of Hindus and Muslims (I am from India), really don't put a thought to why they believe what they believe. If you go up to most of them and ask them the tenets of their faith they will be clueless. And a lot of this of course has to do with power hungry clergy (the medieval Roman Catholic Church, many present Christian demoninations, the brahmins in the Hindu caste system, etc)in most religions who discourage the laity to study and ask questions because it may free them from the religious grip that the clergy has held over them for ages. It is pathetic.
However when you get down to the core of Christianity as a thought system, philosophical system or a religion, it is a very rational faith. Not only that, it requires a disciplined, analytical, thoughtful mind and much work to study the scriptures to truly understand them.
Coming back to the main topic however, I agree with Bramsey. Why even care to tell others if there is no God? I guess one possible answer is to enlighten everyone else to the fact. But why care? It does sound like an excuse for unbridled hedonistic lifestyle.

Gypsyboy said...

I hate to burst your bubble, but any good scientist would never say absolutely that something does not exist. No matter how convinced he or she is that there is no god, the fact of the matter is you cannot prove a negative. Any person trained in scientific thinking will tell you this. However, this does not distract from the overwhelming evidence that stands firmly against religious convictions that there is, or even could be, a god. The failure in communication is not on the part of Dr Dawkins, but rather it is on the part of those who do not understand.

As for why people who do not believe in a god would bother to "evangelize"... that is clear. The falsehoods, the dangers, the delusions, etc, that come from a religious lifestyle are offensive to anyone who has the fortitude to stand up to the brainwashing.

In short, the fewer people there are out there who push their unfounded beliefs on others the better.