Christian Voice Nonsense

Remember the atheist bus campaign in Britain? It's been outrageously successful in generating media hype and bringing the atheist voice to the forefront. And the campaign is spreading. Adverts have gone up in DC and Germany, and they're trying to get it going in Australia and Spain. Over in Britain, where the tender was first ignited, the Christian Voice lobby group is starting to complain, demanding that the atheists prove their claims in order to meet the requirements of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), namely that what they put on the bus meets the standards of substantiation and truthfulness.

Well, how hard can that be? After all, the advert reads "There's probably no God, now stop worrying and enjoy your life." When I first saw it, I thought it sounded a little wishy washy until I read that the "probably" was inserted precisely because of these ASA requirements. So, the atheists were smart. But the Christian Voice is demanding that these claims be proven. Now I doubt they'd ask for proof if the sign on the bus read "Jesus loves you". That would be pretty hard to substantiate. What do these Christians have to say for themselves in this case? Stephen Green, national director of the Christian Voice puts it this way:
"It is given as a statement of fact and that means it must be capable of substantiation if it is not to break the rules," he said.

"There is plenty of evidence for God, from people's personal experience, to the complexity, interdependence, beauty and design of the natural world.

"But there is scant evidence on the other side, so I think the advertisers are really going to struggle to show their claim is not an exaggeration or inaccurate, as the ASA code puts it," he added.

Hearing voices and a general feeling of well-being is not evidence for God. All his examples that he cites as evidence are subjective - that is, they are open to individual interpretation. In fact, if you had to weight the evidence for "there probably is no God" against "there probably is a God", you would find the negative case to be a clear favorite. On one side you find the bible and a lot of testimonials. On the other, you find science texts, theories, supporting observations, successful predictions, etc. to show that a god is not needed to account for all the things we see or experience.

Beyond this, I haven't really heard of any significant acts against the atheist bus campaign, at least over in Britain. That's a good sign. It shows tolerance towards those of differing beliefs - or non-beliefs. Hopefully, rational thought will shortly follow.


Tracy said...

Yeah. That makes complete sense. /sarcasm

Anonymous said...

The intense over-reaction to athesist statements is probably a sign that these Christians have some doubts about their religion.

I also wonder if they realize how much they're screwing themselves. It would be kind of funny if the people behind the atheist bus campaign filed and ASA suit against every church that advertises Sunday services.

The skepTick said...

It puts ASA and the Christian Voice in a very precarious position that will make for interesting reading if this proceeds to a trial.