You can be skeptical and friendly at the same time.
Follow Patheos Atheist:
I haven’t seen these blogged about much so I figured I’d put them up here.
They are the tube cards that are plastered on buses all across London as part of the Atheist Bus campaign.
Nice. I really like the positive humanist message here.
They’re all good.
Those are awesome! I want to print them out and leave them as tracts for others to find.
I love that Douglas Adams’ quote more each time I read it.
I am so glad they used the Einstein quote. Few things rankle me as much as believers’ attempts to claim Einstein as their own.
Wasn’t Einstein a deist? I mean, it’s a fantastic quote, but by trying to imply that he’s an atheist, that card’s misrepresenting Einstein just as much as religious people mis-quoting his “God does not roll dice with the universe” bit.
Emily Dickinson was also a theist (at least at times).
That it will never come again
Is what makes life so sweet.
Believing what we don’t believe
Does not exhilarate.
That if it be, it be at best
An ablative estate –
This instigates an appetite
Einstein was no supporter of religious beliefs, which he regarded as “childish superstitions”.
Emily Dickinson clearly rejected the Calvinist views surrounding her and firmly rejected the idea of “original sin”. She can more closely be identified with Emerson, Thoreau and others as a transcendentalist in her temperaments. Truly, her views as seen in most of her poetry were closer to those of the pantheists of today which included Albert Einstein and Carl Sagan, if not in specific membership then, in the least, in spirit. In any event, Emily’s religion was clearly unique to her, centered far more on nature and the human heart than “god” and, in any event, kept very private until her poetry was discovered by family after her death and subsequently made public to celebration.
Pingback: There’s probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life. | ars libertatis
Wasn’t Einstein a deist?
I think he was a pantheist actually. He considered the universe to be god. In other words, he didn’t believe in a supernatural being. As Richard Dawkins puts it, it’s “sexed-up atheism.”
Great advertising campaign, and a proof that unbelievers can also be moral. Actually, humanism might be the strongest moral, as it is the only moral that is not subject to any supernatural belief.
Pingback: 5 F with More Snow….grrrr « blueollie
I think the Dickinson and Einstein quotes are in line with the “probably” part of the campaign, as neither were like today’s atheists, but both rejected the idea of a personal, judgmental God figure. I really like them
I only wish we had something similar to this on our trains and busses in Chicago!
Einstein told Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein “I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.” In a 1950 letter to M. Berkowitz, Einstein stated that “My position concerning God is that of an agnostic.
Which is the position of all the self-defined atheists I know. I also don’t really have a problem with a “lawful harmony of the world”, it’s clear to me that Einstein uses “God” and “Himself” as a metaphor, like Stephen Hawking does in “A Brief History of Time”. This is certainly not deism.
“I’m not an atheist. I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws.” – Albert Einstein
I approve of most of them, but would have left the Einstein one out. It’s a good counter when someone tries to say that Einstein was a theist, but introducing it on its own is like saying “Einstein was smart and he didn’t believe in a god, so you shouldn’t either,” which is no better logically that their false claim that “Einstein was smart and he did believe in a god, so you should too.” Simply put, Einstein’s religious beliefs have no (direct) effect on my own and I hope that most people feel the same way.
I love that Douglas Adams quote, for my money he was the best writer on the subject of atheism – imaginative, funny and not in the slightest bit pushy. He managed to make the whole idea of religion sound utterly ridiculous without doing so in an aggressive, demeaning or patronising way. I’d never read that Dickinson quote before though and that general idea always been one of my favourite responses when asked about belief in an afterlife. I reckon the lack of belief in an afterlife is a major source of my morality – we only have one shot at this so we’re obliged to make it as enjoyable as possible for ourselves and everyone around us.
I’ve yet to see the tube adverts but I’m keeping my eyes peeled. The atheist buses are everywhere you look in London though. As far as I can tell, the bus adverts are exclusively on the bendy buses.
It doesn’t follow that because you don’t believe in a personal god that you are an atheist (He was a deist / agnostic – NOT an atheist).
“God does not play dice.”
“I want to know how God created the world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.”
“I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.”
“In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.”
“I’m not an atheist“
Einstein, while he stated he did not believe in a personal God, also explicitly stated that he was NOT an atheist. Quoting him on an atheistic poster goes against the wishes he expressed during his life and is disrespectful. Here’s what he had to say about it:
“In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human understanding, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.” — Prince Hubertus zu Löwenstein, Towards the Further Shore (Victor Gollancz, London, 1968), p. 156; quoted in Jammer, p. 97
Also, the last poster is irrational. Stating that there is no God, and then (in the very next sentence, no less) saying we can KNOW that we “should” do something is ridiculous. If nothing has inherent worth (nothing is inherently good or bad), which is implied by materialistic atheism, then value is utilitarian, which means there can only be something we “should” do, or something that is “good”, if we have defined a particular goal, which cannot in itself be something we should try to reach unless it itself is a means.
In other words, in a utilitarian view of the universe (which humanism implies), things have value based on their usefulness in achieving a goal or and ends. So the means used to achieve the ends can have a purpose and be right or wrong (ONLY in regards to achieving the purpose), but the purpose being worked for was arbitrarily determined to be something worth attaining; as it has no goal, it has no utilitarian value. So, unless a specific goal is set and admitted to be arbitrary, there can be no logical humanistic use of the word “should”.
I agree with the above poster, what this campaign is doing is a tad disrespectful to Einstein. Especially after he has said it angers him for atheists to quote him in order to further their cause….iz a dick move bruh
Sorry for resurrecting this old post but I was looking for the hi-res versions of these poster ads. Do you know where I can find/download them? Thank you.
Follow Patheos on
Copyright 2008-2014, Patheos. All rights reserved.