A rare straying from moaning about how papers lie and lie about things (or how the BNP do similar) follows. Skip it if you like.
I'm an atheist. I've mentioned it in passing a couple of times here, but people still sometimes assume I'm a Muslim because I attack the tabloids' rampant Islamophobia. I'm not a Muslim though, and I don't believe any sort of god exists at all. There, I said it.
So I must love this atheist bus advert thingy, right?
Wrong. Wrong wrongitty wrong. I hate the bugger.
I can't help being an atheist. It isn't something I choose to be. It's just that the available evidence leads me to the conclusion that I do not believe that any gods exist. I can't believe in a god any more than I can believe that my feet are made of chipsticks. I don't even like talking about it.
In the grand scheme of things, whether or not I believe in any god is one of the least important things you could tell anyone about me - at least, I hope so. I would hope there was a long list of interesting things that people would think of to say about me before they got to 'doesn't believe in god' - like whether or not I'm a nice person, whether I'm funny or serious, how much I wish I was Spider-Man. And on and on and on.
And frankly, I couldn't give two flying shits whether you or anyone else believes in god. Here is the main thing I care about when it comes to other people:
1. Are they going to be nice to people?
Everything else is gravy. Nice people believe in god and shitbags believe in god. Nice people don't believe in god and shitbags don't believe in god. Who would you rather meet in a dark alley, a nice person or a shitbag?
Frankly, if I got involved in a horrible encounter in a dark alley, it wouldn't help me any if I understood that the guy punching me in the teeth and nicking my wallet had a sound grasp of why Pascal's Wager is a poor piece of logic.
In short, the way people treat each other is far more important than their motivations for doing so, by and large.
If I had the choice to send everyone in London a message on the side of a bus, I wouldn't be mentioning god. 'Be excellent to each other' would be better.
So, why am I bothered? Because now there are fucking bus adverts all over London telling people that the most important thing atheists want to tell the world is that there's probably no god. That's not the most important thing I want to tell the world. It's not even in the top seventeen. It's even behind 'chocolate tastes nice, if you like chocolate'.
One of the things I like about being an atheist is the individualism. Nobody speaks for me. But now, anyone who ever sees the adverts and either knows or learns of my religious views will think otherwise. One of the greatest arguments I had against overtly religious people - namely 'why don't you just bloody leave people alone? You don't see atheists turning up knocking on people's doors telling them there's no god,' - has gone forever.
Thanks, bus advert people. You've now made atheists look like those born again people who can't stop bloody banging on about Jesus all the time. You've sunk us to their level. Give yourselves a lolly.
And what Justin said. Except the bit about dropping the 'probably'. I'd never make a positive claim about god not existing, I'd only talk about my lack of belief in gods' existence. See, we believe different things, but we're not in a club, so it doesn't matter. It's not as if anyone's sticking up posters telling everyone what we think, is it?