Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Taking To The Buses

Atheists are launching a bus advertisement campaign in Washington, D.C. This comes directly on the heels of a similar campaign in London where Brits were told, "There probably is no God, so stop worrying and enjoy your life." I don't know about you, but if I found out there was no God, that would make me start worrying. Especially because that would mean this life is all there is, and that people no longer exist after they die - yikes! That sounds extremely depressing. Of course, I'm sure most Atheists picture "God" as being a Zeus-like figure who loves to throw lightning bolts at sinners, or at the very least, "God" is a mean kid with a magnifying glass who is happily sitting on an anthill and zapping the life out of the friendly critters. And if you think that God could only be out to get you or make your life miserable (or worse, require you to live by a set of rules), maybe it's just nicer to go on your merry way.

Somehow this just doesn't seem logical. So let's dissect the D.C. bus campaign, which will make its appearance throughout this holiday season, and cheerfully declares, "Why believe in God? Just be good for goodness' sake." Hmmm... I feel very motivated to be good now.

Why do you suppose people are inclined to be good? Fear of punishment is certainly a motivating factor (whether from some divine being, or from laws of men). On the other hand, so is that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you do something nice. But if you could make your way to the top of the food chain by being a jerk with no thought of any cosmic consequences, why in the world would you want to be nice?

It seems to me that if there is no God, it's every man for himself (or every jerk for himself, as it were). So forget being good for goodness' sake. Be good enough to stay on the right side of the law (or not - after all, you might be able to get away with it), but as for the rest of those to-be-good-or-not-to-be-good decisions, who cares?

I also love how the atheists wave the flag of "separation of church and state" at the mere mention of deity, as if the elmination of religion in its entirety is what was intended by the founding fathers. "We can't have any religionists imposing their beliefs on the rest of us!" they say. Well, as my mom so astutely pointed out, all law is based on someone's moral or religious beliefs. We just have to decide whose beliefs will prevail. And I don't know about you, but I hope it's people who believe in God (according to a recent poll, that would be a staggering 92% of Americans), rather than the atheists who get their virtuous feelings as they systematically strip any reference to God from our daily lives. (And just how is it that 8% of the population can be so influential, anyway?)

It's times like these when I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon, and for the words of Alma. You know, those words that say "All things denote there is a God". I'm not sure how people miss the fact that evidence of God is in everything. It seems blatantly obvious to me. And it is so much more comforting than thinking we are some evolutionary accident and that this life is all we have.

Maybe someone should put that on a bus.


Rizley Family said...

I love your blog. I look forward to reading your analysis of the crazy world out there. I think you should write a book. :) I hope you are having fun in NYC!

The Wolford Pack (Jen) said...

Agreed! Agreed! Write a book!

The Wolford Pack (Jen) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

Hi! It's Sarah again, I am not sure that I remembered to introduce myself before, sorry for that. I served with "Elder Overly" in the Baltics and came upon your blog via the link on the Bradshaw blog.
I live in Britain, I am British and I have to say that this leaves me (almost) speechless! I don't live in London and don't have a telly, so if it was reported on the news, I may have missed it as I follow when I choose over the internet. Had I lived in London, I would have certainly complained about such adverts and further more been tempted to take up issue with the individual who claimed that "thinking" was an "anathema to religion"!
I also strongly disagree with the assertion that religion is given an overly dominant place in our society; some religions, perhaps, but Christianity does not appear to be one of them! For example, if I were to claim the priveledge of honouring the sabbath on a Friday or a Saturday my employers would accomodate as best as they could. Claiming said honour on a Sunday however, is treated with scorn bordering on derision and is treated as an excuse not to pull one's weight in shift work. British society seems to apologise for and run down Christianity, some organisations even changing doctrine to reduce possible offence towards non Christians. Whereas said non Christians stand firm in their beliefs and carry on.
Sorry, this is rather a long comment, I guess those adverts hit a nerve, perhaps I can still do something about it! I'll take my rant elsewhere now!

Sarah said...

P.S. I find your blog invigorating, insightful and very articulate.