although i definitely don’t agree with the tone or assumptions behind the bus ads, people are free to put whatever they want on a billboard/bus/poster board etc. i personally find any type of printed proselytising, be it bumper stickers or bus ads, very tacky. they don’t generate healthy debate, rather they create more barriers to intelligent discussion. they also give non-critical thinking people pithy statements on which to hang their prejudices (be they atheist or theist). i do believe in critical thinking but would like to see a little more respect from both sides of the debate. I would like to see religious people accept that there are others who do not share their convictions and have valid objections to their faith, and i would like to see atheists admit that critical thinking can logically lead to a religious outlook and that they don’t own the rights to logic/science/reson etc. when these things happen we can actually have an intelligent debate, but not before.
I hope the bus ads will lead to some healthy discussion but my bet is that it will have a polarizing effect. Perhaps this is the desired effect, if so than i guess i don’t have much more to say.
I don’t think the desire is to polarise, simply to enter an idea of Atheism into the public discourse. Usually, people that become irate at the suggestion or position that there is no god do so no matter how subtly it is put to them.
For myself, I think it won’t sway the religious, but it may nudge those sitting on the fence, or those not thinking too much about it.