Bummer Stickers

The ten worst bumper stickers spotted in Madison, Wisconsin. (Hat tip: Little Green Footballs.) I’m reminded of a statement of Richard Nixon’s: “TV News is to news as bumper stickers are to philosophy.” He meant that as an insult to TV news. Now, it strikes me as more of an insult to bumper stickers. But it’s a well-deserved one. Bumper stickers at their best aren’t very profound—and these are far from being best.

I see a car displaying the top choice regularly; it never ceases to annoy me in the thoughtless equality of its indictment of various religions. (If it weren’t for those intolerant Daoists!)

One I’d add to the list:

God Bless the Whole World

I’m not the only one annoyed with that one. It isn’t just cloyingly self-righteous; it doesn’t just exhibit a thoughtless equality. It violates a basic moral requirement. As Robert Kane points out in Through the Moral Maze, we are not permitted to be neutral between the rapist and his intended victim. Such neutrality, far from being ethically admirable, is ethically obtuse.

One thought on “Bummer Stickers

  1. I think my objection to “God Bless the Whole World – No Exceptions” is that I think it’s attacking a straw man. What member of the ‘religious right’ prays “Please, God, bless me but not others.” “Only bless people who belong to my church, Lord.” No one I know thinks like this (there may be people who do, but I’ve never heard anyone talk or pray this way).

    I pray for God to bless everyone too, no exceptions, but, for myself and for the world, that often takes the form of a desired blessing in terms of a deep interior conversion of heart.

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