UK bus ads question existence of God
You generally don’t want to have anything too philosophical hitting you in the face when you’re on your way to work in the morning – but should your mind start to wander, a new campaign questioning the existence of God will get the noggin moving.
Atheist groups in various countries around the globe have been pushing campaigns, mainly on public transport, aimed at getting people to think more closely about what, if any, benefits there are by following a deity.
In the UK, the principal slogan – “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life” – can already be seen on four London bus routes, and now 200 bendy buses in London and 600 across Britain are to carry the advert after a fundraising drive raised more than £140,000 (AUD $296,582).
According to the British Humanist Association, a large amount of the population have non-religious beliefs – between 30 and 40% of the population, with a higher figure, between 60 and 65%, in young people.
The success of the UK campaign has inspired atheists around the world. The American Humanist Association launched a bus advertising campaign in November 2008 with the slogan, “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake”, appearing in Washington DC’s 230 buses.
The subsequent news coverage generated mostly negative phone calls and emails, with the largest number going directly to the organisers.
However, atheists in Australia haven’t been as successful. Attempts to place slogans such as “Atheism – sleep in on Sunday mornings” on buses were rejected by Australia’s biggest outdoor advertising company, APN Outdoor.
Don’t expect to see similar slogans featuring on bus routes around the Vatican or Mecca any time soon.