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It's real, it's happening: you can sponsor the first atheist advert on a bus - and Richard Dawkins will match your money!

The godless move in mysterious ways: what the atheist bus campaign's advert will look like.

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The atheist bus campaign launches today thanks to Comment is free readers. Because of your enthusiastic response to the idea of a reassuring God-free advert being used to counter religious advertising, the slogan "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life" could now become an ad campaign on London buses - and leading secularists have jumped on board to help us raise the money.

The British Humanist Association will be administering all donations to the campaign, and Professor Richard Dawkins, bestselling author of The God Delusion, has generously agreed to match all contributions up to a maximum of £5,500, giving us a total of £11,000 if we raise the full amount. This will be enough to fund two sets of atheist adverts on 30 London buses for four weeks.

If the buses hit the road, this will be the UK's first ever atheist advertising campaign. It's an exciting development, which I never expected when I first proposed the idea on Cif in June. Back then, I was just keen to counter the religious ads running on public transport, which featured a URL to a website telling non-Christians they would spend "all eternity in torment in hell", burning in "a lake of fire". When I suggested the atheist counter-slogan (now shortened for readability), the response was extremely positive, and hundreds of you pledged your support after the follow-up article.

As you read this, a new advertising campaign for Alpha Courses is running on London buses. If you attend an Alpha Course, you will again be told that failing to believe in Jesus will condemn you to hell. There's no doubt that advertising can be effective, and religious advertising works particularly well on those who are vulnerable, frightening them into believing. Religious organisations' jobs are made easier because there's no publicly visible counter-view to refute their threats of eternal damnation.

The atheist bus campaign aims to change this. In addition to the slogan, the adverts will feature the URLs of secular, humanist and atheist websites, so that readers can find out more about atheism as a positive and liberating alternative to religion. We've also set up an interactive campaign website and Facebook group, so that questions raised by the adverts can be publicly debated.

CBS Outdoor, the bus advertising company, will run the atheist adverts in January if the funds are raised - but we need your help to make this happen.

Your donations will give atheism a more visible presence in the UK, generate debate, brighten people's day on the way to work, and hopefully encourage more people to come out as atheists. As Richard Dawkins says: "This campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think - and thinking is anathema to religion."

To donate to the atheist bus campaign, please visit: http://www.justgiving.com/atheistbus

For the latest on the atheist bus campaign, read Ariane Sherine's update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/23/atheist-bus-campaign-ariane-sherine
 

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you wont know im a ninja till its too late
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Initial thought is what a waste of time...its only going to p1ss a lot of people off and give those unable to land jobs as parking wardens something creative to do when they're not playing world of warcraft.

But, my second thought after considering it all for a few minutes is actually i kind of like the idea. Im past the point where i get angry at all the religious rubbish out there, i now just laugh and accept it will always be there. My favourite is a huge lorry trailer parked in a farm on the M62 which has huge letters saying something like BELIEVE IN JESUS AND YOU WILL BE SAVED. I usually do an over exagerated impression of an american bible basher as i yell it out loud crying with laughter.

Im not splitting with a penny to support this but ill quietly enjoy knowing there will be a few utterly brainwashed bible smashed loonies out there who will take offence and probably write to the prime minister complaining.

What is an atheist by the way, isnt that generally what you are if you dont actively seek a faith to follow - or do you have to actually stand up and declare your opposition to organised religion to be considered one?

As my final two pence on the matter i believe faith in something has its place in peoples lives, but those who refuse to even consider an alternative to whats stated in the bible, even after darwins theories - are complete and utter peanut butter nutters. Mormons especially!
 

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Jonferimonic said:
Initial thought is what a waste of time...its only going to p1ss a lot of people off and give those unable to land jobs as parking wardens something creative to do when they're not playing world of warcraft.

But, my second thought after considering it all for a few minutes is actually i kind of like the idea. Im past the point where i get angry at all the religious rubbish out there, i now just laugh and accept it will always be there. My favourite is a huge lorry trailer parked in a farm on the M62 which has huge letters saying something like BELIEVE IN JESUS AND YOU WILL BE SAVED. I usually do an over exagerated impression of an american bible basher as i yell it out loud crying with laughter.

Im not splitting with a penny to support this but ill quietly enjoy knowing there will be a few utterly brainwashed bible smashed loonies out there who will take offence and probably write to the prime minister complaining.

What is an atheist by the way, isnt that generally what you are if you dont actively seek a faith to follow - or do you have to actually stand up and declare your opposition to organised religion to be considered one?

As my final two pence on the matter i believe faith in something has its place in peoples lives, but those who refuse to even consider an alternative to whats stated in the bible, even after darwins theories - are complete and utter peanut butter nutters. Mormons especially!
Atheists are those that don't believe in God(s) whatsoever. Theists are those who do believe in a God / deity and Agnostic is someone who is in-between, basically not quite sure (haven't made up their mind).
 

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LOL what a waste of time and money,

is he a total nob that richard dawkins?

is he the one who did those docu,s on religion and nearly sh1t himself when discussing with the muslims? the pussy
 

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Haimer said:
Atheists are those that don't believe in God(s) whatsoever. Theists are those who do believe in a God / deity and Agnostic is someone who is in-between, basically not quite sure (haven't made up their mind).
Thanks, that makes me an atheist then.

Agnostics sound like a frustrating bunch!
 

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ARNIE said:
LOL what a waste of time and money,

is he a total nob that richard dawkins?

is he the one who did those docu,s on religion and nearly sh1t himself when discussing with the muslims? the pussy
Yep thats him, he got verbally beat down by the christian pack leader in america and then utterly pistol whipped by the muslim nutjob later on.

He knows his stuff but totally cracks against better linguists.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I disagree, Dawkins himself has said that he won't argue with religious people because to argue with them is to give credit to their argument - to which he gives none.

As for being a bit timid, if i was in a mosque, surrounded by crazy fothermuckers who wouldn't hesitate to blow themselves up, i'd be a bit wary when they started to get p*ssed off - especially if i was a public schooled, Cambridge graduate professor (not really the fighting type i wouldn't think).
 

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Jonferimonic said:
Thanks, that makes me an atheist then.

Agnostics sound like a frustrating bunch!
Haha I'm pretty "Agnostic" myself. Not too sure where I stand on the whole God side of things, in some ways I believe but in some ways I don't - I'm not too sure. Plus when I studied Philosophy for a bit it did show me other perspectives which were excellent.
 
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