On 6 January 2009, the British Humanist Association embarked on its much publicised advertising campaign. Following an unexpectedly generous fundraising drive, the organisation has been enabled to emblazon 800 buses with the slogan:
‘There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.’
Although the intention of the campaign is arguably to engender debate, a point appreciated by many religious groups, some have criticised the campaign, particularly for its use of the word perhaps, as well as for the suggestion that non-atheists do not enjoy life.
However, one perhaps unexpected side-effect has been a complaint made to the Advertising Standards Authority [ASA]. In their complaint, Christian Voice allege that the advertisements ‘break rules on substantiation and truthfulness.’ In essence, they claim that there is an abundance of proof for the existence of God, which is being wilfully ignored by atheists. Furthermore, they insist that the ASA’s own regulations state that ‘marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove all claims’. Thus far, the British Humanist Association appear to have greeted the complaint with some derision, but it remains to be seen how the ASA will respond.
By Patrick Michel
From Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology
The Presumption of Atheism
By Antony Flew
From A Companion to the Philosophy of Religion
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Atheist Buses: the effect of religion
January 12, 2009