There's Probably No God! - Richard Dawkins, Ariane Sherine And The Atheist Bus Ad Campaign

There's Probably No God! - Richard Dawkins, Ariane Sherine And The Atheist Bus Ad Campaign.

The atheist bus journey
by Ariane Sherine, Guardian

Thanks to you we raised enough money to put ads on 800 buses across the UK, and the campaign has gone global

Today, thanks to many Cif readers, the overall total raised for the Atheist Bus Campaign stands at a truly overwhelming £135,000, breaking our original target of £5,500 by over 2400%. Given this unexpected amount, I'm very excited to tell you that 800 buses instead of the 30 we were initially aiming for are now rolling out across the UK with the slogan, "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life", in locations all over England, Scotland and Wales, including Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, York, Cardiff, Devon, Leeds, Bristol and Aberdeen.

From today's launch, two hundred of the buses will run in London, because the campaign was originally started as a positive counter-response to the Jesus Said ads running on London buses in June 2008. These ads displayed the URL of a website which stated that non-Christians "will be condemned to everlasting separation from God and then you spend all eternity in torment in hell Jesus spoke about this as a lake of fire prepared for the devil". Our rational slogan will hopefully reassure anyone who has been scared by this kind of evangelism.

In addition, we're running adverts on two further types of media. In my last Cif blog on the campaign, I asked Cif readers for ideas on alternative ways to spend the funds, and also for thoughts on different slogans. Commenters WoollyMindedLiberal, PaoloV and Catch22 suggested that we use quotes from famous freethinkers, and we've done just that: from Monday January 12, 1,000 tube cards will run on London Underground featuring atheist quotations from Douglas Adams, Albert Einstein, Emily Dickinson and Katharine Hepburn (see above), alongside the original campaign slogan.

An animated version of the slogan will also appear on two large LCD screens on Oxford Street (opposite Bond Street tube station), so that you can see the advert live without having to wait for an atheist bus. And, to thank all donors and show the strength of atheism in the UK, every ABC advertisement will contain the line "This advert was funded by public donations".

Amazingly, the campaign has now gone international. Spain's Union of Atheists and Freethinkers are launching buses across Barcelona today with a translation of our slogan, Italy's Union of Atheist, Agnostics and Rationalists are also planning to roll out atheist buses, while the American Humanist Association have been inspired to launch a campaign, and buses carrying their slogan "Why believe in a God? Just be good for goodness' sake" have now been running for over a month in Washington DC. Sadly, not every country has been so open to the idea: the Atheist Foundation of Australia tried to place the slogan "Atheism celebrate reason" on buses, but were rejected by Australia's biggest outdoor advertising company.

The campaign's success is thanks to Cif and Cif readers. If Matt Seaton hadn't allowed me to run with the idea here, and so many of you hadn't been so enthusiastic about it and donated generously to it, it would never have happened. There may be further campaign developments, and the campaign website and Facebook group will be regularly updated with the latest news; but for now, I hope you enjoy seeing the adverts on the streets, and that they brighten these bleak January days just a little bit. As Charlie Brooker one of the first people to donate to the Atheist Bus Campaign says: "Public transport in Britain suggests there isn't a God anyway, but in case anyone hasn't noticed, or feels isolated for thinking such a thing, this campaign should help." I hope it does.

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Comment by Ogden Lafaye on November 9, 2009 at 4:16pm
P>S> Thats what I think about it...great idea...laughable & to the point.
Comment by Ogden Lafaye on November 9, 2009 at 4:15pm
I need a url to mail a donation to the bus advertising campaign.
Comment by Adrian on September 21, 2009 at 3:02pm
Comment by Adrian on September 21, 2009 at 3:02pm
The Atheist ad campaign is coming to Switzerland.

The public transport companies here refused to run the ads in/on buses and trams, for fear it would offend people. Many public transport authoroties have changed their advertising policies now to exclude religious advertising as well as atheist advertising, allready good result.

The campaign will run on wall posters instead, in most German speaking Swiss cities as from October. Catholic Lucerne is banning them, which has got local politicians active demanding equal rights, as there are Christian messages billboards in this country.

The whole controversy attracted quite a bit of media attention, resulting in the reprinting of the ad in an article in the German language free newspaper "20 Minuten" that has a huge reader base. The heading was "Censorship in Lucerne". That makes me smile....

Comment by Jason Mark Ellison on July 19, 2009 at 12:31pm
I love the bus adds and I support everyone who stands up for Non-beleif in fake fairy tale gods....but I also beleive it doesn't make since arguing with's like rolling around in the mud with a get all dirty with shit all over you....and the fuckin pig likes it.
Comment by Bryan Simpson on July 8, 2009 at 5:52pm
I think it's great that she did that most people need a wake up call to start thinking on their own. Sure some will be upset but others will start to question when she's not struck down by lightning. The fact that so many people sent donations sends the message that they like her thoughts on it.
Comment by Tedster on June 4, 2009 at 11:28pm
"They get offended because that is all they got" Well said.
Comment by Cliff Thomson on May 12, 2009 at 6:20pm
Okay where should I start, I know I will start from when that slutty girl in the bus talks about how putting up a stupid sign to counter attack the Christians belief of burning in Hell. LIKE WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TRYING TO PROVE? really think about it, theres always a positive and a negative to everything, a ying and yang, and I'm not even taking this fact out of the bible, but it has been written and practiced for centuries. Don't get me wrong, the Christians do have their whacked out beliefs some true, some false, and I don't like any religion myself because everything is all fucked up in this day and age! And I will tell you why. IT IS BECAUSE PEOPLE CANNOT LISTEN TO THEIR TRUE SELVES!! They NEED OTHER PEOPLE TO HERD THEM LIKE SHEEP BECAUSE THESE PEOPLE MAKE SKEPTICISM LOOK EASY! For example, Is it easier to accept the way you look or go and spend 100s of dollars on brand name cosmetics to make you think you look good when actually you look like a two bit hooker with no self esteem? Of course it is! because someone else has done the hard work for you, and all you have to do is go and buy it. Thats what this world is a ll about. Somebody puts up a sign saying believe in something and another person with come and put up the exact opposite because its easy to REBEL(key word to keep in mind). Everybody REBELS because it is nature, from the jealous 6 year old twin to the wife cheating on her husband, to guy guy that lost his job, etc. So to end my personal theory, though short yet simple, Why should I go to church every Sunday, read a bunch of words in a black book over and over, learn all these commandments PLUS follow each one, learn to be obedient and patient with the Holy One, to go out and commute with the community, when "I DON'T WANT TO"! sound familiar?
Heres a couple phrases to think about:


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