January 8, 2009 / 6:18 PM / 10 years ago

British atheists cast doubts about God on buses

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - British atheists launched an advertising campaign on public transport this week to tell commuters that God may not exist.

Posters on 800 buses across British cities and the London Underground transport system read “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

Atheism champion and author of the book “The God Delusion” Richard Dawkins said he supported the campaign because it helped to show that Britons were becoming disillusioned with religious interests.

“It really shows that there’s a mood in this country of getting fed up with being dominated by religious interests and so I wanted to support that and I did support it and that’s how I got involved,” Dawkins said.

The Church of England is England’s state religion, some of its bishops still sit in the upper house of the British parliament, the House of Lords. Scotland also has a state religion.

Comedian and campaign organizer Ariane Sherine said she hoped the posters would bring smiles to the faces of commuters on their daily journeys.

“I’d like people to look at the buses and smile. I’d like them to brighten people’s days on their way to work, and just think that’s unusual,” She said. “It’s a very light-hearted and gentle philosophical campaign.”

The four London Underground adverts will feature quotations from figures such as Douglas Adams, Albert Einstein and Katharine Hepburn.

Dawkins 5,500 pounds ($8,046 US dollars) to the campaign, and was on hand to unveil one of the London Underground advertisements.

Martin Casson, an advertising director for the Churches Advertising Network, said the Church of England welcomed the campaign because they would stimulate much-needed debate among Britons, although he argued that the slogan was “selfish.”

“I think it’s a time for people to be open, and it’s a time for people to be generous, and for people actually to look out for their neighbors. After all, that’s the Christian message.”

Reporting by Martina Fuchs, Editing by Paul Casciato

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below