There is probably no God ...
So stop worrying and enjoy your life. That's the message at the heart of a new ad campaign by the British Humanist Association. We'll be talking about it tomorrow, too. It's the brainchild of Ariane Sherine, who will be joining us on the programme.
Howard Jacobson isn't impressed by the campaign. In today's Indy, he writes:
"And it's not even much of a clarion call, is it? God PROBABLY doesn't exist. You should answer fire and brimstone with fire and brimstone. They aren't saying God PROBABLY does exist in Waynesville, North Carolina. They aren't wondering in Colorado Springs whether, maybe, considering the question fairly, and without presumption, God might just be allowed to be a viable, though grantedly complex and vexatious, entity. God IS, is what they say. God LIVES. God SAVES. God HATES. You need balls if you're going to swap belief systems with fundamentalists. God DOESN'T exist, God NEVER DID exist, God IS CODSWALLOP - something along those lines. And to hell with what the Advertising Standards Authority thinks. Say God PROBABLY doesn't exist and you've conceded half the argument to believers."
And that isn't even the half of it. Jacobson releases his ire, full throttle, in his response to the campaign. He plainly regards Britain's humanists as an insipid lot who should work out what they actually believe before they invade the sides of bendy buses.
We'll have Simon Barrow from the think-tank Ekklesia on tomorrow's programme alongside Ariane Sherine, creator of the 'Athiest bus Campaign'. Ariane says the purpose of the campaign is to "brighten people's days on the way to work, help raise awareness of atheism in the UK, and hopefully encourage more people to come out as atheists. We can also counter the religious adverts which are currently running on London buses, and help people think for themselves." Richard Dawkins, who's helping to finance the ads, says: "This campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think - and thinking is anathema to religion."