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The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

Any topics that are primarily about humanism or other non-religious life stances fit in here.
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kbell
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The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

#1 Post by kbell » October 21st, 2008, 2:45 pm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... dvertising

"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.
Unlike some of the commenters below the article who don't agree with advertising beliefs, I'd be happy to see buses and billboards decorated with that slogan. My reservation is that there are better ways to spend money e.g. donating to a charity that is directly relieving poverty and sickness. Anyone else?
Kathryn

tubataxidriver
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Re: The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

#2 Post by tubataxidriver » October 21st, 2008, 7:20 pm

If the real intention was to get some airtime on the Today Programme and an article on the BBC News website then it has been a great success and probably good value for money.

Whether the (rather negative) message provides inspiration or solace to anyone seeing it in the street, in these troubled times, I would doubt.

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Alan C.
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Re: The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

#3 Post by Alan C. » October 21st, 2008, 7:56 pm

I pledged a donation to this when it was first proposed back in the summer, she failed to raise enough money that time, but now that R D and the BHA are involved, it's going great guns :smile:
She set out this morning to raise £5,500, to which R D was going to add £11,000.
I've just been to make a donation and the running total so far is approaching £34,000 :scorepoint:
Autumn
My reservation is that there are better ways to spend money e.g. donating to a charity that is directly relieving poverty and sickness.
I am more than happy for my donation to be spent on this, donating to this particular cause does not mean I will be donating less to the good causes you mention above.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

ColinAngusMackay
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Re: The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

#4 Post by ColinAngusMackay » October 21st, 2008, 8:05 pm

I think it is a good use of money. Since they raised so much I hope to see some of those adverts up in Scotland.

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Lifelinking
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Re: The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

#5 Post by Lifelinking » October 21st, 2008, 8:06 pm

meh. Not something I would put any money in to. But whatever boils your egg.
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Edward Hawkins
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Re: The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

#6 Post by Edward Hawkins » October 21st, 2008, 8:48 pm

“There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life"

I don't understand. Why "probably". Is there now some doubt?

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Alan C.
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Re: The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

#7 Post by Alan C. » October 21st, 2008, 9:58 pm

Edward Hawkins wrote:“There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life"

I don't understand. Why "probably". Is there now some doubt?
This is probably Richard Dawkins idea, he (quite rightly I suppose) says that we can no more prove the non existance of god, than the fundies can prove her existance, it's just highly improbable that a god exists.
I however am not so PC, and would have said "There is no god! get over it"
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

ColinAngusMackay
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Re: The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

#8 Post by ColinAngusMackay » October 21st, 2008, 10:10 pm

Edward Hawkins wrote:I don't understand. Why "probably". Is there now some doubt?
I read somewhere that the reason was becuase of the bus company's rules on adverts it will carry.

ColinAngusMackay
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Re: The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

#9 Post by ColinAngusMackay » October 21st, 2008, 10:11 pm

Ah... Here's where I read it: http://www.atheistcampaign.org/probably/

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Re: The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

#10 Post by Maria Mac » October 21st, 2008, 10:30 pm

This email from the BHA explains the choice of wording and everything else:

>>British Humanist Association e-bulletin special

All aboard the atheist bus!


As you may have seen on TV, in the papers, on the radio, or (it seems) in workplaces and homes all over the country, today the BHA helped to launch the UK’s first ever “atheist bus” advertising campaign. With official support from the British Humanist Association and Professor Richard Dawkins, best-selling author of The God Delusion, the campaign will feature adverts across London’s bendy buses with the slogan:

“There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

By 10.06am this morning the campaign had already reached its original target of £5,500 and has gone on to raise six times that amount… and growing! You can add your own donation at www.justgiving.com/atheistbus

The Atheist Bus Campaign really began earlier this year, thanks to readers of The Guardian’s Comment Is Free (CiF) website. Comedy writer Ariane Sherine, 28, wrote a CiF article in June about the Christian adverts running on London buses. These ads featured the URL of a website which said non-Christians would burn in hell for all eternity. Sherine suggested that atheists reading her article could each donate £5 to fund a reassuring counter-advert. The campaign received a boost when the BHA undertook to accept donations on behalf of the campaign and Richard Dawkins generously agreed to match all donations up to a maximum of £5,500.

Ariane Sherine, Atheist Bus Campaign creator has said, “I’m very pleased so many people are behind the atheist bus. This is absolutely brilliant and I’d like to thank everyone who donated for their support. The sky’s the limit for atheists even if we don’t believe there’s anyone up there.”

Many comments left by donors on the fundraising website at www.justgiving.com/atheistbus are calling for the campaign to be rolled out to Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and other towns and cities all over the UK, a possibility which is not beyond the realms of possibility now that so much more money has been raised. The campaign seems to be appealing to donors with a penchant for the comic, judging by the many jokey comments!

Hanne Stinson, BHA Chief Executive says, “We see so many posters advertising salvation through Jesus or threatening us with eternal damnation, that I felt sure that a bus advert like this will be welcomed as a breath of fresh air. If it raises a smile as well as making people think, so much the better. We have met our target five times over but don’t stop giving! If the money keeps pouring in we can expand the campaign, not just to ads inside the buses as well as outside, but to ads on the tube or other transport, and in locations outside London.”

Bob Churchill, BHA Membership and Web Manager, and ad hoc philosophical sounding board, says, “Some of our agnostic members might think ‘probably’ is too strong a word to use in the advert, while some of our atheist members might prefer something closer to ‘almost certainly’ or even ‘God is an analytical impossibility’ or something. But either way, the wording was Ariane’s original proposal, it’s proving incredibly popular, ‘probably’ has a bit more humility than ‘almost certainly’, and it sounds a bit funny, like the Carlsberg ‘probably the best beer in the world’ adverts. This is about taking a light, positive, humanistic message to the public. And it is definitely working! Whereas epistemology doesn’t tend to scan very well on the side of buses, unfortunately.”

Justgiving.com – the fundraising website which the BHA is using to collect online donations – have called the campaign’s success in a single day of hurried media activity, “Amazing” and in a blog post on the Justiving.com site they said, “this page is remarkable for the sheer speed that it’s raising money - we’ve been noticing that there are new donations every time we refresh the page. Whatever you believe, it certainly shows the power of online fundraising. The campaign has not only smashed its target for the British Humanist Association but it’s gone from trebling the target to quadrupling it in the time spent writing this blog post…”

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Alan H
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Re: The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

#11 Post by Alan H » October 21st, 2008, 11:46 pm

It's now at £46,512.42!
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Paolo
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Re: The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

#12 Post by Paolo » October 22nd, 2008, 8:01 am

Good use of money, bad slogan! What would be wrong with something like:
"Who needs an imaginary friend? Embrace life for real!"

ColinAngusMackay
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Re: The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

#13 Post by ColinAngusMackay » October 22nd, 2008, 8:08 am

Over 51K now. Wow! This is amazing... Many people have commented they'd set up a standing order and I'd agree with that, I'd be willing to send a few quid each month to keep these adverts going.

By the way, what is the Humanist Society of Scotland doing? I never hear of their achievements.

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Re: The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

#14 Post by ColinAngusMackay » October 22nd, 2008, 8:09 am

Paolo wrote:Good use of money, bad slogan! What would be wrong with something like:
"Who needs an imaginary friend? Embrace life for real!"
I think with the money raised we could have lots of slogans.

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Re: The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

#15 Post by Maria Mac » October 22nd, 2008, 11:51 am

Autumn wrote: My reservation is that there are better ways to spend money e.g. donating to a charity that is directly relieving poverty and sickness. Anyone else?
The total is now well over £50,000 and I can think of better ways to spend that total sum than on bus adverts. However, that total was arrived at by individuals most of whom gave no more than a few quid each. If people want to donate a few quid to something that will lift their spirits more than, say, a trip to the pub or a night at the bingo, then why not?

I would prefer that God wasn't on our buses at all and that they didn't carry any religious or atheist advertising. But as long as they feature adverts from God-botherers, I'd be happy enough to make a small donation towards this as long as the slogan is benign and light-hearted. I don't think this is the best slogan they could have had but it's OK.

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jaywhat
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Re: The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

#16 Post by jaywhat » October 22nd, 2008, 12:56 pm

The amount collected is heart warming. Heart warming that so many people out there are on side - and the slogan is clearly well thought out.
People need to know that they are not alone out there with their non belief.

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Alan H
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Re: The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

#17 Post by Alan H » October 22nd, 2008, 1:04 pm

A commenter on the Telegraph's website suggests an alternative slogan: "If you think God is the answer, you have not even worked out the question"

How about the NSS's slogan: "Religion is the problem, not the answer"?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

#18 Post by Alan H » October 22nd, 2008, 1:07 pm

Now at £60,305.50!
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Re: The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

#19 Post by Maria Mac » October 22nd, 2008, 2:17 pm

My reservation about the slogan is the telling people to stop worrying and enjoy life. I can imagine that coming across as rather crass to people who have good reason to be worred or not to be enjoying life at present.

I would prefer something like 'so make sure you make the most of life'.

£63,148.14

ColinAngusMackay wrote: By the way, what is the Humanist Society of Scotland doing?
Who?

Edward Hawkins
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Re: The Atheist Bus Campaign - is it a good use of money?

#20 Post by Edward Hawkins » October 22nd, 2008, 4:08 pm

Maria wrote:I would prefer something like 'so make sure you make the most of life'.
I would prefer something like 'There is no god - get over it!'


Edward the Atheist

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