ASA to rule on God’s Existance

This week, a series of bus adverts launched across the UK, as part of the Atheist Bus Campaign

The Atheist Bus Campaign began when comedy writer Ariane Sherine wrote a Comment is Free article in June 2008 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. Ariane suggested that atheists reading her article could each donate £5 to fund a reassuring counter-advert.

They raised over £140k, enough to do a national campaign.

Athesist Bus in London
Atheist Bus in London

Now the Advertising Standards Association has received a complaint from Christian, who are complaining about the lack of evidence behind the claim. In the BBC article, Stephen Green, the National Director says:

“There is plenty of evidence for God, from people’s personal experience, to the complexity, interdependence, beauty and design of the natural world. But there is scant evidence on the other side, so I think the advertisers are really going to struggle to show their claim is not an exaggeration or inaccurate, as the ASA code puts it.”

That very standard is why the word ‘probably’ is in the copy – to avoid falling into that area. If it works for Carling, why can’t it be fine here. Although the the concept that there is plenty of evidence of a supernatural being’s existence I think is stretching it a little! But at last we have the chance for an authoritative ruling by a neutral party on this 2000 year old question – because we’re only talking about the Christian God under this complaint. Do you think we can extend their remit to cover Zeus, Odin and Ba’al why they are at it?

Image used under Creative Commons licence. Image by intranation

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