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I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help

Pledge “atheistbus”

"I will pay £5 towards the campaign to put an atheist advert on the side of a London bus but only if 4,678 other people anywhere will do the same."

— Jon Worth, Political Blogger

Deadline to sign up by: 31st July 2008
877 people signed up, 3801 more were needed

Country: United Kingdom
Place: London (view map)

More details
Ariane Sherine wrote an article for Comment is Free on the website of The Guardian reacting to religious adverts on London buses.

Her suggestion: put an advert on a bus for a fortnight stating "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and get on with your life."

The cost would be £23400, so £5 each for 4680 atheists. I'm the first one pledging, so how about you too?

More info at:

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Comments on this pledge

  • As there are a selection of competitors for Ariane's suggested advert in the comments at, perhaps an online poll would be in order? would do the trick.
    David, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Thank you all for signing up! I've written a blog on the idea here:
  • Organised religion is a big fat con and it knows it, it reads the internet, the true God
  • Also see .

    £23400 seems rather expensive - someone in that thread points out that an ordinary bus only costs £508. Wouldn't this be better? People would be more likely to sign up (with the currently proposed figure, many may see it as a huge waste of money); you'd get far more advertising time/buses for the same money; and if it falls short, you could still use whatever money you get to buy some buses. There's already enough signatures for 1 bus at this rate, but a long way to go to get £23400...
    m, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I wish there was a selection of differing slogans that could go on the bus that we could select from. I just don't like the current one proposed - I would prefer something a little more affirmative or something. The current slogan comes off very apathetic and not definitive on any particular view point.
    andrew, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • What would really wind people up, if you could get permission. Having one of the excoriatingly funny "Jesus & Mo" cartoons on a bus. I would pay to see that.

    I concur with other's thoughts about the cost. We should basically see what figure we get to at the end of July and buy what we can with that, rather than not doing anything if we don't reach the target.
    Rob Mallows, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I reckon if they object to the suggested slogan, how about a quote from the bible such as the one about eating seafood being an abomination? or the bloke who volunteers his daughter to get raped instead of his mate? or the whore who gets chopped up into pieces. those'd be good to put on the side of a bus and you can say "well it's in the bible"
    N, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Thanks for supporting the idea. I've written another post on the campaign here:
  • More affermative and definitive message I suggest.

    God created man/False
    Man created God/True.

    God is nothing but human imagination.
    asman, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I have signed this pledge but I object to the word "probably"
    Pete Evans, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Brilliant project - agree with previous points about using a (series of) cheaper bus advert if this ambitious total isn't met. I hope this campaign goes on beyond this pledgebank effort - I'd have pledged more than a fiver! Maybe open it up for a choice for slogans (press opportunities there?), and aim at getting railway stations too perhaps.
    Richard Lane, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I'd like to sign up for this type of pledge, but this slogan seems ill thought out. It sounds unsupportive, uncaring and trite. And surely "probably" gives the wrong message too.

    I would prefer a more assertive slogan which if possible conveys a caring attitude. Whatever we do as non-believers and humanists needs to be thought through. We need to be constructive. This slogan is not the right one, though the principle of advertising this way is fine, especially if we've decided exactly why we are doing it and what we want to achieve.
    philip nathan, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Is there perhaps some way that you could come up with a more
    affirming and slightly less antagonistic sounding pledge. I
    have read lots of comments to this effect. I would be more
    than happy to sign up to something that truly reflected my
    values as an atheist but am hesitant to support a slogan which
    reads a little like a backlash
    Marc Bramham, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I think it is a good slogan as it keeps the debate going. For the enlightened it can be all too easy to forget what it is like to still believe in 'god' (dog if you're dyslexic) and with so many people without the internet too, this must be a good thing. The Humanist oganisation could do something like this as well if they wanted to, but this is just atheists whom are refering to known organised religions, that we know are based on bunkam
    Liz, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I'm assuming that you're thinking of doing a campaign based around the Bendy Bus streetliners format? You should make it clearer, as well as linking out to CBS' ratecard and explain what you're planning.
    Ky Purnell, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I've just signed up (on the last day) having read about it in the Times. Lots of people would do it slightly differently - change the wording, cheaper options, but it's not their idea or my idea. So if you support it in principle then sign up. Anything else is just nit-picking or inaction.
    Martin Ryan, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Basic idea, the principle, is great.
    I'd have gone for it.
    Would have liked to see a little more examination of the advertising opportunities - which buses, where, when, etc - when the total money was pledged.
    But I'm not a regular or frequent Guardian reader. Only saw this in The Times.
    Too late.
    Michael Young, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Couldn't put the money where one's mouth is? ;D

    (quite literally too!!!)

    Right up there with the other famous Bushizms, like threatening suicide bombers with the death penalty, why would I care about other peoples' 'misguided beliefs' if there is no 'reward' in it for me???

    Their self-imposed restrictions mean all the more opportunities for betterment of my life! :D
    Chris Kuchar, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • This comes as no surprize; studies have shown atheists to be less giving to charity causes in general. What is really interesting, from the perspective of a believer such as myself, is that the reason for this may be that the vast majority of atheists are of the "live and let live" variety (of which this "in-your-face" kind of action doesn't appeal to). The so-called radical atheists simply aren't as numerous or popular as they think.
    Tom Bryant, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • 877 pledges is amazing and very encouraging for a campaign with no press or funding, which started as a tiny idea barely six weeks ago.

    Thank you very much if you signed up. You helped the slogan to reach the national news, and many more people saw it than would have otherwise.

    The latest post on the campaign is here:
  • Tom Bryant has a point, although it comes as no surprise. Organising atheists is akin to herding cats, due to their propensity for thinking for themselves.

    Theists, on the other hand, are quite the opposite. They are very easy to mould, muster and arrange - hence the collective noun - 'flock'. They seem to require someone, or something, to tell them what to do, and to follow it with little or no question. Compliance and malleability seem to be necessary components of the religious.

    However, I'd be interested to see any evidence for these 'studies' about comparative charitable giving between atheists and theists. A quick search produced nothing to support this claim, although it did show that two of the largest charitable donations in history have come from atheists: Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, who between them, have stumped up ~$40 billion. Not too shoddy. Perhaps Tom simply has 'faith' that his claim is true? Evidence, of course, has always been optional for the religious....
    David, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Actually, Tom Bryant, studies (i.e. not statistics you made up to prove some spurious point) have shown that the people who self-identify as Athiests are often MORE ethical and generous. This is doubly true when you consider that they give to real charities rather than propping up their own propaganda machine - the 'Church'.
    The reason for so few donations here, is likely to be that most Atheists don't see the need to advertise the truth. Those that want to send a message will find it tough to agree on a message because their are individuals and not an slavish group of followers.
    How about: "No Santa. No fairies. No god.".
    Wouldn't want to upset the little kids who can read though...;)
    Stephen, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • "The so-called radical atheists simply aren't as numerous or popular as they think."

    No, the so-called radical atheists aren't as numerous as theists claim they are. We're not out to invade your lives and convert your children, unlike many theists.

    And this pledge isn't a charity. Perhaps instead atheists are giving their money on charity, whilst some Christians spend vast amounts of sums on preaching... (at £23,400 an advert for just two weeks, it scares me to think just how much Christians are spending on this).
    m, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • This idea needs to be marketed better. I would donate monthly to an organization that puts out messages of wisdom to the general public. Religion is oppressive, it's time to dilute and dissolve it's influence! Atheists! Stop the apathy! Spread rationalism and clear thinking!
    ben, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
    David, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Just came across this via NSS website today (6th Aug 08)
    I would pledge a £5
    /100% Natural
    GCR, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
This pledge is closed for new comments.

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