Southern Religion

Atheist bus ads’ ‘Probably’ is allegedly required


It probably doesn’t please most atheists to have their disbelief qualified as it is in the text of the bus ads. And philosopher A.C. Grayling makes it unequivocally clear that he is among the unhappy.

He wrote:

I would question the rationality of anyone who thought that there is probably no Father Christmas, or probably no fairies at the bottom of the garden, etcetera, and since such beliefs and beliefs in the gods of Olympus and Ararat and all other religions are on a par, there is no “probably” about it.

Atheist Bus Campaign innovator Ariane Sherine told him, however, that bus companies would not accept their ad sans "probably."

Well oh my, er … probably goodness, it’s true. As Grayling learned and reported:

According to Tim Bleakley, marketing director of CBS Outdoor, which handles advertising for the bus networks, “advertising guidelines” require the word “probably”; to say that there is no God, he said, “would be misleading … So as not to fall foul of the code, you have to acknowledge that there is a grey area”.

Parity, Grayling demands. Parity requires something like inserting the word “allegedly” into every ad assertion which suggests “the existence of supernatural agencies.”

Results might include “Jesus allegedly saves” and “God is allegedly king.” Or would it be “The alleged Jesus probably saves” and “The alleged God is probably king”?

Uh huh. Ungood..

I probably can’t stand that for any religion or other belief. Much less my own. Can you? Really? No. The outdoor advertising regulators were and are just probably wrong to make that alleged requirement.

January 7, 2009 - Posted by | Cultural, Uncategorized

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