The Living Without Religion Campaign

Atheist or agnostic ads and billboards have been popping up a lot lately. Some see them as aggressive attacks on religious belief; others see them as a defense against the negative stereotypes associated with nonbelievers. The Center for Inquiry's new Living Without Religion Campaign joins the effort to show that nonreligious people can, and do, live moral, meaningful lives without god.

Based in Amherst, New York, The Center for Inquiry is an organization whose mission is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. The central message of the Living Without Religion Campaign is simple: "You don't need God--to hope, to care, to love, to live."

The above ad is beautiful in its simplicity. It does not attack religion or take a stand on whether people should or shouldn't believe in god(s). It simply states the fact that millions of people lead meaningful lives without religion, and then lists some areas in which nonreligious people find meaning. (Plus, extra points for including a guy in a Jayne hat!)

According to the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) and surveys conducted in association with the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, an estimated 16 percent of Americans live without religious affiliation. And the number of people who identify themselves as having no religious affiliation has continued to grow rapidly over the past decade.

People who live without religion--atheists, agnostics, secular humanists, etc.--can lead happy, meaningful lives. Morality does not have to come from rules given to us by a supernatural being. It can develop as people realize that there are many good reasons not to hurt others, or it may be an instinctive, emotional reaction based on empathetic feelings.

The Center for Inquiry's new campaign has been launched in Washington D.C. with ads featured on 15 buses and in two metro stations. Next week, billboards will begin to appear in Indianapolis and Houston. You can visit the Living Without Religion website for more information.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you are getting the message out there that we are moral law abiding citizens that are kind and loving towards each other.