CNN reports on the latest atheist ad campaign.

Some New Yorkers may want to reconsider exclaiming "Thank God" when arriving at their destination subway station beginning Monday.

Or at least that's what a coalition of eight atheist organizations are hoping, having purchased a month-long campaign that will place their posters in a dozen busy subway stations throughout Manhattan.

The advertisements ask the question, written simply over an image of a blue sky with wispy white clouds: "A million New Yorkers are good without God. Are you?"

On October 26, a dozen bustling New York City subway stations will be adorned with the ads as "part of a coordinated multi-organizational advertising campaign designed to raise awareness about people who don't believe in a god", according to a statement from the group, the Big Apple Coalition of Reason.

I always get a kick when I see the word "atheist" in a mainstream news source.

I like these campaigns since their messages are so innocuous yet illicit such a rabid response from many theists. It's good to have a polite atheistic message in the face of the public. It will soften their perceptions and maybe peel away the undeserved stigma associated with atheism.

What do you folks think of these ad campaigns?

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That's a really genius idea for an advertisement actually. It would probably really shock a lot of people but also raise their interest/awareness as to what the people around them might be like.
I think this is the best advertisement idea I've come across. Too many atheist advertising does poke at the theists out there whereas what needs to be done is just show the numbers of atheists out there. I mean really we aren't trying to convert people but make people comfortable with us. So why ask such questions of "Are you OK without God?" Some people aren't and it shouldn't be our goal to make them OK without God.
That is a really excellent idea.
I think there should be some balance in the outrage toward non-believers. Whatever happened to live and let live or mind your own business? I have been in the Brights for a few years now. I enjoy the tools they have to diffuse the rampant proselytization. check them out
I'm not sure I like the term "bright". Got anything more subdued? Maybe in a dark blue?
Being a proud Atheist i read what you have said about religious people putting down and defacing Atheist billboards even hacking Atheists sites .I would just like to say yes the truth is scaring them and even more is how many people are going the way of atheism.What i never liked was how religion was being forced on me in the past be it door to door Mormons or people standing on street corners handing out faith based magazines or seeing billboards or bumper stickers.Which makes my next point why would we want to go the way they went ,just look at how many people are atheists through seeing the promoting of conventions or seeing it on the internet or in the dictionary or even hearing about it from a religious person talking about the godless atheists.I mean we promote enough doing this do we not?Why cant we continue the way we started?My point i am making which most Atheists don't get or agree with is we don't have to do these Atheist billboards or buses and bye doing so we are slowly becoming the type of people who are shoving our views into peoples faces just like those we know to be wrong and even stupid, and being right doesn't change the way we are going about it,anyone who doesn't know about atheists or the atheism way are in a part of the world were they wont even see these billboards being advertised.Which makes my last point anyone who sees these already knows about Atheism and choose to be or not to be a Atheist.
Hiya Reg, glad to see you here. Much easier than trying to converse in 140-character snippets on Twitter. :)

The thing is, there's a difference between actively trying to proselytize a position or being hostile to an opposing position, and simply advertising ones' presence.

A number of these ads are not attempting to convert people or say 'Have you considered atheism?', they're targeted at people who are already atheists and who may not know that there are other atheists in their area, groups that they could join or meet with.

Sure, this information can be found via other means. I found the local atheist groups via But not everyone is skilled at internet searches, and some people, having kept their non-belief concealed for many years in the face of society's condemning attitude, might not even consider that there may be local groups.

As an example, several months ago, while at the vet, I was reading The Selfish Gene. An older couple in the waiting room commented on it, and in the course of our talk, it came out that they were both atheists. When I mentioned the monthly get-togethers I attended, they were surprised and delighted to discover that there was an organized (well, loosely :) ) group of atheists in the area. One of the Don't believe in God? You are not alone.billboards with a link to the local group's website might have let them know about it much earlier.

Basically, there is a difference between pushing an opinion in someone's face and just advertising that that people with that opinion exist. I refuse to be told to shut up and sit in a corner, as if the only permissible way for an atheist to exist is to sit quietly and not draw attention to oneself, so that people can pretend that we do not exist.

The difference between the atheist ads and religious ads should not be whether or not the ads exist, but in the tone of the ads. "We exist, if you are interested then talk to us" is not offensive, no matter if it comes from a theist or an atheist. "You're wrong. And stupid. And a bad person." is offensive, no matter which side it comes from.
Dave stole my thoughts and typed them here, it seems.
Turnabout is fair play, Reggie. :D
Touche'. Must be a manifestation of the atheist "hive mind".
anyone who doesn't know about atheists or the atheism way are in a part of the world were they wont even see these billboards being advertised.Which makes my last point anyone who sees these already knows about Atheism and choose to be or not to be a Atheist.
I would argue that is not completely the case. There are a surprising number of Americans who still think atheism is the same as satanism. There are still plenty who discriminate against non-believers. There are still plenty (even politicians) who think atheists shouldn't even be citizens.

The billboards serve two main purposes (as mentioned by Dave and others); as long as they stay civil. First, getting the word out to other non-believers to let them know they are not alone, and their are like-minded people in their area. Second, to keep showing the believers that there are non-believers among them; and that they are decent, law-abiding, contributing, members of the community.
I can't wait to see these up! Does anyone know if they said which stations are going to have them?


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