British Humanists are pondering the meaning of life

BHA/Alexander TaylorThe BHA's posters around the London Underground feature quotations from famous philosophers and writers

The British Humanist Association has launched an advertising campaign to promote non-religious views on the meaning of life to London commuters. Its 'Thought for the Commute' campaign on the London Underground is designed to ape religious slots such as 'Thought for the Day' on BBC Radio 4, which currently does not include humanist speakers.

The adverts appear similar to the style of campaigns to promote Alpha, the course that explains the Christian worldview, although the BHA said that this was not intentional.

The BHA has placed adverts in 100 tube stations in London for two weeks, and is encouraging twitter conversations and 'selfies' using the adverts. The posters feature quotes from people such as the atheist philospher AC Grayling, novelists George Eliot and Virginia Woolf, and philosopher Bertrand Russell, in order to "encourage commuters to think about meaning in life".

Under the headline, "What's it all for?" a humanist response is given, such as Grayling's statement: "The meaning of your life is what you make it."

At the same time that 'Thought for the Day' was broadcast yesterday, the BHA tweeted: "Listening to #tftd? Our new #TFL campaign offers #humanist perspectives on the meaning of life."

According to the Telegraph, there are plans to take the campaign to other UK cities.

Andrew Copson, chief executive of the BHA, said that the adverts were the BHA's response to BBC Radio 4's 'Thought for the Day', which the BHA thinks should include humanist points of view. Currently the short radio show features opinions from people with various different kinds of faith.

BHA/Alexander Taylor

Speaking to Christian Today, Copson said that this was not humanist evangelism, as it is "not trying to convert anyone". He said that 90 per cent of the BBC's religion and ethics output is Christian and that humanists are excluded from this.

Although humanists such as Stephen Fry and Richard Dawkins are prevalent on our TV screens, Copson said that the BHA wants to have specifically humanist opinions included in religion and ethics output, rather than on TV more broadly. He also argued that children are taught about religion but not humanism in state schools.

The cost of the campaign was not disclosed, but Copson said that it was funded by donations from humanists in London. The BHA backed an advertising campaign in 2009 on London's buses, with the slogan, "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." Richard Dawkins, among others, had donated to the project.

The BHA states as one of its aims: "Using all suitable means, including events, courses, publications, online resources, teaching materials and speakers for schools and colleges, the press, broadcast, online and social media, we will maintain an extensive promotional and educational programme to extend and deepen public understanding of Humanism as a lifestance."

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