Why did Ariane Sherine, who came up with the idea for a campaign to put ‘atheist advertisements’ on the sides of London buses suggest as a slogan, "There’s probably no God"? Surely an atheist convinced enough to pay to advertise her beliefs would want to write, "There’s no God", period?
According to one of her earlier Comment is Free columns, it may be because the manufacturers of Carling lager can advertise their product as "Probably the best lager in the world", without incurring the disapproval of the Advertising Standards Authority.
Or is there another reason? Back in February, Ms Sherine described her desperate struggle with depression and the side-effects of anti-depressants. So awful was this, she wrote, "anti- depressants depressed me till I prayed to God to make the pain stop."
But doesn’t that rather undermine the whole campaign? Shouldn’t the slogan read, "There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life - unless life is really unbearable, in which case although atheism certainly won’t help you, God just might"?
Or is that just too long for the side of a bus?Revd John Richardson