Ever look skyward for spiritual inspiration? You won’t find it on 10 new billboards that just went up in the Sacramento region.
A coalition of atheist and agnostic groups has bought billboard space to tell like-minded individuals they are not alone – but not in the godly sense.
The billboards say: “Are you good without God? Millions are.” The message appears on a background of fluffy white clouds and blue sky.
The billboards are part of a national campaign that began last year in a dozen cities, including Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati and New York. Similar ads went up in Seattle and Tampa Bay, Fla., in January.
The Sacramento billboards, which will be up for a month, cost $6,450. The advertising is sponsored by the Sacramento Area Coalition of Reason with funding from the national United Coalition of Reason, based in Washington, D.C.
The advertising space includes the Sacramento Area Coalition of Reason Web site: SacramentoCoR.org
“It’s a way of reaching out to people,” said Fred Edwords, national director of United Coalition of Reason. “Many folks who think like us think they are the only ones.”
Edwords said people who do not believe in a god are inundated by religious messages, and the billboards are meant to speak to people who believe that no god exists.
Groups that are listed on the billboard Web site include the First Atheist Church of True Science, Humanist Association of the Greater Sacramento Area, Sacramento Area Skeptics, and Atheists and Other Freethinkers.
“We non-theists are your family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers,” said Rachael Harrington, coordinator of the local group, in a news release. “We’re just like you, except we don’t believe in a supreme being. It’s about time we were equally free to be open about our views.”
Rabbi Mendy Cohen of Chabad of Sacramento has not seen the billboards but said they “sound like a bunch of rubbish.”
“How could you be an atheist in this world? How can you survive emotionally being an atheist – you could lose your job, your house – you could die from anxiety.”
The billboards are spread out from Interstate 80 near Highway 65 in Placer County to I-80 between Sacramento and Davis.
I think the advertisement is stupid and an example of a total non-understanding of the moral argument. As Dr Craig puts forward in his moral argument:
The question here is not, “Must we believe in God in order to live moral lives?” I’m not claiming that we must. Nor is the question, “Can we recognize objective moral values without believing in God?” I think that we can. Rather, the question is, “If God does not exist, do objective moral values exist?” Like Mackie and Ruse, I just don’t see any reason to think that in the absence of God, the morality evolved by homo sapiens is objective. After all, if there is no God, then what’s so special about human beings? They’re just accidental by-products of nature which have evolved relatively recently on a infinitesimal speck of dust called the planet Earth, lost somewhere in a hostile and mindless universe, and which are doomed to perish individually and collectively in a relatively short time.