“Are you good without God?”

New York Good Without God campaign Our headline today is on a billboard in downtown Chicago. In New York, the advertising campaign puts it a little differently—see a copy of the Big Apple posters at right. Donors, in some cases anonymous, are paying to hang these messages in cities around the country.
   
In Illinois, the public confession of atheism was put up by the Chicago Coalition of Reason. The organization “is a group of like-minded member organizations from throughout the Chicagoland area that share a worldview grounded in reason over superstition, and scientific evidence over revealed truth.”
   

What do you think of these messages?
   
According to the organization’s press release, the billboard “is part of a coordinated multi-organizational advertising campaign designed to raise awareness about people who don’t believe in a god. It fits into a nationwide effort that has now come to the Chicago area.”

The dual purpose of the national billboard campaign is to let humanists, atheists, and agnostics know that there’s a community and home for them, and to let everyone else know that it’s possible to be “good without belief in God.”

I wonder what it will mean to my young son when he reads one of these billboards. He hasn’t seen one yet, but when he does, I’m sure it will spark an interesting conversation! No doubt that’s one of the intentions of the billboard makers.

It’s intriguing that these public messages come at a time when the opposite of atheism—religious fanaticism—is so obvious and prevalent.

How do the nation’s youth grapple with these polar opposites? How do they navigate the waters between religious extremism and denial of God? How do they find a sense of meaning and purpose?

We’ll explore these issues this week on OurValues.org. It’s bound to be a rousing conversation, so join in!

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