Following a recent atheist bus campaign, the secular school of thought has witnessed a rise in student interest and participation. The campaign, which saw 600 London buses bearing posters with the slogan ‘There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life’, was the brainchild of comedian Ariane Sherine and began in response to the Christian ‘Alpha Course’ adverts on buses proclaiming biblical extracts. A series of pro-secular student movements have since sprung up to oppose what the ‘anti-God squad’ believe is a growing pandering towards religious groups.
The launch of the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (AHS) is the latest development in the increasing atheism amongst students. The AHS is the first national student body to represent the rights of young British students. President of the society, 24 year-old Norman Ralph, states: “there is a growing wave of British atheism sweeping the country and we need to ride the wave”.
Professor Dawkins, prominent atheist and author of The God Delusion, attended the launch and canvassed his support for students wanting to set up an atheist society. Dawkins explains, “University is a place where people think, a place where people evaluate evidence”.
Nottingham does not currently have an atheist society. The University of Leeds recently set up its own atheist society but Chris Worfolk, a Leeds graduate, explained: “It took us a long time to get our society up and running. There was a lot of opposition”.