(November 16, 2009) Seven organizations of nontheists (atheists, agnostics, and humanists) in the Silicon Valley area have combined their efforts today to launch the Silicon Valley Coalition of Reason. An Internet advertising campaign accompanies the launch and the promotion tour for a major nontheistic book arrives in Palo Alto on Wednesday to give the coalition a boost.
"Until now, many nontheistic groups have had limited effectiveness because of their small size and lack of combined efforts," said Arthur Jackson, coordinator for the Silicon Valley Coalition of Reason. "Today we begin to change all that as we pool our resources and reach out to the public with our message that people can be good without belief in a god."
The Silicon Valley effort is part of a nationwide campaign organized by the United Coalition of Reason. Local coalitions of reason have been established this year in 16 cities, 12 of them since the beginning of October. Most of them have been launched with local billboard campaigns, such as that of the San Diego Coalition of Reason that launched last week. But the Silicon Valley Coalition of Reason has opted to focus on the Internet, their ad campaign supported by $5,000 from the United Coalition of Reason.
"The point of this effort is to reach out to the millions of humanists, atheists and agnostics living in the United States," explained Fred Edwords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason. "Nontheists sometimes don’t realize there’s a community out there for them because they’re inundated with traditional religious messages at every turn. So we hope this will serve as a beacon and let them know they aren’t alone."
But reaching out to nontheists isn’t the only goal of the campaign. "We want the public to realize that people without a god belief are just like everyone else,” Jackson added. “We share more values in common that we have points of disagreement. That’s why we can be found among your friends, neighbors, coworkers and family members–maybe even next to you at your place of worship.”
The campaign is coordinated with the release of a new book: "Good without God, What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe," authored by Greg Epstein, the humanist chaplain at Harvard University. It is published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins. Epstein will speak this Wednesday, November 18, from 7:00 to 8:30 PM at Cubberley Auditorium, 485 Lasuen Mall, at the School of Education, Stanford University. There will be a question and answer period and the book will be available for purchase and signing.
The Silicon Valley campaign is one among many that have been launched around the country earlier this year, including billboard and transit system campaigns in cities as far flung as Boston, Massachusetts; Charleston, South Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus, Ohio; Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas; Des Moines, Iowa; Morgantown, West Virginia; Newark, New Jersey; New Orleans, Louisiana; New York, New York; Phoenix, Arizona; Portland, Oregon, and San Diego, California.
For more details on the Silicon Valley campaign go to www.SiliconValleyCoR.org
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The Silicon Valley Coalition of Reason ( www.SiliconValleyCoR.org ) is a group of like-minded member organizations in the south San Francisco Bay area that share a worldview motivation by empathy and grounded in reason.
The United Coalition of Reason ( www.unitedcor.org ) exists to raise the visibility and sense of unity among local groups in the community of reason by providing funding and expertise to help them cooperate toward the goal of raising their public profiles.
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For more information contact:
Silicon Valley CoR
Greg M. Epstein
Ben Bruton (publicist)