A national campaign to provide answers to that most impossible of questions – “What’s it all for?” – is being launched today by the British Humanist Association (BHA).
And the charity, which promotes non-religious beliefs, is drafting some of Britain’s biggest current and historical thinkers to its cause.
“Thought for the Commute”, which begins in London before being rolled out to other UK cities, will be taken from the works of four famous humanists: the novelists George Eliot and Virginia Woolf, and the philosophers Bertrand Russell and AC Grayling.
Commuters, the BHA hopes, will find the key to contentment on a crowded platform via one poster, in which Bertrand Russell offers his take on the secret of happiness.
Andrew Copson, the chief executive of the BHA, said that the two-week campaign was an attempt to show people that they were not alone in having non-religious answers to life’s big questions, and to offer humanist perspectives that, he claimed, “are still far less available to the public than religious ones”.
Thought for the Commute, he added, was partly a riposte to BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day, which allows only religious contributors.