The Atheist Foundation of Australia defines Atheism as:
"the acceptance that there is no credible scientific or factually reliable evidence for the existence of a god, gods or the supernatural"
Sam Harris is known to "experiment" with personal meditation experiences. Here is what wikipedia has to say about Sam Harris and "spirituality":
"Harris wishes to incorporate spirituality in the domain of human reason. He draws inspiration from the practices of Eastern religion, in particular that of meditation, as described principally by Hindu and Buddhist practitioners. By paying close attention to moment-to-moment conscious experience, Harris suggests, it is possible to make our sense of "self" vanish and thereby uncover a new state of personal well-being."
He talks of mind states, of "not-self" and other terms which the AFA call on their forums "woo-woo".
The reason that the AFA would reject Sam Harris as an atheist is the last 3 words in their definition: "or the supernatural". They see atheism as rejecting not only god/gods (theo) but also the "supernatural", thereby turning atheism into atheiwoowoosm! They staunchly defend their definition beyond and rational logic. Only recently I have understood why that term is in there in the first place. The AFA are in fact, not an atheist organisation but a skeptics organisation. From their website:
" The Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc began in South Australia in 1970 when the members of the Rationalist Association of SA decided that a name change would proclaim their basic philosophy"
So it appears that all they did was change their name but not their "clothes". This deceptive behaviour has caused some confusion on their forums but they still staunchly maintain their stance.
And the great irony in this whole issue? Sam Harris' books are on their recommended reading list!!!
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True but Sam Harris claims the effects of meditation on the mind are not scientifically verifiable. Since there is no "credible scientific evidence" that means the AFA's definition of atheism is not satisfied and Sam Harris is not an atheist.
Clearly this definition is flawed. Atheism is the denial of god(s) and that's it - there is no need to include anything else.
Ah sorry, I think there are some missing words in my sentence that have altered the meaning. So let me clarify.
Sam Harris makes some statements about meditation such as when he talks about the self vanishing which science can't verify. This is the problem with verifying the meditative experiences, science doesn't have instrumentation capable of measuring the mind's specific thoughts and/or perceptions.
I'm going to do my clairvoyance thing now... wait for it... wait for it...
I sense a great deal of anger in you... possibly some meditation is in order? :D
Seems your clairvoyance is bunk too. I am not angrier than the next atheist. I do find you annoying, but that's a long way from being angry. The anger ploy is a common thread in my dealings with theists, though. "Why are you so angry at God?" they bleat, as though I was the one with a problem (the conversation often implies that it is a mental one) and that I have to justify myself. Is this a similar attempt to divert attention from the worth of your own claims?
Is that a smiley at the end of your message? If you want to be funny, try doing so without relying on ineffectual visual aids. Smilies are about as sincere as writing "With all due respect..." before writing something disrespectful.
If you want to question my mental state or motives, do so up front and don't play disingenuous games.