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!!!

Tags: atheist, australia, foundation, harris, meditation

Views: 557

Replies are closed for this discussion.

Replies to This Discussion

Correct. And that is why I'm saying that the definition of atheism should just be left simple like "the denial of the existence of god(s)". The justification of this statement is a discussion that can be had later - it should not form part of the definition otherwise we risk excluding those that should be called atheist.

Ok, I think that all sides to this discussion have had their say and certainly for me this has been very instructive in helping me further develop my understanding of the various definitions for "atheism". I hope others have also developed a better understanding of the issues regarding these definitions.

 

I haven't done this before so I'm not sure if it's going to work. I am now going to try to close this thread and let it stand as a rewarding discussion on this issue.

 

Thank you all,

 

Vangelis

RSS

Support Atheist Nexus

Supporting Membership

Nexus on Social Media:

Latest Activity

Plinius replied to Joan Denoo's discussion Peak Prosperity News Update - 2-12-2016 in the group Hang With Friends
23 minutes ago
Grinning Cat replied to Ruth Anthony-Gardner's discussion Religion can reduce stress
30 minutes ago
Loren Miller posted a status
"Question: would the individual books used to put together the bible be referred to as "canon fodder?!?" Just asking...! [grin!]"
54 minutes ago
Donald R Barbera commented on Donald R Barbera's blog post What, When, Where, Who and How
58 minutes ago
Michael Penn replied to Ruth Anthony-Gardner's discussion Religion can reduce stress
1 hour ago
Daniel W commented on Daniel W's group Food!
2 hours ago
Daniel W commented on Daniel W's group Food!
2 hours ago
Daniel W commented on Claire Donnelly's group LGBTQI atheists, nontheists, and friends
2 hours ago

© 2016   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service