Atheist Foundation of Australia are at it again!

I'm beginning to think that the AFA is a little anachronistic organisation desperately trying to make itself seem relevant. It appears to be joining the ranks of the theists in making all sorts of unsupported scientific claims. Is it not enough just to be atheist? Is it not enough just to state that they lack belief in god(s)? Unfortunately for us besieged Australian atheists, it is not enough for them. The particular statement that sticks with me is the following:

"No personality or mind can exist without the process of living matter to sustain it."

I have a number of issues with this statement. Firstly, what is an atheist organisation doing speculating on the nature of mind and consciousness? What does it have to do with a god or gods? Secondly why not leave this question to the scientists and physicians that are currently studying it? There are peer reviewed detailed studies published by multiple physicians which discuss this very topic. In fact, one paper states the following in its abstract:

"2% described awareness with explicit recall of ‘seeing’ and ‘hearing’ actual events related to their resuscitation. One had a verifiable period of conscious awareness during which time cerebral function was not expected."

ref http://www.resuscitationjournal.com/article/S0300-9572%2814%2900739...

This one statement point blank contradicts the AFA "philosophy" statement. So why is the AFA engaging in "philosophical" statement of this type instead of sticking to its business of being an atheist organisation?

Well, I'm not sure if anyone can answer this question except for the AFA itself but I thought that I would share my frustration of their antics with others. Maybe I will feel better at least!

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Comment by Vangelis on October 18, 2017 at 12:13am

@Justin Murry I should have put a link to it in the original post. It is on the "About Us" web page under the "Our Philosophy" section:

http://atheistfoundation.org.au/about-us/

I am not a member of the AFA nor would I join whilst they make such extraordinary claims. And might I add, nor do I need to be a member to comment on their antics. That's like saying I need to be a Republican to comment on Trump-foolery. That is an unreasonable claim.

Comment by Justin Murray on October 17, 2017 at 9:14pm

Where is link to the AFA making such a statement?

That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

Are you a member of the AFA? Why do you think you have a right to comment on their "antics"?

Disclosure: I am an AFA member and I am currently satisfied with their work.

Comment by Sean Murphy on October 17, 2017 at 8:40pm

Without the context of the statement, there is no way to speculate meaningfully as to what was meant by the statement.

Comment by Michael Penn on October 17, 2017 at 7:15am

I see your frustration but I can also agree with no personality or mind existing without the process of living matter to sustain it. At least, in our world as far as we can tell. Although I agree with the statement it is still left within the realms of science to prove it. Currently we can only assume it to be correct and those making statements without proof are simply making things up.

Your second observation involving conscious awareness where brain function was not expected is the now and forever ongoing ideas of mankind "having a soul" or some awareness of consciousness being some place else while the brain is deprived of oxygen or in some other manner of stress. People "see" or "hear" things and the truth is that the body in question has not moved or went anywhere at all. It's right where it was the entire time. My best guess is that certain people want to believe and they have their minds made up already. Along with that I would suggest that they do not understand sleep. That's right. Plain ordinary sleep. The NDE claims are all much like that.

As to why the AFA is now making claims, I do not know. It would seem they might be shifting some of the burden of proof onto themselves in doing so. Until the unknown is truly known it simply remains unknown.

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