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."


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!

Views: 280


You need to be a member of Atheist Nexus to add comments!

Join Atheist Nexus

Comment by Vangelis on October 18, 2017 at 5:10pm

@Justin The first response to this blog post concludes:

"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."

In this case he is similarly confused as to why the AFA would makes such statements. So, no Justin, the question of why the AFA makes this statement has not been addressed.

And Justin, nice attack against the poster. Where there is wrong, I will continue the fight until it is righted. Now, let's address the issue, shall we?

Comment by Vangelis on October 18, 2017 at 5:05pm

@John I'm not sure what you are talking about when you say "disproving a negative". Accounts of mental processes while in cardiac arrest and no brain activity are what is being investigated scientifically, as referenced by the peer reviewed paper.

In terms of a "non-living substrate" this is a great topic of discussion for another blog post. I have been thinking of writing a (I promise short) post about machine consciousness. A very hotly debated topic at the moment and one I find fascinating!

Comment by Justin Murray on October 18, 2017 at 4:45pm

Vangelis - your claims were addressed in the first comment.

You have done well keeping this grudge going for 7 years.

How is your magical thinking going, as a buddhist?

Comment by Currawong John on October 18, 2017 at 4:39pm

Looks like you'd be stuck disproving a negative, Vangelis.

Does science (now, or 7 years ago) record any case in which a mind would reside in a non-living substrate?

Comment by Vangelis on October 18, 2017 at 4:38pm

It should also be noted that not one of the AFA cheer squad has addressed the central topic of the blog post and that is that the AFA make statements that contradict current scientific research!

Does anyone want to comment on why it chooses to do so?

Comment by Vangelis on October 18, 2017 at 4:34pm

@Justin Thanks for the memories!

Comment by Justin Murray on October 18, 2017 at 4:17pm

Comment by Vangelis on October 18, 2017 at 4:09pm

@John Ah, I mourn the loss of that account. Unfortunately I forgot my password and after a number of messages to moderators there was no response so I had to create this acccount.

But thank-you for the link. That is an incredible blog post (if I may say so myself), the breadth and scope of which I had forgotten.

Unhappily (or happily for some) I am more succinct these days. My more brief blog post above addresses the issue from another angle. It is from the angle of the AFA contradicting scientific research. Something religion constantly engage in but one does not expect from an atheist organisation!

Comment by Justin Murray on October 18, 2017 at 4:06pm

If, as this proves (, you are a resident of fantasy island, you have been doing some magical thinking.

Pot, kettle, black.

Comment by Currawong John on October 18, 2017 at 5:21am

Is this you too? 

It looks like the issue is a long-standing one with you.

I was going to say "take it up with AFA directly", but it seems you did that long ago, as well.

© 2019   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: The Nexus Group.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service