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!

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Comment by Justin Murray on October 19, 2017 at 1:52am
Pointing out hypocrisy is not an attack.
Comment by Vangelis on October 19, 2017 at 1:50am

@ Justin

Please stop attacking the messenger. Attack the message if you are looking for something to attack.

The AFA are already aware of this issue. They don't seem to respond to the feedback. As I said, I have been down that particular rabbit hole and it leads nowhere.

Comment by Justin Murray on October 18, 2017 at 11:18pm

So, you want to give the AFA any feedback.

Which means you don't want them to improve.

You are not  trying to point out areas of improvement.

That was all lies, right?

Comment by Vangelis on October 18, 2017 at 10:39pm


Firstly, it is up to the physicians to do the study, provide the evidence and draw conclusions, not me. I am not a physician and as far as I am aware, the AFA is not an association for physicians.

As you say, this particular statement from the AFA is not evidence based. I do not take exception with the AFA because it contradicts my own but as I state in my original post above, there are two reasons why I take exception.

Firstly, speculation on the nature of mind and consciousness is not relevant to a god and therefore not a topic for an atheist organisation. It has nothing to do with atheism.

Secondly, this is a topic for scientific investigation. I referenced the study performed by highly respected physicians as an example of studies occurring in this area. Why does the AFA need to weigh in on a non atheist topic like this with, as you admitted below, no evidence?

Comment by Vangelis on October 18, 2017 at 10:31pm


Been down that particular rabbit-hole and it does not actually lead anywhere but thanks for the links

Comment by Sean Murphy on October 18, 2017 at 9:40pm

So far, you have presented just as much evidence for consciousness without brain activity as the AFA has presented evidence for the statement (which according to you is presented as a philosophical statement, not a scientific one in any case). I have yet to come across one case where an NDE was experienced with no brain activity. - which is NOT the same thing as, "One had a verifiable period of conscious awareness during which time cerebral function was not expected." Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, and until an NDE or an OOBE is experienced by someone who has an EEG attached and is *CONFIRMED* to have no cerebral activity, then there is no evidence of consciousness without physical life.

It sounds like you take exception with the AFA's philosophy, because it contradicts your own, but I am afraid that quite a few atheists have personal philosophies that will contradict your own. Philosophy is not inherently evidence-based, and while the AFA's personal philosophy is not particularly evidence-based, from your writings, neither is yours. Making both equal in value.

Comment by Justin Murray on October 18, 2017 at 8:27pm
Comment by Justin Murray on October 18, 2017 at 8:23pm

So, let's summarise:

1. you have an issue with the AFA;

2. you recognise that no-one but the AFA can answer the issue;

3. you say that you want the AFA to improve; BUT

3. you refuse to use a ready means to tell the AFA.

Comment by Michael Penn on October 18, 2017 at 8:02pm

A preacher walks into a dark street and he sees a homeless man under a street light facing a broken whiskey bottle.

"Jesus! Oh god! Oh my god. Jesus." The man breaks into tears.

"That's right, brother. You can do it. God will help you."

"Mister you do not understand. That was the only bottle I had."

Comment by Vangelis on October 18, 2017 at 7:39pm

@Justin I have a better joke:

Question: What's meant by an exchange of opinions in the AFA forums?
Answer: It's when I come to the forum with my own opinion, and I leave gagged by the censors.

I'm always happy to have a discussion on a level playing field.



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