Who are we?

Atheists lack, and sometimes specifically reject, a belief in the existence of a god or gods.

Humanists believe that ethical philosophy should be based on human needs and rational thought.

Agnostics believe that the truth about the existence of god or gods is unknown or unknowable.

If you find the above ideas interesting, you are invited to join AHA! for fun and lively discussion. We have regular meetings on Wednesdays at 8pm in Old Union Room 302.

Contact e-mail: atheists [at] stanford.edu

Get involved!

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Discussion Meeting: Fall Quarter in Review

When: Wednesday, December 10, 7:30pm

Where: CIRCLE Common Room, Old Union 302

Come discuss how fall quarter went, offer suggestions for winter quarter events, and just casually chat with your fellow AHA!ers.

Meal-type food will be served.

Good food


Discussion Meeting: A Secular Evaluation of Animal Rights and Vegetarianism

When: Wednesday, November 19, 8pm

Where: CIRCLE Common Room, Old Union 302

While vegetarianism and animal rights aren’t immediately associated with religious belief, one popular defense of animal value hinges on a religiously inspired dedication to animals having either a soul or some essential soul-like component. But why exactly ought we to value or care about non-human animal life? What differentiates animals from plants in that sense and the much lower priority they are given? Of course health benefits or environmental concerns are commonly cited reasons for becoming a vegetarian, but we will focus on a philosophical evaluation of the source, context, and existence of non-human animal value or rights.

Come join your local gathering of non-theists for an irreverent discussion of animal rights. Light snacks will be provided.

Discussion Meeting: From connected homes, to AI, to the Singularity: ethics in the secular pursuits of CS

When: Wednesday, November 12, 8pm

Where: CIRCLE Common Room, Old Union 302

How does one design machines capable of behaving ethically? Along with many an opening for discussion of the sci-fi angle of this topic (from Asimov’s 3+1 laws, to the question of how the Singularity will look, and the nature of [non-]belief post-Singularity), we will discuss issues around ethical design of ‘dumber’ systems (from obligations to use crypto, to questions of where the burden of responsibility lies when it comes to cell phone users’ privacy: the OS, the app, or the user).

Come join your fellow AHA!ers for a discussion about AI and ethics. Light snacks will be provided.

Come join your fellow AHA!ers for a discussion about AI and ethics. Light snacks will be provided.

The Historicity of the New Testament

CarrierbookWhen: Tuesday, November 11, 6:30pm

Where: Building 320, Room 105 (map)

The New Testament narratives have always had a powerful influence in shaping Western cultural identity, both in the religious sphere and beyond. In this structured discussion between Dr. Richard Carrier (author of On the Historicity of Jesus) and Dr. Thomas Sheehan (Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford), we will look critically at the history and mythology around the New Testament writings and its central figures, Jesus and Paul.

Dr. Eugenie Scott, a former university professor, served as the executive director of NCSE from 1987 to 2014; she now serves as the chair of NCSE’s Advisory Council. She has been both a researcher and an activist in the creationism/evolution controversy for over twenty-five years, and can address many components of this controversy, including educational, legal, scientific, religious, and social issues. She has received national recognition for her NCSE activities, including awards from scientific societies, educational societies, skeptics groups, and humanist groups.  Scott is the author of Evolution vs Creationism and co-editor, with Glenn Branch, of Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools.

Admission is free and open only to Stanford student, faculty, staff, or community member with an SUID card.

Hosted by Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics (AHA!) @ Stanford, and co-sponsored by the Graduate Student Council, ASSU Undergraduate Senate, and the Secular Student Alliance

Discussion Meeting: Joint Discussion with the Stanford Roundtable for Science, Technology, and Society

When: Wednesday, November 5, 8pm

Where: CIRCLE Common Room, Old Union 302

This week the Stanford Round Table will join us for a discussion about religion and science. A large breadth of questions will be provided, as we want everyone to be able to have a chance to talk about what interests them most within the many possible topics.

Come join your fellow students in discussing the ways in which religions must evolve in light of scientific discovery, why (biologically and philosophically) people choose to be religious, or simply your beliefs about existential questions and the methods you use to come to your conclusions. Light snacks will be provided.

Discussion Meeting: Indian Rationalist Philosophy

When: Wednesday, October 29, 8pm

Where: CIRCLE Common Room, Old Union 302

By 700 BCE, the ritualism of classical Vedic religion was challenged by powerful new thoughts that focused more on observation and inferential reasoning. In this meeting, Sayak will present a brief overview of 3 dominant philosophies that made the greatest progress in understanding the world and the human condition using rational means and how their insights can enrich our own understanding of the naturalist and humanist life stance.

Come join AHA! for a discussion of Indian philosophy. Light snacks will be provided.

Dr. Eugenie Scott: Why do people reject good science? Reflections on the evolution and climate science wars

Scott_2014When: Tuesday, October 28, 7pm

Where: Building 320, Room 105 (map)

Scientists are often puzzled when members of the public reject what we consider to be well-founded explanations. They can’t understand why the presentation of scientific data and theory doesn’t suffice to convince others of the validity of “controversial” topics like evolution and climate change. Recent research highlights the importance of ideology in shaping what scientific conclusions are considered reliable and acceptable. This research is quite relevant to both the evolution wars and the public’s opposition to climate change.
Dr. Eugenie Scott, a former university professor, served as the executive director of NCSE from 1987 to 2014; she now serves as the chair of NCSE’s Advisory Council. She has been both a researcher and an activist in the creationism/evolution controversy for over twenty-five years, and can address many components of this controversy, including educational, legal, scientific, religious, and social issues. She has received national recognition for her NCSE activities, including awards from scientific societies, educational societies, skeptics groups, and humanist groups.  Scott is the author of Evolution vs Creationism and co-editor, with Glenn Branch, of Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools.

Scientists are often puzzled when members of the public reject what we consider to be well-founded explanations. They can’t understand why the presentation of scientific data and theory doesn’t suffice to convince others of the validity of “controversial” topics like evolution and climate change. Recent research highlights the importance of ideology in shaping what scientific conclusions are considered reliable and acceptable. This research is quite relevant to both the evolution wars and the public’s opposition to climate change.

Dr. Eugenie Scott, a former university professor, served as the executive director of NCSE from 1987 to 2014; she now serves as the chair of NCSE’s Advisory Council. She has been both a researcher and an activist in the creationism/evolution controversy for over twenty-five years, and can address many components of this controversy, including educational, legal, scientific, religious, and social issues. She has received national recognition for her NCSE activities, including awards from scientific societies, educational societies, skeptics groups, and humanist groups.  Scott is the author of Evolution vs Creationism and co-editor, with Glenn Branch, of Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools.

Tickets are $10.00 for non-students and free to all Stanford students/postdocs (with SUID card). Tickets now live! Click here to go to Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dr-eugenie-scott-why-do-people-reject-good-science-reflections-on-the-evolution-and-climate-science-tickets-13235258013

Hosted by Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics (AHA!) @ Stanford, and co-sponsored by the Graduate Student Council and the Stanford Speakers Bureau

Discussion Meeting: Immigration

When: Wednesday, October 15, 8pm

Where: CIRCLE Common Room, Old Union 302

Immigration is a highly politicized issue that often intersects with policies affecting other aspects of our lives.  This discussion aims to reflect and critically examine our understanding of “community,” and to explore the connection between our humanist beliefs and our attitude towards immigration policies and immigrants.

Come join your fellow students to discuss immigration.  Light snacks will be provided.

Discussion Meeting: Giving: secular vs. religious charity

When: Wednesday, October 8, 8pm

Where: CIRCLE Common Room, Old Union 302

Charitable giving is often held up as one of the most important functions of religion, whether through organized churches or through the inspiration of religious people. How do non-theists compare, and what can we do better? What role should private charity fill in our society as opposed to government aid?

Come join your fellow students to discuss how giving in religious and secular contexts differ.  Light snacks will be provided.

Discussion Meeting: (Non-)belief and Identity

When: Wednesday, October 1, 8pm

Where: CIRCLE Common Room, Old Union 302

Many people count their beliefs among the distinguishing features of their identity.  But some folks also develop identities around what they don’t believe.  How do your (non-)beliefs inform your views of yourself and your relationship to others?

Come join AHA! for its first meeting of the year and discuss the relationship between (non-)belief and identity.  Light snacks will be provided.  Students and Stanford affiliates only.