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

Join now!

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Board Game Night

When: Thursday, June 5, 7pm

Where: CIRCLE Seminar Room, Old Union 301

For our last Thursday meeting of the school year, we’d like to invite you to take a break from studying for finals and join AHA! for a casual evening of board games and discussion. Join in on one of our board games or bring your favorite!

As always, we’ll provide some pizza/snacks and drinks (or feel free to bring your own dinner if you prefer). Students and Stanford affiliates only.

Combined AHA! and CC@S blood drive

blood_driveAHA! is teaming up with the Catholic Community @ Stanford to host a blood drive through the Stanford Blood Center. Your donation can help save the life of a patient in a local hospital.

When: Sunday, June 1, 11am – 4pm

Where: 486 Santa Teresa Street (right by Tresidder Union, across from the Firetruck house)

To sign up for an appointment follow this link:
https://www.sbcdonor.org/index.cfm?group=op&expand=12892&zc=94305

To sign up for an appointment, click here. You should be at least 17 years old, 110 pounds, cold/flu free, drink fluids, and bring ID (more details on this website). In addition, we’ll be hanging out at the Fraiche in Tresidder Union from 3pm – 4pm, so come say hi after your donation – we’ll even buy AHA! members a frozen yogurt if you donated!

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Exoplanets and Life Elsewhere in the Universe, with Prof. Lynn Rothschild

Lynn_RothschildWhen: Tuesday, May 27, 7pm

Where: Building 320 (Geology Corner, Main Quad), room 105

Ever wonder what scientists think about other planets and the possibility of extraterrestrial life? Come listen to Prof. Lynn Rothschild give a talk on her research in speculative astrobiology.

Dr. Lynn J. Rothschild is an evolutionary biologist-astrobiologist at NASA’s Ames Research Center, and Professor at Stanford and Brown University, where she teaches Astrobiology and Space Exploration, inter alia. She has broad training in biology, with degrees from Yale, Indiana, and a Ph.D. from Brown University. Since arriving at Ames in 1987, her research has focused on how life, particularly microbes, has evolved in the context of the physical environment, both here and potentially elsewhere. She has co-edited a book on the subject entitled, “Evolution on Planet Earth: The Impact of the Physical Environment” (Academic Press, 2003).

Free and open to all. Sponsored by the Stanford Graduate Student Council and the ASSU Undergraduate Senate.

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End-of-year BBQ and Officer Elections

When: Sunday, May 25, 12pm

Where: Willis Lounge BBQ (219 Ayrshire Farm Lane)

Come take a break from studying for finals and hang out with AHA! for our end-of-the-year BBQ! We will also be voting on next year’s officer positions. We will supply the basics (burgers, buns, & condiments), but feel free to bring a side or drink if you like.

David Silverman: Seeds of Doubt

David SilvermanWhen: Tuesday, May 6, 6pm

Where: Braun Auditorium (map)

Come listen to David Silverman, president of the American Atheists, give a talk on his organization’s efforts to normalize atheism in American culture. Mr. Silverman has appeared on most major news programs including The O’Reilly Factor (spawning the famous “WTF meme-face”), Scarborough Country, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, CNN’s Paula Zahn NOW, Nick News, Hannity and Colmes, FOX and Friends, NPR’s All Things Considered, and many more.

Tickets are $6.50 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/david-silverman-seeds-of-doubt-tickets-11488954773

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

Dan Riley: Generation Atheist

Generation AtheistWe will be hosting author Dan Riley for a lecture and discussion about his book, Generation Atheist.

When: Tuesday, January 14, 7:30pm

Where: Building 370 (Main Quad), Room 370

From 2008-2011, Dan Riley worked as a campus organizer in the outreach department at the non-profit think tank the Center for Inquiry. He got to know many secular student leaders during his time with CFI. Finding many of their personal journeys to atheism to be fascinating, compelling, and unique, he decided to create a book that tells their stories.

The human journey is an emotional quest to find truth and meaning. Countless books have presented this journey through the eyes of people who concluded their search with devotion to God, salvation by Jesus, or commitment to religion. But there’s a changing zeitgeist in America and the world: a growing number of people are finding truth and meaning from the opposite perspective. Through 25 personal narratives, Generation Atheist tells their stories.

The people in this book come from different religious upbringings, races, sexual orientations, and genders. Many have gone through very emotional journeys in coming to a sustained, open atheistic worldview. Most were quite religious at one point in their lives. Through the internet, humanity is engaged in a global conversation unlike any before in history — about who we are, why we are here, and how we should live — and these individuals have an important perspective to share.

Free and open to all. Hosted by the Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics (AHA!) @ Stanford. Sponsored by Stanford Graduate Student Council and the ASSU Undergraduate Senate.

Board Game Night

When: Thursday, December 12, 7pm

Where: CIRCLE Seminar Room, Old Union 301

For our last Thursday meeting of the quarter, we’d like to invite you to take a break from finals and join AHA! for a casual evening of board games and discussion. Join in on one of our board games or bring your favorite!

As always, we’ll provide some pizza/snacks and drinks (or feel free to bring your own dinner if you prefer). Students and Stanford affiliates only.

Discussion Meeting: Transhumanism

For this week’s discussion, AHA is partnering with the Stanford Transhumanist Association for what should be a lively and interesting debate about the future of humanity viewed from the perspective of a skeptic. Read below for a description from Andrés Gómez Emilsson, President of the Stanford Transhumanist Association, who will lead the discussion. Come join us for thoughtful good time!

When: Thursday, December 5, 7pm

Where: CIRCLE Seminar Room, Old Union 301

Transhumanism is a worldwide cultural movement that recognizes that increasing technological capabilities open up the possibility of changing the status quo in profound and unprecedented ways. From modifying ourselves to be better thinkers, all the way to ecosystem redesign, the range of potential benefits and ethical implications of the application of technology is astronomical.

Considering how different our future may be, it is worth asking how deeply ingrained our collective Status Quo bias is. Are we OK with death just because we have always assumed it is a necessary part of life? Is it really true that we can’t be always happy (or euphoric) and still maintain an extraordinary broad-spectrum cognitive ability? Are the lows of life a necessary part of it, or just how evolution programmed us? Are we really as smart as we could be? A rational and skeptical attitude would compel us to investigate these possibilities rather than discard them out of hand.

Broadly speaking, there are three main categories into which the bulk of technological enhancements discussed by transhumanists fall: Longevity, intelligence and happiness. Typically, the specific focus of individual transhumanist thinkers tend to be one or more of these categories (e.g. de Grey, Yudkowsky, Pearce, respectively). As general guide, these are the core issues touched by transhumanist thinkers, though the true scope is harder to characterize.

For a brief outline of these core issues we recommend watching this excellent introductory video from the British Institute of Posthuman Studies:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTMS9y8OVuY

We’ll provide some pizza and drinks (or feel free to bring your own dinner if you prefer). Students and Stanford affiliates only.

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Discussion Meeting: Social Politeness vs. Personal Conviction

Since many of you will be traveling for Thanksgiving soon, come share your ideas and experiences dealing with religious family members, and what your thoughts are on how “open” to be about your beliefs (or lack thereof).

When: Thursday, November 21, 7pm

Where: CIRCLE Seminar Room, Old Union 301

Sometimes, the desire to be polite or nice to those you care about seems to be at odds with the need to feel comfortable with your own non-religious identity (as well as the desire for your loved ones to be comfortable with it too). How do you balance these concerns? How does this fit into a broader conception of active morality (the way we believe everyone should behave) vs. passive morality (not wanting to impose your beliefs on others)? Come discuss these questions with your fellow non-theists and share your own opinions and stories!

We’ll provide some pizza and drinks (or feel free to bring your own dinner if you prefer). Students and Stanford affiliates only.

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The Neuroscience of Magic

Neuroscience_of_MagicWhen: Tuesday, November 19, 7pm

Where: Building 320 (Geology Corner, Main Quad), room 105

From ancient conjurers to quick-handed con artists to big ticket Las Vegas illusionists, magicians throughout the ages have been expertly manipulating human attention and perception to dazzle and delight us (or scare us, or steal our watches). Of course you know that the phenomena of cognitive and sensory illusions are responsible for the “magic” of a magic trick, but you’ve got to admit it still kind of freaks you out when some some guy in a top hat defies the laws of nature right in front of your eyes. Come meet neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley and magician Robert Strong as they team up to demonstrate how magicians use our brains as their accomplices in effecting the impossible — and to explain what scientists can learn about the brain by studying the methods and techniques of magic.

Free and open to all (registration at Brown Paper Tickets). Presented in partnership with Ask a Scientist SF, the Humanist Connection, and AHA! @ Stanford. Sponsored by Wonderfest, the Stanford Graduate Student Council, and the ASSU Undergraduate Senate.

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