Sunday 20 March 2016

Upcoming Event 

Pluralistic Ignorance Towards Atheists

Dr Peter Jonason will explore research as to why some people like atheists in private but less in public.
Across three US studies, the impact of perceived social norms on attitudes and positive behavioral intentions towards atheists and religious believers were investigated. Reported attitudes, reported acceptability of expressing positive and negative attitudes, and reported positive behavioral intentions disproportionately favored religious believers over atheists. However, participants reported a higher likelihood of engaging in positive behaviors towards atheists when the threat of public scrutiny was limited, indicating that the social norm in the U.S. may be suppressing privately held, positive behavioral intentions that would otherwise support atheists, creating a state of pluralistic ignorance. Other factors will also be discussed. 
Dr. Jonason earned his B.A. in Communication Science and Political Science and his M.A. in Communication Science from the University of Connecticut. He earned his Ph.D. in social psychology from New Mexico State University. Since 2011, he has been in the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at Western Sydney University. He has authored more than 75 publications during his career; 20 in 2015 alone. In 2014 he won the IgNobel award in psychology and in 2015 he served Visiting Scholar positions at Lomonosov Moscow State University and the University of Western Ontario. 
Entry to this event will be $5.00 for supporter members of Sydney Atheists and $10.00 for non supporter attendees. Annual Supporter membership is only $20. To become a supporter member, please go to: 
Our talk events are held at the Function Room at Club Redfern:
2nd Floor, 159 Redfern St
The entrance is 20 metres across Gibbons Street from Redfern Station under the SPAR sign. You can walk up the stairs, the escalator or use the elevator to the 2nd floor where the club is located. 

Please RSVP at

Tuesday 15 March 2016

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif visit with Julie Bishop

Dear Julie Bishop,

As the President of Sydney Atheists, I would like to bring your attention to the millions, yes millions of Atheists in Iran.

In Iran it is against the religious laws to become an atheist. Such behaviour is considered as apostasy and blasphemous, and any such declaration by a former Muslim risks at the least lost work opportunities, isolation, imprisonment and potentially death. As such, Atheists have to hide their beliefs

I understand that you either have or will raise the issue of Baha'is in Iran. That is to be commended. Please be aware, however, that the number of Atheists in Iran is far greater than the number of Baha'is and their suffering is at least as bad. Indeed, the Iranian theocracy looks more kindly on any godly belief than on the denial of gods.

We have a very significant number of Persian (Iranian) Atheists in our community. They fear for those of their family and friends still in Iran. They also fear for their safety should they exercise and express their freedom of belief or non-belief in Shia Islam and wish to visit their families and friends in that country.

I plead with you on behalf of Atheist Persians in Iran, Australia and around the world to encourage the Iranian Government to allow freedom of belief, conscience and tolerance in Iran.

Thank you,

Steve Marton
President Sydney Atheists