Thursday 14 December 2017

Committee for 2018
The Sydney Atheists AGM was held on the 8th of December. The incoming committee for 2018 consists of:
President - Steve Marton
Vice-President - Jessica Nissan
Secretary - Barbara Locmelis
Treasurer - Semih Ilhan
Public Relations - Khalid Almulhim
Public Officer - Mike Beecham
Assistant Secretary / Treasurer - Mohamed Farahat

Special mention was made of the delight that we share in that Australians voted so overwhelmingly to give same sex attracted people the same rights as others in the community.
The results of the 2016 Australian Census were released this year. The growth in the number of people without religion to now be one in three Australians is a giant step toward rationality and reason in the Australian psyche.
Sydney Atheists wish everyone a happy, healthy and successful 2018.

Sunday 12 November 2017

The difference between knowledge, belief and expectation.

Tibor Molnar will discuss the difference between knowledge, belief and expectation.
Tibor Molnar studied Chemical Engineering at UNSW in the 1960s, and then forged a career in industrial chemistry, IT and business. Retired in the early 2000s, he is today a polymath with a wide range of interests: from physics and neuroscience to AI and philosophy. He is an Honorary Associate of the Department of Philosophy, University of Sydney, and teaches a course –Philosophy for Science: Making Sense of the Physical World – at the University’s Centre for Continuing Education.
But more than all of that, Tibor is an entertainer at least as much as a philosopher, providing an evening to be savoured.
Plato categorised ‘knowledge’ as “justified true belief”; but should we ‘believe’ him? After all, how do we ‘justify’ believing that something is ‘justified’? How do we establish that something is ‘true’, and hence that we may claim to ‘know’ it? Don’t we ‘believe’ that all our beliefs are ‘justified’? (Why else would we ‘believe’ them)? And doesn’t ‘understanding’ have something to do with it?
Contemporary epistemology – theory of knowledge – is very confused; and Plato is in no small part responsible. In a very short talk, Tibor Molnar will tell you everything he ‘knows’! (Then he’ll tell you about expectation, belief, understanding, justification, logic, validity, truth, facts, …)
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:
To buy advance purchase tickets for non financial members, 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. The outside of the venue is shown below.
Parking is available in the shopping complex and adjacent streets.


Sunday 15 October 2017

Can human rights unite people of faith, agnostics and atheists? 
We have the honour and pleasure of the Australian Human Rights Commissioner Ed Santow presenting to Sydney Atheists, attempting to answer a very difficult question. With the animosity shown to us by people of faith, his response will be illuminating.

Ed Santow

Edward Santow commenced his five-year term as Human Rights Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission in August 2016.
Prior to joining the Commission, Ed was chief executive of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, a leading non-profit organisation that promotes human rights through strategic litigation, policy development and education.
Ed was previously a Senior Lecturer at UNSW Law School and a research director at the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law. His areas of expertise include human rights, administrative and constitutional law, discrimination and freedom of information.
As Human Rights Commissioner, Ed leads the Commission’s work on marriage equality and other human rights issues affecting LGBTI Australians. Ed also leads the Commission’s work on the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) and he has primary responsibility for the Commission’s work on freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of religion.
Ed is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), and serves on a number of boards and committees, including the Australia Pro Bono Centre. In 2009, Ed was presented with an Australian Leadership Award, and in 2017, he was recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

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:

To purchase advance tickets, please go to:

Our talk events are held 7.00pm at the Function Room at Club Redfern:
2nd Floor, 159 Redfern St

NB Khalid Almulhim has replaced Thomas Kraemer as our Public Relations officer
The committee now consists of Steve Marton, Jessica Nissan, Caroline Wykamp, Semih Ilhan, Mohamed Farahat, Mike Beecham and Khalid

Saturday 9 September 2017

Ethics - An evening with Simon Longstaff

This evening we will turn the tables on Simon Longstaff as Steve Marton will interview Simon on this occasion. Dr Simon Longstaff is the Executive Director of the Ethics Centre. This centre started Ethics Classes in schools, runs IQ2 and has run the Festival of Dangerous Ideas at which Simon is usually the host and interviewer. The Ethics Centre provides direction, information and advice to the public, institutions, corporations and government on ethical matters. It is one of the most important organisations for honesty and integrity in Australia.

Simon’s distinguished career includes being named as one of AFR Boss’ True Leaders for the 21st century, with Carol Schwartz noting; "I don’t know one CEO or chairman in corporate Australia who has not worked with Simon Longstaff". Simon Longstaff began his working life on Groote Eylandt (Anindilyakwa) in the Northern Territory where he worked in the Safety Department of the then BHP subsidiary, GEMCO. He is proud of his kinship ties with members of the island’s Indigenous community. Following a period studying law in Sydney and a brief career teaching in Tasmania, Simon undertook postgraduate studies in philosophy as a Member of Magdalene College, Cambridge. Simon commenced his work as the first Executive Director of The Ethics Centre in 1991. Simon is a Fellow of CPA Australia and in June 2016, was appointed an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University – based at the National Centre for Indigenous Studies. Formerly serving as the inaugural President of The Australian Association for Professional & Applied Ethics, Simon serves on a number of boards and committees across a broad spectrum of activities. He was formerly a Fellow of the World Economic Forum.

Friday 13th of October at 7.00pm

Function Room
2nd Floor, 159 Redfern St
or purchase tickets at

Saturday 2 September 2017

Ramasamy and the evolution of Atheism in Southern India
Balaji Abayavaratheswaran will present the history of Atheism in the southern region of the second most populated country on earth. He will discuss E.V.Ramasamy and his impact on generations of Indians. E.V.Ramasamy was a rationalist who rejected God.

For more details and to RSVP please go to

Sunday 16 July 2017

Is judgment at the centre of thinking about right and wrong?

It gives us great pleasure to have our Friday the 11th of August presentation by Emeritus Professor Max Deutscher, Honorary Professor in Philosophy from Macquarie University and the University of Queensland. Max is also the author of "In sensible judgement" and "Judgement after Arendt" He will provide us with a philosophical treat not only discussing his wide experience in judgement, right and wrong, but also touching on the works of philosophical masters such as Immanuel Kant, David Hume and more recently Alice Crary.

This is a night to be savoured.
7.00pm at Club Redfern, 159 Redfern Street Redfern

If you are a Sydney Atheists member, RSVP here:

or purchase tickets here:

Tuesday 27 June 2017

Census 2016

No religion has increased by 31% from 2011 making up at least 30% of Australia's community. More and more Australians are waking up to the fraud that is religion.

‘No religion’ tops religion question in Census

Are Australians turning into a nation of nonbelievers?

Charis Chang and
DESPITE a scare campaign about Australia becoming a “Muslim country”, those ticking “no religion” in the Census has now overtaken the number of Catholics.
It’s the first time in Australia’s history the number of people who claim “no religion” has overtaken Catholics.
The latest Census drop showed those ticking “no religion” rose from 22.6 per cent to 29.6 per cent — nearly double the 16 per cent in 2001.
Meanwhile, those identifying as Catholic dropped from 25.3 per cent to 22.6 per cent.
The number of Christians in total still made up 51 per cent of the population, but this is much less than the 88 per cent in 1966 and 74 per cent in 1991.
Islam (2.6 per cent) and Buddhism (2.4 per cent) were the next most common religions reported.
Islam grew from 2.2 per cent in 2011, overtaking Buddhism, which dropped from 2.5 per cent, to become the most popular non-Christian religion.
The religion question was controversial this year, with Australians warned not to mark “no religion” on the Census survey by those afraid the nation would become a “Muslim country”.
An email was circulated that asked Australians to avoid the “no religion” option as this would give prominence to Muslims.
Those reporting no religion increased noticeably from 19 per cent in 2006 to 30 per cent in 2016. The largest change was between 2011 (22 per cent) and 2016, when an additional 2.2 million people reported having no religion.
But it was Hinduism that had the most significant growth between 2006 and 2016, driven by immigration from South Asia.
Those who did not answer the religion question, which is the only non-compulsory question in the Census, was 9.6 per cent, up slightly from 9.2 per cent in 2011.
The results show Australia remains a predominantly religious country, with 60 per cent of people reporting a religious affiliation but the trend towards “no religion” has some calling for changes.
The Atheist Foundation of Australia said it was time to stop pandering to religious minorities and to take religion out of politics.
AFA president Kylie Sturgess said political, business and cultural leaders needed to listen to the non-religious when it came to public policy that’s based on evidence, not religious beliefs.
“This includes policy on abortion, marriage equality, voluntary euthanasia, religious education in state schools and anything else where religious beliefs hold undue influence,” she said.
She said certain religious groups seemed to get automatic consideration in the public policy sphere and to enjoy a privileged position that wasn’t afforded to other large groups, such as the non-religious.
“That has to stop. Politicians, business leaders and influencers take heed: this is an important milestone in Australia’s history. Those who marked down ‘No religion’ deserve much more recognition. We will be making our opinions known, and there’s power in numbers.”
How likely a person was to identify as religious in 2016 had a lot to do with their age.
Young adults aged 18-34 were more likely to be affiliated with religions other than Christianity (12 per cent) and to report not having a religion (39 per cent) than other adult age groups.
Older age groups, particularly those aged 65 years and over, were more likely to report Christianity.
In terms of states, New South Wales had the highest religious affiliation (66 per cent of people reporting a religious affiliation), while Tasmania (53 per cent) was the lowest.
An earlier release of Census data in April showed the typical Australian was now a 38-year-old married woman with two children.

Tuesday 20 June 2017

Why don't you just leave? Why ending an abusive relationship is not simple.

Sydney Atheists Talks cover areas as diverse as psychology, philosophy, science, technology, religion and of course atheism. The talk this evening will relate to psychology.

This evening Mary will share a personal journey of meeting and falling in love with a psychopath. Mary's story examines the master manipulator and how a smart, professional woman could fall for such a nasty person. Mary also explains why, when a relationship turns violent it isn't always easy to "just leave" as there are many layers of complexity behind an abusive relationship.

Mary has been on a 2 year journey of self-forgiveness and what has been described by health professionals as surviving PTSD.

Susan has a Bachelor of Science (Mathematics), has a long career as an energy professional and is now studying Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy).

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
RSVP here:

Saturday 13 May 2017

From Wahhabi Islam to Christianity to Atheism - an extraordinary journey

Khalid, who grew up in Saudi Arabia will discuss his experience of abandoning Islam, converting to Christianity then ultimately abandoning all the religions and becoming an atheist.He will discuss life in Saudi Arabia and the negativity of its religion,the unjust rules, treatment of women, discouraging music, arts and freedom of speech. Khalid will also discuss the teachings in school from an early age and how they affect the actions of people to do irrational and violent things. Even in a public school (not a religious one), around one third of the courses given are religious ones.

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

Tuesday 28 March 2017

Halal Certification link to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Dee Ellis was a NSW Senate Candidate for the Secular Party of Australia at the last election. Dee is particularly concerned that religious organisations continue to receive government funding and tax breaks, despite the fact that many discriminate against women, gays and other groups. Furthermore, some of these religions also commit human rights violations. Dee would prefer such funding instead to be channelled into more scientifically proven areas and worthy causes such as secular education and health. This would benefit all Australians regardless of their background. Dee is dedicated to exposing and speaking out about all oppressive religious practices.
The majority of Australian meat, and other groceries, are now halal certified. A significant proportion of Australian halal certified fees go to the World Halal Food Council in Indonesia, run by Indonesia’s most senior Islamic organisation, MUI. MUI have in the past released a fatwa endorsing female genital mutilation (FGM) and also managed to get an FGM ban overturned. UNICEF figures show that at least 49% of Indonesian girls have undergone FGM. Furthermore, as reported in the Guardian, an Islamic foundation, subordinate to MUI, pay and organise for mass FGM ceremonies to be performed on Indonesian schoolgirls.
Dee will expose further the links between Islam, female genital mutilation and halal certification. This event is not about demonising cultural or progressive Muslims, but discussing what we can do to stop funding the genital mutilation of young girls.
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:

Please RSVP here:

Thursday 16 March 2017

Letter to Coopers Brewery

Dear Sir / Madam,

Sydney Atheists have been very supportive of Coopers beers as a local producer of beer. We are an organisation with thousands of members and associates. 

We are a non-profit organisation that provides a sanctuary and fellowship for people who have escaped from religions that include Judaism; Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox Christianity; Jehovah's Witnesses; Mormonism; Sunni, Shiite and Wahhabi Islam; Hinduism; Sikhism and many others. We provide education to our members on topics as varied as science, technology, philosophy, psychology, various religions and of course atheism. We see our role as making the world a better place by helping people out of delusion.

We are concerned and distressed to learn that you support / or have supported the Bible Society.

We see all religious texts and all religions as deceitful belief systems without scientific or rational bases. They lead to indoctrination and fraud. They lead to hate and the fracturing of society, not to mention intimidation, murder and genocide.

Your position leads us to consider boycotting your product.

If you would like to be even handed and morally conscienable, we would appreciate a donation from you, just as you have donated to the Bible Society.

Our bank account details are: BSB 112-879 Account Number 410 136 189 

Your donation would of course be both appreciated and promoted.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Marton
President on behalf of Sydney Atheists

Friday 17 February 2017

What is your doctor REALLY telling you? Science, pseudoscience and medicine.

Dr Anthony Maloof is a Sydney based specialist surgeon. Following completion of training in Ophthalmology, Dr Maloof branched into Subspecialty fields of Cornea transplantation, Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive surgery. He has appointments at the Prince of Wales Hospital and Sydney Eye hospitals and works in private practice in Sydney.
Anthony is a fierce proponent of science based medicine, a strong advocate of science, and an equally strong critic of the poor communication that exists between science and the humanities.
What influences your doctor in their decision making? What influences the advice and recommendations that they give you? How rational is their decision making? How do pharmaceutical companies propagate information about their products to your benefit or detriment? These questions and more will be addressed.
The religious pray for miracles but Dr Maloof performs them, like the corneal transplant below.
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
RSVP here:

If you are NOT a financial member of Sydney Atheists, you may purchase a ticket here: 

Tuesday 10 January 2017

Sydney Atheists AGM 9th December 2016- election of office bearers:

President: Steve Marton
Vice President: Jessica Nissan
Secretary: Devesh Sharma
Treasurer: Semih Ilhan
Public Officer: Mike Beecham
Public Relations: Thomas Kraemer
Assistant Secretary / Treasurer: Mohamed Farahat

Sydney Atheists have an eclectic committee, composed of people from 5 former religions and one with no former religion. They come from 7 different countries and with backgrounds in accounting, law, management, medical, science and technology.