The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) is the oldest freethought group in Australia, promoting reason since 1906.
Our members and supporters hold that: all significant beliefs and actions should be based on reason and evidence; the natural world is the only world there is; and answers to the key questions of human existence are to be found only in that natural world.
We exist to promote Rationalism as an ideal worldview for the 21st century.
What do we believe?
We believe in human dignity and respect in our treatment of one another.
We support social co-operation within communities and political co-operation among nations.
We think human endeavour should focus on making life better for all of us, with due regard to our fellow sentient creatures and the natural environment.
We believe humankind must take responsibility for its own destiny.
We believe morality is the natural product of human evolution, not dictated by some external agency or recorded in some written document. Humans live in social groups. This is why all societies, despite differences of culture or religion, share many basic moral tenets and social taboos.
But morality is neither static nor absolute. As history shows, our ideas about right and wrong evolve as we learn more about ourselves, the creatures with whom we share this planet and our environment. Our beliefs about what is right and wrong, therefore, should be subjected to periodic reflection and review, using science, reason and due regard for human dignity.
We believe that the scientific method is the most effective means by which humans develop knowledge and understanding of the physical universe. And we believe human progress and well-being is best achieved by the careful and consistent use of science and evidence-based reasoning.
What do we aim to achieve?
The RSA is an association of like-minded people, joined together to promote a rational approach to public policy in Australia and to their own day-to-day lives.
We aim to:
- Propound and advance rationalism.
- Stimulate freedom of thought.
- Promote inquiry into religious and other superstitious beliefs and practices.
- Encourage interest in science, criticism and philosophy, as connected factors in a progressive human culture, independent of theological creeds and dogmas.
- Promote the fullest possible use of science for human welfare.
- Promote a secular and ethical system of education.
What do we do?
To achieve our aims, we:
- Organise campaigns to influence public opinion.
- Make submissions to governments.
- Issue press releases.
- Organise conferences and tours by prominent thinkers.
- Maintain an informational website.
- Publish a high quality quarterly journal, a daily digest, and occasional newsletters.
Support our work
The RSA depends on the support of like-minded people to raise funds through a range of activities – such as memberships, journal revenue, event fees, donations and bequests. We then invest these funds prudently and to support our campaigns.
If you support our work and would like to see us make a bigger impact, please consider becoming a member, making a donation and taking part in our events.