The Rationalist Society of Australia is the oldest freethought group in Australia, promoting reason since 1906.
Members and supporters hold that all significant beliefs and actions should be based on reason and evidence, that the natural world is the only world there is, and that answers to the key questions of human existence are to be found only in that natural world.
We seek to stimulate freedom of thought; we support a secular and ethical system of education; we promote the fullest possible use of science for human welfare; and we encourage interest in science, criticism and philosophy as connected factors in a progressive human culture.
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.
- To propound and advance rationalism: that is, adherence to the principle that all significant beliefs and actions should be based on reason and evidence, that the natural world is the only world there is and that answers to the key questions of human existence are to be found only in that natural world.
- To stimulate freedom of thought.
- To promote inquiry into religious and other superstitious beliefs and practices.
- To encourage interest in science, criticism and philosophy, as connected factors in a progressive human culture, independent of theological creeds and dogmas.
- To promote the fullest possible use of science for human welfare.
- To promote a secular and ethical system of education.
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.
The RSA is funded from members’ fees, journal revenue, event fees, donations and bequests, and investment returns. Management of the RSA's funds is overseen by the Finance Advisory Committee, which includes independent financial experts.
Members or others interested in leaving a bequest for the benefit of the rationalist movement may write to the President at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
What was the Rationalist Association of Australia (RAA)?
The Rationalist Association of Australia was a company limited by guarantee, originally set up to act as trustee for the funds of the rationalist movement. Following a protracted dispute about financial management during 2011, its assets were transferred to the Rationalist Society in 2012 and it was wound up in 2015.