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AHA FAQs

What is the Cal Poly Alliance of Happy Atheists(AHA!)?

The Alliance of Happy Atheists is the only group at Cal Poly for skeptics and non-religious students, faculty and staff officially recognized by ASI. We focus on providing community, support and resources for students with skeptical world views or without a belief in god. For more information, please see our About Us and our Mission Statement.

What is Happy Atheism? Is it different from atheism in general?

Happy Atheism is friendly atheism. Happy atheism is the radical idea that atheists can be happy productive members of society, that atheists are your friends, neighbors, coworkers and classmates. Happy atheism is the assertion that while everyone deserves to be respected, secular individuals need not refrain from commenting on issues of relevance to our communities or fear that their speaking about their beliefs will hold negative consequences for them.

Are unhappy atheists welcome?

Yes! All are welcome, happy or unhappy, atheist or theist, democrat or republican, man or woman, gay or straight, you’re welcome at all of our events. Come hang out with us and meet some great people!

How can I join the Alliance of Happy Atheists(AHA!)?

You can join our group by attending any of our events, by contacting us, or by joining our group on facebook.

When and where does the Alliance of Happy Atheists meet?

We choose our meeting time via a poll of our members that will be sent out prior to the start of each academic quarter. Our meeting location also varies by academic quarter. For information on all our events, visit the get involved page.

I’ve seen the words Transfaith and InterAction associated with AHA, what is Transfaith or InterAction? How do they differ from Interfaith?

The Cal Poly Alliance of Happy Atheists participates in Transfaith and InterAction events rather than interfaith events. Transfaith and InterAction differ in many ways from interfaith, and represent a more respectful and engaging type of involvement between groups with different views on religion. We’ll have an article shortly detailing the differences, so check back soon for more information.

Does the Cal Poly Alliance of Happy Atheists(AHA!) support specific political movements, parties or organizations?

Yes and no. The Cal Poly Alliance of Happy Atheists supports same-sex marriage and equality under the law for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. We support women’s reproductive rights and access to safer sex practices. We also strongly support separation of church and state.

We focus on being open and inclusive to all individuals in all that we do. We do not support any political parties or organizations, nor do we hold to any stance on any other contemporary issues. Our members come from diverse backgrounds and have different views on foreign and domestic policy. As a group for open minded individuals, we encourage people from all backgrounds to discuss their beliefs at our meetings and other gatherings.

Regardless of your beliefs, you’re welcome at our meetings and like with everything else we do, we encourage criticism of our positions.

Is the Cal Poly Alliance of Happy Atheists(AHA!) a religious group or cult?

No. We emphasize reason and scientific inquiry, individual freedom and responsibility, human values and compassion, and the need for tolerance and cooperation. Atheism is a lack of belief, not a belief and we subscribe to no dogmas of any kind. For more, see our Atheism FAQ.

Is the Cal Poly Alliance of Happy Atheists(AHA!) anti-Christian or anti-religious?

No. However, we believe in academic freedom and freedom of inquiry, and often present rational or scientific criticisms of dogmas of all kinds. We fully support the right of all individuals to engage in religious practice and freedom of conscience. We oppose all attempts to force belief of any kind on any individual. We fully support Separation of Church and State and recognize that it benefits all individuals, religious and non-religious, alike.

What do you do at a meeting of people who only agree about what they don’t believe?

It is common to mistake lack of a belief in god with lack of affirmation in anything. Atheists and non-theists trust and value many things, including the people in our lives, freedom of choice and conscience, the value of understanding and education, and infinitely many other things. Many of these are things we spend our meetings talking about.

The primary goal of the Alliance of Happy Atheists is to provide a community for non-believers, as such our meetings reflect our membership. In the past, our meetings have focused on discussion of relevant topics in science, philosophy and current events that affect us all. However, our membership is dynamic and diverse. We provide services and our meeting topics vary with the individual membership. If there’s something you’d like to see done or discussed, feel free to suggest it via our contact page.

Is the Cal Poly Alliance of Happy Atheists connected with Atheists United, The Secular Student Alliance or the Center for Inquiry?

Yes. We are an affiliate of the Secular Student Alliance and the Campus affiliate of the Center for Inquiry. We also work with the local chapter of Atheists United. In the case of Atheists United – San Luis Obispo, we ask that any members wishing to participate in their events formally join that group.

I have a question or criticism about atheism, where should I go to find an answer?

You should look at our General Atheism FAQ, our articles section and our Responses to Common Claims in favor of Religion, then, if your question remains unanswered, stop by one of our events or send us at e-mail at ahaslo@ahaslo.org.

I have a question or criticism about the Cal Poly Alliance of Happy Atheists that isn’t answered by this page, what should I do?

You should contact us by e-mailing ahaslo@ahaslo.org.