Rationalist International is an organization that claims to defend rationalist ideas. Its stated aim is to represent a rational view of the world, making the voice of reason heard and considered where public opinion is formed and decisions are made.
Rationalist International argues for a logical approach to human problems, suggest alternatives to religious dogmas, defend freedom of thought and civil liberties and strive for the secularization of politics (see secular humanism), society and educational systems. Rationalists counter superstition, aim to promote an open and just society, endorse scientific method and recognize the importance of human emotions and imagination.
Rationalist International was founded in December 1995 during the First International Rationalist Conference at New Delhi, with delegates from 28 countries. Sanal Edamaruku, then Secretary General of the Indian Rationalist Association, became the first president of the new international organization.
In January 2000, Rationalist International organized the Second International Conference at Trivandrum, Kerala in which prominent rationalist thinkers from different parts of the world opened the discussion about the Rationalist Agenda for the new century. Paul Kurtz (founder, Center for Inquiry, USA) received the 1st International Rationalist Award during this conference.
Honorary Associates include: Dr. Pieter Admiraal (The Netherlands), Prof. Mike Archer (Australia), Katsuaki Asai (Japan), Sir Hermann Bondi (UK), Prof. Colin Blakemore (UK), Prof. Vern Bullough (USA), Dr. Bill Cooke (New Zealand), Dr. Helena Cronin (UK), Prof. Richard Dawkins (UK), Joseph Edamaruku (India), Jan Loeb Eisler (USA), Prof. Antony Flew (UK), Tom Flynn (USA), Jim Herrick (UK), Christopher Hitchens (USA), Ellen Johnson (USA), Prof. Paul Kurtz (USA), Lavanam (India), Dr. Richard Leakey (Kenya), Iain Middleton (New Zealand), Dr. Henry Morgentaler (Canada), Dr. Taslima Nasreen (Bangladesh), Steinar Nilsen (Norway), Prof. Jean-Claude Pecker (France), James Randi (USA), Prof. Ajoy Roy (Bangladesh), Dr. Younus Shaikh (Pakistan), Dr. G N Jyoti Shankar (deceased, USA), Barbara Smoker (UK), Richard Stallman (USA), Prof. Rob Tielman (The Netherlands), David Tribe (Australia), K. Veeramani (India), Bary Williams (Australia), Prof. Richard Wiseman (UK) and Prof. Lewis Wolpert (UK)
The internet-based news bulletin of Rationalist International has wide circulation around the world. It appears in English, Finnish, French, German and Spanish.