Aussie, Kiwi & South Pacific Atheists

Information

Aussie, Kiwi & South Pacific Atheists

A group for networking and friendship between atheists in the Australian/New Zealand/South Pacific region, and for discussion of political and religious topics relevant to these regions.

Members: 347
Latest Activity: Oct 31

Aussie, Kiwi and South Pacific Atheists

This group is hosted by Richard J and Chrys Stevenson


Another High Court Challenge Against the National School Chaplaincy Program

Website: http://www.highcourtchallenge.com

Breaking News! After successfully challenging the Commonwealth government in the High Court of Australia over funding for the National School Chaplaincy Scheme, Ron Williams is to take them on again.  In an attempt to circumvent the High Court ruling, the government has passed some extremely questionable legislation which tears at the heart of parliamentary democracy and public accountability.  Williams has consulted with his crack legal team and the decision has been made today (Saturday, 7 July) to mount another challenge.

For more information see here:  

http://thatsmyphilosophy.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/its-on-williams-to-return-to-the-high-court-on-chaplaincy-issue/

Mounting a High Court challenge is extremely expensive and Ron Williams is just an average, suburban Dad.  If all of us who care about a secular, democratic Australia can chip in as much as we can, it will help enormously.  Please consider donating at:  

http://www.highcourtchallenge.com/

This is your chance to be a part of making Australian Constitutional history!


Embiggen Books - Your Australian Atheist/Skeptical Bookshop

Embiggen Books, an Australian bookstore devoted to promoting science, philosophy, rationalism and skepticism is now on Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. Warren Bonett and Kirsty Bruce of Embiggen are also passionate and active members of the atheist and skeptical communities.

Australian Atheist Issues

For new members, if you want to get a grasp of some of the issues effecting atheists in Australia, you might like to take a look at the Atheist Nexus (Australia) submission on "Freedom of Religion and Belief in the 21st Century" made to the Australian Human Rights Commission early last year. It's long, but easy reading, and worth spending some time on. A report, using information compiled from submissions, should be released later this year.

Atheist Meetup Groups - Australia

If you'd like to meet up with some local atheists, there's no better way than joining your local Atheist Meetup, Skeptics, or Freethought Groups:

Adelaide Atheists
Ballarat Atheists
Brisbane Atheists
Canberra Social Skeptics
Melbourne Atheists
Launceston Skeptics
Macarthur Atheists (Macarthur Region, Sydney (NSW)
Perth Atheists
Perth Skeptics
Sunshine Coast Atheists
Sydney Atheists
Sydney Freethinkers
Western Sydney Freethinkers
Wollongong Skeptics Society

Have we missed your meetup group? Just let me know and I'll add it in.

Discussion Forum

Question from a visitor.

Started by Ted E Bear. Last reply by Chrys Stevenson Jan 17, 2013. 6 Replies

Naughty corner for not attending R.E? Yes, this is in NZ folks!!!

Started by Therese Monteath-Carr. Last reply by Blamer on twitter Dec 10, 2012. 3 Replies

Pell v Dawkins: this Monday

Started by Phillip A. Ellis. Last reply by Alice Apr 17, 2012. 3 Replies

Any Hamiltonian skeptics out there?

Started by Leela Moses Nov 16, 2011. 0 Replies

Comment Wall

Comment

You need to be a member of Aussie, Kiwi & South Pacific Atheists to add comments!

Comment by Luke on February 21, 2011 at 6:20am

There is no misunderstanding on my part.  I asked for a link to some credible source for the information you'd provided.  You then tried to school me on the importance of wikileaks with unrelated articles and special pleading.  All I wanted was a damned link! Now I have another message from you telling me all about how important wikileaks is to everything and everyone.  I don't care how important you think it is.  I know it's important. That's why I've donated money to them.

 

I want facts that I can tweet and blog to help spread real, verified, useful information around.  What point would there be in me tweeting and blogging: "Some guy called CaptainCook thinks that Assange might be tried at Belmarsh." and follow up with the hot tweet: "Here's an old link that tells us all about Belmarsh that has nothing at all to do with Assange."? Then I could tweet: "CaptainCook thinks there was a link but he can't back that up with any facts."  Wow! the Twitter-sphere would go wild about that!

Comment by CaptainCook on February 20, 2011 at 7:28pm

Luke, this is a misunderstanding and it is not about me or you being right. I provided a link. It didn't work because 'authorities' had taken it down.

 

Free speech and atheism have everything to do with each other. Try speaking out about being an atheist in societies that don't have some degree of free speech. The existence of free speech (even though there are limits to it) enables atheists to declare their stance and have events like TAM.

 

There are numerous forums on Atheist Nexus--Classical Masters, for example--which enable atheists who adore classical music and musicians to share ideas that are not about atheism specifically. I would think this one, as moderated by Chrys and Richard, is a more general forum--for atheists who live in Oz and NZ to express their views on a variety of topics of concern to citizens. As Julian Assange is Australian, I would have thought discussion about the Wikileaks phenomenon, as well as support for free speech, would be of deep interest to people on this forum.

Comment by Luke on February 13, 2011 at 9:22pm
CaptainCook.  I don't care how right you ended up being.  You couldn't provide a link, only a rumour. At the time you were asking people to react to a rumour. And what the hell does any of this have to do with atheism?
Comment by CaptainCook on February 13, 2011 at 9:13pm

To Luke (from way back).

I've been offline for three weeks, thanks to my computer's motherboard failing. For some reason, this corrupted the hard drive. Just as well the important files were backed up online.

 

Every news story concerning Julian Assange's court appearances have shown that the original report (which was taken offline immediately via 'account suspension') was true. Every appearance, apart from the very first, was at Belmarsh. This is what the first report said would happen. Thankfully, after each appearance, he has been able to go back to where he was staying. His supporters had feared otherwise.

 

It's interesting, isn't it? that people all over the world are demonstrating how fed-up they are with harsh governments and corrupt politicians and corporations.

Comment by Luke on January 21, 2011 at 11:16pm
Hi All :)  
The Australian Law Reform Commission is looking to perform a review of Australia's Classification System:  http://bit.ly/AustraianGovtClassificationReview  
Our friends, the Australian Christian Lobby, were allowed to address the Attorney's General on how important it is for Australian's Classification system to continue on with its conservative, anti-sex, anti-diversity stance: http://www.abc.net.au/technology/articles/2011/01/19/3116261.htm
We can counteract the influence of the ACL by submitting to this initial stage of this review process here: http://www.classification.gov.au/


I hope you can spare a bit of time to make a submission.  They're due before 28th of January 2011.

 

Luke

Comment by David Nicholls on January 18, 2011 at 1:42am

MEDIA RELEASE

Mark "No Religion" Campaign Begins - The 2011 Census

 

As the next Australian Census approaches (9 August 2011), the Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) is preparing for one of its biggest and most important projects. The AFA is campaigning to encourage individuals and families to think about the importance and impact of their answer to this leading Census question: “What is the person’s religion?”


“Unfortunately, because of the wording, many people will select the religion of their baptism or initiation at youth, despite not being a religious person at all,” said David Nicholls, President of the Atheist Foundation.


The AFA will be unveiling billboards across the nation in major cities stating “Census 2011: Not religious now? Mark ‘No religion’ and take religion out of politics.”


“It is time the Australian community questioned whether they hold religious beliefs or not. How they answer this question in the Census will influence decisions by Australian governments. Often the transfer of taxpayer money to religious organisations is justified on the basis of the Census results, as are special concessions and exemptions including the right to discriminate against some groups.


“This very sentiment has hit a sore spot in NSW with a decision handed down last week to allow the Wesley Mission, and thus Christianity, to discriminate against homosexual people on the basis of religion,” David Nicholls said.


Along with the AFA, organisations across the globe are campaigning for the same at Census time. Most outstanding is the British Humanist Association’s campaign titled “If you’re not religious, for God’s sake say so!”


The AFA also wants to draw attention to how misleading the official figures can be. Twenty percent of the population are aged under 14 years, and the representation of them in these Census figures is important. “As Professor Richard Dawkins rightly points out, children are not little Buddhists, Muslims or Christians; they are only parroting parents, peers and culture. Furthermore, a parent will be filling in this form on their behalf and also for older children.


“The highest number of non-religious people are placed in the demographic between adolescence and middle age, where they are able to think critically and rationally about the world around us and the myths that have been haunting us for generations.


“The figures for godless individuals in the New Zealand Census this year are expected to reach or pass the 50 percent mark, and good on them, but it should be us. It will be a first for any western democracy and is an indication of the steep upward trend in Atheism and Agnosticism of the last decade,” he said.


Media Contact:

David Nicholls

President

Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc

Private Mail Bag 6

MAITLAND SA 5573

 

Ph: (08) 8835 2269


Email: info@atheistfoundation.org.au


Web: http://www.atheistfoundation.org.au

Forum: http://atheistfoundation.org.au/forums/

Convention: http://www.atheistconvention.org.au

Facebook: http://facebook.com/atheistfoundation

Twitter: http://twitter/atheistaus

 

Link http://www.atheistfoundation.org.au/media-releases/mark-no-religion...

Comment by Luke on January 12, 2011 at 5:57am
It was a rumour, now you're saying it's a confirmed rumour. I've already said why I think it is important to be able to reasonably verifiable information before spreading it around. You still haven't provided a link to some verifiable source so obviously I am not able to get my point across to you.
Comment by CaptainCook on January 11, 2011 at 6:21pm

For Luke, especially:

It turns out that the information about Julian's Belmarsh appearance was no rumour. FromCanadian newspaper The Globe and Mail.

Mr. Assange spoke only to give his name, age and address today at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court, the highest-security court in London, usually the site for terrorism hearings. HMP Belmarsh, the adjacent prison, is home to many of Britain’s highest-profile terrorists.

 

How can a person be extradited over an allegation, not a charge?

 

Comment by CaptainCook on January 10, 2011 at 10:24pm

Significant news release from Wikileaks.

 

WIKILEAKS PRESS RELEASE
10 Jan 2010, 10:15 PM EST

“WikiLeaks: treat incitement seriously or expect more Gabrielle Gifford killing sprees.”

Wikileaks today offered sympathy and condolences to the victims of the Tucson shooting together with best wishes for the recovery of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords, a democrat from Arizona's 8th district, was the target of a shooting spree at a Jan 8 political event in which six others were killed.

Tucson Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, leading the investigation into the Gifford shooting, said that "vitriolic rhetoric" intended to "inflame the public on a daily basis ... has [an] impact on people, especially who are unbalanced personalities to begin with." Dupnik also observed that officials and media personalities engaging in violent rhetoric "have to consider that they have some responsibility when incidents like this occur and may occur in the future."

WikiLeaks staff and contributors have also been the target of unprecedented violent rhetoric by US prominent media personalities, including Sarah Palin, who urged the US administration to “Hunt down the WikiLeaks chief like the Taliban”. Prominent US politician Mike Huckabee called for the execution of WikiLeaks spokesman Julian Assange on his Fox News program last November, and Fox News commentator Bob Beckel, referring to Assange, publicly called for people to "illegally shoot the son of a bitch." US radio personality Rush Limbaugh has called for pressure to "Give [Fox News President Roger] Ailes the order and [then] there is no Assange, I'll guarantee you, and there will be no fingerprints on it.", while the Washington Times columnist Jeffery T. Kuhner titled his column “Assassinate Assange” captioned with a picture Julian Assange overlayed with a gun site, blood spatters, and “WANTED DEAD or ALIVE” with the alive crossed out.

John Hawkins of Townhall.com has stated "If Julian Assange is shot in the head tomorrow or if his car is blown up when he turns the key, what message do you think that would send about releasing sensitive American data?"

Christian Whiton in a Fox News opinion piece called for violence against WikiLeaks publishers and editors, saying the US should "designate WikiLeaks and its officers as enemy combatants, paving the way for non-judicial actions against them."

WikiLeaks spokesman Julian Assange said: "No organisation anywhere in the world is a more devoted advocate of free speech than Wikileaks but when senior politicians and attention seeking media commentators call for specific individuals or groups of people to be killed they should be charged with incitement -- to murder. Those who call for an act of murder deserve as significant share of the guilt as those raising a gun to pull the trigger."

“WikiLeaks has many young staff, volunteers and supporters in the same geographic vicinity as these the broadcast or circulation of these incitements to kill. We have also seen mentally unstable people travel from the US and other counties to other locations. Consequently we have to engage in extreme security measures.”

“We call on US authorities and others to protect the rule of law by aggressively prosecuting these and similar incitements to kill. A civil nation of laws can not have prominent members of society constantly calling for the murder and assassination of other individuals or groups.”

More examples:

http://www.peopleokwithmurderingassange.com/

Comment by CaptainCook on January 6, 2011 at 7:04pm

Luke (and anyone else who is interested in the WikiLeaks phenomenon), right at this moment no-one seems to know if this is truth or rumour.

 

When the news of it broke 2 days ago, the first thing that happened was that the account from whence the news came was pulled from its host and all that is now displayed is a 'service suspended' note.

 

IF the matter is a rumour, people will know on 11th when Julian is scheduled to appear at the Central Magistrates' Court in London. HOWEVER, should it be the case that he is to be 'tried as a terrorist' and the truth is being blacked out, then he will NOT appear in Court on 11th.

 

My impeccable sources are in a quandary about the whole thing.

 

Later today, I should hear from one of the Australian prime movers in the cause for Julian Assange, and she might have more up-to-date information.

 

The problem with finding out what really is happening is the secrecy that is invoked immediately, if terrorism is the charge.

 

I've usually been sceptical about conspiracy theories (though the Hemp Conspiracy is inarguable). Lately, I am wondering if I should revise my position.

 

Cheers,

 

CC

 

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