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Aussie, Kiwi & South Pacific Atheists

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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, 2014

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

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Comment by Davo on March 2, 2010 at 1:45am
The program is actually being finalised atm and should be out hopefully later tonight.
The running sheet for organising is unbelievably huge, there is a massive amount that had to be tied down with everything from speakers to music timing to how the logistics of moving speakers from talks, seats and signings the list goes on.
We checked our walk thru at the convention centre friday and have worked for the past 4 days on finalising the run sheet for check off tonight.
Thanks for your patience, it's not as easy as appears.
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on March 2, 2010 at 1:40am
Yes, have to admit it does seem a bit strange that there's no program a week out!
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on March 1, 2010 at 11:07pm
Write a letter of deep concern to Danny Nalliah at Catch the Fire Ministries.
Comment by Luke on February 28, 2010 at 5:02am
Could we do this as a "We the undersigned agree" petition that we could carry around and get people to sign. We could have a 1/4 A4 flyer to promote this group to get a few of the people to stick. More members here all reporting back to their respective groups.

Networking is one of the theist's strengths. The fundies over the road have just had visitors from the UK who they met in Chad (?) while they were corrupting and destroying the local culture with evangelical rubbish. Let's see if we can't do a little bit of that. Passing information back and forth working on common goals as they come up. s

How?
Get them here and we've got the whole network thing going (without the visitors (home invasions) and prayer circles... obviously).

We could agree on the list of... agreed thingies... (re: previous post) here and each bring a dozen copies each of the final list in a petition format to the conference along with a printout of the 1/4 A4 flyer for the AN group. This means that Chrys (as the owner of this group) doesn't have a huge printing job right before the conference, yes?

...maybe?

Outcomes:
If a polly comes up with some bit of junk, bronze-age legislation we can say: "Hey! This disagrees with 'The Melbourne Declaration' with 1500 signatories, so stop that, it's silly!"

This is a flashmob arrangement - separate to the conference. People who are in on it can just clipboard the idea around between talks. It might be a good conversation starter. The Melbourne convention will be successful (regardless of the opinions of the inevitable theist detractors) if we walk away with a stronger network of contacts and groups to react and pre-empt bronze age nonsense. :)

Thoughts?
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on February 28, 2010 at 4:38am
BTW Trevor, if you start a group, I'll send out the word here, on Facebook and Twitter to give you a great start!
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on February 28, 2010 at 4:37am
Trevor, you have a ready made group waiting to go an Atheist Meetups. Go to Atheist Meetups. Then, in the right sidebar, click Country: Australia and City: Wolloongong the 'Search'. Scroll down and you'll find a long list of atheists waiting for someone to set up an atheist group in 'The Gong'. It's easy. Just start a group, pick a central point to meet and start!
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on February 28, 2010 at 3:28am
Best to start an Atheist Meetup Group. Our Sunshine Coast Atheist Meetup Group (we share the Brisbane Atheist's site) meets once a month for dinner at a local pub. It's informal, a ton of fun, and there have been no pitfalls at all! Plans are being developed to network all of the atheist groups, so if you start one, let me know and we'll keep you in the loop!
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on February 27, 2010 at 12:58pm
I agree, Luke. A set of resolutions should come out of the Convention but, alas, as far as I know, there is no mechanism or space in the programme or plans to do so by Convention organizers. I did suggest this at one point, but received a very luke-warm response.

And yes, your point about squabbling over commas is very valid. That is, indeed, what happens in committee situations.
Comment by Stephen Moore on February 27, 2010 at 10:59am
Sounds good to me, Luke.

And I like the sound of "The Melbourne Declaration".
Comment by Luke on February 27, 2010 at 9:55am
Soooo. What will it look like? Will we make a list of things we all agree on? Let's do that now. I'll start us off with what I want... really roughly:
. laws should be based on peer reviewed studies, not superstitions, public opinion and what was on TV this morning.
. public schools should be secular. Religious education is what churches are for. They have people all day on Sunday. If they can't get their message out to children during 1/7th of the week they need to improve their teaching skills.
. science based medicine is the only medicine the government should fund.
. private sexual activity between consenting adults has nothing to do with the government.
. the government's laws prohibiting GLBTI marriage should be removed. The injustice of these laws is as self evident as the injustice of slavery or apartheid.

Should it be more of a "We do believe"? Just gotta re-word the above, thus:
Laws based on peer reviewed studies and science make better laws.
Neutrality towards religious beliefs lets everyone live in peace.
Public schools are secular institutions.
Churches, not public schools, are for religious indoctrination of children.
Public medicine should be science based.
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transvestite and intersex rights to marriage are self evident.
Scientific facts do not have to answer to superstition.
Equality of the genders is self evident.
A robust democracy limits censorship where ever possible.
Science educators should teach current best scientific theories, not superstition, to students.
... and so on...

What else do people want in there?

From there we just need a catchy name... something like "The Melbourne Declaration" or "The March 2010 Declaration"

But then, at the meeting, how do we stop people from squabbling over semantics? You know what people are like. They'll fight to the death over a comma. Meanwhile the churches have the government eating out of their hands.

Is this what we're doing or have I missed the point??
 

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