Good day from Australia

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Good day from Australia

 Hello,

 

I reside in northern NSW, Australia and have been reading this site for some time. I have finally decided to register.

Some of the posters on here are very impressive, especially in regards to science and philosophy.

That, plus the humour and assertiveness, led me to choose this site.

 

Even though Australia is not an overtly religious country, there is ample authoritarianism, religion has a strong influence on politics and there is plenty to fight.

Very few politicians will admit to being non-believers and there have always been powerful religious lobby groups.

There is even a Creationist senator and to my amazement, Queensland has started teaching Creationism in schools.

I find it hard to believe that most Australians support this sort of nonsense, but I do have my doubts.

 

I have a reasonable understanding of science, but I am not a scientist.

My work background is IT.

 

Like others no doubt, I was initially reluctant to join as I wondered whether I'd have much to contribute.

There generally seems to be someone else who expresses roughly what I think, often with added pith and coherence.

However, the more people who support the site, the better, and there are bound to be times when I can make a useful contribution.

 

I feel genuinely encouraged by the recent rise of atheism and although I am not usually a joiner of groups, now seems to be a good time to make a contribution to society.

In fact, it all reminds me a little of the heady days of the late 70s.

 

I've been an atheist since I was a kid, though I can't remember exactly how old I was when I saw the light.

My background is a relatively liberal Catholic one and my suspicions about religion were aroused fairly early in primary school.

 

That'll do for now, but I'd like to add again that this site is doing great work.

 

 

 


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I'm not the rocket scientist

I'm not the rocket scientist or the grand philosopher, but welcome anyway.


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welcome

 

 

 

               There are meny Australians on this site, it's nice to see one more.

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Welcome

From another IT person who also remembers the late 70s....... and 60s ....... and 50s.   But I didn't start doing IT until the mid-late 80s.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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how...

did you register one letter of the alphabet as your?

 

And why is their someone with the name of ME already?!

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Testing the reply function

<quote>

From another IT person who also remembers the late 70s....... and 60s ....... and 50s.   But I didn't start doing IT until the mid-late 80s.

</quote>

 The 50s were just before my time and I was a bit young in the 60s.

In fact, in the early 70s, I was very disappointed not to have been born a few years earlier, as I was too young for 1968 and all that.

I did start in IT before you though.

 

 

 

And thanks to the others for their welcome too.


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Testing the quote function

Kapkao wrote:

did you register one letter of the alphabet as your?

 

And why is their someone with the name of ME already?!

 

 

 

I must admit I wasn't totally sure I'd be able to use x, and I hadn't thought up another name either.

 

x is so easy to remember and type!


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Kapkao wrote:did you

Kapkao wrote:

did you register one letter of the alphabet as your?

 

And why is their someone with the name of ME already?!

 

Poor baby.  Did you want to start all your posts with, "Hello! It's me!"??  And then we could have had a round or two of "No, I'm me, you're you!"

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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Welcome to the forum.

Welcome to the forum.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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From the Seattle area, WELCOME!

Hey, welcome to the site! It's always good having more people to add to the discussions around here. The more the merrier, as it so often is.

 

"This may shock you, but not everything in the bible is true." The only true statement ever to be uttered by Jean Chauvinism, sociopathic emotional terrorist.
"A Boss in Heaven is the best excuse for a boss on earth, therefore If God did exist, he would have to be abolished." Mikhail Bakunin
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dictate the ends in which you find yourself."
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G'day from Sydney, x.

 

Welcome to the halls of evil. And yeah - I could not believe that in Queensland they are now teaching godspeak, tho' I think they are also teaching the controversy along with the dogma.

My old man used to be the Presbyterian minister of Clunes, Dunoon and Bangalow - is that near you up there?

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

Welcome to the halls of evil. And yeah - I could not believe that in Queensland they are now teaching godspeak, tho' I think they are also teaching the controversy along with the dogma.

My old man used to be the Presbyterian minister of Clunes, Dunoon and Bangalow - is that near you up there?

 

 

Not far away at all, as I'm in Byron Bay.

 

Yes, I'm still trying to track down more info on this Qld thing. I also note that it is the national rather than state curriculum.

It is being taught as a controversy I gather, rather than a fact, but one can imagine exactly which groups lobbied for it to be added.

It probably deserves a thread of its own.

 

 


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Curiosity

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

My old man used to be the Presbyterian minister of Clunes, Dunoon and Bangalow - is that near you up there?

 

 

I seem to recall from some of your earlier posts that the Presbyterians are quite fundamentalist.

This has heightened my realisation of just how little I know this area.

I'm a fairly recent blow-in, having previously lived in cities.

Also, Byron Bay is of course unusual as country towns go, being a tourist spot.

 

I don't notice a huge amount of religion being pushed in my face here, though we do get the odd door to door bible basher.

They have been polite though and have quietly left when told that we are atheists.

Less annoying in fact than many other salespeople.

 

The missus also once roped me in to help at a cat shelter charity, which was held at a Seventh Day Adventist school in the sticks.

The school's fairly large size surprised me a little.

 

Anyway, I am rather curious about how big your father's congregation was.

Is the northern NSW hinterland a hotbed of fundamentalist religious activity, or are most people fairly apathetic?

Also, did numbers drop off, or is the church growing?

 

 

 

 

 


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Lol - the Northern Rivers

 

was a terrible parish with few churchgoers and an entrenched Masonic culture in which all the deans in the churches had an allegiance to their local temple - it was in Lismore, I think. Dad was there late in his career - he was 'called' there from Cronulla. It was a pretty good call, from my perspective. Thanks, lord, for all those whacky nights at the Piggery, 1985. I don't think we had many Byroners in any of these congregations. Apathy was the order of the day. I think it was a wee bit worse than Parkes, where dad was run out of town (un-called as it were) for refusing to preach quaint homilies. He was a fire and brimstone sort of guy - there was plenty of gnashing of teeth in dad's work and he kept re-doing the Revelations sermons, much to the horror of the soon-to-be-immolated.

Northern Rivers was another challenging parish and Dad was kicked out of there when the regional assembly found against him in an ongoing battle with the elders of the church who were mostly based in and around Clunes. Dad had inherited a large sum of money from his father and this made him independent of church funds and quite beyond the usual method of control a congregation uses to keep the minister in line. Funnily, as the battle wore on, Dad found the congregation gave virtually nothing on Sunday at all, for years, and they strangely accused him of chicanery with money they had not been tithing when he kept miraculously surviving with no pay - they looked rather foolish when he revealed his accounts at the assembly but ultimately honesty did not save him. 

I feel Dad was in the right. As an atheist, I think if you bother to go to church you should buy into the dogma and bullshit but most Aussie country churches are just social clubs. Dad wanted a gospel church, not an Apex club, and he was being true to his faith, after all. I could not and still cannot understand why people go to church and find fault with a gospel preacher. I personally think dad was talking a crock of shit but he was in the right venue for it. The Australian Presbyterian Church is a pallid affair.

From an historical perspective my parents came from the Orthodox Pressy Church in New Zealand, which split after it's leader, Professor Gearing, announced in the 1960s there was not really a god, and the bible was just a guide. All the intense fundies, guys like Graham Miller and my old man, who went through bible college together in Dunedin, left to form their own church, which was satisfyingly held in the Mayfair Primary School Assembly Hall in our case, with a congregation that included our family and Miss Cromley, who turned up in a strange rear-engined car that was not quite a VW and sounded like a long raspberry.

In the seventies, NZ was a hot bed of scoop shorts, DB and godliness and everybody offed to Riverbend to whiz over the Tuki Tuki River on the flying fox and shriek their love at god 6 times a year. Or was it Mata Mata? In truth, I don't think dad ever found the spiritual home he craved, which would have been a facsimile of Mrs Smith's Mission, which became dad's home after he got back from flying F4U's in WW2 and found his mother had died.

From a fundy perspective it was the camps, the going up in front of every revival meeting in the land - always as a family - you can imagine that ear burning experience - to admit our complete failure again and again. I think we did Billy Graham three times and I'm sure the last time, at Randwick Racecourse, in front of 100,000 screaming fans, Billy recognised me.

Other noteworthy kiwi preachers include the nutbag Ray Comfort and the leaders of that vast money factory, the Hillsong Church in Sydney. Those guys are late 40s early 50s and they would have gone through the same kiwi religious machine we did. Whenever you hear an evangelical preacher get started, he almost always hes a nuw zelund eccent.

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Welcome, from an IT

Welcome, from an IT professional in the states!

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Hey, you've shocked me at

Hey, you've shocked me at the thought that creationism has crept into our schools here - I'm a Queenslander, from Brisbane.

I know an education minister tried to get it into the schools a few years back.

I am old enough to remember Bjelke-Peterson and before.

BTW, I also work in IT. Currently getting into iPhone/iPad web-apps, ie 'iOS'.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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Glad you are jumping in x  ~  welcome  Smiling

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x wrote:  I'm in Byron

x wrote:

  I'm in Byron Bay.

 

Byron bay rocks, you guys throw a wicked new years party on the beach.  I was there for new years 2006, must a been a good 30-40,000 people wandering the main beach area(is is like that every year?), great party, lot's of people running in the ocean naked at midnight.   Your country rocks.


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Welcome!   I admit, when I

Welcome!

 

I admit, when I think of X and Australia, I think of this old band:

 

 


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Atheistextremist wrote: a

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

a terrible parish with few churchgoers and an entrenched Masonic culture in which all the deans in the churches had an allegiance to their local temple - it was in Lismore, I think.

 

I am reminded that the Catholics are long term enemies of the Masons.

 

To quote from http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=2652&CFID=41007339&CFTOKEN=76546481

 

This fundamental reason can be briefly stated.

The following summary passage from Leo XIII's Humanum Genus suffices.

. . . that which is their ultimate purpose forces itself into view— namely, the utter overthrow of that whole religious and political order of the world which the Christian teaching has produced, and the substitution of a new state of things in accordance with their ideas, of which the foundations and laws shall be drawn from mere "Naturalism."...

 


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Arts Factory

Atheistextremist wrote:

 Thanks, lord, for all those whacky nights at the Piggery, 1985.

 

It still exists, and when we first moved here we went there quite often, but it has now been tarted up into a boutique brewery bar.


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Atheistextremist wrote: The

Atheistextremist wrote:

 The Australian Presbyterian Church is a pallid affair.

From an historical perspective my parents came from the Orthodox Pressy Church in New Zealand, which split after it's leader, Professor Gearing, announced in the 1960s there was not really a god, and the bible was just a guide. All the intense fundies, guys like Graham Miller and my old man, who went through bible college together in Dunedin, left to form their own church, which was satisfyingly held in the Mayfair Primary School Assembly Hall in our case, with a congregation that included our family and Miss Cromley, who turned up in a strange rear-engined car that was not quite a VW and sounded like a long raspberry.

In the seventies, NZ was a hot bed of scoop shorts, DB and godliness and everybody offed to Riverbend to whiz over the Tuki Tuki River on the flying fox and shriek their love at god 6 times a year. Or was it Mata Mata? In truth, I don't think dad ever found the spiritual home he craved, which would have been a facsimile of Mrs Smith's Mission, which became dad's home after he got back from flying F4U's in WW2 and found his mother had died.

From a fundy perspective it was the camps, the going up in front of every revival meeting in the land - always as a family - you can imagine that ear burning experience - to admit our complete failure again and again. I think we did Billy Graham three times and I'm sure the last time, at Randwick Racecourse, in front of 100,000 screaming fans, Billy recognised me.

Other noteworthy kiwi preachers include the nutbag Ray Comfort and the leaders of that vast money factory, the Hillsong Church in Sydney. Those guys are late 40s early 50s and they would have gone through the same kiwi religious machine we did. Whenever you hear an evangelical preacher get started, he almost always hes a nuw zelund eccent.

 

Fascinating stuff.

 

That was and probably still is part of the divide with the Catholics.

The Presbyterians and their ilk were always seen, by Pepys and moderns as humourless puritans.

The Catholics and Cavaliers at least had plenty of drink and games.

I genuinely think that helps keep their numbers up, though it is a rapidly losing cause.

 

There was recently a very interesting programme on the ABC about the decline of Catholicism in Tasmania, and how Nigerian missionaries had been sent there to help them out.

It does seem that the mainstream Christian churches in Australia are pretty much social clubs, as far as most of the churchgoers are concerned.

It must be very tempting to introduce pokies in the pews.

That doesn't stop each of them having a politically influential 'radical nutter' wing.

 

I've just done a quick check of religion in the area.

As you'd expect, the old denominations are scattered around the CBD and have dwindling attendance.

Out on the Industrial Estate (yeah, yeah), the new Hillsong type places can be found in big sheds.

I've not actually been inside any of these places, except the C of E for a concert, but it might be an interesting hobby, as religion fascinates me.

 

A classic Byron style place is http://www.newearthtribe.com/

"Want to be radically discipled into Christ-style Kingdom living?"

For those not aware, Byron Bay is a big woo zone.

 

I'll keep my ear tuned to the sound of 'fush 'n chups'.


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BobSpence1 wrote:Hey, you've

BobSpence1 wrote:

Hey, you've shocked me at the thought that creationism has crept into our schools here - I'm a Queenslander, from Brisbane.

I know an education minister tried to get it into the schools a few years back.

I am old enough to remember Bjelke-Peterson and before.

BTW, I also work in IT. Currently getting into iPhone/iPad web-apps, ie 'iOS'.

 

 

Yes, it is worrying. No, bloody alarming.

I haven't had much time to look into it and am still confused that only Qld has been mentioned, even though it seems to relate to the national curriculum.

I'll start a new thread on it as it would be interesting to document the political 'evolution' of creationism.

 

I too remember Joh and Russ Hinze, dammit, though I was in Melbourne at the time.

 

I'm winding down from IT (not much work in BB), but used to be a common or garden, hack systems analyst and database designer.

 

 


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NoMoreCrazyPeople

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

Byron bay rocks, you guys throw a wicked new years party on the beach.  I was there for new years 2006, must a been a good 30-40,000 people wandering the main beach area(is is like that every year?), great party, lot's of people running in the ocean naked at midnight.   Your country rocks.

 

Interestingly enough, just after we moved here, the Greens won the council elections and quickly banned NYE revelry.

It is now 'family friendly' and alcohol free: Face Painting and Chai Tents. Nobody goes.

There probably were too many drunken idiots running about and not paying their way, but I was in favour of the Middle Way.

 

Australians aren't too bad at partying, but I found the UK to be less puritanical.


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Olde Worlde

KSMB wrote:

I admit, when I think of X and Australia, I think of this old band:

 

I admit that I am an old punk.

When that band came out I was a bit annoyed that they had 'stolen' my name, but I also realised that I hadn't invented it either.


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x wrote:Australians aren't

x wrote:

Australians aren't too bad at partying, but I found the UK to be less puritanical.

 

My oldest son is in the US Air Force.  He spent one christmas in Italy and the next year in England.  He says the English really know how to party.  Since I'm his mom, of course he didn't mention the less puritanical bits.  He was surprised in Italy.  The US base he was on was only a few miles from a topless beach.  I guess he was expecting something wild, but christmas in Italy is very religious.  I could have told him that, but whoever asks mom, let alone listens to her?

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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Poor old Byron

 

x wrote:

 

Interestingly enough, just after we moved here, the Greens won the council elections and quickly banned NYE revelry.

It is now 'family friendly' and alcohol free: Face Painting and Chai Tents. Nobody goes.

There probably were too many drunken idiots running about and not paying their way, but I was in favour of the Middle Way.

Australians aren't too bad at partying, but I found the UK to be less puritanical.

 

I'm glad I saw it in the 80s - all that unkempt hair and living in overturned water tanks up Minyon Road. I know it's still beautiful but I find it galling to see brick veneer at Suffolk Park. It's pedestrian but true to acknowledge we drag our human ugliness with us wherever we go and manufacture the places we came from in our new paradise. I guess you can't build in shiplap and tin forever but rusty roofs are more sympathetic than suburbia to my older mind.

I can't really blame the council for getting the shits, or for Byron people feeling hugged to death. I guess Pottsville and Kingscliff and Wooyung are all the same way. Guess we should be thankful there are only 22 million of us, eh? 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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cj wrote: He says the

cj wrote:

 

He says the English really know how to party.  Since I'm his mom, of course he didn't mention the less puritanical bits.  He was surprised in Italy.  The US base he was on was only a few miles from a topless beach.  I guess he was expecting something wild, but christmas in Italy is very religious.  I could have told him that, but whoever asks mom, let alone listens to her?

 

When I lived in London I hardly noticed that religion existed, except for the maddest Muslims and they seemed to be a small, but dangerous minority.

The Northern Ireland thing always seemed a lot more tribal than religious.

Brick Lane for example has a large Bangladeshi population and quite a few happily watched the cricket in the pub with us non-Muslims, though not many of them drank alcohol.


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Atheistextremist wrote: I'm

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

I'm glad I saw it in the 80s - all that unkempt hair and living in overturned water tanks up Minyon Road. I know it's still beautiful but I find it galling to see brick veneer at Suffolk Park. It's pedestrian but true to acknowledge we drag our human ugliness with us wherever we go and manufacture the places we came from in our new paradise. I guess you can't build in shiplap and tin forever but rusty roofs are more sympathetic than suburbia to my older mind.

I can't really blame the council for getting the shits, or for Byron people feeling hugged to death. I guess Pottsville and Kingscliff and Wooyung are all the same way. Guess we should be thankful there are only 22 million of us, eh? 

 

 

A lot of the hippies have been priced out of Byron and those that remain are more easily found in the hinterland. You still see a few about though, which is a good thing: diversity and all that.

I don't think it was so much that people were being hugged to death; it was more a matter of violent hoons and general yobbery, or so the press has it.

I never saw anything particularly nasty personally, though I don't get out so much these days.

 

I'm afraid the missus and I are part of the typical gentrification problem. Middle-aged, middle-class seachangers, infesting the Byron suburbs.

Still, this sort of thing has always happened.

I'm not sure about Pottsville, Kingscliff and Wooyung, as I've only passed through them, but I think property development is the order of the day.

In fact, I'm heading north next week, so I'll see what I can glean.