Good Evening.

Flier
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Good Evening.

Hello, my name's David and I'm an atheist.  I have never believed in God for the same reason I've never believed in Santa or the Tooth Fairy.  Never understood why my parents fed me that.  Up until about a month ago, I thought that Noah's Arc was just told to kids for fun.  I was amazed when I was told that people actually believed it.  In fact, when I watched an old Penn and Teller, they were saying that the flood created the Grand Canyon!

For a while I decided that I was being politically correct and if I was ever asked or pressed I would declare myself agnostic.  I then looked up the definition of Atheist and realised its not what you know, it's what you believe.

I'm from New Zealand which is a small nation just to the south of Australia.  Not sure how many people in this forum are from there, but we've just begun to launch the Atheist Bus Campaign.  So far it was banned from buses because it was offending passengers.  Instead you'll find it on bill-boards all over the country.  I thought this was progress but unluckily for us the country has taken a step backward.  The government declared New Zealand a secular nation.  As soon as the Christians found out about this they were up in arms and the government retracted the statement.  One comment was that declaring New Zealand a secular nation would diminish the Church's ability to influence public opinion and government policy!  I think that when it is this extreme its time we start getting angry.  Unbelievable?  Here's the article.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/human-rights/news/article.cfm?c_id=500838&objectid=10658644

Just thought it might be worth sharing this sort of stuff.  Any input into how you'd combat this is most welcome.  Good to be a part of the forums, and you'll probably hear me ranting away (constructively of course) and defending the cause.


Atheistextremist
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Hi Flier

 

Dunedin boy living in Sydney here. Welcome to the forum. Yes the god people punch above their weight, don't they. It's not pleasant to find their raving doctrine is enshrined and protected by the governments we elect. Religion at it's most basic "believe my opinion or die" level is no more than a hate crime. If it were any other thing but religion it would be banned amidst deep national outrage. Does my fucken head in. As for moving forward - we just have to keep talking about it. Hey - nice win for the blacks tonight, wasn't it?

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


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Don't panic--Penn Jillette

Don't panic--Penn Jillette is a renowned atheist.  Here are his views on the god issue:

Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-o, and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.

The characters and events depicted in the damn bible are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

 

I'm pretty sure Teller is also an atheist, but he's never actually said so....

~Brian

My head is neither in the clouds, nor in the sand. I hold it high and make good use of it to sense, wonder about, consider, treasure, and attempt to understand my reality.


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 Welcome aboard David, I

 Welcome aboard David, I hope you enjoy it here.

- Brian Sapient


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Flier
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 Cheers for the welcome

 Cheers for the welcome guys, good to be here.  I do realise that Penn and Teller are atheists, it was when they did the "bullshit" episode on Christianity that they interviewed a man that claimed the grand canyon was caused by the great flood.  I would never be as insulting as to call those two christian Sticking out tongue

Mean-time I'll keep fighting the religious influence that seems to be making more and more of a presence in New Zealand the best I know how, with Facebook.  Doesn't sound like much, but apparently Barrack didn't have to spend much on advertising because he used Facebook to promote himself instead.  Its a powerful tool.

@Atheistextremist, sorry about the delay in reply there, good to hear another from New Zealand that doesn't feel bad about moving to Australia Sticking out tongue  What job took you over there?  Yes I agree, was a great win for the All Blacks, but I can't say that it was at all surprising.  Even the advertising for it in Australia was pretty much saying "you should be scared of the dark!"


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Oops, Christian honesty

Flier wrote:

One comment was that declaring New Zealand a secular nation would diminish the Church's ability to influence public opinion and government policy!

 

Since there is a looming election here in Australia, this reminded me of how the ALP again had to back down to the religious schools lobby:

http://www.theage.com.au/federal-election/labor-caves-in-to-private-schools-20100804-118ob.html

 

Once children are in religious schools, they will be influenced.

For a history of state funding of religious education in Australia see http://www.australianschoolsindex.com.au/DefaultContent.aspx?id=181&MenuId=4

It is a long story, but until the Sixties there was no Federal funding of religious schools. It is now becoming more and more entrenched.

 

It is hard to know how best to combat their power, but it is certainly going to be a long, slow push.

The best hope perhaps is to look to countries where religion is dying and to try and understand why. Parts of Europe spring to mind.


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Flier wrote:For a while I

Flier wrote:

For a while I decided that I was being politically correct and if I was ever asked or pressed I would declare myself agnostic.  I then looked up the definition of Atheist and realised its not what you know, it's what you believe.

 

Awesome! Welcome to the site. I can't tell you how refreshing it is for a new member to have that one simple definition in their grasp.

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Flier
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 I can understand how it

 I can understand how it becomes a frustrating topic.  When talking to a friend of mine that's a Christian...

"Do you know there's no God?"

"No."

"Then you're agnostic."

"No, I'm atheist, I believe there is no God.  That's the definition."

"So you're not sure?"

"I'm not 100%, but I'd give it the same likelihood as a flying pink elephant."

"If you're not sure, you're agnostic!"

"What did I just say?"

"Why do you hate Jesus?"

(At this point I generally get angry and leave before I can say something I'll regret).


Beyond Saving
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 Actually to likelihood of

 Actually to likelihood of god is far less than the pink flying elephant. All you would need is some pink paint and a harness to put under a remote controlled airplane. And it is even imaginable that geneticists in the future could cross the appropriate strains to create a pink elephant bird. Difficult but more likely than god. 

 

Anyway, welcome to the forums and congrats on your ability to leave before saying something you regret, I was born without that ability.

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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Flier wrote: I can

Flier wrote:

 I can understand how it becomes a frustrating topic.  When talking to a friend of mine that's a Christian...

"Do you know there's no God?"

"No."

"Then you're agnostic."

"No, I'm atheist, I believe there is no God.  That's the definition."

"So you're not sure?"

"I'm not 100%, but I'd give it the same likelihood as a flying pink elephant."

"If you're not sure, you're agnostic!"

"What did I just say?"

"Why do you hate Jesus?"

(At this point I generally get angry and leave before I can say something I'll regret).

 

Somewhere there is a recording of Brian tearing apart one of Todd Friel's diatribes about Brian hating jesus. lol.

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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


Flier
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 Thanks for your welcome

 Thanks for your welcome guys, good to be here.  Just had my first rant in the non-believers annonymous.  Felt good.


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These idiots in New Zealand

These idiots in New Zealand are the same as the idiots in America that demonize the word "secular" which is the very concept that protects their right to worship their Christian god.

The opposite of secular is "sectarian" literally put " "sect" is the prefix for "section". The protection of pluralism is not done through making "sections". If you want to know what a sectarian nation is like, Iran is one. North Korea's "section" is based on political party. One worships the god as the state and the other worships the state as the god, but BOTH have the common ground of oppression through appeal to authority without the ability to dissent and disagree.

"SECULAR" is the concept of a neutral "hands off" approach neither favoring or excluding someone based on the issue of religious affiliation and issues of speech.

There are Christians in America that DO see the same thing atheists do in that a neutral government is a better government. These Christians pulling this crap in your country are too stupid to see long term, that it causes more problems dividing their citizens than it does to bring them together.

Just like Sunnis and Shiites kill over what version of Allah should run Iraq. I am sorry your country is going through that. I think Ireland suffered the other extreme by trying to make peace through blasphemy laws only to shortly after have second thoughts after wise skeptics put up blasphemous quotes from historical figures of many different religious stripes.

This is merely fear mongering on Christians part. Much like the Imams who control Iran fear competition to their god.

 

"Secular" is not a dirty word. It is a much maligned word that deserves protection and needs to be taken back by both believers and skeptics alike. It is what allows us to speak freely and worship freely without fear from our government or neighbor. To rid a government of "secularism" is to go down the road to fascism and fascism doesn't favor the religious or atheist. It is merely the attitude of a body politic that only one way will rule all, and that absolute rule can be god fearing or godless.

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Flier
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 Brian, you bring a very

 Brian, you bring a very good point.  I did send an email to one of the people that were responsible for making the withdrawl and declaring New Zealand a "non-secular" nation.  Maybe its time to send another email with the point you've made.

 

The one problem with the point you made is that its designed to convince religious people.  Often you'll find they're the ones that are least able to understand it.  To them (it seems) declaring us secular is like admitting that religious freedom is ok.  To them it isn't, the nation must be Christian because most of the population is Christian.  To me this seems like quite a high level of insecurity.  If most of the country does consist of self declared Christians they shouldn't worry what we're labelled because they have the majority regardless.

 

Ah well, as far as I can see religion is slowly losing its influence.  Lets hope this gradual decay begins to speed up, like an avalanche in its infancy I guess.

 

Thanks for your input!  I'll keep your point up my sleve for a rainy day.