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  • Postcards to say “No, Thanks”

    203 - NotGuilty

    Like it says. Somebody else’s issue.

  • Postcards to say something: 026 – As Others See Us, Darkly…


    A renowned philosopher, Jason7463, once wrote the immortal words:

    Thats the problem with atheistism,its so damned depressing.Basically says,your fucked so get used to it.

    As is so frequently the case with deeper thinkers of this stamp, the wording, punctuation and homophone-swappage is fully sic. Still, let’s transcend that barrier, and look deeply into the void that is “atheistism as seen by Jason7463”.

    Firstly there is “atheistism” to consider. I am grateful to Jason7463 for the peculiar wording he has employed in his exposition, as it serves to throw a common error into stark highlight. A person may be an atheist, but to consider atheism as an “-ism” in its own right is to overlook the derivation of the word. A- (meaning “not”) -theism (meaning “believing in a god or gods”) is not a belief, but the rejection of one. To imply that a belief must fill that void is to fall into error. This is usually illustrated by showing that baldness is not a hair colour, and that not collecting stamps is not, in and of itself, a hobby.

    Now, is this “absence of belief in a god or gods” as damned depressing as Jason7463 claims? From personal experience and testimonial evidence available, I must say that the opposite applies in the majority of cases. This seems especially true when the subject has experienced belief.

    Relieved from the stress of trying to reframe my entire existence to ensure its relative popularity with the invisible distributor of vengeance, largesse and misfortune, and all the forgive me this, show me the way that, and fitting the bigger picture against prophecy… not to mention the sizable cognitive dissonance between “Jesus said” and “Church does”, I am actually beginning to enjoy life.

    Of course, we can safely dispense with the “damned” bit…

    Basically says,your fucked… I don’t think so. If anything, now that I don’t rely on intangible (and let’s face it, non-manifest) means of support, I tend to plan all details of a project with the most pessimistic outcomes in mind. (The optimum and most likely are also considered: it’s a project management thing.)

    The result is a tendency to be more mindful of circumstances and interdependencies: in short, to be careful. I may eventually wind up “fucked”, but entropy guarantees that for everyone.

    so get used to it. The fatalism implicit in such a statement is more indicative of the “let go and let god” type of person. Any situation has options: acceptance, avoidance, negotiation, or even aggression.

    I’m alive for now. This is all the life I get, and I’ll play the ball as it lies, go to the clubhouse, or picnic on the fairway if I deem it suitable. I don’t have eternity to waste on harp lessons.
    Life is mostly okay, and there’s plenty undone yet. “Used to it”? Only a person who missed a lot of interesting stuff could say that.

  • Australian Catholic University – Greg Craven’s theist hissy fit, poor diddums

    Poor Greg Craven, the Vice Chancellor of the Catholic University, he posted an article in The Age as he thinks atheists are attacking catholics because they question his beliefs.

    Michael Brull followed it up with ‘The New Crybaby Theists’ a great article pointing out just how stupidly hypocritical the article was.

    Finding issue with major flaws in theistic arguments is taken by these ‘precious’ apologists as personal attacks and they respond with name calling and cries of offense, classic ad hominem attacks instead of approaching the ideas and debating the opinion. I know heaps of religious people and we have seen a number on the site here that are willing to discuss reasonably major differences without taking personal slight, yet here we have the Vice Chancellor of a Catholic University acting like a petulant child.

    Let’s have a look at his Catholic University ‘Mission’ shall we? Some of the points there I think Mr Craven should read again in a not-so-biased way are :

    • a continuing dialogue between faith and reason – represented, for example, by the dialogue between philosophy and science;
    • respect for truth in all its forms and collaboration in seeking it through all the disciplines;
    • promotion of the common good, and the dignity of the human person;
    • collaboration of all our staff and students, whatever their beliefs, in the interests of a more decent and humane society;
    • the promotion of teaching and research in ways that most serve the mission of the University;
    • respect for academic freedom.

    Well I only left out one line out of the whole mission points, and that was the first; ‘following the way of Christ and commitment to Christian values’. Even that I am sure other more reasoned christians would gladly debate with him.

    .. but be careful. Diddums might call you names and claim you are attacking him if you try to debate any of his beliefs. It’s alright one way, but don’t oppress the poor thing by stating what you think!!

    Greg Craven poor diddums

    It’s heartening to see that this type of bigotry is bringing more and more non-believers out, to openly call themselves atheist and tackle the privilege that religion asks of anyone not of their faith

    I find the responses to both this article and to Greg Craven’s immensely heartening because they signal to me there’s a huge number of committed, thoughtful and motivated non-believers out there.

    Traditionally I’ve always kept my thoughts to myself, partly to avoid awkward confrontations but mostly because they are exactly that – my thoughts. Now I feel emboldened to share and debate and refine my views.

    So thanks Greg Craven for bringing so many atheists together, discussing and openly debating, which is as it should be.

    Michael – November 05, 2009, 3:24PM

    There’s many other great quotes on both the articles, I suggest you have a good read of some of them, and keep open minded

    NO ONE would be bothered by the Catholic Church if it insisted that only Catholics followed its precepts. But in the past year alone, it pushed to influence Parliament to support discrimination against non-Catholics, argued in favour of prolonging the untreatable suffering of non-Catholics who are dying and opposed reproductive health for non-Catholic women. The more sinister aspects of its health policy have been discussed in The Age this week. The Catholic Church is a wealthy, non-tax-paying organisation that receives huge government funding for the provision of social services to all Victorians. For these reasons, what it stands for – unsavoury history, policy directions from a non-human and continued efforts to re-establish medieval Christendom with secular funding – should be scrutinised.

    Janine Truter, The Basin

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  • 1,000 tickets sold for the Global Atheist Convention!

    1,000 tickets have been sold for the Global Atheist Convention in the first three weeks after its official launch.

    David Nicholls, President of the Atheist Foundation of Australia said “we’re thrilled with the public response and very excited about the Global Atheist Convention. We expected a great level of interest, which is why we booked the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

    There are still plenty of tickets left, but we’re well on the way to the Global Atheist Convention being one of the largest atheist events ever, anywhere!

    Thank you everyone who has bought a ticket – it’s going to be BIG!”

    Temporary Ticket Sale Site during technical inconvenience: Here.

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