For more information on the Sydney Atheists Visit our website here.
You can also check out our photos, newsletter, podcast and MeetUp site.
Share

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Creationist Debate Featuring Paul Willis

Debate between Paul Willis from the show great science show Catalyst and Carl Wieland from Creation Ministries International. Looks like it should be a good one!

Tabocution

It's time again to purge my tabs. This one's a mixed-bag, but there's so many videos that I'll put them all in a section of their own. It should take you more than a week to chomp through all that!

Articles
Jeff Coyne on science organisations and accommodationism- Metamagician
Why Evolution is True- Jeff Coyne
Tucked-in t-shirts are unbiblical- Cynical C blog
Conspiracy theories and muck tunnels
10 most fascinating natural phenomena
How to capture a giant squid- Advice for pharyngulites
Mel Gibson's family values
Atheists target UK schools
Sharia Law
PZ is pro-test
Sex, terrorism, cults astrology, scientology, pareidolia, and other nutbaggery
Perry Bible Fellowship almanac
Subscribe to James Randi's 'Randigram' newsletter!
Religion's parasitic morality
Morality originates in religion... NOT!
Muslims killing children
Jesus and Mo: Thor

Longer videos
Why We Believe in Gods
Dan Barker vs Dinesh D'Souza
Michael Shermer: Why Darwin Matters
Evolution of Gods
BBC: The Darwin debate

Freethought videos (beware, BS abounds!)
Penn and Teller explain the basis of deception
Crucifiction fail
Scientific Proof of the bible
Outnumbered: Karen's spiritual Journey
Former Christian Coalition director argues for torture
Saudi Cleric tells children why muslims should hate jews
Texas and evolution
The perfect gift
Ghost whisperer on CBS News
Lady spots Cheesus!
Randi Speaks: Charles Lynch
Timescape
Dr Phil and an atheist's wife
Christopher Hitchens vs Tom Hartman
Christopher Hitchens vs Paul Edwards
Has Christianity lost the culture wars?
Area 51 scientists explain the Roswell incident

Interesting videos
Isaac Asimov's three laws of robotics
Kevin Smith talks about his superman movie
1976 swine flu propoganda
Hummus: The rap
Turbotax: The rap
Siamese crocodiles
Your Momma! (is logging on)
Wacky tribal dance

Popemobile Protester Charges Overturmed!

Just yesterday, Ian Bryce (Secular Party candidate, chief investigator of the Australian Skeptics, and general attendee of all the best Sydney freethinking groups) made a resounding victory for free speech in getting the charges against him and his popemobile overturned.

It's been a long and arduous legal battle since he was originally charged with having a 'distracting roof ornament' which consisted of a fake pope-mobile fixture that he had installed don the roof of his car, complete with a satellite connection to god!

The news of the win has already swept through all of the local freethinking channels and has also seen representation in the mainstream media.

Here we present to all the official press release, straight from Ian Bryce himself:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PRESS RELEASE
Popemobile protester charges overturned

In a victory for free speech and the freedom to criticise religious crimes, the NSW Police were today forced to withdraw their charges against the builder of the fake Popemobile.

Mr Ian Bryce said the police campaign against him seemed to have more to do with suppressing criticism of religion than with road safety.

A team from the Secular Party of Australia, of which Mr Bryce is Vice President, built the Popemobile, then on top of a car, as protest against the visit of the real Pope for World Youth Day in July 2008. It drove around Sydney in one form or another for 7 days, to the acclamation of 90% of people who saw it. Only a few appeared offended.

Most police who saw it then gave a friendly wave, but one Highway Patrol man seemed determined to end the protest. After trying several offences he defected the vehicle, putting it off the road, and issued a fine for “having a roof ornament likely to distract motorists”. There being no such rule, it was suspected that religious motivation played a part.

Lawyers from the NSW Council for Civil Liberties attempted to get police to specify the charge. It was only on entry to court today [27 April 2009], after 9 months, that they provided their Statement, and changed the charge to Clause 21, which states that no vehicle shall “cause danger or unreasonable annoyance to any person”. The Statement also refers to the bumper sticker saying “Sponsor a Lion for World Youth Day – 300,000 Christians in one stadium”, and the sign saying “Eat my dust Chaser”.

The basis for the annoyance was stated - the signage on the vehicle, which included the revelation that the current Pope was for 25 years the Prefect (ie Head) of the former Office of the Inquisition (now called Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith). He has said “The Inquisition represented progress…”. The Police statement also complains that the sign also showed a replica of a medieval torture instrument, ie a rack - similar to those used by the Church to encourage witnesses to assist them in their enquiries, during the Inquisition covering much of Europe, over many centuries.

The Police Statement argues that this was “annoying” to the thousands of pilgrims conducting a “Stations of the Cross march” to North Sydney Oval where Mr Bryce was apprehended. Mr Bryce was ready to argue that the Church causes greater “annoyance” to the millions of children in Africa who have inherited AIDS due to the Churches ban on condoms, and who are starving because of overpopulation due to the Pope’s opposition to family planning.

With this change from a safety issue to a free speech issue, a regrouping was called for. Fortunately it was the same NSW CCL who in July overturned the World Youth Day Regulation making it an offence to “annoy or inconvenience” a pilgrim. After lengthy discussions outside the courtroom, the Police Prosecutor decided to withdraw the charges.

The Popemobile has also appeared in the Mardi Gras Parade with the slogan “Equal Rights for All”. It then contained a live Pope , trying to contact his “invisible friend” with a gold telephone, and quoted Benedict “Homosexuality is as much a threat to humankind as climate change”.

My Bryce said that while he was disappointed the police were able to severely curtail the Protest Popemobile during WYD, in the end it was a significant victory for civil liberties and the right to criticise crimes veiled as religion.

IMAGES AVAILABLE
Video of WYD Popemobile (on roof racks) as charged – linked from www.worldTRUTHday.org
Photo vehicle as described by police –
- For medium quality go here

For rear view as described by Police, go to Popemobile Mark1 on sedan, last photo, download it.

- For high quality – on request. (Credit World Truth Day.)
Video of the Popemobile in the more recent Mardi Gras
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You can read more about this epic win at:

ABC News
It's Alive!
Sydney Atheists
All Voices
Courier Mail
9 News
News.com.au

And here's some pics

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

And the obligatory funny pic
Photobucket

So a big congratulations to Ian ON THIS epic win!!!!!!!!!!

The Torture Debate


From Atheist Cartoons

Why We Believe in Gods: Dr Andy Thompson. American Atheists '09

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A child's perception of church

In this video, a child (toddler) delivers a sermon in raving gibberish. What is most concerning about this is that the child is simply mimicking the behaviour modeled to him by the regular preachers. In his mind, church is about going to a big pretty room and being yelled at by a wildly gesticulating man pacing around the stage.

It's scary to think that children are being exposed to this type of service (I recognise that not all religious services are like this), where they can't yet understand the message being delivered and are just exposed to the tone of the delivery.

Church should be a child-free environment. If a child wishes to start learning about their parent's faith at an age where they are able to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts involved, I don't so much mind. But to expose very young children to the frightening sermons of the more 'enthusiastic' rligious denominations is wrong and comarable to child abuse.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ben Goldacre on Bad News



Ben Goldacre talks about the misrepresentations perpetuated by the news media. He's not happy.

Richard Dawkins at AAI conference 2009



Richard Dawkins at the Atheist Alliance International conference on Atlanta, Georgia.

The talk is divided into four sections: 1. The Tony Blair Faith Foundation / 2. Mining the Eddington Concession / 3. God as Science Ficton / 4. Q&A on dealing with Creationists

You can download the quicktime version (213 mb) here

Sunday, April 19, 2009

To defame religion is a human right

Peter Singer wrote recently about the UN human rights council's adoption of a resolution to condemn defamation of religion as a human rights violation. The tag line to the article is "We must defend the right to cause offence to believers, when this is not meant to stir up hatred".

This resolution seems to be a cowardly attempt to calm down religious fundamentalists who can't tolerate hearing opinions divergent to their own. It is a violation of free speech, a human right. The last thing that you would expect the UN human rights council to do is to breach human rights, but there you have it. Tisk, tisk, tisk.

Original article here

Sydney Atheists' Blood Drive #3

Once again, the Sydney Atheists have been out showing how we can be 'Good Without God'. Our third blood drive was yesterday and was another successful charity event for us.

I was unable to make it because I've been a bit ill lately, but it looks like everyone had a good time doing good, without gods.
You can see the whole set here

Vampire by PQ

Religion laws don't have a prayer in a country with robust common sense

By Bob Carr
Sydney Morning Herald

This week we have heard about an increasing international trend to prosecute religious issues in the courts.

In Britain cases are being brought under laws such as the Religious Hatred Act, which makes it a crime to "stir up" "religious hatred". British police have even warned that insulting Scientology would be treated as a crime.

Such legislation may soon be heading to a statute book near you.

The Australian Human Rights Commission is finalising a report almost certain to recommend legislation on religion - on freedom of religion or religious vilification - that would mean similar prosecutions being launched under national law.

Why do we need this? The last time Australians were asked whether they wanted freedom of religion embodied in the constitution was in 1988. Showing a robust common sense, they voted a resounding "no". It lost in every state and territory, with up to 74 per cent against.

Citizens knew in their bones that Australia was one of the freest countries in the world and that we wouldn't make ourselves freer by inventing new offences


Continue reading here

It is important to remember that freedom FROM religion is just as important as freedom OF religion, though it often gets ignored.

I like how the article ends:
I stick with Jefferson, who said, "it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." After all, "Truth is great and will prevail if left to itself"


too true...

The Origins of the Universe

Here's a playlist with some really smart people talking about some really cool stuff. Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan discuss the origins of the universe.

Enjoy!

How it happened

Funny Caller on the Atheist Experience show



No books older than the bible
Don't call me a monkey
What's a search engine
Suicide as proof of god

I really don't think any commentary is needed, just watch and laugh!

For more Atheist Experience go to The AE YouTube page, website, blog, podcast

Also check out Atheism Magazine's AE page for highlights and live chat, the Atheist Community of Austin's website for all ACA news, productions and info and the Iron Chariots Wiki, where all your questions will be answered.

Uh-oh!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

WWJND?



By Non-Stamp Collector

James Randi Speaks: Barbara Didn't see it

Cool, funny and disturbing.

Cool


Funny


Disturbing

Videos to help with learnding













Religious videos











Tabocidal rampage!

Again, Firefox is running slow, so I must brutally 'thin out the numbers' of my open tabs. This time I have 3 posts in a row. Links, religious videos and secular videos. Enjoy!

-Atheism Magazine's "Best educational/science videos on youtube" and "Atheist Experience Chat Room"

- Practical advice to get you through the weekend

- Man with a fir tree growing in his lung article video

- Give your child a disease!

- The worst copyright breeches ever

- Creation story, redux

- Why ethics matters

- Much better

- Cool downloadable book "The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium: Nature Mort. (Formaldehyde photography and the new grotesque)"

- Les Patriarches

- WDJD (What did jesus do?)

- Pope warns about a drift to godlessness

- Criticism over atheist ad campaign

- Torture debate and Jesus

- The real debate about atheism

- Adam and Eve vs modern science

- Why Darwin matters to creationists

- Female vampire unearthed

- Podcast about hollow earth theology

- A must-have in any time machine

- Cool optical illusion

- Pat Schrodinger's Kitty

- The Tony Blair foundation

- Ehrman's new book

Friday, April 17, 2009

Critical: Thinking #4

Tomorrow the Sydney Atheists' third blood drive is taking place. More details here,or here.

By PQ

Positive religious message



I guess that the 'good christian folks' over at AIG have become underwhelmed with the results of the normal fear-based campaigning used by Christians and have decided to 'knock it up a notch', with this "If you don't matter to God, we'll shoot you in the face" public service announcement.

It is a little confusing though, as i think it assumes that if you don't care about God, God doesn't care about you, which I'm not sure that even many Christians would agree on. I thought that God was supposed to love everyone? Maybe I'm wrong... I guess if he loved everyone, he wouldn't kill babies...

But seriously, if you want to promote your religion, go for happy-clappy over scare tactics, it just makes you look like a bunch of douchebags!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

GREAT ZOMBIE JESUS!

A few of my favorite Zombie Jesus bits and bobs.


















Randi Speaks: Barbara Didn't See It

Sunday Evening Poes



Critical:Thinking Easter Booster Special


By PQ

Jesus Loves... Racism and Smallpox!

I came across this and thought it was funny in an awful racist stereotypes kind of way...



And it reminded me straight away of this classic from the Non-Prophets...



And, just in case you'd like to lead your church in a round of it, here's the lyrics:

Jesus loves the little zygotes
Sung to "Jesus loves the little children"

Jesus loves the little zygotes
All the zygotes of the world
Jesus loves them 'til they're born,
Then abandons them, forlorn
Jesus loves the little zygotes, 'til they're born

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Jesus gives them heart-defects
Measles, mumps, and ring-wormed necks
Jesus loves the little children of the world

Jesus lets their parents beat them
Bruise their bodies, black and blue
Jesus gives them birth-defects,
Scurvy, ticks, and palate-clefts
Jesus loves the little children of the world

Jesus gives the children cancer
Earaches, lice, and scabies, too
Bowel obstructions, ulcered lips
Blighted brains, and twisted hips
Extra-chromosomes to help them when they pray
Hallelujah

Jesus gives the children acne
AIDs and leprosy galore
Germs and worms of every kind
Things to make the children blind
But he cannot give them smallpox anymore

Scientists, and unbelievers
Wiped the 'pox right off the earth
Jesus still gives gifts to kids
Broken nose, and burned eyelids
But he cannot give them smallpox anymore

Violence and religion


You've got the basics now, off you go to write a creation story...

An Easter Miscellany





Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sacrifice, schmacrifice!



I can't imagine that for an all-knowing god-child, who knows that he'll soon be going to heaven to live it up, knows that he will be worshipped for thousands of years, and feels that he is doing a great service to the entire population of the world FOREVER, this would be considered a sacrifice. It's more of a symbol than anything.

As alluded to in the cartoon, countless other people have endured much worse for much more humble causes. To think that this was 'the ultimate sacrifice' is really just cheapening the idea of both 'ultimate' and 'sacrifice'.

Many christians that I have spoken to, and heard speak on the matter cite the resurrection of Jesus as the cornerstone of their belief, yet there is no credible evidence to support that this ever happened, AND Jesus is definitely not the only religious figure to have been resurrected.

I wonder what makes the fairytale of zombie jesus stand out as more factual or convincing?

Sorry, but I'm just not getting it...

Enjoy your ex-pagan-but-now-usurped-by-a-major-religion holiday!

Worship a rabbit who lays chocolate eggs as you ask "what would zombie jesus do?"

This may be needed this long weekend...

This Sunday, countless christains will be celebrating the zombification of their lord and savior.

There is only one way to make sure you won't tithe your brains to Zombie Jesus...

fail-owned-prep-win
see more pwn and owned pictures

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009

Christopher Hitchens at Christian Book Expo

Christian Book Expo 2009

Skeptical ABC's

A Poem Beyond Belief by Phil Plait

A is Ad hominem, attacks quite insulting,
They may feel good but no good is resulting.

B is for Bible, they swear it’s all true,
But so do the Muslims, and Buddhists, and Jews.

C is Creation, 6000 years past;
But when looked at the evidence is always half-assed.

D is Debunker, it’s said with a jeer.
But we cannot debunk without bunk, that is clear.

E: EVP, hearing voices of dead,
but it’s really just patterns of sound you are fed.

F: The Face that’s on Mars is really a butte,
Is there on the obverse a giant patoot?

G is for Geller, a spoon he will bend,
Is it magic or powers, or more likely pretend?

H, Homeopathy, infinite dilution,
Perhaps better known as persistent delusion.

I, Ideomotor, the dowser’s director,
It fallaciously points on a randomized vector.

J is Junk science, it’s always reforming,
from alt med to New Age, and anti-global warming.

K is for Karma, you reap what you sow,
but if it’s not coincidence, then how would you know?

L’s Levitation, they claim that they float
but I think it’s just bouncing they’re trying to promote.

M: Mayans said: doom in Twenty Oh Twelve,
In 2013 those predictions we’ll shelve.

N is Nibiru, a planet of vapor,
It never shows up but it looks good on paper.

O: Oxygen water, marks can’t get their fill,
What they don’t understand is that they don’t have gills.

P: Faces in patterns is called Pareidolia,
In clouds it’s mundane but in pastry it’s holier?

Q is for Quacks, their science is lacking,
They’ll sell you snake oil with the government’s backing.

R: Repressed memories, bad things you’ve forgotten,
But it’s really the premise behind it that’s rotten.

S: Sylvia Browne, who randomly guesses,
That people believe her is why it depresses.

T’s for Trudeau, and the trash that he’s sellin’,
But credit card fraud? FTC: "He’s a felon."

U, Unidentified, the definition’s specific,
But it doesn’t stop cranks thinking they’re scientific.

V is Vaccines, which clear germs up quick,
But some folks don’t like them, they fight little pricks.

W’s for Woo-woo, Randi’s favorite word choice,
And who’ll argue with him? He gave us our voice!

X is for Xenu, scientologist’s Satan,
Give us all of your money, your engrams we’ll straighten.

Y is for Yeti, the Bigfoot, Sasquatch,
A whole lot of nonsense without a single hair swatch.

Z is for Zetans, those E.T. mind readers,
But they disappeared as they followed the Lieder.


Now you know your ABCs,
Don’t fall prey to fallacies.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Critical: Thinking #2



By PQ

The price of religion

This girl, supposedly 17 years old, was flogged on the basis on a neighbour's suspicion that she spent time with a married man. There was no court hearing. She received 34 lashes and can be heard screaming (in her native language) "Either kill me or stop it now". This is not a just system. This kind of abuse has no place in a civilised world. It's disgusting.



The original story below:

Declan Walsh, Islamabad

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 2 April 2009 17.17 BST

A video showing a teenage girl being flogged by Taliban fighters has emerged from the Swat Valley in Pakistan, offering a shocking glimpse of militant brutality in the once-peaceful district, and a sign of Taliban influence spreading deeper into the country.

The two-minute video, shot using a mobile phone, shows a burka-clad woman face down on the ground. Two men hold her arms and feet while a third, a black-turbaned fighter with a flowing beard, whips her repeatedly.

"Please stop it," she begs, alternately whimpering or screaming in pain with each blow to the backside. "Either kill me or stop it now."

A crowd of men stands by, watching silently. Off camera a voice issues instructions. "Hold her legs tightly," he says as she squirms and yelps.

After 34 lashes the punishment stops and the wailing woman is led into a stone building, trailed by a Kalashnikov-carrying militant.

Reached by phone, Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan claimed responsibility for the flogging. "She came out of her house with another guy who was not her husband, so we must punish her. There are boundaries you cannot cross," he said. He defended the Taliban's right to thrash women shoppers who were inappropriately dressed, saying it was permitted under Islamic law.

The Guardian received the video through Samar Minallah, a Pashtun documentary maker and anthropologist who lived in Swat for two years in the late 1990s. It has been passed between Swat residents by mobile phones.

Ms Minallah said the punishment had been inflicted within the last 10 days, following the signing of a controversial peace deal under which the provincial government ceded control of the valley's judicial system to the militants.

"This video is being widely circulated because the Taliban want people to see it. They want to give the message that this is taking place after the peace deal because this is something they ideologically believe in," she said.

Local sources including journalists and human rights workers, some of whom declined to be identified, confirmed the video was recent, although estimates of its timing varied between one and three weeks ago. The Taliban spokesman said it predated the peace deal.

Sher Muhammad Khan, an official in Swat with the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, said: "They have committed so many atrocities since the peace deal. They have taken entire control of the district. There is nobody to control them; they decide disputes according to their whims."

Since the 15 February deal, a hybrid of traditional and Islamic law has been operational in Mingora, the largest city in Swat district. The qazi courts, as they are known, are not operated by the Taliban but by a related political movement. They have a murky legal status because the changes have yet to be signed into law.

Floggings and other physical punishments have not been imposed in Mingora, where some residents have praised the system's efficiency. However, in outlying districts, where government writ has been entirely crushed, a crude form of gun justice prevails.

The woman in the video, named as Chaand and believed to be aged 17, was punished in Matta, a district further up the Swat Valley.

Minallah and other sources said the girl was punished on suspicion of having had an illicit relationship with a married man. She did not receive a trial. "The whole case is based on the suspicions of one neighbour," said Minallah.

The woman's brother is among the men pinning her down, she added. "It's symbolic that he does it with his own hands. It gives him honour in local society, that he has done it for the sake of religion."

The Swat Valley is controlled by Maulana Fazlullah, a charismatic preacher who initially gained popularity through radio broadcasts, then seized control through gun battles, suicide attacks and intimidation of the local population.

Since the peace deal, women have been beaten for shopping unaccompanied in Mingora's main market and dozens of girls' schools remain closed, many of them bombed.

Fazlullah has sworn loyalty to Baitullah Mehsud, the overall Taliban leader from South Waziristan who claimed responsibility for last Monday's eight-hour assault on a police centre in Lahore and has vowed to mount attacks in Washington.

On Wednesday a presumed American drone fired rockets at a compound controlled by his network, killing at least 14 people.

The effective surrender of government authority in Swat has caused great alarm across Pakistan and among western allies.Minallah said she feared Talibanisation would spread across Pakistan. "I have distributed this video because I feel people are in denial. They don't want to believe what is happening."

Saturday, April 4, 2009

What Would Jesus Twit?


Now that JC's on twitter, the hard part is figuring out which one he is!

There seems to be at least 118 false prophets!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Panel Debate

A panel debate featuring William Lane Craig, Christopher Hitchens, Douglas Wilson, Lee Strobel and James Denison, moderated by Stan Guthrie. The topic is "Does the God of Christianity exist, and what difference does it make?"




(Or the link to the video is also here).


There is also an Mp3 of the debate here.

Via Apologia Podcast/Blog (One of the BEST podcasts out there for both theists and atheists),

You Can't Make a Monkey Out of Me!



Now, where's my bananas?

Atheist Quotes

Loading...