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Thread: Aboriginal Spirituality - the Atheist perspective?

  1. #81
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Atheist Central

    Default Re: Aboriginal Spirituality - the Atheist perspective?

    Hi, John844.

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  2. #82

    Default Re: Aboriginal Spirituality - the Atheist perspective? Alan Nixon's Research

    So, why dig up this thread (and discover that john844 / Safran was passing, darn, I'm enjoying his latest book, would have been nice to tell him!)?

    The Atheist Foundation of Australia Forum is investigated in a thesis AND a book chapter.

    It's just a pity that Alan Nixon consistently called it the "Australian Foundation For Atheists" throughout most of his work, otherwise we would have discovered it earlier and possibly lent a hand to their research. In fact, Alan Nixon has made this mistake another time at the start of his chapter and then it suddenly changes after a footnote has it correctly formatted, which has me wondering if I should send him a message pointing this out, so he doesn't keep messing up future research searches by other academics...

    Anyway. It was part of two interesting books I found, the one with the chapter is called "Religion and Non-Religion Among Australian Aboriginal Peoples" (the other is "Religious Change And Indigenous Peoples", written by three academics who contributed a chapter to the other book).

    The forum was also cited at a roundtable discussion:

    The Online Growth of Indigenous Atheists and Connections to the ‘New Atheism’
    Alan Nixon, University of Western Sydney
    There has been a growth in Indigenous Australians claiming to have ‘no religion’ on the Australian Census. This growth has brought
    into light questions about the forms of Indigenous religion and Non-religion. This has been particularly highlighted by the fact that one of the highest growth categories for atheism in the 2006 to the 2011 census was among Aboriginal atheists (126%), which was higher than for the whole of the Australian population (88%).
    Although the number of Aborigines who went beyond ticking the ‘no religion’ answer on the census to write their specific atheist affiliation is small (1,230), it is still higher than Muslim Aborigines (1,142) who have nevertheless attracted a great deal of media attention. The media attention given to Indigenous Muslims also brings into light the difference in societal perceptions of Atheists compared to perceptions of Muslims.
    The internet has provided a space for the interaction of mainstream non-religious individuals in the postmodern world. This has been particularly evident with the New Atheism which has risen at the same time as the emergence of Indigenous atheists. Using new internet research methodologies, this paper will investigate the growth of this group.

    Some finds:

    * Lord Blackadder is a footnote in the thesis!
    Lord Blackadder, 2011. Ph.D Research on Atheism - Looking for volunteers, viewed 15
    December 2013:

    * Plenty of quotes from the forum and even a big interest in the 'one self-identified Indigenous person on the forum, 'Miwanpela', who doesn't seem to be active on the forum anymore.

    The research in the books overall is of interest - as the summary at the roundtable put it:

    In the 2011 census, approximately 24% of the total Indigenous population claimed to have no religion. Between the 2006 and 2011 census, this represented close to a 41% increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people who selected the No Religion category. When compared to the 29.41% increase in this same category among the Australian population as a whole, the difference was enough to prompt scholars to ask why.

    What could the results of the next census say about indigenous levels of no-religion?

    And, more importantly... why are we not getting more people like Miwanpela represented online and elsewhere (as they certainly exist, but maybe not openly identifying as indigenous Australians, and if so, why not?)?

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