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  #31  
Old 17th April 2012, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: GAC 2014

Quote:
riddlemethis said View Post
All of those concepts are linked to their dreaming (their superstition) even if they have practical benefits. Don't get me wrong, I love the rich aesthetic outcomes of aboriginal culture as much as anyone, but they are wooists of high order & there is a lot in ceremony that is not egalitarian, that is oppressive & in some instances barbaric. I struggle to see how to incorporate respect for it from an atheist perspective any more than we respect the silly ideas of Islam or Christianity.
Yeah, I suppose you're right. I've just discovered a thread on Aboriginal spirituality that I shall read through and hopefully gain some enlightenment. I would like to discuss this with an atheist, aboriginal person also.
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  #32  
Old 17th April 2012, 12:41 PM
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Default Re: GAC 2014

I spent at least a year working in aboriginal health. There are DEFINITELY some aspects to their religion and culture that work against them. One of the more common problems I used to see was a sense of fatalism. I am not sure exactly what causes this, but it would be a reason why they often failed to complete courses of treatment and come back with even worse complications.

Another aspect of their culture is their belief that somebody should suffer tribal retribution if they are thought to be the cause of the death of another. This is not limited to direct causes (e.g. someone stabbing someone else to death), but they may be apportioned blame even for something which is completely not their fault.

One example - such and such lays dying and needs urgent transfer from a remote facility to a tertiary referral center in a big city. He may need surgery, time in ICU, etc. Before you can do any of these things, you need to talk to the family, inform them, and obtain consent.

If this was any other ethnic group, the family will be in the hospital and wailing for you to do something. Not these guys. NOBODY accompanies them to hospital, they lay dying on their own, and any family you manage to find will be reluctant to talk to you, let alone give consent for such a thing. The reason - they may be blamed for his death and will suffer tribal retribution as a result.

So imagine yourself, as I was, as a rural doctor in remote Australia doing work for the aboriginal community. You are on your own, you are incredibly busy, and you have a dying patient on your hands. You need to discuss the case with doctors in a tertiary center, organize a RFDS plane and fill out all the paperwork, write a transfer letter, ensure sufficient treatment for the transit, AND continue to stabilize the patient to make the transfer safe. Unfortunately you can not do any of these things whilst your meagre staff look for family members who are doing their best to run away and avoid responsibility.

Frustrating. That, and many other reasons, is why I left. I could write a book on what I saw, what I learnt, and the people I spoke to.

I had the mother of good intentions - but it was not enough to overcome the cultural sclerosis of aboriginal society, which really is directly responsible for their poor health and many social problems. I am not sure whether it is their religion or their culture that causes this, but I think it would be hard to seperate the two.

I would love to see them preserve their identity and enjoy the same health and benefits as the other Australians, but I am 100% sure they will have to jettison aspects of their culture or religion to achieve this. No white person is going to tell them this, and strong leadership does not seem to be emerging from their own community. This is why it is so hard.
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  #33  
Old 17th April 2012, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: GAC 2014

Who would I like to see invited to speak or entertain, at the GAC 2014?

Seth Andrews (The Thinking Atheist)
Prof. Brian Cox


And.. Ricky Gervais, Stephen Fry, Father Bob, Eddie Izzard, Matt Dillahunty

And.. Tim Minchin!
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  #34  
Old 17th April 2012, 04:13 PM
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Do I see a Matt Dillihunty anywhere?


Sent telepathically.
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  #35  
Old 17th April 2012, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: GAC 2014

3 more suggestions:

David Attenborough
John Cleese
Penn Jillette
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  #36  
Old 17th April 2012, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: GAC 2014

So many great names in these lists. I still have not caught up on my sleep, yet I cannot wait to attend another one. (oh please, please ....)
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  #37  
Old 17th April 2012, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: GAC 2014

Quote:
Bum Double said View Post
3 more suggestions:

David Attenborough
John Cleese
Penn Jillette


Hell yes!
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  #38  
Old 18th April 2012, 12:43 AM
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Default Re: GAC 2014

A lot of good suggestions... I'll add Richard Wiseman to the list.
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  #39  
Old 18th April 2012, 08:23 AM
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Default Re: GAC 2014

Quote:
Keith_W said View Post
I spent at least a year working in aboriginal health. There are DEFINITELY some aspects to their religion and culture that work against them. One of the more common problems I used to see was a sense of fatalism. I am not sure exactly what causes this, but it would be a reason why they often failed to complete courses of treatment and come back with even worse complications.

Another aspect of their culture is their belief that somebody should suffer tribal retribution if they are thought to be the cause of the death of another. This is not limited to direct causes (e.g. someone stabbing someone else to death), but they may be apportioned blame even for something which is completely not their fault.

One example - such and such lays dying and needs urgent transfer from a remote facility to a tertiary referral center in a big city. He may need surgery, time in ICU, etc. Before you can do any of these things, you need to talk to the family, inform them, and obtain consent.

If this was any other ethnic group, the family will be in the hospital and wailing for you to do something. Not these guys. NOBODY accompanies them to hospital, they lay dying on their own, and any family you manage to find will be reluctant to talk to you, let alone give consent for such a thing. The reason - they may be blamed for his death and will suffer tribal retribution as a result.

So imagine yourself, as I was, as a rural doctor in remote Australia doing work for the aboriginal community. You are on your own, you are incredibly busy, and you have a dying patient on your hands. You need to discuss the case with doctors in a tertiary center, organize a RFDS plane and fill out all the paperwork, write a transfer letter, ensure sufficient treatment for the transit, AND continue to stabilize the patient to make the transfer safe. Unfortunately you can not do any of these things whilst your meagre staff look for family members who are doing their best to run away and avoid responsibility.

Frustrating. That, and many other reasons, is why I left. I could write a book on what I saw, what I learnt, and the people I spoke to.

I had the mother of good intentions - but it was not enough to overcome the cultural sclerosis of aboriginal society, which really is directly responsible for their poor health and many social problems. I am not sure whether it is their religion or their culture that causes this, but I think it would be hard to seperate the two.

I would love to see them preserve their identity and enjoy the same health and benefits as the other Australians, but I am 100% sure they will have to jettison aspects of their culture or religion to achieve this. No white person is going to tell them this, and strong leadership does not seem to be emerging from their own community. This is why it is so hard.
Interesting perspective Keith. I was talking with some one who has been recently working in the aboriginal community as a health worker and his comments are very much in line with yours.
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  #40  
Old 18th April 2012, 08:26 AM
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Default Re: GAC 2014

Quote:
AussieAtheist said View Post
Who would I like to see invited to speak or entertain, at the GAC 2014?

Seth Andrews (The Thinking Atheist)
Prof. Brian Cox

No. Not Brian Cox! My wife thinks he is hot and would therefore want to come to the convention which would then mean forking out twice as much money on tickets.



Just kidding....I think he would be a good choice.
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