Go Back   AFA Forums > Atheism > Global Atheist Convention Forum

Global Atheist Convention Forum All discussions regarding the AFA's Global Atheist Conventions

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 12th April 2012, 03:22 PM
BlueDevil's Avatar
BlueDevil BlueDevil is offline
Explorer of Inner Space
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 2,697
Default GAC 2012 in the media

Not sure if there is already a thread along these lines so feel free to merge if appropriate.

I figured it would be interesting to keep an eye on how the media are perceiving this event. Post any links to newspaper articles, TV news video, websites, blogs etc.

Here is an article from the Catholic Achdiocese website that will probably get your blood boiling:
http://www.cam.org.au/reflections/th...onvention.html

Example:
Quote:
Let us return to the maddened crowd of New Atheists, who are at the vanguard of the 'God wars' so prominent in the media of late. I went to the inaugural Global Atheist Convention here in Melbourne in 2010, which was billed as 'probably the world's largest atheist convention'. This year will be possibly bigger and certainly better—better, because it will have more comedians. The 2010 program was liberally laced with comic relief and, despite suggestions that Christians have hang-ups about sex, the various performers and much of the audience seemed fixated on the f-word and all its connotations. Although this year's convention is called 'A Celebration of Reason', if the 2010 event is anything to go by, serious reasoning will not be given a hearing.
Is it a coincidence that one of the few speakers at the 2010 convention who engaged intelligently with the issues is missing from this year's line-up? Tamas Pataki opened his talk by saying that after listening to the other speakers and comedians he had come to the realisation that he would probably be the least popular speaker. He was right. Let me quote the four reasons he gave: "I have no jokes; I have no inclination to incite ridicule of the religious; I plan to do some philosophy; and I criticise some of the other atheists." It is an unfortunate reflection on the lack of serious thinking at the convention that apparently Pataki was not invited back.
But perhaps my expectations are out of line? Where I hope for serious engagement with the issues of atheism and the nature of science, the convention is more like a Christian revival meeting: a rally for the faithful with abundant noise, laughter and loud affirmation. Only the songs and the interjected 'amens' are missing. In 2010 it was quickly clear that the gathering was not about debating issues of faith and (non-)belief nor to defend the assumption that science is the only source of truth. The overwhelming and simplistic dogma was that religious people are misguided and unwilling to accept the clear evidence of the natural sciences.
__________________
"Instead of being born again why don't you just grow up"

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 15th April 2012, 06:27 PM
BlueDevil's Avatar
BlueDevil BlueDevil is offline
Explorer of Inner Space
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 2,697
Default Re: GAC 2012 in the media

Article by Barney Zwartz

Quote:
JERRY deWitt ''came out'' a few months ago. It cost him his job, and nearly his house, but he could not be happier because he feels he has regained his integrity.
DeWitt was a Christian minister who stopped believing, and could not abide the hypocrisy in the pulpit. His story emerged at the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne yesterday through his friend and fellow former pastor, Dan Barker, founder of an online support group for clergy who have lost their faith.
The international group, including at least one Australian and a former imam, has grown to more than 200 members in its first year. Most have left their jobs, but more than 50 are still active clergy, Mr Barker says. The group, clergyproject.org, is getting up to 40 applications a month, each of which is carefully vetted by volunteer screeners to make sure it is genuine.
Advertisement: Story continues below
''It's a sanctuary, where they feel they can hold on to their sanity,'' says Mr Barker. Funded by the Richard Dawkins Foundation, the support group has several forums, all of which are confined to members.
''We have forums for liberals, Pentecostals and conservatives, on humour, philosophy and theology,'' he says. ''But the most used are practical: how did you get another job, how did you get retrained?'' One member is a former monk, tested by his order for mental problems. ''He was highly sane. He was kicked out of the monastery and lives in a homeless shelter - 'bugs and thugs', he calls it,'' Mr Barker says.
Mr Barker, founder of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, left the ministry in 1984 after 19 years as a preacher. ''There were two things. One was intellectual. I had no choice but to follow the facts where they led. But the other was emotional-social side, which was going in a different direction.'' Losing the title ''reverend'' and the social esteem was like being stripped of a knighthood and no longer called ''sir''. But it was not nearly as painful as being a hypocrite, he said.
The leading philosopher Daniel Dennett - one of the ''four horsemen of the anti-apocalypse'' with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris (who are also speaking at the convention) and the late Christopher Hitchens - said the mismatch between what the clergy believed and what their parishioners expected them to believe was a source of real anguish.
''One told me, if you offered retraining you'd have 10,000 members tomorrow,'' said Professor Dennett, who has led a study involving several of the clergy. ''Christian leaders know it is true. Hardly anyone denies it is a phenomenon, but no one knows how big it is. They are like gays in the 1950s, but without gaydar.''
He said these ministers were caught in ''an insidious trap baited with goodness'', but it caused most of them real suffering.
Melbourne ethicist Leslie Cannold said Prime Minister Julia Gillard, an atheist, had done enormous damage to the atheist cause, failing to advance separation of church and state.


Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/ex...#ixzz1s5zzCv6D
__________________
"Instead of being born again why don't you just grow up"

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 16th April 2012, 01:21 AM
Mentally Saturated's Avatar
Mentally Saturated Mentally Saturated is offline
It's how I feel.
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: NSW
Posts: 769
Default Re: GAC 2012 in the media

I've been watching the ABC News website, and especially checking the Victorian section.

Not a damned peep from them, that I've found, anyway..

Instead, what we see is stories involving Sydney runners in the Canberra marathon, and a pearl diver that has died in Broome.

Over Saturday and Sunday, 10 of the 18 ABC stories are sports related.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-1...00?section=vic



Gary
__________________
Stephen Fry: In 1900 there was a sport where Britain won a gold medal,
in which the only other country that competed was France.
Can you imagine what that might have been?

John Sessions: Arrogance?
--== QI (Quite Interesting): Season 3 - Episode 4 ==--

Last edited by Mentally Saturated; 16th April 2012 at 01:32 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 16th April 2012, 08:16 AM
owheelj's Avatar
owheelj owheelj is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Hobart
Posts: 2,040
Default Re: GAC 2012 in the media

ABC actually had quite a few stories relating to the GAC, although not necessarily reporting on it.

First there is this;
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-1...debate/3948216

But they also had a number of articles about atheism/religion during the last week. There was a portal for those articles, but I can't find it, but they are also here;

http://www.abc.net.au/religion/

As I recall when I looked on Saturday, there were 8 articles, 7 of which were disagreeing with atheists, and one was neutral. It's so good to have an unbiased objective editor like Scott Stephens running religion stories at the ABC.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 16th April 2012, 08:49 AM
BlueDevil's Avatar
BlueDevil BlueDevil is offline
Explorer of Inner Space
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 2,697
Default

I didn't see anything on ch7 or ch9 news last night in melbourne.

Haven't seen todays newspapers yet.

I was expecting quite a bit of media attention but so far there seems to have been less than GAC2012 (or is that just my misperception).

Maybe the Logies and One Direction are far more newsworthy for the general public so they got the air time.

Tapatalk 2
__________________
"Instead of being born again why don't you just grow up"

Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 16th April 2012, 09:40 AM
heresy's Avatar
heresy heresy is offline
Sprite Zero: no sugar, tastes good - not funny, just true
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: temporary protection visa
Posts: 198
Default Re: GAC 2012 in the media

oh ffs .. The entire ABC religion and ethics page is without exception, Atheist bashing..

actually, come to think of it... That's a mighty big compliment
__________________
I am Jesus!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 16th April 2012, 11:19 AM
OzAtheist's Avatar
OzAtheist OzAtheist is offline
AFA Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Newcastle, NSW
Posts: 254
Default

http://t.co/zh229vEu West's liberals fail to help, says Hirsi Ali
__________________
I think, therefore I'm not a sheep
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 16th April 2012, 11:38 AM
Logic's Avatar
Logic Logic is offline
Up there for thinking...
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 2,079
Default

Quote:
OzAtheist said View Post
http://t.co/zh229vEu West's liberals fail to help, says Hirsi Ali
Also an opinion piece in The Age. Doesn't seem to be anything in the Herald Sun or The Australian unless I've missed it.
__________________
“The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.” -Christopher Hitchens
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 16th April 2012, 11:52 AM
Sieveboy's Avatar
Sieveboy Sieveboy is offline
Being a bigot makes me sick.
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Not in bible land, Perth
Posts: 5,602
Default

Quote:
heresy said
oh ffs .. The entire ABC religion and ethics page is without exception, Atheist bashing..

actually, come to think of it... That's a mighty big compliment
More than a few comments in those articles have been sticking it to Scott Stephens for the massive dump of crap articles, including some deriding the fact that none of these authors actually know much about atheists and that maybe an atheist would be able to make a position statement (or equivalent) far better.

I may have trolled (politely) a little myself.
__________________
I do not fear death, in view of the fact that I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.
Mark Twain
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 16th April 2012, 12:09 PM
TimB's Avatar
TimB TimB is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Sydney
Posts: 385
Default Re: GAC 2012 in the media

There is this from the SMH this morning by Chris Berg

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/societ...414-1wzyg.html

I think the author completely gets things arse about. For example...

"
Yet virtually all the secular ideas that non-believers value have Christian origins. To pretend otherwise is to toss the substance of those ideas away. It was theologians and religiously minded philosophers who developed the concepts of individual and human rights. Same with progress, reason, and equality before the law: it is fantasy to suggest these values emerged out of thin air once people started questioning God.
"
No shit, no non-believer is saying that some religiously minded philosophers etc didn't contribute to developing concepts of individual and human rights, a lot of these people did this in opposition to position of their respective churches. The point is that it wasn't the main stream churches coming up with these ideas, it was liberally minded people of both religious and non-religious dispositions who developed and campaigned for these ideas.

And guess what, the idea of secularism started not because the big dominant christian churches necessarily wanted a nice tolerant multi faith society, the concept was developed to protect the rights of people to follow whatever version of their religion they wanted without the fear of being persecuted by, yep you guessed it, the dominant "christian" churches.

Yes of course christians played a role in developing secular ideas, but you can't lay the credit for all this at the feet of "Christianity" - that would be fantasy.

I think Chris Berg needs to read AC Grayling's book "Towards the Light: The Story of the Struggles for Liberty and Rights That Made the Modern West". It's a good read.
__________________
“I contend that we are both Atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours” – Stephen Roberts
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +11. The time now is 12:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.