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  #21  
Old 16th April 2012, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: GAC 2014

Brian Greene, Brian Cox and Brian Mannix in a totally Brian Bending Battle of the Brians Brianfest.

Also Daniel Kahneman.
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  #22  
Old 17th April 2012, 02:55 AM
Discern4 Discern4 is offline
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Default Re: GAC 2014

Brian Cox - that was a good suggestion.

I'd like to see:

- Neil DeGrasse Tyson (though he has expressed reluctance about jumping on the new atheist bandwagon, so I doubt he'd come)

- Bart Ehrman
- Alain Debotton
- James Randi (or someone else like him to do a talk on New Age and pseudoscience)
- Daniel Everett (he's the missionary that went to preach to an Amazon tribe, and their outlook on life converted him into an atheist)


I'd also like to hear from ex-muslims (aside from Ayaan of course), that would be interesting.

Oh, and more protesters! They made the convention even more enjoyable.

Last edited by Discern4; 17th April 2012 at 02:57 AM.
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  #23  
Old 17th April 2012, 07:11 AM
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Logic said View Post
As I'm not from a scientific background my interests lie more in the philosophical and political side of things. I felt there was an appropriate balance this year.
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  #24  
Old 17th April 2012, 07:25 AM
dilbadoon dilbadoon is offline
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AtheistNow said View Post
Maryam Namazie
Tim Minchin
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Adam Savage
Karl Kruszelnicki
Steven Pinker
Michael Shermer
James Randi
David Fitzgerald
Derren Brown
Jennifer Michael Hecht
Wow! Add Salman Rushdie and this list has my vote (obviously I would desperately love to see a return of a few of this years speakers).

My "must return" from the weekend would be (in order) A.C. Grayling, Peter Singer and Leslie Cannold.
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  #25  
Old 17th April 2012, 09:20 AM
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Default Re: GAC 2014

The other night on triple j, as I was returning home, John Safran was critical of the absence of an aboriginal representative at the convensh. The dilemma for aboriginal people of preserving/promoting their culture while abandoning supernatural/superstitious belief is an interesting issue. It would be good to hear from an aboriginal atheist person.

Also, Dave Grohl. Just because he's the nice guy of Rock.
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  #26  
Old 17th April 2012, 09:33 AM
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  #27  
Old 17th April 2012, 09:35 AM
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Bum Double said View Post
The other night on triple j, as I was returning home, John Safran was critical of the absence of an aboriginal representative at the convensh. The dilemma for aboriginal people of preserving/promoting their culture while abandoning supernatural/superstitious belief is an interesting issue. It would be good to hear from an aboriginal atheist person.
Great point.


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  #28  
Old 17th April 2012, 09:59 AM
riddlemethis riddlemethis is offline
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Quote:
Bum Double said View Post
The other night on triple j, as I was returning home, John Safran was critical of the absence of an aboriginal representative at the convensh. The dilemma for aboriginal people of preserving/promoting their culture while abandoning supernatural/superstitious belief is an interesting issue. It would be good to hear from an aboriginal atheist person.

Also, Dave Grohl. Just because he's the nice guy of Rock.
I'd argue you can't preserve/promote aboriginal culture & be atheist in the AFA sense, except in the most superficial way. It's a culture almost completely predicated on supernatural belief & superstition. I have a little to do, actively, with an aboriginal community via a relationship our kids school has with a school in the NT. as well as resourcing, fund raising & exchange visits, our kids study aboriginal culture/dreaming, it's lovely woo, but complete woo, nonetheless. I'd love to see this discussed, but can not see it falling on the side of a compatible union & much latitude for accusations of racism if (when) it didn't. I think this falls into kind of what Ayaan was alluding to regards Islam & white liberal squeamishness about interfering in 'culture'.
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  #29  
Old 17th April 2012, 11:47 AM
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Default Re: GAC 2014

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riddlemethis said View Post
I'd argue you can't preserve/promote aboriginal culture & be atheist in the AFA sense, except in the most superficial way. It's a culture almost completely predicated on supernatural belief & superstition. I have a little to do, actively, with an aboriginal community via a relationship our kids school has with a school in the NT. as well as resourcing, fund raising & exchange visits, our kids study aboriginal culture/dreaming, it's lovely woo, but complete woo, nonetheless. I'd love to see this discussed, but can not see it falling on the side of a compatible union & much latitude for accusations of racism if (when) it didn't. I think this falls into kind of what Ayaan was alluding to regards Islam & white liberal squeamishness about interfering in 'culture'.
I agree to an extent. Some 'cultural' practices (particularly in the Islamic world) should be discarded not just because of their irrelevance to a 21st century world, but because they are morally abhorrent and damaging to society (e.g. genital mutilation, honour killing etc.)

Modern Australia is a different story. Apart from the supernatural/superstitious aspects of Aboriginal culture, I believe there is still a relevance and richness that is very beneficial to Australia's identity. Concepts of relationship with the environment, native foods, kinship ties, history, art and even mythology are important strands of this culture that all Australians can learn from. Things like traditional dress and ritual ceremonies performed for tourists may be considered superficial but I think still worth preserving (for enhanced sense of community and visual presence etc.). I think that there probably are a few proud, aboriginal atheist people out there and I would like to see a greater indiginous presence at the next convensh as long as it's meaningful and not a tokenistic gesture. Anyway, it is an interesting issue that I need to give a lot more thought to.
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  #30  
Old 17th April 2012, 12:20 PM
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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.
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