About Me and this Blog

 

I am an Atheist and I live in Australia.

Like many rational thinking people, I have been concerned with the apparent rise of religion’s influence on politics and policies, not only here in Australia, but also in many other countries. America in particular.

Like a lot of others, I have jumped on the recent bandwagon of speaking out about atheism. Whilst I have been an atheist for many years (see “Where I Come From” below) it is only recently that various TV shows (“The Root of All Evil?”) and books (“The God Delusion” “God is NOT Great”) have sparked my interest in being vocal about it.

As many other people have said ‘organising atheists is like herding cats’. This may be true, but if more atheists are outspoken then, whilst we might be disorganised, at least there will be a lot of us.

Has anyone ever been in a room with a lot of cats in it? They may appear chaotic or disinterested but you certainly can’t avoid knowing they are there!

There are a few campaigns trying to get people to be more open about their atheism such as Richard Dawkin’s ‘Out Campaign’ and ‘The Bright’s’ movement. Hopefully this will add to those.

Where I come from

I was born in England into a Church of England family. As a young child our family emigrated to Australia and we joined the local Baptist church. I remember going to church on Sundays and going to the Sunday School. During my early teens I rebelled against everything (as most teenagers do) including going to church. However I eventually went back to the church and even got baptised! As an older teen I got quite into it, attending bible classes, going to Billy Graham concerts, bible bashing on the street corner, door knocking (way before I’d ever heard of the Mormons) etc.

Then I left home to start work (had to move interstate) and all that religious stuff went out the window. Though I had already started to have doubts, mostly because of the bible study. The more I studied the bible the more questions I had that couldn’t be answered. After several years I counted myself as not-religious, but I was still putting Baptist on forms. I even got married in a Baptist church.

For many years I had no interest in religion of any sort but didn’t actually identify as an atheist. Thankfully the ABC showed “The Root of all Evil?” and shortly after I bought, and read the book (“The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins). I have since read several other books, and hope to purchase a few more soon.

update – it seems I can’t post links to Amazon etc, so I’ll just list them in the sidebar .

I now fully identify as an atheist and wonder why I never did years ago (it is hard to break free from years of indoctrination). I have read / still read many of the atheist sites on the net to get useful information, and some of these are in my blogroll.

I like the Bright’s description:

a naturalistic worldview free of supernatural and mystical elements

What’s Next?

I’ll keep updating this ‘About’ page as I remember details and get the time to do the editing. Meanwhile feel free to read my blogs and make comments.

Update 18 September 2007

OK, it seems like there’s two of us.

Over on YouTube there is another ozatheist, he also has a MySpace account, please note that this is NOT me. I Don’t have either a youtube or myspace account, and until I get broadband (about as likely as hell freezing over – thanks for nothing Telstra) I probably won’t bother getting one.

Update 20 September 2007

Make that three of us.

I went to post a comment on a blogger.com site and found I needed a Google and/or Blogger account, so I went to set one up. However, when I tried to use the URL ozatheist I found that name was already in use. So I used this one instead ozatheitsweblog.

Note on Copyright

Occasionally I will copy small sections of other peoples writings and post them on my blog. I will always try and place a link back to the original document and note the author. I will also attempt to make sure nothing is taken out of context or make the author appear to be stating something they didn’t.

I hope all authors will take my copying to be within ‘fair use’, however if you see something on my blog for which you are the original author and would like me to remove, please let me know.

Note on Comments

To post comments you have to enter a name and email address, this is done in order to reduce the number of spammers I might receive. However, feel free to use a fake name and email address. The first post from a particular email address has to be moderated by me, which may sometimes take a day or two (hey, I have to work sometimes, and I do have a life). However, if you use the same name and email address, subsequent comments will be automatically posted.

 

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33 responses to “About Me and this Blog

  1. John Ballard

    The links to your two stories at http://www.ozatheist.org/ don’t function.

  2. Bronwyn Thompson

    I would just like to let you know about an Australian website that is dedicated to exposing the agenda of the religious Right in Australia:

    http://www.unbelief.org

  3. Thanks Bronwyn, I have that site in my Bookmarks.

  4. You have a very interesting blog and I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    I am not an aethist myself, I do believe in a higher power or ‘God’ if you like. But I can fully understand why people are aethist. There is just so much wrong with many relgions today. Or maybe it’s not actually the core messages of the religions but the way people use and abuse them…I understand your concern with the rise of religion in politics, and what is happening in the US is very disturbing I think. If it continues it will not take the country forward, but backwards. Some religions preach and say they practice compassion and freedom…but only if you agree with them. The world might actually be better off if the majority were aethist, and no I don’t believe society would crumble as a result. Society only works if we work together, thus there would still be moral codes and ethics, just as there were before Christianity (for example).

  5. Whit

    Stumbled upon your blog, and its pretty interesting (but Im a theist). I’m an evolutionary biologist, I think you may find my youtube channel helpful in your debates (http://www.youtube.com/user/DonExodus2).

    Check out my vids- especially the ones regarding creationist dishonest, as well as transitional fossils / proof of evolution.

    Regards,
    Whit

    Err- here are some direct links for you-

    Creationst Dishonesty- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoZW7-3YSns&feature=PlayList&p=6818DF8C6AB4A0DF&index=0&playnext=1

    Proof of Evolution- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1fGkFuHIu0&feature=PlayList&p=0FB1F085BD950D0F&index=0&playnext=1

    Transitional Fossils- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4GdZOlPrX8&feature=PlayList&p=F9729F67CD4034C9&index=0&playnext=1

  6. Hi there

    you may want to add my recently published book, The Purple Economy, to your list. See website above. Also, we’re organising a conference ‘Secular Twins: Australia and New Zealand’s Secular Heritage and Its Future’ to be held in the Theatrette of the NSW Parliament on 9 July 2008.

    regards

    Max

  7. Thx Max

    As if I don’t have enough to read already. I’ve still got 5 books yet to read from the current list!

    The conference sounds interesting, I’ll post a blog promoting it once there are more details.

  8. AV

    Max:

    Will there be audio of the conference available?

  9. Oz:

    Hey, pal. Just writing to see if I could trouble you for a link on the just-posted CarnivUL of The fraudless. It was a pretty big undertaking and so I really want it to get read rather than immediately diving into obscurity.

    http://theframeproblem.wordpress.com/2008/04/29/carnivul-of-the-fraudless-exposing-the-cult/

    Any linkage would be much appreciated.

    Best,
    Ron

  10. Ron,

    I found your website/blogs in the process of searching for this great picture of a kitten sleeping on a keyboard. On your other site it was here: http://www.ozatheist.org/images/cat_laptop.jpg

    I’d appreciate the fullsize image, my wife loves cats, and she saw a smaller rendition of the image but the quality suffered (too few pixels).

    In the meantime, I read some of your posts, and go back and forth on whether science or philosophy is more influential on belief systems. Many people can compartmentalize views (like those against air pollution taking a puff on a cigarette between paragraphs) or those against tree cutting while they plan their energy efficient log home in the woods.

    Anyway, I lean toward science, but a lot of theories in science require faith, where religion has a lot of problems that are not supported by science, which itself is heavily dependent on faith. It’s a moibus strip with perhaps only one side. Today it’s science, but the more we learn the more we realize we don’t know, so science fails to fully explain what we can observe in nature and in the universe, but it seems more logical even to those who may not fully understand the science involved in explaining the unprovable beliefs in religions.

    Anyway, aside from all that, back to something more mundane — how about that kitty on the keyboard, do you still have it and can you send it to me?

    Thanks

    Hank, Orange County, CA (USA and someone who dreams about coming to Australia for vacation one of these days).

  11. You write sincerely and thats what matters in the end.. take care..
    We might just meet in heaven for all you know..

    A shia muslim

  12. Jimmy

    Another lifelong athiest here and living in Australia, your blog has some interesting contributions. My concern is about the recent so called “World Youth Day” in Sydney, why did taxpayers have fund this Catholic recruitment crusade to the tune of $90 million give or take 10 mil? George Pell (the highest ranking catholic in Australia) should be required to answer to the non catholic taxpayers where did the cash go!
    Will the government consider funding Athiest day, I won’t hold my breath on that one.
    As for religion generally Pat Condell is correct it’s a mental illness, just because a billion people might believe in some invisible thing, that doesn’t make it real.
    Whatever happened to separation of church and state?
    PS nice shot of Cronulla at the top of the page I lived there many years ago..

  13. Welcome Jimmy, thanks for reminding me about the government funding – see the post dated 5 Oct about funding to the Gay Mardi Gras.
    There is no separation of church and state in Australia, a post on this is in the works.

  14. novparl

    So you’re a fellow Pom? Where from, mate? Anywhere near saaf London?

  15. No, I was a scouse git. Born just outside Liverpool then raised in Liverpool until emigration to Australia

  16. I love your work here! Check out our cute little Anti-Christian (slightly) Offensive (to sum) T-Shirt Biz and get a free shirt to wear to Xmas dinner.

    Zeno
    http://www.obscenitease.com

  17. JesusfreakMT

    Sad website…. don’t even know how i blundered on here…… maybe just to let you know that God loves you and sent His only son to die for you….. yes you….. you were on His mind as Jesus hung on the cross to die. I believe in freedom of speech so don’t take this is a sarcatic comment….. i truly love everyone and hope that you can feel Gods love for you someday and have Him touch you as powerfully as He has touched me. Be blessed my friend……

  18. Duffy

    I just finished reading the book Awake Amongst The Sleeping – Confessions of a Cult Leader. I experienced something that I have never felt before as a reader, and that is that I could not find one person in the book that I could feel any empathy for. This bunch of self serving, self proclaimed searches of enlightenment are the most egocentric people that I have read about since the Hilter Diaries. Interesting as it was to read about their descent into mind control, I could not help feeling appalled by the end of the tale of this self gratification of Hamiliton’s character as he exposes the cult and credits God with guiding him towards writing the book. I googled him recently to find he is now involved in alternative health products. Like they say, Christians make the best Amway dealers.

    Has anyone else read this book and what did they think?

    PS JesusfreakMT: Thanks but I just don’t feel the same about you… it’s nothing personal…it’s me, not you..truly…maybe we can just be friends and see other people.

  19. JesusfreakMT

    Duffy ~
    No worries…… nothing personal…..I believe that God gave everyone the free will to choose their path of life and use their brain where needed…. by the way…. never sold Amway…. be blessed!

  20. results_are_better_than_ideals

    can you blog the questions you could not find answers to when you were a baptist?

  21. Hello! I run a science website with an atheist attitude, called Machines Like Us (machineslikeus.com). I would like to invite you to review Machines Like Us, and if you think it worthy, would you mind adding it to your blogroll?

    Thanks, and all the best,

    Norm Nason

  22. les wood

    I am writing from South Africa – where the cricketers come from. This email is not in response to any particular issue but a general point that you may wish to invite comment upon.

    The more I read atheist blogs, xian and muslim hate mail, fundie statements on fstdt or the idiocy of attempts to promote creationism over science the more certain I have become that many of the loudest and stupidest statements are made not by credulous victims of religion but by some very smart operators who not only exploit religion for financial gain but who themselves do not believe any of crap they sprout. To my knowledge we do not have a short descriptive term to identify the Roy Comforts, AIG’s, Farwells and Robertsons. Words like poe and xian (xtian) have wide currency and understanding. I suggest that we need an additional term in the atheist armoury to clearly identify and denigrate these slimeballs – a term which even the religious will come to recognise.

    Here are some initial suggestions.

    Xploitian
    Godsucker
    Quacksaviour
    Tithegobbler

    I am sure your contributors can do better.

  23. @ Les, welcome. I almost didn’t allow your comment through, after all you are from South Africa and they recently thrashed us Aussies in the cricket. Then again the Kiwis just did too. If I start banning all the countries that beat Australia in cricket I’ll end up with no one to talk to. big LOL 🙂

    I’m going to re-post your comment as a new blog, lets see how many ideas we get.

    fellow readers please reply to Les on the new post: https://ozatheist.wordpress.com/2009/02/06/looking-for-a-new-wordlooking-for-a-new-word/

  24. Hey OzAtheist,

    Loving the site. I too am from Oz and its nice to see someone being vocal about this.
    I’ll be following closely!

    Michael

  25. Tim

    There are heretics in Australia as well, shunned by all good believers in fairies working away in Melbourne to battle against the forces of ignorance and the domineering Christians in the Australian parliament, especially Senator Conroy’s internet censorship agenda.

    http://www.hereticpress.com/Dogstar/Religion/Vilification.html#censorship

    Tim Anderson

  26. I used to be Baptist, too. My deepest condolences. 😉

  27. Hey OzA,

    I used to blog at The Frame Problem. I recently started blogging again but started fresh with a new blog. I’m at http://deathbytrolley.wordpress.com

    Things are looking good here at your place 🙂

  28. Marlina

    Hi Oz,
    I’m a Catholic Christian and while we will have to agree to disagree, I have to say your blog header, “Clowns of the Last Chicken Dinner” made me laugh. Oh God! I’m gonna feel the burn for that one! That really is a hideous pic not to mention plum creepy but disturbingly funny. God Bless you Mr. Oz.

  29. Theo Prinse

    The proof that a Supreme Being cannot exist.
    Scientific proof/evidence is true when it can be falsified for it exists in infinity, else it is mono causal and finite..
    The two major philosophies denying one another are Idealism and Materialism. Religion, superstition, sects etc. are all a smaller part of Idealism. Idealism accepts only faith as source of truth (morality) and rejects scientific evidence.
    Materialism derives truth (knowledge) from scientific evidence and rejects faith to that end.
    A Supreme Being cannot exist and – besides the empiric and semantic necessity of a material, physical, tangible character of a proof thereto – with the materiality of such a proof, with this matter only can be meant the smallest (constant of Planck) and not the largest matter (curving of space). Furthermore that from faith no proof can be
    derived for the existence of anything whatsoever. Simple faith is optimistic, and religious faith is construed phantasy.
    Moreover, from infinity follows the existence of the graviton beyond the thus far smallest known particle.
    From these gravitons has – by reasoning – become clear that there are both free as well as fixed gravitons. Beyond the increasingly smaller realm of gravitons there is an infinite increasing ratio between the amount of matter (gravitons and ever smaller particles) and in annihilation being matter.(infinitely smaller particles)
    The free gravitons ‘stand’ relatively still in space within their frame of reference in relation to the atomic objects like electrons and protons out of which man, planets and stars are formed. Their protons are formed from electrons and electrons from fixed gravitons. Gravity, and the four other quantum mechanical forces are the consequence of the interaction between free and fixed gravitons. (Unification)
    Existence of both free and fixed gravitons furthermore assumes that the Idea is electronic. Products of the human mind are material particles.
    Man-interpreted-surrounding-reality consists of continuous new progressing, material tautology (semantic necessity.
    European atheism grew by reactionary Krupp-Flick bourgeoisies-caused-atrocities in two World Wars leading to postmodernism (nothing is true equals to faith without a god) among social-democrats and social academies.
    Contemporary, nihilistic cultural-relativism which developed out of post-modern thought is – in contrast to it’s interpretation by ‘historians’ – in it’s non-realism non-cognitive, unreal, not-knowable, unaware, not able to recognize reactionary stealth and kinetic Jihad and Islam insinuation for shariah. But all this is not to be confused with semantic tautology.
    In The USA, Christian intellectuals have (instead post-modernism) perfectly understood that not American atheists are their opponent, but philosophical materialism. They vulgarized Philosophical materialism into Big Mac mass consumerism, money talks etc. insinuating atheists idealistically, to BELIEVE that god does not exist.
    Smell, heat etc. are nothing but colliding frictional particles. Feelings of insult like ‘blasphemy’ is without any exception ever self-inflicted neurological activity and laws against defamation, libel insult without proven material damage and blasphemy must be abolished for they prosecute the messenger.
    So, although color, form, pressure, superconductivity etc. can be very relative, even tautologic, in viewing around us, all massive visible objects can be related with extreme scientific precision within the conceptions of space and time, while faith – with or without a god – can relate totally nothing.
    The previous mentioned semantic necessity lies herein that besides semantic ideas, man also thinks spatially as well, so without word content, as Roman intellectuals like Lucretius, who, by projection of architectonic constructions got texts of law in their head who in their turn spoke about primitive man who did not yet have a semantic definition of a Supreme Being although they already knew from India of 12.000 year old atheistic semantic premisses.
    Semantic thought – in distinction of spatial thought – comprises of exact defined, restricted and prejudiced, so mostly dogmatic, free-thought-indoctrinating contents of Ideas, definitions. (Semantic necessity)
    The mentioned semantic necessity simply means that the previous mentioned content ‘micro and macro space’ in the logic context of their infinity – so these cosmologic and atomic infinity – so the identical semantic definition infinity
    – is imperative above every other content of definition, so therefore exists above that of the content of the so called definition of a Supreme Being.
    There can be no Supreme Being because the material evidence of the (thus far known) outer boundaries of the astrophysical atomic and cosmological spatial definition Infinity – and herewith all inner lying, containing definitions and phenomena, and, as said, that the largest imagination of infinite expanding space is explained with the infinite conceivable smallest, and constituting the largest from the smallest or vice versa mutually semantically deny an intelligible Supreme Being – are described as such by the scientific community in laws of particle ‘attraction’, spin, motion and exclusion, repulsion that herewith no Supreme Being could be interpreted or indicated and that it outside and beyond the continuously expanding spatial boundaries ever again and again lacks of semantic word definition.
    The semantic word definition Infinity, simply comprehends more than the semantic word definition Supreme Being.
    The definition Supreme Being is therefore secondary and every deducted moral assumption – the moral system of sanctions, with acquiescence, acceptance (of Christians) in/of sects like islam in their revenge towards critique against ‘apostasy of a doctrine of the faith’ – is therefor a strongly construed imaginative fiction. Credulous thought (trust) as inner consent in an invisible and merciful authority is primal. The apparent ‘weaker’ morality of a nonbeliever has been shout down for centuries in brutal domination by the imagined morality of the fading believer …. (Prinse – the Netherlands)

  30. yesNno

    Hello Atheists.

    I respect your right to not believe in any Supreme Being. The issue I have is that some of you guys are worse than those Bible thumping, judgmental, “convert anything that moves to Christianity” jerks that give the rest of us a bad name. Most Atheist that I know are very intelligent people who rely on scientific evidence to explain everything. They don’t take the time or energy to insult or disprove people who are obviously less intelligent than themselves. As for politics and government, it boils down to what’s right and wrong, helpful and not helpful to the most people. Unfortunately science doesn’t help much here. Right and wrong, good and bad are moral and ethical decisions. Morality and ethics at is origin come from the belief systems of people a.k.a religion, whatever it may be. But it is religion at it’s very basic core. Everything else that comes with religion really screws things up. But my point is that Atheist should stick to believing whatever they believe and leave the judging and insults up to religious fanatics.

    • yesNno

      Also, science still doesn’t explain anything with certainty. Some things are beyond the visibility and comprehension of man. And I don’t mean only God. It’s kind of like a two dimensional being trying to understand or even see a 3 dimensional being. It’ll never see the 3 dimensional being for all it’s glory. It will only see a 2 dimensional slice of it and try to understand it in a 2 dimensional context. Peace bitches.

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