Friday, 17 February 2017

What is your doctor REALLY telling you? Science, pseudoscience and medicine.

Dr Anthony Maloof is a Sydney based specialist surgeon. Following completion of training in Ophthalmology, Dr Maloof branched into Subspecialty fields of Cornea transplantation, Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive surgery. He has appointments at the Prince of Wales Hospital and Sydney Eye hospitals and works in private practice in Sydney.
Anthony is a fierce proponent of science based medicine, a strong advocate of science, and an equally strong critic of the poor communication that exists between science and the humanities.
What influences your doctor in their decision making? What influences the advice and recommendations that they give you? How rational is their decision making? How do pharmaceutical companies propagate information about their products to your benefit or detriment? These questions and more will be addressed.
The religious pray for miracles but Dr Maloof performs them, like the corneal transplant below.
 
Entry to this event will be $5.00 for supporter members of Sydney Atheists and $10.00 for non supporter attendees. Annual Supporter membership is only $20. To become a supporter member, please go to:http://www.sydneyatheists.org/p/donations-and-membership.html
Our talk events are held at the Function Room at Club Redfern:
2nd Floor, 159 Redfern St
REDFERN, NSW 2000

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Sydney Atheists AGM 9th December 2016- election of office bearers:

President: Steve Marton
Vice President: Jessica Nissan
Secretary: Devesh Sharma
Treasurer: Semih Ilhan
Public Officer: Mike Beecham
Public Relations: Thomas Kraemer
Assistant Secretary / Treasurer: Mohamed Farahat

Sydney Atheists have an eclectic committee, composed of people from 5 former religions and one with no former religion. They come from 7 different countries and with backgrounds in accounting, law, management, medical, science and technology.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Jehovah's Witnesses
They come to your door in pairs, sprouting their faith mercilessly. Many other Christians see them as a cult, but then aren't all religions cults? This evening we have a former Jehovah's Witness - Paul Grundy - who will tell his life story and experiences as well as the ramifications for him and for others in leaving this religion. He will talk about the theology of this cult and how it works.

Paul will also explain:
How to help Jehovah's Witnesses leave the cult
Findings of the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
Future of the Watchtower as a failed doomsday cult. This will incorporate information on how it is structured and financed.














Entry to this event will be $5.00 for supporter members of Sydney Atheists and $10.00 for non supporter attendees. Annual Supporter membership is only $20. To become a supporter member, please go to:http://www.sydneyatheists.org/p/donations-and-membership.html

Our talk events are held at the Function Room at Club Redfern:

2nd Floor, 159 Redfern St
REDFERN, NSW 2000

The entrance is 20 metres across Gibbons Street from Redfern Station under the SPAR sign. You can walk up the stairs, the escalator or use the elevator to the 2nd floor where the club is located. The outside of the venue is shown.

RSVP here: https://www.meetup.com/sydneyatheists/events/233492603/

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Sydney Atheists' Submission:

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights regarding the operation of Part IIA of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) including sections 18C and 18D

To:       Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights
Date:  22nd December 2016
Re:       Racial Discrimination Act, sections 18c and 18d 



Dear Joint Committee

Thank you for permitting a submission from our group, “Sydney Atheists” in relation to the above issue. Below is our submission approved by the Sydney Atheists' executive committee for your consideration.

Our submission briefly states the following:

·         Who we are;
·         The legislation under review;
·         The mischief;
·         What the Sydney Atheists position is; and
·         Recommendations by Sydney Atheists.

Summary of our Position

Sydney Atheists consider that there should be no changes to Section 18C (1) (a) and (b).

Background - Who we are

Sydney Atheists

“Sydney Atheists” is a non profit organisation of over 1,600 persons based in Sydney. Sydney Atheists have been in existence since 2007. Sydney Atheists are an open and welcoming community for atheists and atheist-friendly people. We have an interest in ensuring that whatever a person’s faith or non-faith, that everyone is treated fairly, equally and without discrimination.

We provide a platform for members and guests to express their views on society including the relationships of atheism and religious faith to the common good.


Legislation

The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 s. 18c currently provides as follows;

Offensive behaviour because of race, colour or national or ethnic origin

(1)  It is unlawful for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, if:
(a)  the act is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people; and
(b)  the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group.

The Mischief

While the objective of this legislation is laudable, there have been instances of mischievous and vexatious cases brought to the courts in relation to sections 18 of the Racial Discrimination Act (“the Act’).  While the courts have taken a pragmatic approach to the interpretation of the legislation and they have dismissed what might be considered to be frivolous and vexatious litigation, people of race, colour or national or ethnic origin should feel physically and socially safe and unthreatened nonetheless.

To a certain extent, the legislation under review seeks to achieve this.  In no way should racism be tolerated and, so to whatever extent necessary, the law should ensure that.


Position of Sydney Atheists and Recommendations

Sydney Atheists understand that some religious groups are seeking to be included in Section 18C (1) (b).

Sydney Atheists consider that there should be no changes to Section 18C (1) (b). We fully endorse the right of individuals or groups to criticise ideas, ideals, philosophies, doctrines and of course religions. We see religions as a subset of ideals, philosophies and doctrines. They are alterable in the minds of adherents. Furthermore, it is our view that most, if not all religions, and their adherents consider competing ones to be inferior to the one that they follow. No religion is universally deemed to have any higher authority than other competing ones.

As a result, religions deserve no more respect than any other ideas, ideals, philosophies or doctrines. They should NOT be protected in the way that people of race, colour or national or ethnic origin are protected. Indeed, society should be free to expose beliefs as inappropriate or indeed fraudulent.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Marton on behalf of the Committee of Sydney Atheists
0450 123 211

moralmovement@gmail.com

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Sydney Atheists interviewed on Radio 2SER about belief and Christmas:

http://www.2ser.com/component/k2/item/26577-sydney-s-atheist-community

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Rationality or Religion - Reflections on the Criminal Justice System

Friday 9th December

It gives us great pleasure to present as our guest speaker this evening Judge Brian Knox
Brian Knox is a former judge of the NSW District Court (2005- July 2016) where he worked in the civil, child care and criminal jurisdictions of the Court.

Prior to that he was NSW Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor appearing in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal and the NSW Supreme Court while working in the office of the NSW DPP (2003-2004). Before that he was a barrister and then Senior Counsel at the NSW Bar (1989-2002).
His talk, Rationality or Religion - Reflections on the Criminal Justice System starts with the evolution of law from religious beginnings and then addresses the emphasis placed on a practice of insisting on 'contrition' and repentance in the context of criminal law which to the speaker is all a bit dubious. 
As in so many areas of the criminal law we spend a lot of time blaming people. The way it works really is a throwback to concepts of original sin and Old Testament concepts of divine wrath.
Those moralistic, punitive concepts and approaches underpin the law. They are easier for those in authority to pursue rather than focusing on evidence based approaches to what works for the wider societal good , in particular, the need for different kinds of education.


Amongst the questions that Judge Knox will answer are:

How and why have our laws evolved from the biblical texts?
What influence do those texts have on the laws of the past and present?
What is and what should be the influence of the church, monarchs, government and the people on our laws?
Are punishments of value and are they successful? Do they deter?
How and why should they be applied?
What is the impact of circumstance on criminality?


Entry to this event will be $5.00 for supporter members of Sydney Atheists and $10.00 for non supporter attendees. Annual Supporter membership is only $20. To become a supporter member, please go to:http://www.sydneyatheists.org/p/donations-and-membership.html
Early bookings and payments can be made at www.trybooking.com/NWLD
Our talk events are held at the Function Room at Club Redfern:
2nd Floor, 159 Redfern St
REDFERN, NSW 2000
If you are a member of our Meetup group, please RSVP here: https://www.meetup.com/sydneyatheists/events/231239223/

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Coming out of Bangladesh - a Muslim and Hindu find atheism



Friday 11th November

Over the last two years many secular and atheist Bangladeshi writers and bloggers have been hacked to death by Islamic extremists who will not tolerate any questioning of Islam. Many such people fear for their lives both in and outside of Bangladesh regardless of their original religion. Our speakers this evening have escaped this threat.
Shakil and Shubhajit are formally Muslim and Hindu. They will discuss life in Bangladesh, their path to atheism, the impact on their social and family relationships, the history and position of religion in the country and the place of atheists in Bangladesh.
The takings from this evening will be donated to people / organisations like our speakers, who are trying to escape the predicaments that they find themselves in. This is an evening not to be missed.
Entry to this event will be $5.00 for supporter members of Sydney Atheists and $10.00 for non supporter attendees. Annual Supporter membership is only $20. To become a supporter member, please go to:http://www.sydneyatheists.org/p/donations-and-membership.html