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Subject: Is this a faith-based belief? rss

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Chad Ellis
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/17/nicole-kidman-possi...

Nicole Kidman played the didgeridoo on German television during a promotion of the movie Australia. She has now been warned by Aboriginies that doing so will make her barren. Apparently this is one of their religious beliefs and women are barred from playing the didgeridoo for this reason.

For those who have argued that atheism is "faith-based" and a religion, would you say that my nonbelief in the fertility risks of didgeridoo-playing is an example of a faith-based belief?
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/17/nicole-kidman-possi...

Nicole Kidman played the didgeridoo on German television during a promotion of the movie Australia. She has now been warned by Aboriginies that doing so will make her barren. Apparently this is one of their religious beliefs and women are barred from playing the didgeridoo for this reason.

For those who have argued that atheism is "faith-based" and a religion, would you say that my nonbelief in the fertility risks of didgeridoo-playing is an example of a faith-based belief?


It's a scientific prediction. Now all you have to do is spend a few months with Kidman, testing if she's still fertile.
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Well, let's look at your definition of religion:

Chad_Ellis wrote:
1. It's hard to define, but you know it when you see it.
2. It's not nearly as good as the people who are into it seem to think.


Well, what the heck is that supposed to mean?
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There may be some scientific bearing here.

A didgeridoo might certainly produce some powerful soundwaves which would traditionally be held near a woman's womb.

I'd give it an offhand chance of maybe actually affecting fertility in some tiny percent of the population.

On the other hand, it could be that Aborigine women who play didgeridoo are just ugly cows who can't get any.
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Chad Ellis
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quozl wrote:
Well, let's look at your definition of religion:

Chad_Ellis wrote:
1. It's hard to define, but you know it when you see it.
2. It's not nearly as good as the people who are into it seem to think.


Well, what the heck is that supposed to mean?


That I was being tongue-in-cheek?

Edit to add: Can you change your avatar back to the picture where you don't look like you're going to jump out of my screen and smite me?
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True Blue Jon
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
quozl wrote:
Well, let's look at your definition of religion:

Chad_Ellis wrote:
1. It's hard to define, but you know it when you see it.
2. It's not nearly as good as the people who are into it seem to think.


Well, what the heck is that supposed to mean?


That I was being tongue-in-cheek?


Well, duh. But how am I supposed to answer your question if I don't know what the heck you're talking about?

Chad_Ellis wrote:
Edit to add: Can you change your avatar back to the picture where you don't look like you're going to jump out of my screen and smite me?


After the holidays.
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Geosphere wrote:
A didgeridoo might certainly produce some powerful soundwaves which would traditionally be held near a woman's womb.


Near the womb? more like 1.5 meters away from the body, let alone the womb. Anyway, remind me to hide mine in the cellar when the wife aint looking
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Geosphere wrote:
There may be some scientific bearing here.

A didgeridoo might certainly produce some powerful soundwaves which would traditionally be held near a woman's womb.

I'd give it an offhand chance of maybe actually affecting fertility in some tiny percent of the population.

On the other hand, it could be that Aborigine women who play didgeridoo are just ugly cows who can't get any.


I suspect it would be the physical rigours undergone by those who learn from early childhood to play properly. One is ideally supposed to be able simultaneously to breathe in the nose and out the mouth. The Abos [as they called themselves] claim to be able to do precisely this. My sister remembers a children's show whenthe family lived in Australia supposed to beabout the only white man able to do this, with the theme song, "Tie me kangaroo down, mate."

The athletic ability and breathing control of anaccomplished player is quite something as is their playing of it [which is unique but wonderful to hear].
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whac3 wrote:
One is ideally supposed to be able simultaneously to breathe in the nose and out the mouth. The Abos [as they called themselves] claim to be able to do precisely this. My sister remembers a children's show whenthe family lived in Australia supposed to beabout the only white man able to do this, with the theme song, "Tie me kangaroo down, mate."


Only white man able to do so? If it is the same thing as "circular breathing" then it is not unique to the didgeridoo. This is a desired and learned ability common to many brass and woodwind players...
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You fools! You call yourself reasonable and intelligent and you can't even figure out this simple self-fulfilling prophecy. Let me enlighten you folks with simple logic.

Any Aborigine woman that eager to "blow" this thing despite the perceived danger is bound to be barren.
1. Passion for blowing
2. Good technique (unusual breathing skills)
3. A male deciding between the usual virginal penetration or "the blow of his life".

QED
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Chad_Ellis wrote:

For those who have argued that atheism is "faith-based" and a religion, would you say that my nonbelief in the fertility risks of didgeridoo-playing is an example of a faith-based belief?



This being RSP, I can say that the digeridoo is a cock or phallus and that playing it evokes the masculine essense in some world views.

I have not "argued that atheism is "faith-based" and a religion" but more due to my definition of religion.

I do not know if atheists have created a social organisation possessing of doctrine.

I am prepared to stretch a long bow and say that your approach that the external world does not operate, in part, in a "sex magic" way is knowledge based in part on faith.

I do not think this necessarily makes non-belief a religion. It would only become a religion when organised, social and possessing of doctrine.

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whac3 wrote:
The Abos [as they called themselves]

'Abo' is an ethnic slur. Some Aborigines may use it to refer to each other, in the same same that some black Americans may use 'nigger' to refer to each other, but it is not a word that non-Aborigines should use unless they want to sound like racist embarrassments.

I suspect that somebody told you that 'abo' was acceptable slang - they were wrong.

As for whether the belief is faith-based...

I'd say it's mysticism-based. Mysticism shares a lot of similarities with faith, but is not the exact same.
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whac3 wrote:
My sister remembers a children's show whenthe family lived in Australia supposed to beabout the only white man able to do this, with the theme song, "Tie me kangaroo down, mate."

Sounds like Rolf Harris.
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KAndrw wrote:
whac3 wrote:
The Abos [as they called themselves]

'Abo' is an ethnic slur. Some Aborigines may use it to refer to each other, in the same same that some black Americans may use 'nigger' to refer to each other, but it is not a word that non-Aborigines should use unless they want to sound like racist embarrassments.

I suspect that somebody told you that 'abo' was acceptable slang - they were wrong.

As for whether the belief is faith-based...

I'd say it's mysticism-based. Mysticism shares a lot of similarities with faith, but is not the exact same.


The OP was asking whether his non-belief in the sterlising properties of digeriddoos was faith-based. He wasn't askking whether the Aboriginal belief itself was faith-based, he was asking whether his disinclination to follow that belief was faith-based. Its kind of a silly question since the answer is obviously "no, your lack of belief is not faith-based"- but he was using it to make a point about the very much deceased equine "Is Atheism a religion?".
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Philip Thomas wrote:
The OP was asking whether...

Bother - now I look like some illiterate who cannot understand simple questions, when in truth I'm erudite and thoughtful and, ah, who am I kidding.
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quozl wrote:
Well, duh. But how am I supposed to answer your question if I don't know what the heck you're talking about?


My question was aimed at people who assert that atheism is a faith-based belief, so it doesn't matter if you know what I think religion is. If you think that atheism is a faith-based belief, then I'd like to know if you also think that my non-belief in didgeridoo effects on female fertility is faith-based. If you don't think that atheism is a faith-based belief, then that's one thing we have in common...and a second is that this question isn't aimed at us.
 
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
...If you think that atheism is a faith-based belief, then I'd like to know if you also think that my non-belief in didgeridoo effects on female fertility is faith-based.....


Oooo, oooo, oooo, I think atheism can be a faith based belief
And that your non-belief might be faith based too!
Is that good enough?

Its so hard to find good extremists these days.soblue

 
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KAndrw wrote:
whac3 wrote:
The Abos [as they called themselves]

'Abo' is an ethnic slur. Some Aborigines may use it to refer to each other, in the same same that some black Americans may use 'nigger' to refer to each other, but it is not a word that non-Aborigines should use unless they want to sound like racist embarrassments.

I suspect that somebody told you that 'abo' was acceptable slang - they were wrong.

As for whether the belief is faith-based...

I'd say it's mysticism-based. Mysticism shares a lot of similarities with faith, but is not the exact same.


It is NOT an ethnic slur according to the people so designated. They dislike the PC term.
 
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whac3 wrote:
It is NOT an ethnic slur according to the people so designated. They dislike the PC term.

Got a source to back this claim up?

I know you don't trust wikipedia, but the entry on 'ethnic slur' accurately reflects what I learned growing up in New Zealand:

Abo / Abbo
(AUS) Australian Aboriginal person. Originally, this was simply an informal term for "Aborigine", and was in fact used by Aboriginal people themselves until it started to be considered offensive in 1950s. In remoter areas, Aboriginal people still often refer to themselves (quite neutrally) as "Blackfellas" (and whites as "Whitefellas"). Although "Abo" is still considered quite offensive by many, the pejorative "boong" is now more commonly used when the intent is to deliberately offend, as that word's status as an insult is unequivocal.


Here's a bit about Rold Harris regretting using the term 'abos' in Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport:
http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,24734617-2761,...
 
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KAndrw wrote:
whac3 wrote:
It is NOT an ethnic slur according to the people so designated. They dislike the PC term.

Got a source to back this claim up?

I know you don't trust wikipedia, but the entry on 'ethnic slur' accurately reflects what I learned growing up in New Zealand:

Abo / Abbo
(AUS) Australian Aboriginal person. Originally, this was simply an informal term for "Aborigine", and was in fact used by Aboriginal people themselves until it started to be considered offensive in 1950s. In remoter areas, Aboriginal people still often refer to themselves (quite neutrally) as "Blackfellas" (and whites as "Whitefellas"). Although "Abo" is still considered quite offensive by many, the pejorative "boong" is now more commonly used when the intent is to deliberately offend, as that word's status as an insult is unequivocal.


Here's a bit about Rold Harris regretting using the term 'abos' in Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport:
http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,24734617-2761,...


Yes, dippy, my family years in Australia and my sisters were born there. I have this on the word of the people I've talking about. They said for themselves of themselves as much.

Out of respectfor them, I call those people what they wish to be called and if that doesn't suit you, you are invited to go take a flying leap. I'll not play at citing on-line source with a nit-wit for PC's sake.
 
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whac3 wrote:
Yes, dippy...

Dippy?

Really? Ad hominem in response to a request for source? I think you're overreacting a little, and you probably ought to get somebody over the age of 8 to write your insults for you. (Originally, this paragraph just said 'fuck you', but on reflection it seemed that ad hominem was perhaps not the best way to ridicule you for resorting to ad hominem.)

I respect that you have reliable sounding sources supporting your position, though they differ substantially from what I was exposed to growing up in New Zealand, where we get quite a lot of Australian media.

IF you had had the common decency to simply state this, that would have been fine. I don't appreciate being called a nitwit, or having my opinions accused of being PC when they simply reflect what I'm reasonably confident are the realities in Australasia.

Edit - it certainly does seem that Aborigines *do* often refer to themselves as Abos. Unfortunately, I cannot find any examples of Aborigines expressing dislike of the term 'Aborigine', or condoning the use of 'Abo' by non-Aborigines. Almost without exception, non-Aborigines who use 'Abo' are racists, which is of course why Rolf Harris was trying to distance himself from the word, and why you never see the word 'Abo' in serious reporting.

Without a real source ("what I heard from some guy on the internet that his friends told him"), I can't see anything to support the idea that it's acceptable for non-Aborigines to throw around the term 'Abo', any more than it's okay for non-blacks to throw around the term 'nigger'.
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KAndrw wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Yes, dippy...

Dippy?

Really? Ad hominem in response to a request for source? I think you're overreacting a little, and you probably ought to get somebody over the age of 8 to write your insults for you. (Originally, this paragraph just said 'fuck you', but on reflection it seemed that ad hominem was perhaps not the best way to ridicule you for resorting to ad hominem.)

I respect that you have reliable sounding sources supporting your position, though they differ substantially from what I was exposed to growing up in New Zealand, where we get quite a lot of Australian media.

IF you had had the common decency to simply state this, that would have been fine. I don't appreciate being called a nitwit, or having my opinions accused of being PC when they simply reflect what I'm reasonably confident are the realities in Australasia.

Edit - it certainly does seem that Aborigines *do* often refer to themselves as Abos. Unfortunately, I cannot find any examples of Aborigines expressing dislike of the term 'Aborigine', or condoning the use of 'Abo' by non-Aborigines. Almost without exception, non-Aborigines who use 'Abo' are racists, which is of course why Rolf Harris was trying to distance himself from the word, and why you never see the word 'Abo' in serious reporting.

Without a real source ("what I heard from some guy on the internet that his friends told him"), I can't see anything to support the idea that it's acceptable for non-Aborigines to throw around the term 'Abo', any more than it's okay for non-blacks to throw around the term 'nigger'.


No, that was a straight insult, not an ad hominem attack. An ad hominem attack is the logical fallacy that an argument is not worth listening to due to its source. You presented no argument nor did I dismiss one. I insulted you because you sanctimoniously tried to tell me I were using a racial slur by calling a people what they themselves have told my family in person they prefer to be called.

I do not use terms of offence for races, etc., but I am not fool enough to let that be dictated by fashion. The people themselves have the only right to decide what they wish to be called.

So, again, I would insult your pompous and foolish attitude and invite you to mix in only when you know what you're talking about. --and, no, citing PC sources does not mean you know what you're talking about.
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whac3 wrote:
I insulted you because you sanctimoniously tried to tell me I were using a racial slur by calling a people what they themselves have told my family in person they prefer to be called.

I don't think I was especially sanctimonious, and if I were, you're hardly the person to be calling me on it. I wrote what I'm pretty sure is the truth, and when you held fast to your version, I cited sources to demonstrate that my view is the majority.

Quote:
I do not use terms of offence for races, etc., but I am not fool enough to let that be dictated by fashion. The people themselves have the only right to decide what they wish to be called.

Not sure I completely agree with that, but assuming that I did - you've completely failed to demonstrate that the people in this case do want to be called Abos.

I'm not saying I cannot see that it *might* be the case, especially with younger generations reclaiming the word. It's just that you are claiming that it's perfectly okay to use a term that is generally considered a pejorative. Media that I remember and media that I can find now all agree on that.

Quote:
So, again, I would insult your pompous and foolish attitude and invite you to mix in only when you know what you're talking about. --and, no, citing PC sources does not mean you know what you're talking about.

Here's where you go too far. I do know what I'm talking about. I've demonstrated that. Labelling the sources I've found as PC is downright childish.

Here's an interesting anecdote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abo_Call
William Ferguson, at the time the president of the Aborigines Progressive Association, held that the title of the publication 'Abo Call' was insulting to Aborigines.

In fairness, that was in 1938. However, this does support that (at least historically) 'Abo' was considered a slur by Aborigines (or the people who represent them, if Mr Ferguson was not aboriginal himself).

I don't think I've been pompous. I'm very confident I'm right, but I've said several times that I'm open to evidence that my view has been replaced with a new prevailing attitude in Australia. I'd like to think I'm a little more polite than you, so rather then inviting you to simply go away, I'll instead once again invite you to produce a credible source supporting your claim.

I would also insist on a credible source for anybody claiming that 'nigger', 'gook', 'chink', 'kike' or 'kaffer' had lost their racist overtones and were now acceptable terms to use in polite conversation (and especially by people outside the ethnic group in question).
 
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whac3 wrote:
It is NOT an ethnic slur according to the people so designated. They dislike the PC term.

It really, really is an ethnic slur.
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After a lovely carcinogenic afternoon reading in the sun (back in NZ for xmas, forgotten the importance of 50+ sunblock in the southern hemisphere sun), I realised I'm being a little unfair.

My first post DOES sound a little sanctimonious, largely because I was so convinced I was right that I just assumed Moshe didn't know what he was talking about - after all, Israel is ages away from Australia. Not like Belgium!

So I'd like to apologise to Moshe for giving offence and for assuming a level of ignorance that clearly is not the case.

The argument seems to boil down to "a significantly high proportion of Aborigines do not like the term 'aborigine', and would prefer for everybody to instead call them 'abos'". I still hold that this is wrong. I have tried quite hard to find evidence supporting the argument, but have been unsuccessful. If it were true, I would have expected an Aboriginal leader or two to have spoken in response to Rolf Harris's apology for using the term, but I can't find any mention of that.

If *I'm* wrong, I really genuinely want to know. I'd love to examine a credible source!

--

Getting back to the actual topic of the thread, I thought about how I reacted to the story of didgeridoo sterilification. My immediate instinct was to reject it as false, without any evidence. My second instinct was to allow that it might be true, but there must be a sound scientific principle behind it.

In a way, I have faith that any mysticism-based belief is wrong. For example, I believe that traditional chinese medical practices that deal with the flow of Chi often work. BUT I do not believe that there is a flow of Chi through the body. I believe that there are physical scientific mechanisms in play, that are wrapped up in thick layers of unnecessary mysticism. I hold fast to this stance even though I HAVE NO EVIDENCE, except for a feeling that plenty of things in our history have had mystical explanations that have been replaced with real science.

I tend to believe scientific-sounding explanations for things, even when I don't have access to the data behind them, which could also be considered an act of faith. Except for the idea that a deep quantummy level things are actually random, because that conflicts with my belief in a causal universe.

So as an atheist, I often approach issues with faith. That faith has been tested and proved sound to me often enough for me to be very comfortable having it.
 
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