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Discussion Forum

treaty of waitangi commitments in the work place

Started by DonnaMaree Austin. Last reply by DonnaMaree Austin Aug 6, 2012. 4 Replies

Family First NZ - Bob McCoskrie

Started by Mike Thomson. Last reply by Mike K. Jul 13, 2011. 4 Replies

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Comment by Shawn Hamman on August 14, 2011 at 11:00pm
Happen to know where I might get such a tshirt in good old Auckland? I love tshirts with messages. Which is why I give my money to Think Geek. So much money.
Comment by Iain McMahon on August 14, 2011 at 9:41pm
I agree with you there, Sean. An in-your-face Christian is just a good christian whereas an atheist who objects to anything is militant. It's a double standard.
Comment by The Doubter on August 14, 2011 at 6:55pm
Hi Iain,

Noted your comments about prayers in the work place and I find this one, both tricky & uncomfortable......having worked directly for the MOE...Monday morning staff meetings started with prayers/singing and ended with challenge can be seen as non-Christian! The irony is that many non-believers just accept it and are actually the tolerant ones unlike their so called Christian work colleagues. Sean:)

Comment by Iain McMahon on August 14, 2011 at 6:03pm
@Mike K, very good question. How do I come to work at a christian NGO? Well, I grew up as a Baptist in a moderate/semi-conservative church and was a fairly passionate Christian. I've always been a philosophical sort and more interested in higher theology and apologetics; the intellectual aspects of things have always interested me more than the emotional/mystical. Over the years I became more liberal and more skeptical. That initially caused me to dig deeper into the learning around my faith such as studying at seminary (BCNZ, now Laidlaw College) but eventually led me to become more and more liberal until I simply fell out of the bounds of christianity. Now I'm a philosophically serious strong agnostic (in a verificationist/A.J. Ayer sense) and a practical weak atheist, love the works of Bertrand Russell etc, and a fanboy of Dawkins and the other Horsemen. In fact, my strong agnosticism makes me an ignostic (theological noncognitivist): I believe metaphysical statements are meaningless and metaphysical propositions (e.g. "God exists") cannot be rationally assented to because they cannot actually be THOUGHT in their truest sense by human brains.
I came to work at my current job after I moved to Christchurch and heard such good things about this organisation (and it really is mostly a great place to work) and was in a semi-religious frame of mind at the time. I've progressively become more accepting of my atheism since but still like working there.
Most of the time I can just get on with my job and help people with their psychiatric issues BUT I do have to put up with the staff prayers and the occasional conversation about religious issues. However one rule in our service is that our treatment is client centred meaning that while Staff are allowed to be religious behind the scenes in the staff room they usually don't foist it on people unless they themselves are believers. So most of the time its not an issue.
Comment by Shawn Hamman on August 14, 2011 at 12:39am
Meh, not bloody likely.
Comment by Shawn Hamman on August 13, 2011 at 11:28pm

Awesome post you linked to btw, I'm fascinated by the subject. I wrote a post a while back featuring some of VS Ramachandran's research into people with split brains; specifically how it is possible for one brain to both firmly believe in god and not at all, at the same time. It amuses me to no end to wonder how the religious rationalise that? Does only half of the guy go to heaven? Does he not go to heaven and the faithful half burns in hell?


Teh stupid. It burns.


Comment by Shawn Hamman on August 13, 2011 at 11:13pm

It makes me uncomfortable just thinking about it!


I can't imagine that 'treating' patients suffering from any kind of dissociative disorder with impalpable, unprovable, imaginary anything would be very useful...


But then, I bet the 'they need prayer' goes along with a healthy dose of scientific, peer reviewed, medical treatment? Nobody ever has enough 'faith' to run a hospital purely on it.


Why do you think they don't find that strange?

Comment by Iain McMahon on August 13, 2011 at 10:49pm

Precisely, Shawn. I see that ALL the time. You can imagine how uncomfortable I am when other clinicians around me responsible for the therapeutic care of residents talk about people needing prayer for demonic influence with a straight face. Scary stuff.

I wrote a more detailed rant on my blog ages ago about mental illness and religion here.

Comment by Shawn Hamman on August 13, 2011 at 7:46pm

Christian mental health... there's an oxymoron if I ever heard one!


"No sir, *those* voices in your head aren't really but that other one, Jesus, *that* one is real".


Comment by Iain McMahon on August 13, 2011 at 7:23pm
Re: Shawn Hamman on his blog & job interview fail: yes that's how I feel about my own blog ATM. Currently I'm working for a "Christian" mental health organisation (I know right, lol) and have been keeping my own deconversion on the down-low for more than a year or two now. I'd love to talk freely on my blog but - damn this internet - it appears that my blog and even my profile on Atheist Nexus is too findable with a google search!

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