Has anyone here had any experience with "spiritual not religious" theists? They always try to make the argument that there really isn't any disagreement between science and their "spirituality".

As wacky as some of the mainstream religions are, the pagan/witch/new age/ spiritualist/ UFO cult crowd leave me in awe of the human capacity for self deception.
Personally, I'm a little tired of the old "science can only answer the question of how but not why" argument.

I usually deal with the "woo-woo" crowd with either respectful skepticism or a bemused smirk depending on the degree of kookiness involved.

Lets give the Christians a break and talk about the more exotic faiths.

How about you A/N?

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(No offence meant to LeaT)

My experiences with the pagan/witch/new age crowd are almost exclusively negative. The level of arrogance, elitism, snobbery and yes, bigotry, leaves most of mainstream religion for dead. I had a Wiccan girlfriend for 3 years, and the amount of grief she suffered for screwing a non-believer was appalling. They are nowhere near as different to the big religions as they seem to be able to convince themselves they are. Same leopard, different spots. Apart from all that, the collective IQ is about at the level of a wet mop.
"Personally, I'm a little tired of the old "science can only answer the question of how but not why" argument."

Yes, why is the question--why all the bullshit, why people make up things and pretend that they're real, why they feel the need to do that in this day and age.

The only thing that's better about them over xians is that they're less organized and less able to inflict their stupidity on the rest of us.

I'm never sure what "spiritual" really means, as opposed to mental, emotional, etc.
If they annoy you, why not just avoid them?
Because they're extremely good fucks.
Then don't winge about their arrogance, elitism, snobbery and bigotry.
It was a remark that was half flippant, half fond memory. I have known several Wiccans that treat it as a personal and private spirituality. When asked why they aren't involved in covens or participate in the whole group subculture, they share the exact same sentiments that I do.

And I do avoid them. Now. The group kooks that is.
I've had similar experiences. While I have run into one or two males who read tarot and what not, it seems that this is a primarily female phenomenon. I think that the New Age movement has a lot more to do with teen angst and emotional vulnerability than it does with any kind of spiritual insight.

I totally agree with you on the dearth of Atheist communities. Perhaps historically, there usually hasn't been enough of us in one place at one time to create any kind of community, but Atheism in America is stronger than ever. I would love to be part of a community of atheists in the physical world as well as the digital one.

Religion satisfies many emotional needs. Perhaps the reason that we are still a minority is because we don't offer anything to replace the security blanket of a deity. All we can offer is community and mutual aid.
Very well put and I couldn't agree more. I feel that religion offers up mass social clubs that people love to belong to. They feel part of a community when people are grouped and labeled the same, Jews, Christians etc. As atheist we are strong enough I feel not to need to lean on a religion to mask, support, cover for, help insecurities. However, as our choice is in the minority, it is reassuring or let me say uplifting rather to know there are other like-minded people who show intelligent insight and clarity of thought other than ourselves.
see if all of us non-believers got into a community together we would be a threat to all whom take gods word you will never see an atheist country on this rock we live on no one ever will

if this happen most of the world will lose control but if it ever happened it would surpass every nation because there will be no religious hold backs

people feel the need to replace everything they dont understand with faith needing something to believe in when there is nothing when pain grows so large and vain everywhere they look
the mind starts to listen to bull shit when you have nothing. faiths of the world gives them hope so they change their lives around which is just the faiths controlling the masses
most believers that i have came across have at one time been in the gutter or have had lots of pain weak minded and wanting the hope of fulfillment we cant offer that as a community because we cant answer them questions our selves or give them that fulfillment that people crave. we ask to many questions to fall into this but thats why some non-believers fall for some one that does believe for that fulfillment they try to give you
I have actually NEVER ecountered any true New Ager besides one throughout my life, and that was because he was writing some interesting fantasy stories which I enjoyed reading back then. He was/is a Wiccan and used to at least back then, when I still spoke to him, do tarot.

I am myself utterly fascinated by tarot and astrology etc, but I don't give it any credibility as "uncovering of truths". It can however of course be fun as long you take it all with a grain of salt. Especially if you got some alcohol in you I guess.

I should also add that I had the impression of this person being at least averagely intelligent, so I am surprised to see your reactions towards New Agers here. I had no idea there was such a picture of them. While I don't claim to respect them all, of the ones I've heard of (at least here in Sweden) they are a way better and mature crowd than any Christian group you may find (even in Sweden).

Maybe it's more that New Age might be bigger and more popular as a subculture in USA, I don't know. I had a period in my life when I was seriously considering converting to Wicca, but realizing that living up to the rituals and ceremonies was too much, I change my mind (yes, I guess you can call me lazy).

Now afterwards I don't regret that decision. Rituals seem meaningless to me, especially when practiced alone.

And btw Felch it's fine, I don't really consider myself New Age as there is little in what I do which can be classified with them ;)
Has anybody had any run ins with the Church of the Subgenius ?

A good 20 years ago, a good friend of mine kept pushing me to take an interest and get involved, but quite frankly, it all looked extremely boring, repetitive and not particularly original. It claims to be a joke religion, but unlike Pastafarianism, it takes itself way too seriously, is genuinely heirarchical and seems to get as pompous as legit religions far too often for my liking. It's a mishmash of Discordianism, Lovecraftiana, Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminati writings and a whole hotch potch of other stolen stuff from elsewhere, copy and pasted into a collage that to them seems incredibly clever, but unfortunately is not.

The reason I mention this, is that it drove my now ex-friend, into a depressing downward spiral irrationaility, magical thinking and ultimately complete insanity. I am his most hated person on the planet now, for reasons I have never been able to work out. It's akin to if I had used a muslims Koran as toilet paper.

His social life gradually vanished, his language deteriorated into rote learned passages from Subgenius writings, and he deliberately, in my opinion, set out on a mission to shut down his otherwise high intelligence completely. He is now a hermit living up in the mountains, no one has seen him for years, other than fellow Subgenii. Last I saw him, his whole body was plastered in pseudo-mystical tattoos, but the most fascinating thing was a large scar on his forearm - a DIY tattoo removal with a kitchen knife. He was shacked up with some woman (don't know if she is still around) and was fathering a brood of children. It is the children I worry about. I genuinely think he has brought himself into Charles Manson mode. This is one of the reasons I am so obsessive about my privacy.

Anyone else had encounters with these folk ?
What! poeple really take this seiorulsy?




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