The original thread is gone. That would be my bad.

Here's what happened, told in my usual verbose parenthetical style. If you just want to get on with it, skip past the italics.

I originally registered for Atheist Nexus last Sunday after listening to a Chariots of Iron podcast where AN was mentioned, while on a bus from Wilmington NC to Washington DC following the Christmas holiday. Since I was using my Motorola Droid (which is cooler than shit, by the way) I actually registered on the bus using this hand-held computer, browser and Twittering system with GPS cabability with which, I'm told, you can also make phone calls with.

I have two Gmail accounts, one using my given name which syncs directly with Google Calendar and Google Docs and I use mostly for work, family and my capacity as director of the National Association of Hen Teasers (I can get a chicken from head-under-wing asleep to apoplectic in 30 seconds, but anyway...) and the other is associated with my site and the nom de guerre "Mykeru" (which is a story in itself). Being too lazy to switch accounts, I registered using the email for my given name and thought that I could fill in the pseudonym later. Which I did. What I didn't realize was that the underlying architecture of Atheist Nexus was a tool of Satan and used my initial registration to create a URL using my given name.

Now, keep in mind that I'm an atheist, a recovered alcoholic and an incorrigible asshole who tends to overshare anyway, so although I can't keep everything separate, I try not to make things easy for fuck nozzles who use Google as the groundwork for being complete assholes. Seriously, once I had right-wing nutbags get my name from the domain information on my site, when it was poorly protected by RCN and cause all sorts of mischief. I since changed from HTML to WordPress and moved the whole operation to Laughing Squid, who not only protect anonymity better, but just love a good bogus DMCA notice that they can chew up and spit back into some lawyers face.

Plus, and this is important, by using the Mykeru brand name, I can be even more of a pain in the ass than I already am.

I'm about to reboot my site and I would like to have the ability to link to my page on AN without giving the whole game away. I tried to change the URL in the settings, no good. I changed the email, but still the URL held my name. I sent a couple "issue" reports to AN, but no response.

I was spending more time trying to deal with this dumb quirk "through channels" than it really deserved in terms of redoing my profile. So before I added too much content I decided to just delete my registration and re-register making sure that the mark of quality that is "Mykeru" was used. I figured I would have to redo my profile, add my picture again and make friends all over again.
I didn't. Miraculously, when the re-register was approved, the page came back with all settings, links and what have you intact.

However, and I didn't expect this: The fucking thread "Religion vs. Spirituality" was gone. Just gone. I thought maybe, if anything, my remarks might disappear, making it sort of one-sided, but the entire thing was gone.

So, for everyone who contributed to that thread, offered their thoughts and opinions, whether they were really stupid or not, I apologize profusely. Although I don't have a problem with my writing in that thread being deleted, there is no way that I intended the same for everyone else who contributed.

I fully accept whatever punishment is coming to me, especially if you are anything from a 20-something girl to a cougar in the metro Washington DC area with an extensive latex wardrobe and really like horned guys with creepy lemur eyes.

So, where were we? The thread began relating religion to spirituality and degenerated into an exercise in lexicography and Howard's fuck-all worthless opinion.

So, taking it from there:

1. Does the term "spiritual" necessarily involve the supernatural? I claim it does and people who use it in any other way are just too lazy to use a dictionary. Is using the term for the non-supernatural just sloppy language? Is using it aiding and abetting the religious by at the very least seeming to be fellow travellers?

2. Can one be an atheist and not be a skeptic towards the supernatural? This is the reverse of the case I hear reported at the last The Amazing Meeting (TAM) where Matt Dillahunty of The Atheist Experience recounts that the "skeptics" in attendance were told to lay off those skeptics who were also theists. I can't disagree more with that, and think those kid gloves represents another example of religion getting a pass. But is the reverse true: Can one be a critical atheist, whose lack of belief is derived from rational grounds and not also be a skeptic when it comes to the "spiritual"?

3. Is Atheist Nexus' underlying architecture a tool of Satan?

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hmmn, why couldn't I?
I use my real name, because 'm only twenty-four and just don't give a damn. I'm only being a full-time IT consultant for about another year before I start part-timing and going back to school for my history degree, so I just don't care if someone cares that I'm an atheist. And if someone gives me any lip over it they better hope its outside of work, otherwise 'm freaking raising hell.
Here's what I mean when I say that people kicking around "spiritual" is no different than the use of religious language:

Rabbit is the Question
(a respond to Mark Vernon talking out his ass about God in The Guardian)

"Saturday’s edition of The Guardian’s Comment is free ran a piece by Mark Vernon, called “God is the question: What does it mean to accept that God is not the answer to anything, but remains the unanswerable question?” I have zero patience for this kind of rambly, meaningless, intentional obscurantism, this “God is an unknowable mystery that cannot be touched by reason or intellect and that cannot be put into words” ridiculousness espoused by this author, among others. It’s completely nonsensical word salad. It’s a bunch of empty, vague rationalizations for belief in God disguised in language that is intended to seem deep and profound."

When people go on about "spiritual" things, especially people sitting in the rooms in AA, which means they are taking completely out their asses about nothing, I have exactly the same reaction.

Rather than actually constructing sentences with meaning, it's blather about nothing intended to sound profound. And when there really is something worth talking about, it obscures that reality.

And the comments to Vernon's piece of crap? Just wrap your head around this walking portent of brain damage:


26 Dec 2009, 2:32PM

fatpants, just because your heart has never been touched by the fathomless mystery of God (and I mean literally, not metaphorically) do not assume that the concept is meaningless.

I have found that the more I have learned the more I appreciate the vast expanse of what I cannot comprehend.

This is unlikely to mean much to you as I can't convey the concept in 'head' words.

See? It's knowing fuck-all that makes proponents of woo so knowledgeable.
Okay, I'm back, as thedogma....hoping I covered my tracks...what a shame...may have to refriend you all, dunno...

Mykeru...went to goggle and googled myself..saw a little box that let me poof the result away...probably only means it won't show up on my computer results, right? damn...what was I thinking.

Now , a Freudian would say I really WANTED to out myself to all..
Eventually it will just sink lower and lower in the results until it's down the memory hole.

Isn't it a shame we even have to worry about this shit? Persecuted Christians, my ass.
exactly! what a shock to find myself in page two fo the results, and my dog business, for which my websites have had thousands pf hits over the years, never even shows up til....well who has the time to find out.

on FB, are you skateboarding or something?
Great nom-de-blog - see we already know you are a dog lover :-) We promise to not use your name K... oops. don't worry your secret is safe with us. Sheesh - maybe I need to go under cover too.
"Great nom-de-blog - see we already know you are a dog lover :-) We promise to not use your name K..."

too too funny...

feel free to call me Kim...I will take the risk!
Okay, Kim! But, back on topic...
We need some word to express the deep emotional feeling that religious people call a religious experience. Some people who say they are spiritual but not religious say they have spiritual experiences. Some non-believers use "awe" and some even call them selves "aweists" - a very awkward word if you ask me.

But I understand that feeling. Don't you Mykeru? Like Carl Segan talking about the Cosmos - yeah, I feel that profound sense of wonder and appeciation. It's the same as love I suppose -- feels about the same when I look at my grandchildren.

So what is a good word for that? We who understand that there is no "spirit" in the brain, that the mind is a process in the brain, etc. We still have those feelings.

BTW: What Donald Sutherland movie is that hilarious picture from?



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