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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No worries, Fred. I don't see you as "on my side" I just appreciated you bringing up the idea of replicable spiritually woowoo experiences via buddhism etc. You are firmly located on the other side of the fence.. I'm just waving at you through the slats. I am just imagining a nebulous area of loose potential agreement between these various camps' perspectives where we are perhaps all referring to the same thing with different language.

Another thought I had about this is the placebo effect and faith.. if you believe in magic, it is more likely to work. Engage your wired-for-spirituality parietal lobes in this way, and Bob's your uncle?! (Or is that Aunt Sadie..?)
Also, I'm sure we are all in favor of rape and believe women should be raped early and raped often.

Of course, "what rape means to me" is treating women with respect, buying them flowers and not forgetting a good foot massage.

And so the "I can define words any way I like" train goes chug-chug-chug.
Ok, I'll break the uncomfortable silence.

Yikes. Dude, that's... awkward.

And your -ahem- 'brilliant' debate tactic of pretending me or anyone on this board's word defs or positions are that outa whack are.. well, whack. Doesn't exactly lend strength to your position.
I highly recommend Malcolm Gladwell's "Bink"

This book helps contextualize the concept of intuition. It turns out that intuition or "rapid cognition" can be trusted when it is doing something you can trust it doing. Knowing the difference is important. He also does a good job illuminating the unconscious thinking going on we are not aware of. Our unconscious mind cannot directly inform the conscious mind so only vague impressions make it through. We call these impressions intuition.

There are neat mental test that you can perform on yourself that expose how mechanistic our minds really are.
thanks for the link!
That's a great book.. definitely on my to read list. Thanks Mike.
I think someone joined this thread so they could play "Storm"

Gleefully stolen from the No Nonsense group (thanks Sacha).
Minchin is the man.
steal away!
LOL!! Wow, that's word for word some of your postings, M.

And, in case anyone here is wondering, I do not have butterfly tattoos on my tits.

"that's word for word some of your postings, M."

Why, thank you.
...I was a bit disappointed actually cuz I'd thought your posts were original and from yer very own bean.




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