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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What's more, reading Phil here, don't think because he rejected the supernatural he did so without prior inquiry. From the time we were children we've been exposed to the supernatural and having given it its due.

Or, in other words, the fact that advocates of woo can't cough up any credible evidence doesn't make us closed minded. It makes advocates of woo believers without reason or worse, believers way past the point a reasonable person would reject it.
Uh, mykeru.. psst.. I agree with you on much of what you were spewing about above about the perils of organized religions. Why the heck do you think I am here? Can we move on from square one already? This is getting boring and ridiculous.

I do see you (and not to forget yer little toadie Phil-lol) as like playground bullies because of your abusive communication style: "much of what you write is so fucking stupid", and previously referring to Howard's ideas as "useless," on the deleted portion of the thread, etc.

YOU invited discussion on a topic. You got it. I think the rest of us appreciated the question being raised because it generated quite a bit of discussion. Don't sabotage it for the sake of being king of the sandcastle.

I am finding this almost hard to believe at this point, but apparently you still have difficulty understanding what I am saying and think I am taking issue with your beliefs about spirituality.

You are missing the point and barking up the wrong tree there. Not much more to say about that. If you settled down, you might see what I am actually saying to you. In plain english.

I'll give it one more try: Yay, you're an absolutist, fundamentalist atheist! I celebrate that fact and clap you heartily on the back for exercising your right to your beliefs.

"How did you two end up in that fight. I lost the text that set it going." (Fred)

"-Basically, I have a position and GotV thinks I'm a meanie absolutist for not thinking about it as little as she has."

No, AGAIN: I think you're a "meanie" for your way of responding to different viewpoints (again, language like "useless," "fucking stupid," etc). But another possibility occurs to me: maybe that type of "communication" has been normal and expected in your world? If that's the case, I'm truly sorry that happened to you.

If you don't see the difference between merely disagreeing with someone's views, and verbally abusing them for the beliefs they hold, I'm sorry for you.

And for Phil, below:

I don't expect you respect or believe my pov, Phil. Just respect my right to it and don't try and attack me personally for having a different one than yours.

Btw, as I've said before, and again, I don't believe in the supernatural as I define it, re: seances and such. These terms we've been bandying about are essentially useless, I've concluded.

I definitely do take issue with the fucked up sense of ethics behind the hostility you and Mykeru have shown others with different povs.

I mistakenly thought a group of athesits would be sensitive to ethics and the rights of freedom of belief, and sensitive to the kind of violence that fundamentalism and absolutism facilitates via what Mykeru summed up for us above. You are both just not recognizing in yourselves how you are replicating the same kind of oppression that organized religions do by resorting to the attack as a tactic.

And I guess I'd better admit as well that that behaviour pissed me off and I took it on as a fight too. It was mostly to make a point, but I actually am kind of surprised that no moderators have pulled the comments or put a stop to the bullying behaviour yet. I guess it's not moderated. Apparently it should be.
"I do see you (and not to forget yer little toadie Phil-lol) as like playground bullies because of your abusive communication style"

Your hypocrisy regarding your own "abusive communication style" -- including name-calling people "fundamentalists" and "absolutists" for not oohing and aahing over whatever woo you pull from your ass -- is stunning.

Some people are not worth engaging in discussion. You're one of them.
Some people don't get that even parsimony (see: Occam's Razor) is an aesthetic.

In a few hundred billion years, because of the horizon problem, scientists who used the same empirical techniques we are using now would have to conclude that the entire universe consists of a single, steady-state galaxy. All other evidence would be too far away and moving away too fast to ever reach us - due to the upper speed limit of light. (It can be slowed - so it isn't constant.)

Therefore, empiricism is not, by any means, guaranteed to give the correct answer - even if you have all the measurable facts and you are interpreting all their inter-relationships correctly.

While it is true (as Tim Minchin suggests) that I will generally prefer to leave my house via the front door than second story window - if the first floor is engulfed in flames, I might reconsider my definition of the word 'exit.'
comment deleted, Thanks for saving me from my moment of weakness.
1. I am too lazy to use a dictionary on this one.

I find a high correlation between "spirituality" and notions of the supernatural, empirically speaking. Nonetheless, I have thoughts and feelings sometimes which must be the kind of thoughts and feelings that various religious types don't take with a grain of salt and mistake for the supernatural. In the past, I have accepted these feelings as a part of me, and made decisions on completely different bases than those upon which I generally make them now, as I allowed myself to be influenced by these intuitional vagaries. Recently, these feelings have made something of a resurgence in their appeals to be acknowledged. If I were to listen to them, I know I would call it spirituality. I would certainly feel spiritual.

Of course, this has nothing to do with the alleged supernatural; it doesn't exist. As such, your question as proposed, warrants a response in the negative, as nothing involves the supernatural, since it doesn't exist.

The entirety of my "spiritual" experiences are metaphysical and definitional in nature, finding the nature of things which are technically abstruse yet easily accessed and accessible to the common population. I simply don't "see" the why or how of saying goodbye, hello, and thanks. My "spiritual" experiences bring me not even the answers, but the questions in the first place, which I then ask, highlighting what elements vary with changes in variables and how so.

It's not really "spiritual" in any hippy sense at all, but when I find the answer and the question to a problem where I only knew so much that I knew not yet what questions to ask, I feel a great sense of both relief and gratitude. Some would take this gratitude and try to pay it back to some supernatural source of the solution, where there is not one. I feel this desire, too, but I also know that the character that I feel has treated me to the answer is only an image, just as there is no person in the mirror.

2. It is entirely possible, in a dry and technical sense, to be an atheist and be a kool-aid swilling moron with the best of 'em. How about this?: "When you die, your mental energy lingers on. If you have absorbed enough excited energy from crystals in life, then your energy enters an excited state, and stays that way after you die. With excited enough energy when you die, your energy is frustrated and can't dissipate and will be absorbed into a new life." There's nothing in there that's a deity, and anyone who believes this (especially noting that I just pulled it out of my ass) wouldn't be being skeptical about the supernatural.

It's possible to deny even the common creator deities for any number of essentially aesthetic reasons.

0. Although it makes some sense to extend certain limited terms to a broader range of things, using an actually appropriate broad term is better, since the reason for distinguishing, for example, gods from spirits spirits isn't because we who acknowledge a difference necessarily feel differently about those who acknowledge each such type of thing, but because the types of things are different in their properties in any mythos that contains such.

The "spirituality is religion, fuh fuh fuh" argument is almost just like replacing the names of evil characters in the Christian mythology with the names of local pagan gods, as was done countless times. It's just ignoring the details as if they don't matter because all the details are wrong anyway.
Fred i think your readin it wrong he seems to be maikng similar arguement as i am. that One Spirituality is commonly linked to the supernatural and two that the term atheist doesn't exclude other forms of stupidity becuase Atheism just states that one does not beleive in a god or goddess, the choice to claim other metaphysical thing, ghost, energy, crystals spirits and the great Woo woo doesn't exclude them from atheism becuase they dont have to beleive in a god to be a moron. atleast that is what i am geting short from his post
Couldn't "non-believer" be used by Holocaust deniers? Your use of the term is vague and undefined as "spiritual". The problem is one of looseness of definition, not lack of inclusivity.
"No one seems to be able to come to an agreement as to what to call someone who doesn't believe in a god but goes to church anyway..."

The term is "Cultural Christian" (or Jew, or Muslim) meaning someone who goes for appearance, the cultural aspects without necessarily believing the doctrine. Or one of the many people who don't believe in a religion, but believe in believing in a religion, usually due to a fallacious view of the negative consequences (abortion, promiscuity, dogs and cats living together) of not believing in a religion.
That's interesting: I've seen the term bounced around but the definition and distinction is useful, thanks.
I am gonna try to stick to empiricist.
Hey I thought the term "naturalist" was synonymous with "nudist"..





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