There would be no more reason to ban your step-father-in-law than there would be to ban James Randi for his frequent hosting of properly-designed scientific experiments on dowsing. As Glenn says, it's got a lot to do with appropriate framing.
Fred, I agree that any kind of woowoo is ridiculous and exasperating. Kiki's position really was religious, explicitly equating the universe and god. But even without that explicit religious claim, that kind of woowoo suffers from a lack of critical thinking, and is awfully tiring to continually debunk. I'd prefer it if A|N took a harder line on those things, but its raison d'etre really is specifically about atheism. It would take a bit of a rebranding to change it, and I don't know that the site owners are as interested in that as some of us members are. As it is, I find A|N quite a valuable haven, so I'll put up with a certain amount of nonsense.
Well, Kiki wasn't happy with her reception here. I explained that we had a fundamentally different definition of atheism, and apologized for any rudeness, but I was sort of baffled that she didn't see her position as a kind of theism.
I think we have have to keep in mind that our personnal idea of what atheism is does not define what atheism is. We over all have a large group of intellects who would like to define it as being rational, when realisticly there are plenty of religions that are atheistic and i see no where in the guidlines that exclude these irrational people who have a faith that doesn't involve gods. To express opinion that try to explain to them other wise and leading people like Kiki to leave is a fine way to handle it but by real definition Ahtiest just dont need to beleive in a god or gods of any kind doesn't mean they cant be quacky as a theist. Have you gone threw the lists of groups on here. there are Pantheists, Naturalist and other spiritualistic faith groupd on here already. Let them be in their own group but if they say something in public forum call them out on it if it doesn't make sense but dont limit some one else atheism to fit into your realm of Atheism.
some pantheists beleive that and realisticly Pantheism is a kind of religion of it's own and should be excluded from atheism. I was a panthiest for some a few years before i got over all the need for an after life crap and every Pantheist i knew beleived everything is god and we all live and exsist with in god but also as a part of god. The branch that i was in went further and was kinda transendentalist i think as well had the idea that god was energy and every thing has energy and one day we would all end up together again as one big ball of energy till the next big bang, darn psuedo science trix. Can a god really be a god if everything is god? to me it is more like they decided to just redefine everything or nature to still give them the use of the word, that no longer holds value.
In a separate discussion, I asked what people think of limiting discussions by time or # of comments. This discussion is currently at 111 comments, which is a point where it becomes difficult to follow and many participants have branched out into sub-themes.
It seems that most people have spoken what they were thinking. The original issue of suspensions has been discussed in a fair amount of detail.
Again, in the other discussion, it was recommended that there be warning before closing a discussion. I plan to do so tomorrow. I will leave this discussion in place in case someone wants to reference it, unless there is strong feeling that I should not.
Not being a person who is into disagreements or drama, it can be difficult for me to follow contentious issues. Being soft-hearted, I was asked for involvement in this one, and my intent was to be helpful. Not that I'm totally whimpy about it - I can take care of myself when I need to. It's just that strife is not something that I seek for its own sake.
So, if there are pressing comments to be made, now is the time to do so. I hope that rounding up with some closure also reinforces the committment that many members have for this website and the people who make it possible.
I agree with you skepticcat. I have been a member for awhile but posted very little. I'm an atheist but not a bible scholar so I would fall short in the bible discussions. I'm more of a fly on the wall but sometimes feel brave enough to speak my mind. And once I do I am sensitive to sarcastic or 'put down' backlashing. It's called low self esteem and it's been with me for a long time. And yes, life sucks and nothing is fair and this isn't my house. Do I feel like I found a place with like minded people? Yes and no. Sometimes I get on here and think I'm going to participate today until I read further into the post to find the person who sucks the fun out things is already participating in the discussion. So I stay out of it to stay out their line of fire.
I think a masthead on the site listing the officials and their duties would go a long way to increasing transparency. Absolutely if somebody is acting officious, they ought to present their credentials (or lack thereof) if asked.