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Switch to Forum Live View Can atheists be 'spiritual'?
8 years ago  ::  Feb 10, 2010 - 8:15PM #1
Jonathanelliot
Posts: 55

Lately I've come across various atheists talking about a sort of nonreligious spirituality.  Is this term valid, or just using a bad word (spirituality) in place of words like "inspiration"?


I've written some thoughts and put some links to some of the atheist writings in this area at Spritzophrenia spritzophrenia.wordpress.com/2010/02/11/...


Do you have any comments?

http://spritzophrenia.wordpress.com
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8 years ago  ::  Feb 10, 2010 - 8:30PM #2
Jcarlinbn
Posts: 7,212

We can't discuss a website here.  If you have comments you wish to discuss please post them here.  


 


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8 years ago  ::  Feb 10, 2010 - 9:47PM #3
mountain_man
Posts: 44,029

Feb 10, 2010 -- 8:15PM, Jonathanelliot wrote:

Lately I've come across various atheists talking about a sort of nonreligious spirituality.  Is this term valid, or just using a bad word (spirituality) in place of words like "inspiration"?



I have no comment on your link, mostly because I don't follow links. Post a synopsis here and we can discuss that.


About this so called "spirituality".... some believe it to be an important part of their life. I have no use for the word myself. There's room for the "spiritual" and non spiritual under the banner of Atheism.


 

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.   Isaac Asimov
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8 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2010 - 1:26AM #4
BillThinks4Himself
Posts: 3,242

Does a person need supernatural beliefs to be "spiritual?"  The traditional reply is that spirituality requires the supernatural because to be "spiritual" is to be sensitive to "the things of the spirit."  But if religion is merely using archaic expressions and outdated concepts to describe things that are universal, one's beliefs are less important than what is being described in either religious or secular language.


 

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8 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2010 - 2:32AM #5
Eudaimonist
Posts: 2,036

Feb 10, 2010 -- 8:15PM, Jonathanelliot wrote:

Lately I've come across various atheists talking about a sort of nonreligious spirituality.  Is this term valid, or just using a bad word (spirituality) in place of words like "inspiration"?



There is more than one style of nonreligious spirituality possible. Yes, I think the term is valid.  "Spirit" in this context refers to the whole of one's psyche.  Spirituality is a concern for the development of one's psyche and its perspective on life, the universe, and everything.  Inspiration is one aspect of spirituality.


This article explains my perspective in more detail.


www.fellowshipofreason.com/newsletters/n...


 


eudaimonia,


Mark

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8 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2010 - 8:48PM #6
Wiscidea
Posts: 2,319

Feb 10, 2010 -- 8:15PM, Jonathanelliot wrote:


Lately I've come across various atheists talking about a sort of nonreligious spirituality.  Is this term valid, or just using a bad word (spirituality) in place of words like "inspiration"?


I've written some thoughts and put some links to some of the atheist writings in this area at Spritzophrenia spritzophrenia.wordpress.com/2010/02/11/...



Do you have any comments?


 




You might want to read this book ...


The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality


by Andre Comte-Sponville


www.amazon.com/Little-Book-Atheist-Spiri...


No one I'm aware of has covered atheism and spirituality so well, so thoroughly, and so concisely.


 


Hey ... a link for a link ... seems reasonable. Wink

"Some people claim that there's a woman to blame. But I know it's my own damn fault."

Jimmy Buffet (Margaritaville)
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8 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2010 - 8:57PM #7
Wiscidea
Posts: 2,319

Personally, I think spirituality is a tad overrated.


First, it draws an imaginary line between mind and body; there is no separate soul or spirit. Caring for the mind, the body, and the rest of the natural world all go together.


Second, it tends to assign an arbitrary higher value to some practices, causing neglect of other, but equally important, practices.


Third, it can create areas that are beyond questioning. And this borders on faith-based religion, which cuts us off from acquiring a more accurate view of the world and how to live in it through experience and observation.


Fourth ... arrrrgh ... I forgot the fourth point!

"Some people claim that there's a woman to blame. But I know it's my own damn fault."

Jimmy Buffet (Margaritaville)
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8 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2010 - 10:22PM #8
mountain_man
Posts: 44,029

Feb 16, 2010 -- 8:57PM, Wiscidea wrote:

Personally, I think spirituality is a tad overrated....



A tad? From my observations this so called "spirituality" is a shiny badge worn to show off to others. The more incoherent their ramblings the more "spiritual" they claim to be and the more the lesser "spiritual" people look up to them. I look at these "spiritual" people and want none of it.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.   Isaac Asimov
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8 years ago  ::  Feb 17, 2010 - 8:08AM #9
Myownpath
Posts: 949

It would depend on how you define spirituality. As far as I'm concerned spirituality has no place with the religious. Spirituality is individualized and not something that goes along with a Sunday service. It is my view that the more religious you are, the less chance for being spiritual. Spirituality encompasses gratitude for all life and your connection with this universe. It is the awe and appreciation of the incredible beauty that surrounds us. To be spiritual is to care for one's emotional state and strive for balance, harmony, peace, and joy. It is to seek out the good and bring to us that which nourishes us emotionally. Spirituality can be inspiring and motivate us to get off the couch and fulfill our potential. It can be brave and daring. It can be quiet and contemplative. It can be the embrace or compassion of one's sadness. It cannot be quantitative, calculated, substantiated. It is an individual's personal journey and emotional relationship with this life within this universe.

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8 years ago  ::  Feb 17, 2010 - 11:26AM #10
Eudaimonist
Posts: 2,036

Feb 16, 2010 -- 8:57PM, Wiscidea wrote:

Personally, I think spirituality is a tad overrated.


First, it draws an imaginary line between mind and body; there is no separate soul or spirit.



Spirituality does not require this view.


Caring for the mind, the body, and the rest of the natural world all go together.



Of course.  However, there is a distinction to be drawn between focusing on your external values (your house, car, bank account, etc), and on your internal values (honesty, integrity, justice, independence, etc).


True, a rejection of the mind-body distinction means that all these values are related to one another, however, spirituality is important because all these values arise from the mind, and so care of the mind is where it all starts.


 


eudaimonia,


Mark

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