Atheism and Spirituality

Atheist seeking spirituality?

This topic contains 146 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Unseen 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 147 total)
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  • #27724

    Unseen
    Participant

    Translation: Any word with the word spirit makes atheists uncomfortable, can you please change to accommodate? So typical

    I’m not squirming in discomfort. What in the world about the notion of spirituality would make me feel discomfort?

    You’re engaging in armchair psychology without a license.

    Do you believe in ghosts or souls? Are you a dualist? Is there the some separate independent reality beyond the physical world?

    #27725

    Unseen
    Participant

    I recognize I’m part of something far far bigger than me, the Cosmos, and that that likely is also part of something far far bigger than itself, which we call the multiverse. And who knows if that might not itself be part of some larger something. All this does is make me realize how insignificant I am and maybe how insignificant the Cosmos is. After all, it’s likely the Cosmos is on a one-way trip to evaporation one day. I don’t understand how thinking about this is “spiritual.” Fill me in.

    #27726

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I want to print it off to be a bit more thorough in my reading and to be able to make notes.

    No worries!  You could say it provides both a connection to nature and a connection to something greater than oneself.  The way to access it is to put the right conditions in place, and nature does the rest.  When I “discovered” it, I had to have a long lie down.  After that, the key concepts are short term and long term.  I.e. a lot of things that give us pleasure in the short term are bad for us in the long term.

    I’m not sure that it provides a crutch in itself, but it’s knowledge that makes a framework within which to choose good crutches.

    #27727

    Jody Lee
    Participant

    @unseen

    It’s development and evolution…and you know, maybe spiritual isn’t the best word to describe it. But it is I am choosing to describe it, nevertheless, to help others more understand what I am searching for.

     

    #27728

    Jody Lee
    Participant

    Thank you, Simon.  Framework  offers a starting point.  I’ve been building alone with the framework of atheism for a decade now. For some reason I never thought to go online and meet similars.  I’m glad I did.

    #27729

    _Robert_
    Participant

    The idea that we are simply electro-chemical machines made of meat doesn’t sit well with most. There has to be more, right?

    Billions of living creatures have come and gone with no trace of their existence or at best, barely a trace. Some diluted chromosomes if they managed to have offspring. Is that it? To reproduce? Is that the meaning to life? To thousand of species that are not self aware, it seems the answer is yes.

    This is why we have “spirituality”. We are self-aware,

    #27730

    Unseen
    Participant

    The idea that we are simply electro-chemical machines made of meat doesn’t sit well with most. There has to be more, right? Billions of living creatures have come and gone with no trace of their existence or at best, barely a trace. Some diluted chromosomes if they managed to have offspring. Is that it? To reproduce? Is that the meaning to life? To thousand of species that are not self aware, it seems the answer is yes. This is why we have “spirituality”. We are self-aware,

    Maybe amoebae are not self-aware, but my cat is. My cat doesn’t grasp science, of course, but she knows when she’s sick or hungry and doesn’t mistake the cat in the mirror as another cat intruding on her territory. She’s self-aware.

    #27731

    _Robert_
    Participant

    And your cat shows us we are not that special at all. There is a gradiant of self-awareness and levels of consciences too. Neanderthals and early homonids may have been “spiritual” by our definition. Crows, great apes and elephants seem to mourn. Perhaps they have a small degree of spirituality. Cats may not have that level, but who knows for sure?

    #27732

    _Robert_
    Participant

    I am “conscience vs conscious” challenged by way of autospell, LOL

    #27733

    Jody Lee
    Participant

    Maybe I haven’t explained myself well. I DO believe we are electro-magnetic machines made of meat. I do recognize our insignificance compared to the cosmos. I do not believe I have a soul and I don’t believe in ghosts. HOWEVER, I believe in the wonder and beauty of it all. The SCIENCE of it all.

    “Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics. You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded. Because the elements, the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars. And the only way they could get into your body is if the stars were kind enough to explode. So forget Jesus. The stars died so you could be here today.”

    -Dr. Lawrence Krauss

    That’s a deep connection to something bigger. To me that’s spiritual.

    #27734

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Is it “awe” or spirituality? You all have probably seen this…just in case..

    #27735

    Ivy
    Participant

    @unseen

    I’m not squirming in discomfort. What in the world about the notion of spirituality would make me feel discomfort?

    Then why did you suggest she find a different word?

    You’re engaging in armchair psychology without a license.

    How so?

    Do you believe in ghosts or souls? Are you a dualist?

    What do you mean by dualist? Like I said earlier in the post, I don’t attempt to label myself. I don’t know.

    Is there the some separate independent reality beyond the physical world?

    There is evidence of a parallel universe, yes

    https://futurism.com/new-evidence-about-cold-spot-in-space-could-support-case-for-a-multiverse

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Ivy.
    #27737

    @jody Lee

    Maybe I haven’t explained myself well…….The stars died so you could be here today.

    I think you have just about answered your own question. But once again we are down to the meaning of words. Let me offer something as a starting point to reach for a workable definition.

    Spiritual is a general term people use to express their reaction when they contemplate the natural world. We can be overawed by how incomprehensible the vastness of the Universe is yet we have an ability to understand so much of its workings, how it began and how it will most likely end. The same sensation can be felt when we study the world at the atomic scale. We have written out the genetic code of “how to build a human” and discovered that the DNA we possess is common to all life on Earth and in many cases almost identical to ours. The atoms that combine to create life from its instructions did indeed come from the death of stars.

    We are not separate from that which we observe. We are part of the Universe, not spectators sitting “in the middle” of it. We are part of what makes up the Universe, just as the stars and other planets are part of it. We are all part of its contents, and like everything else, just matter and energy. We are a species that is compelled to want to understand things. It is what makes us human. It is how “we roll”. It is Science that supplies us with our current understandings of the natural world and our place in it.

    I am talking of the natural world and how as we are part of that natural world. These sensations of awe and wonder are entirely natural human  experiences. There is nothing “spiritual” about them. They are manifestations of how our brain reacts to the stimulus of the appreciation of art, beauty, natural wonders, etc.  An appreciation of nature is not spiritual, it is natural.  It all happens in our brains. There is no duality of mind and body. The soul does not exist. Spiritualism, like theology, is the study of nothing. It confuses people as it tries to add a sense of the supernatural to our natural sense of wonder of the natural world we exist in. There is nothing supernatural only that which is not yet fully understood. We can marvel at what we do understand because of the very fact that as mere mortals, we have managed to understand so much of it.

    We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.
    Through the unknown, remembered gate
    When the last of earth left to discover
    Is that which was the beginning;
    At the source of the longest river
    The voice of the hidden waterfall
    And the children in the apple-tree
    Not known, because not looked for
    But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
    Between two waves of the sea.
    Quick now, here, now, always—
    A condition of complete simplicity
    (Costing not less than everything)
    And all shall be well and
    All manner of thing shall be well
    When the tongues of flames are in-folded
    Into the crowned knot of fire
    And the fire and the rose are one.

    T.S. Eliot

     

    PS. I like your reference to stars.  I have a tattoo of an exploding star on my arm with “I am Star stuff” under it, written as a protein chain.

    #27738

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I have to say, I don’t care too much about “awe and wonder” of the universe or natural world.  It doesn’t particularly help me live my life.  On the other hand, it’s probably solipsistic of me to feel that way.  I am more interested in practicalities, and stars don’t have much to do with me, apart from looking pretty and far away.  I am interested in being a natural being like other natural beings.

    #27739

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