Atheism and Spirituality

Atheist seeking spirituality?

This topic contains 146 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Unseen 7 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 106 through 120 (of 147 total)
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  • #27823

    Unseen
    Participant

    I think you are connected to it you just don’t recognize or acknowledge it for what it is. You call it something else.

    I always love (resent) it when people claim to know me better than I know myself.

    But let’s turn things around. If there IS a God/Great Spirit, why does he let children get hit by cars or abused by cruel parents. What is she/he/it giving us to look forward to after we die (please don’t make it sound boring like the Christian an-eternity-of-praising God.

    This should be good.

    #27824

    I think you are connected to it you just don’t recognize or acknowledge it for what it is. You call it something else.

    Again you are making assumptions about me. Wrong, I just don’t recognize it as you do. Whatever “IT” is, it is natural. I recognize these connections as natural phenomena. Basically they are products of how my brain reacts to certain stimuli. But again it is all natural. You go to the trouble of labeling these natural human reactions as somehow being connected to something not part of the natural world. You get some sort of connectivity to the realm of spirits or gods. I get connected to more of the natural world. I don’t understand why you need to employ a supernatural descriptor to explain them. Atheists call natural experiences “natural” and from them they find the greatness of humanity. Theists call natural experiences “spiritual” and find the greatness of their God.

    I once had a theist caller who said the background music I had playing was “very spiritual” and that such music could bring us closer to god. I regret not pointing out the irony.  Get yourself connected.

    #27825

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    If there IS a God/Great Spirit, why does he let children get hit by cars or abused by cruel parents.

    You’re right.  Assuming that the God/Great Spirit exists, then IT does allow children to get hit by cars and abused by cruel parents.

    I agree with @Reg

    Whatever “IT” is, it is natural.

    In this case, then 1) cars / earthquakes / fires etc. are not a part of the living world, they are alien and external to it because they are not alive, and living things only possess limited control over physical phenomena and circumstances; 2) good and evil, or at least, pro- and anti-social behaviour, are themselves attributes of the living world.

    These two observations are consistent with IT being part of the living world.

    If it can’t prevent things like this, what’s the point of it?  Why is it so Great?  Because even in the midst of unfavourable physical circumstances, it leads in the direction of making things better for living things.

    How does that square with evil?  Because evil is when a human being makes things better for themselves at the needless expense of another.  Good can be thought of as mutual, or at least harmless to others, making things better.

    #27826

    Ivy
    Participant

    @unseen

    I always love (resent) it when people claim to know me better than I know myself

    I wasn’t talking to you specifically

    #27827

    Ivy
    Participant

    @Reg

    It’s not that I go through the trouble of labeling…

    Humans have “gone through the trouble” of labeling these things since our existence. I don’t dismiss that as trivial or ascribe to the “god of the gaps” explanation. I think that is way too simplistic.

    #27828

    Ivy
    Participant

    Atheists call natural experiences “natural” and from them they find the greatness of humanity. Theists call natural experiences “spiritual” and find the greatness of their God.

    Exactly. Theists believe something greater than themselves is the center of, and driving force of the universe. They may ALL disagree as to what to call it, but they acknowledge its existence.

    #27829

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Theists believe something greater…

    Yeah, that’s another problem…assigning greatness as if humans comprehend some universal ranking system. Is a star greater than a flower? Theists claim god-giving dominion over all earthly things and that attitude is bringing us that fucking Armageddon only the truest theists actually long for.

    #27830

    Jody Lee
    Participant

    @everyone (because I’m not sure anymore who is debating what)

    So because I’m atheist, I can’t use the word ‘spiritual’ to describe something that doesn’t relate to a God?

    #27831

    Exactly. Theists believe something greater than themselves is the center of, and driving force of the universe.

    No, theists don’t. Deists do. Theists believe the driving power behind the Universe is an all knowing creator god and that they have a personal relationship with that god.

    I understand (rather than believe on faith) that the Universe has both a creative and a destructive force. It is just that I call it gravity which is the result of the curvature of Space and Time. I remember figuring out Einstein’s theory for myself and thinking how “awesome” it must be for a human mind to come up with such a thought and to be able to express it so simply. What a beautiful mind he had to think such unique thoughts. Sublime. Nothing spiritual about it.

    #27832

    @jody.

    Firstly our conversations do tend to digress but usually we get back on track again. It is all down to the meaning of words. Any philosophical conversation that does not have precise meanings attached to the main words used tends to wander.

    Can you give an example of the descriptive value of “spiritual” in a sentence that some other word would not more precisely convey what you mean?  I find it difficult to get away from the religious baggage associated with the word. I find it used only in metaphysical type conversations.

    She had a spiritual experience and found Jesus” or “John is our spiritual leader”. What does any of that actually mean? What does it mean to say “We look your spiritual welfare”? The word “religious” would make more sense (to me) each time. Then I would know what they were trying to convey.

    If you were to say “She played the game with real spirit” or “He was the spirit (or even soul) of the party” then I know what you mean. I don’t believe you would be trying to convey that anything supernatural had happened. But that is always what the word “spiritual” seems to convey. I’m sure you get the spirit of what I mean.

    #27833

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I can’t use the word ‘spiritual’ to describe something that doesn’t relate to a God?

    I do it all the time.

    #27834

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Can you give an example of the descriptive value of “spiritual” in a sentence that some other word would not more precisely convey what you mean?

    “Spiritual practice” such as meditation.  This refers to at least two meanings of the word spiritual: relating to well-being, and connection to something bigger (the present moment of reality is bigger or greater than an individual’s ego-bound consciousness).

    #27835

    connection to something bigger…

    What is this “bigger than ourselves” thing that you can connect to?

    My ego-bound consciousness?? I think I should build a bridge and get over myself as I am much too Yung to be a Freud.

     

    #27836

    Jody Lee
    Participant

    Our vibrating mass of molecules that we call our bodies, our subconscious and conscious minds, the variety of frequencies we experience….that’s spiritual, the essence of living to me. On a small scale.

    #27845

    Davis
    Participant

    So because I’m atheist, I can’t use the word ‘spiritual’ to describe something that doesn’t relate to a God?

    We’re adults. And as atheists I’d say, in a sense, we are also more adult-like in some intellectual ways. And adults get to make up their own rules. So no, there is nothing stopping you from using spiritual if you like. I simply recommend (as you can see in this mess of replies that have followed) that pointless confusion follows and never (in my experience) knowledge.

    p.s. Atheists are those who lack a belief in a supernatural magical sky-God. There are literally no attached qualities to an atheists other than the non-belief. There are hundreds of millions of Atheists in China who have a wide assortment of spiritual beliefs. Some of them are pretty wacky (no I’m not talking about something that doesn’t cause too much harm like Feng Shui) but ancestor worship and the fear of their unhappy trouble making ghosts for example. Clearly not even the communist government can tell them to “not be spiritual”. Nor does anyone force them to define anything regardless of how incapable they may be in properly expressing the very thing they insist is real.

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