Atheists can be spiritual too

#11
“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.” ― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
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#12
See, not only can't secular people make a compelling case for secular spirituality (aside from some hokey new age mysticism), they have to quote other secular people who can't either. Desperately trying to establish a consensus fallacy. Rolleyes
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#13
"I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."--- (Albert Einstein, 1954)

"The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms - this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness." ---(Albert Einstein - The Merging of Spirit and Science)
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#14
Thanks for proving my point.
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#15
(Jun 29, 2019 07:49 PM)Syne Wrote: Thanks for proving my point.

Believe me, you are no authority on spirituality. You are the least spiritual person I've ever known.
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#16
(Jun 29, 2019 08:15 PM)Magical Realist Wrote:
(Jun 29, 2019 07:49 PM)Syne Wrote: Thanks for proving my point.

Believe me, you are no authority on spirituality. You are the least spiritual person I've ever known.

Maybe Syne doesn't get out much, or worst yet, he could be a city boy.
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#17
(Jun 29, 2019 08:17 PM)Secular Sanity Wrote:
(Jun 29, 2019 08:15 PM)Magical Realist Wrote:
(Jun 29, 2019 07:49 PM)Syne Wrote: Thanks for proving my point.

Believe me, you are no authority on spirituality. You are the least spiritual person I've ever known.

Maybe Syne doesn't get out much, or worst yet, he could be a city boy.

I have no idea. I just know anyone who snidely belittles other people's spirituality for their own sick pleasure can't be very spiritual themselves.
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#18
(Jun 29, 2019 07:24 PM)Magical Realist Wrote: “Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.” ― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

spiritual naturalism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_naturalism

Spirituality ... In fact, the term is so broad and so dependent on who is using how, why, when, and in what context, that some have given up on trying to give it a comprehensive definition and just say that it means something different to all who use it. Perhaps a less necessarily contextual definition is found in the words of K. I. Pargament, who sees spirituality as a "search for the sacred" of each individual. ... The spiritual variety of naturalism finds ways to reconcile the feelings of awe and religious experience with the idea that everything is natural and can be studied using methods applicable to studying nature, including the place of humans in the universe.

Towards a Naturalistic Spirituality
https://naturalism.org/spirituality/natu...irituality

INTRO: The spiritual experience - the experience of meaning, connection and joy, often informed by philosophy or religion - is, from a naturalistic perspective, a state of the physical person, not evidence for a higher realm or non-physical essence. Nevertheless, this understanding of spirituality doesn’t lessen the attraction of such an experience, or its value for the naturalist. We naturally crave such feelings and so will seek the means to achieve them consistent with our philosophy.

The dilemma for naturalists. But the question for the naturalist arises: how, as someone who doesn’t believe in transcendent, otherworldly connections, or in ultimate meanings or purposes, can I legitimately evoke such feelings? That is, how, consistent with naturalism as my guiding philosophy, can I find the same emotional resonance or the same sorts of consolations that my religiously or supernaturally inclined friends experience? What is spiritually uplifting about naturalism?

For naturalism to evoke spiritual states akin to those evoked by religion, the follower of naturalism must find that the conclusions of her philosophy have profound, positive psychological consequences. The conclusions must resonate with her basic human needs for connection and meaning, even though, paradoxically, naturalism tends to undercut the easy presumption of overarching purposes. What then, are some of the conclusions of naturalism, and how might they affect the person who holds them? Although the conclusions for the most part seem negative, in that they deny dearly held assumptions common to most religious views, it may be that the very act of freeing ourselves from these assumptions can generate the exhilaration and joy of freedom, of discovering a tough but liberating truth, in which uncertainty moves us in the same way that certainty does others. This is an experience which counts as spiritual, even though no spirits are involved.
The cosmic connection

Most generally, naturalism places us firmly within the natural realm, extending from quarks to quasars. The scope of this realm as depicted in our sciences is nothing less than staggering. It is a far more varied, complex, and vast creation than any provided by religion, offering an infinite vista of questions to engage us. What naturalism takes away in terms of a central, secure role for us in God’s kingdom is more than compensated for by the open-ended excitement of being part of something whose dimensions, purpose and precise nature may never be known. In accepting a naturalistic view of ourselves, we trade security for surprise, certainty for an unending, perhaps unfulfillable quest for understanding, and easy platitudes about salvation for a flexible, mature accommodation to the often difficult facts of life and death.

That we are alive and sentient, with the capacity to form an understanding, however provisional, is the source of much amazement to the naturalist, since after all, none of what we consist of is sentient...
(MORE)

-- My comments --

Spiritual naturalism" (above) would arguably be more rigid or less open than "spiritual atheism". Unless the latter always denotes a positive, scientism, or ideological version of atheism that goes beyond mere absence of belief. The latter bare or "negative" atheism doesn't entail lack of belief in all "otherworldly" affairs (though it can contingently expand to include that, according to preferences of the individual).

Japan is typically conceived as consisting of a largely atheist population. Yet it is nevertheless abundantly religious and the Kami are certainly spirits or some kind of occult entities. The list of Japanese deities, even as folklore, further muddies the water. So the application of "atheism" to the Nipponese simply elucidates how sloppy the usage of the term is by the West. Based on such untidiness, unadorned "atheism" may only narrowly indicate rejection of the Abrahamic God and associated religions, instead of the whole pantheon. Especially since that's what the conflict in recent centuries was specifically with.

To rise above that ambiguity, a Western atheist might affix an absolute modifier to indicate that s/he truly spurns all gods (as well being a philosophical naturalist): "I'm a pan-atheist, it goes beyond the God(s) originating with the Semitic languages cultures of the Middle East. And I don't believe in the supernatural, paranormal, etc."

But actually, just proclaiming that one is a philosophical naturalist would do the trick of covering both the dismissal of all varieties of theism and all spooky affairs. "Atheism" becomes a redundant label in that context.
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#19
There are many paths towards spirituality, many of which don't involve the belief in a deity. When I left faith, I still felt a yearning towards spirituality. Perhaps, this is an innate quality within most humans, to desire a path that leads one away from an existential crisis. Why are we here? What is our purpose? I believe in God, now but didn't always, and yet still felt an enriched sense of purpose, when following philosophies that were fundamentally ''spiritual.''

I think for many people who follow religion, or something that resembles it, an atheist considered him/herself to be ''spiritual'' really rubs up against their dogmatic beliefs of how spirituality should ''look.''
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#20
(Jun 29, 2019 08:15 PM)Magical Realist Wrote: Believe me, you are no authority on spirituality. You are the least spiritual person I've ever known.

(Jun 29, 2019 08:17 PM)Secular Sanity Wrote: Maybe Syne doesn't get out much, or worst yet, he could be a city boy.

(Jun 29, 2019 08:57 PM)Magical Realist Wrote: I have no idea. I just know anyone who snidely belittles other people's spirituality for their own sick pleasure can't be very spiritual themselves.

Ah, circling the wagons in lieu of real conviction.
Since I don't treat this forum like social media, and don't use social media, you're kidding yourself if you think you see more than a tiny fraction of my life.
And to the contrary, I genuinely wish you would find real spirituality. It would be a true disservice to pat you on the head and tell you a pale imitation is the real McCoy. That would only work to keep you from finding something more.


(Jun 29, 2019 08:59 PM)C C Wrote: -- My comments --

Spiritual naturalism" (above) would arguably be more rigid or less open than "spiritual atheism". Unless the latter always denotes a positive, scientism, or ideological version of atheism that goes beyond mere absence of belief. The latter bare or "negative" atheism doesn't entail lack of belief in all "otherworldly" affairs (though it can contingently expand to include that, according to preferences of the individual).

Japan is typically conceived as consisting of a largely atheist population. Yet it is nevertheless abundantly religious and the Kami are certainly spirits or some kind of occult entities. The list of Japanese deities, even as folklore, further muddies the water. So the application of "atheism" to the Nipponese simply elucidates how sloppy the usage of the term is by the West. Based on such untidiness, unadorned "atheism" may only narrowly indicate rejection of the Abrahamic God and associated religions, instead of the whole pantheon. Especially since that's what the conflict in recent centuries was specifically with.

To rise above that ambiguity, a Western atheist might affix an absolute modifier to indicate that s/he truly spurns all gods (as well being a philosophical naturalist): "I'm a pan-atheist, it goes beyond the God(s) originating with the Semitic languages cultures of the Middle East. And I don't believe in the supernatural, paranormal, etc."

But actually, just proclaiming that one is a philosophical naturalist would do the trick of covering both the dismissal of all varieties of theism and all spooky affairs. "Atheism" becomes a redundant label in that context.

I agree that you can be spiritual without being a theist, as Buddhism is technically atheistic, but spirituality is only compatible with the more agnostic flavor of atheism.

(Jun 29, 2019 09:25 PM)Leigha Wrote: There are many paths towards spirituality, many of which don't involve the belief in a deity. When I left faith, I still felt a yearning towards spirituality. Perhaps, this is an innate quality within most humans, to desire a path that leads one away from an existential crisis. Why are we here? What is our purpose? I believe in God, now but didn't always, and yet still felt an enriched sense of purpose, when following philosophies that were fundamentally ''spiritual.''

I think for many people who follow religion, or something that resembles it, an atheist considered him/herself to be ''spiritual'' really rubs up against their dogmatic beliefs of how spirituality should ''look.''

Agreed, as Buddhism illustrates. But an atheist who always conflates simple awe for transcendence is confused about spirituality...usually in the direction that Westerns have bastardized Buddhism. It's like a virtue-signalling spirituality.
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