Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Spirituality of an Atheist- Part 3

"Just because I'm an atheist and I lack belief in a god doesn't mean I deny spiritual experiences... "~Adam, (The Man of Earth)
Can an Atheist be spiritual? What does it mean to be spiritual? Most people connect spirituality with religion but this does not mean that the words are interchangeable. I believe the spirituality experienced by believers is the same as nonbelievers, there is only a difference in language and context. Some may also confuse the supernatural with the spiritual, which is understandable because of spirituality's close ties to religion. The spirituality described in the previous posts (part 1, part 2) by other Atheist share a common theme: a deeply moving and indescribable connection with the universe. Although they don't go as far as saying they Are the universe, as expressed in Pantheism and Panentheism, but since we are made of stardust we share a connection with the universe. They leave room for awe of the unknown but remain well grounded in reason and reality. Spirituality for Atheist like Adam is an embrace of the transcendent majesty of the universe and our unique position, as walking, talking stardust, which allows us to interact with it. You can see his part 1 video below and part 2, here.

There are many other Atheists on Youtube with various descriptions, experiences, and thoughts on Spirituality as Atheists. I encourage everyone interested in the topic to check out the videos or even strike up a conversation with an Atheist on the street (they won't bite, I promise). If you're an Atheist please feel free to leave a comment below on your personal experiences or thoughts on spirituality.


captron52 said...

I see every life form and I call it God and yes that includes me and every other human being. Does that then make it true? Only if you stand in my shoes I would say. Another grreat post my friend!

Doug Robertson said...

I suppose I lean toward being panentheistic and like captron52 consider myself part of the whole of the Universe as well. But excellent post, atheism and spirituality are certainly not mutually exclusive, which you explain very well here.

BothEyesShut said...

Dear Eruesso,

These conversations owe much to taxonomy and neologism, without which they would be meaningless. This is parallel to discussions about psychology, for instance, where people discuss abstract concepts like id, ego, and superego as though these ideas had physical definitions leaving little doubt as to their properties. In conversations such as these with which you seem to concern yourself, Sir, we find ourselves forced to talk in terms of "spirituality," et cetera. Please excuse the quotation marks, but I don't know how to use italics in this little window.

Now, since a soul and a spirit both have extremely vague definitions historically, culturally, linguistically, and (god knows) physically, an equally vague word like "spiritual" has a tough time in a philosophical or theosophical conversation. The result is, as far as my opinion goes, that the conversation about spirituality constitutes more of spirituality in physical space/time than anything else does, most certainly including the object of discussion itself, Spirituality.

What fascinates me is the possibility that a spirit, god, or what-have-you can easily be imagined to take on real, effective form in this way, just as an idea to move my hand becomes physical somewhere between my thought and the sinews of my arm muscles.

I'm afraid I have no more time to discuss this at the moment, but I feel as though you will easily preempt my suppositions from the trajectory of my launching point.

I've had a swell time here, Sir.

Yours Truly,


Doug Robertson said...

I kind of want to go wherever BothEyes launching point goes.

Anonymous said...

BothEyes...big words don´t make you smart. In fact half of that fluff, romantic-novel poetry sounds like a highschool student trying to extend a bad esay

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