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Etherman

Spiritual Atheist?

11 posts in this topic

Here's something I wrote on another forum in response to the question of whether an atheist can be spiritual. Enjoy:

I would actually argue that most atheists are spiritual, moreso than most Christians. If you look up the word "spiritual" you find something like "of or concerning the spirit". Well that's slightly less than helpful. What the spirit? From http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=spirit&searchmode=none

c.1250, "animating or vital principle in man and animals," from O.Fr. espirit, from L. spiritus "soul, courage, vigor, breath," related to spirare "to breathe," from PIE *(s)peis- "to blow" (cf. O.C.S. pisto "to play on the flute"). Original usage in Eng. mainly from passages in Vulgate, where the L. word translates Gk. pneuma and Heb. ruah. Distinction between "soul" and "spirit" (as "seat of emotions") became current in Christian terminology (e.g. Gk. psykhe vs. pneuma, L. anima vs. spiritus) but "is without significance for earlier periods" [buck]. L. spiritus, usually in classical L. "breath," replaces animus in the sense "spirit" in the imperial period and appears in Christian writings as the usual equivalent of Gk. pneuma. Meaning "supernatural being" is attested from c.1300 (see ghost); that of "essential principle of something" (in a non-theological sense, e.g. Spirit of St. Louis) is attested from 1690, common after 1800. Plural form spirits "volatile substance" is an alchemical idea, first attested 1610; sense narrowed to "strong alcoholic liquor" by 1678. This also is the sense in spirit level (1768).

Vital itself means "of or manifesting life". So, far from having anything to do with souls, ghosts, demons, or deities, spirituality has to do with being alive. This includes the necessities of life like food, water, and shelter from the elements. But, as they say, man does not live on bread alone. Spirituality is about living. It's about enjoying life, our relationships with other people, good health, our relationship to the environment, art, etc. Atheists are spiritual because we believe this is the only life we get so we want to make the most of it. Christians, and most other theists, are deathual. They're obsessed with what happens after death. Instead of living life for their own spiritual good, they live life for empty promises of the afterlife.

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Here's something I wrote on another forum in response to the question of whether an atheist can be spiritual. Enjoy:

I would actually argue that most atheists are spiritual, moreso than most Christians. If you look up the word "spiritual" you find something like "of or concerning the spirit". Well that's slightly less than helpful. What the spirit? From http://www.etymonlin...searchmode=none

Vital itself means "of or manifesting life". So, far from having anything to do with souls, ghosts, demons, or deities, spirituality has to do with being alive. This includes the necessities of life like food, water, and shelter from the elements. But, as they say, man does not live on bread alone. Spirituality is about living. It's about enjoying life, our relationships with other people, good health, our relationship to the environment, art, etc. Atheists are spiritual because we believe this is the only life we get so we want to make the most of it. Christians, and most other theists, are deathual. They're obsessed with what happens after death. Instead of living life for their own spiritual good, they live life for empty promises of the afterlife.

Although I am not an Atheist, I have little doubt that Atheism does not prevent anyone from being inspired by the spiritual.

Edited by murphzlaw1
>.>

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What the heck is a spitritual? Some secret atheist rite thingy? (only joking, Pete!) :kimmy:

Edited by RevRainbow

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What the heck is a spitritual? Some secret atheist rite thingy? (only joking, Pete!) kimmy.gif

Yep! My spelling is getting worse. I am working nights at the moment and I hope you can forgive my lack of function. I need more coffee! birgits_coffee.gif

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What the heck is a spiritual? Some secret atheist rite thingy? (only joking, Pete!) :kimmy:

what do you mean??

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They're obsessed with what happens after death. Instead of living life for their own spiritual good, they live life for empty promises of the afterlife.

Not true. At least not for me. Yes we have our beliefs about what happens after death. But we also focus more on our life and how we live each day in harmony with our Lord and Lady. So we focus on both, not just one. (Duality) thumbsup(1).gif

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what do you mean??

Thanks Murphthumbsup%281%29.gif

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Not true. At least not for me. Yes we have our beliefs about what happens after death. But we also focus more on our life and how we live each day in harmony with our Lord and Lady. So we focus on both, not just one. (Duality) thumbsup%281%29.gif

I think that is a good point. Most faiths focus on both life and death (IMO). Also I understand Buddhism (a largely atheist faith) and its teachings of karma, also has teachings on life and death, and many do not believe in just the one life.

I understand that atheists are often treated badly by some people who seem to think they have no right to exist (IMO), but not by all theists.

I guess like the theists, no two atheists are alike.

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Can atheists be spiritual? Of course they can. It's really a pretty silly question. Anyone who doesn't believe in any gods is an atheist - that's the only qualification. So, unless spiritual is being defined, at least in part, as someone who believes in one or more gods, then an atheist could fit the definition. People can believe in all kinds of stuff and still be atheists, they just have to lack a belief in gods.

I understand that atheists are often treated badly by some people who seem to think they have no right to exist (IMO), but not by all theists.

It's true. I lost a job once because it was discovered that I didn't believe in God. I don't think the management at that business thought that I had no right to exist, but they certainly thought that I had no right to work there.

Just to give you an idea about how much atheists are disliked in the US, here are the results of a question asked in a 2007 Gallup poll (look at the very bottom):

post-4342-12626336286564.gif

Here's the source of the info: Gallup.com - poll 26611

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Can atheists be spiritual? Of course they can. It's really a pretty silly question. Anyone who doesn't believe in any gods is an atheist - that's the only qualification. So, unless spiritual is being defined, at least in part, as someone who believes in one or more gods, then an atheist could fit the definition. People can believe in all kinds of stuff and still be atheists, they just have to lack a belief in gods.

It's true. I lost a job once because it was discovered that I didn't believe in God. I don't think the management at that business thought that I had no right to exist, but they certainly thought that I had no right to work there.

Just to give you an idea about how much atheists are disliked in the US, here are the results of a question asked in a 2007 Gallup poll (look at the very bottom):

post-4342-12626336286564.gif

Here's the source of the info: Gallup.com - poll 26611

That is sickening (IMO). It is what we call "religious fascism" in the UK (The insistence of people not to or to have to hold a particular religion). People here are getting sacked for wearing crosses around their necks and offering to pray for people. I just do not understand it. Why cannot a person say they hold or do not hold a faith without fear of persecution. Since when was it an offence for someone to hold an opinion different from another? Would it offend me if someone wore a badge saying "God is dead" or "I am an Atheist" or do most atheists get upset when they see a theist badge or symbol, "no"!

It is about freedom of expression and freedom to make sense of this life in what ever way they do.

Atheism should be protected as any other viewpoint or faith. I am not saying that atheism is a faith, but I feel it should be treated with the same reverence as a faith (IMO).

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I believe that spirituality is about expressing Understanding, Love, Compassion, and Joy in our everyday life. It does not matter if we believe in God or not. :)

Hermano Luis

Moriviví Hermitage

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