I would like to hear people's views on the topic of spirituality. Some starting viewpoints to discuss and develop further. The first question I would ask is: is it possible to be an atheist and believe in some form of spirituality, however defined?

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Comment by MikeLong on November 4, 2013 at 8:26pm

I agree. Content? (stress on second syllable) Not Powerful enough, really, is it?

Comment by Unseen on November 4, 2013 at 10:36pm

Its how you feel emotionally about things. Like when you listen to music or sitting in the woods or watching birds.

That's a rather wobbly and highly personal attempt at a definition. It's not a fact. And as MikeLong pointed out, communication is based on shared definitions (conventional usage), not personal definitions. "Spiritual" should be left in the spirit world.

we need to think of a word that describes the feeling I get when im eating my cheerios on the patio in the morning and im looking at the birds and forest in the background thinking about how much I love my children but I don't want it too clinical. Just because I don't believe in the God scam doesn't make me a robot

Does it have to be just one word? Why? 

I would go with "a general feeling of well being."

Comment by steven rodriguez on November 4, 2013 at 11:34pm

there are things that can't be seen, smelled, tasted, heard yet proven to exist. how about micro waves? I believe that we are connected by some kind of force yet it has not been proven. I use the word only as a personal description because I have no other way to describe it. does that mean im a bad atheist?, really I don't care. I don't seek validation from anyone on my beliefs. why do I have a feeling of connection is it a wave? what is it? tell me you have never had someone stare at the back of your head and you felt it and  turned around?. Ill call it what I want and anyone who don't like it can cry but ill be laughing

Comment by MikeLong on November 5, 2013 at 1:19am

Whether it's something real (and one day measurable) or if it's all in the mind, it seems strong enough and common enough to deserve it's own word. How about inventing one? Maybe it's already got one.

Comment by Jimmy on November 5, 2013 at 4:54am

I've had a conversation like this before with a cousin of mine. It ended up over me wanting to research the etymological roots for the word "spiritual." Does it pre-date religion? Did arise mutually with religion? It's really hard to tease these things apart.

I've felt his point-of-view of believing in a "God," and keeping his "spirituality," and yet not really adhering to any religion is what I've seen a lot of people do. Tracie from "The Atheist Experience" spoke about how she became very conflicted with her religion, I think it was Christianity, and that although she eventually came to a point that wasn't atheism, but she finally thought that maybe her "religion got it wrong," and so she divorced herself from it but without ridding of this idea that there is a "God." So, she kept the idea that there exist a God because it was this foundational thing that upheld the religion without ever it occurring her to challenge the very concept that "there is a God." Which, of course, she eventually did and then became an atheist.

Comment by Steve Armitstead on November 5, 2013 at 6:41pm

Hi Jimmy. I have taken your questions about the etymological roots for the word "spiritual." "Does it pre-date religion? Did (it) arise mutually with religion?" as the starting point for the next part of this blog. It's in moderation now. Thanks for your input.

Comment by James Cox on November 5, 2013 at 7:22pm

Thou art Quantum Mechanics!

Comment by MikeLong on November 5, 2013 at 7:35pm

Actually I think the word, "religion" is the problem - not "spiritualism". At one extreme might be Islam where the dogma presides over every aspect of one's life. At the other extreme might be someone feeling that, because of all the stuff one doesn't understand, there MUST be a supernatural power at work. Both extremes, and everything in between can be called "religion". Not understanding stuff - good. Attribution of understanding to supernatural powers - not so much.

The feeling of contentedly sitting in awe of all the amazing stuff we experience but don't understand (without assuming anything supernatural) still, I think, deserves a word of its own. Since it doesn't participate in God, maybe it should retain both the "a" prefix and the "theos" root and pull another suffix out of the hat. Atheition? Atheosis?

Comment by MikeLong on November 5, 2013 at 7:39pm

"Sitting under the stars with a half-empty glass of Johnnie Walker, she was overcome with a sublime sense of athiosis."

Comment by Jimmy on November 5, 2013 at 7:43pm

@Steve Armitstead I'd be interested to see how a blog like that unfolds. That thing I mentioned about Tracie, I actually found the clip in where she mentions this point-of-view of retaining the belief in God, but dropping the religion.

Tracie on her past theistic position

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