It has become obvious to me that when Atheist speak, “reason” is paramount to any conversation. In fact, I just attended the “Reason Rally.” Reason, it appears, is the lifeblood of the Atheist movement. But what is Spirit? Where does or does it fit into the hierarchy of Atheist thought? Plato and later Aristotle, whom I believed “formalized” the European cultural essence, viewed “reason” as the higher function of man/woman, while appetite (emotion) was more “base.” Plato saw them in opposition to one another a sort of “dualism.” This led to Descartes idea of “mind vs. body” The superiority of the intellect over the emotional self (Spirit), even Richard Dawkins asked at the Reason Rally, who could rally against reason?
I personally had a discussion with a fellow atheist whereas I mention that the “spirit” was important in human interrelationships. She became upset with me when I told her that “spirit,” in my mind, was that unexplained connection (unreasonable) between humans and the universe, the unreasonable “knowing” that there’s more than just a physical connection between us and the star “stuff” that made us, more than that which is provable by science perhaps something metaphysical. That spirit is the inseparable bond, the appositional relationship, which we all needed to make us human to make us whole. That in my mind, there was no separation between reason and spirit, that they both shared equal importance in our existence and both were necessary to bring us balance. She denied, and even became angry with me, that spirit (emotions) played such an important role, because I would assume that she saw “spirit” (emotion) as that which is used to fuel religion and therefore unnecessary.
I then wondered what do other Atheist really think about the concept of Spirit? To my knowledge they never speak on it as something of value, if mentioned at all. Does it have a significant place in Atheist thought or any place at all? If so, what is it?