Acknowledging spirituality

One of the things atheists tend to shy away from is human spirituality. I think this tends to cause some rather uncomfortable shuffling of ideas and sidestepping of certain issues. So let’s address it now.

Human beings are by their very nature spiritual. I wonder if theists would resist atheists quite so fervently if we were more willing to admit that simple fact. As an atheist, I see no contradiction in that statement and the assertion that there is no god. Our spirituality was not implanted by some designer or breathed into us by an omniscient being. No, spirituality does not require belief in god. All that is required is a basic understanding of chemistry and the hormonal and electro magnetic responses that take place in our own bodies.  I’m currently reading a rather brilliant book on the subject: The Mystical Mind: Probing the Biology of Religious Experience.

Dr. Newberg’s work is well researched and documented and explained in clear terms which show unequivocally the link between our biological selves and our spiritual selves.

Like any emotion, spirituality is not lessened by having its origins exposed. If anything, that spirituality is validated with Dr. Newberg’s research. Spirituality is real. We experience it. And like any other emotion, it is one which, as reasoned beings, we should understand and exercise with clarity and forethought.

I am aware that many atheists deny any feeling of spirituality. They, too, are correct. What each side of the argument fails to recognize is that emotion is subjective. That depth and strength of feeling is dependent upon the person experiencing that emotion. Love, sadness, hate, spirituality, joy…all these emotions may be felt in varying degrees from one person to the next. It is not inconceivable that we feel some more than others.



3 responses to “Acknowledging spirituality

  1. Is spirituality an emotion? If I feel spiritual emotions then I am experiencing spirituality?

    Spirituality, at least in the biblical sense, is not an emotion. It is an understanding – a belief. Emotions may and often do accompany a person belief but such emotions are not required for salvation.

    If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the Dead, you will be saved. [Rom 10:9]

    Notice in the above verse – no emotions required – only faith.

  2. leftcoastlibrul

    Hi, Russ. Thank you for the comment.

    Thing is, not everyone experience spirituality “in the biblical sense.” Some experience it in the sense that’s meant by Wicca or Paganism or the Qu’ran or the Torah or even the Tao. Some (me, for example) experience a spiritual connection by listening to a Mozart concerto or seeing an amazing piece of art. Any number of things can inspire a feeling of spiritualism. Even love making.

    So, I would say your statement should actually be reversed; no faith or belief required….only feeling.

  3. Pingback: Mystical Experience in a Godless Universe « Spritzophrenia

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