Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
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26-01-2015, 04:11 PM
Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
Perhaps my definition of "spiritual" is not exactly correct.

There are two primary components to psychological phenomena. The first is the intellectual (or rational) component; the second is the emotional component. Rational therapies make clear that there is an intermingling of the two components that cannot easily be separated.

I understand "spiritual" to mean an experience or conviction that is so deeply seated in the emotions that it excludes the rational component. Of course, this is not to say that the feeling or experience isirrational, but just that it has become internalized to the point of being "automatic". Any rationalizing thoughts are afterthoughts.

Theist, that base their "morality" solely on what's written in a book, rather than what they sincerely feel cannot be said to be having a spiritual experience, but is, rather, having a materialistic experience--obedience to rules, laws, or commandments, in order to gain reward or avoid punishment.

Therefore, generally speaking, the morality of an atheist is more spiritual than that of a theist.

If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.--Voltaire.

"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." --Thomas Paine.
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26-01-2015, 04:51 PM
RE: Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
Yabut. Yer smoking crack. Big Grin

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26-01-2015, 04:58 PM
RE: Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
I would use the word pragmatic and not spiritual.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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26-01-2015, 05:03 PM
RE: Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
I'd say atheists are exactly the same as theists in regard to spirituality....

Much in the same way that hobbits are the same height as ewoks....

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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26-01-2015, 06:19 PM
RE: Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
(26-01-2015 04:58 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  I would use the word pragmatic and not spiritual.

"Pragmatic" implies the presence of a "thought" component, rather than just a "feeling". It is pragmatic to "do things to get a reward and avoid punishment" rather than simply because they are the right things to do. Or to have a "spiritual" experience is not to describe it, but simply to feel it, very deeply--a deeply emotional response.

If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.--Voltaire.

"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." --Thomas Paine.
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26-01-2015, 06:29 PM
RE: Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
I hate the word "spiritual" it really is far too rooted in antiquated religion to attempt to water it down have a natural meaning.

When humans have an intense reaction to something it really is nothing more than there genes, brain activity and upbringing and personality reacting to stimuli. It is just our natural sense of awe. It certainly can feel intense or calming, but the word "spiritual" is simply an antiquated word even though new agers and liberals try to cling to it.

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26-01-2015, 07:58 PM
RE: Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
(26-01-2015 06:29 PM)Brian37 Wrote:  I hate the word "spiritual" it really is far too rooted in antiquated religion to attempt to water it down have a natural meaning.

When humans have an intense reaction to something it really is nothing more than there genes, brain activity and upbringing and personality reacting to stimuli. It is just our natural sense of awe. It certainly can feel intense or calming, but the word "spiritual" is simply an antiquated word even though new agers and liberals try to cling to it.

My primary point in bringing this up is to point out that theists' claims to have a monopoly on "spirituality" is bogus. I agree that the term, itself, is largely meaningless. I have an especial distaste for theists that think that they have a monopoly on morality--which they generally equate witih being more "spiritual".

I am an epiphenomenalist, which means that I do not believe in the dualism of the brain and the mind. They cannot be separated. The only thing needed to demonstrate this is to consider that when the brain dies, mental activity ceases.

If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.--Voltaire.

"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." --Thomas Paine.
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26-01-2015, 08:11 PM
RE: Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
That is what all religions do, they claim to have a patent on all the answers to why we behave the way we do, but science is telling us our behaviors, either cruel or compassionate are not because of comic book super heros or super villains battling over the neurons in our brains.

Yes atheists have the same range of happiness and sadness and ups and downs and successes and failures not because we are atheists, but because we are human.

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27-01-2015, 07:07 AM (This post was last modified: 27-01-2015 07:16 AM by Hafnof.)
RE: Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
(26-01-2015 07:58 PM)666wannabe Wrote:  I am an epiphenomenalist, which means that I do not believe in the dualism of the brain and the mind. They cannot be separated. The only thing needed to demonstrate this is to consider that when the brain dies, mental activity ceases.

I think epiphenomenalism goes further than simply rejecting substance dualism:
Quote:Epiphenomenalism is the view that mental events are caused by physical events in the brain, but have no effects upon any physical events. Behavior is caused by muscles that contract upon receiving neural impulses, and neural impulses are generated by input from other neurons or from sense organs. On the epiphenomenalist view, mental events play no causal role in this process. Huxley (1874), who held the view, compared mental events to a steam whistle that contributes nothing to the work of a locomotive. James (1879), who rejected the view, characterized epiphenomenalists' mental events as not affecting the brain activity that produces them “any more than a shadow reacts upon the steps of the traveller whom it accompanies”.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epiphenomenalism/

I think on one level it is possible this view is correct: That the concious experience may be the product of mental processes rather than a driver of those processes. But at least at some other level those processes feed into each other in a way that resembles the concious experience. I think we can fairly safely reject substance dualism due to the existence of neural correlates of mental processes, but in observing these correlates we may at least on some level simultaneously defeat epiphenomenalism.

So then what is meant by "spiritual"? In a dualist philosophy it would be those things that are made up of an intentional substance - those things not made of matter and energy but of atoms of conciousness and thought. Clearly you and I reject the existence of this form of spirituality (at least until proven otherwise)... so what is the point of labelling anything else "spiritual"?

Is your intention to define "spiritual" as something like "and experience of something greater than one's self" or "an emotional experience"? If you do then it might be better to find a more conventional term for what you are describing rather than reusing and claiming ownership over an already-overload term. It seems like your current definition would be correctly labelled simply as "habit".

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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27-01-2015, 07:13 AM
RE: Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
(26-01-2015 06:19 PM)666wannabe Wrote:  
(26-01-2015 04:58 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  I would use the word pragmatic and not spiritual.

"Pragmatic" implies the presence of a "thought" component, rather than just a "feeling". It is pragmatic to "do things to get a reward and avoid punishment" rather than simply because they are the right things to do. Or to have a "spiritual" experience is not to describe it, but simply to feel it, very deeply--a deeply emotional response.

I would use the word emotional instead of spiritual in that case.

As others have already said, the word spiritual brings some heavy baggage to the table.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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