Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
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27-01-2015, 09:55 PM
RE: Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
(27-01-2015 07:07 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  
(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".

I think what I was trying to do was to point out to believers in a "spiritual" world, that what they call a spiritual experience is nothing more than psychological experience (albeit deep psychology).

As a side note, it is interesting to consider the fact that just because something is said to be "spiritual" does not mean that it is good. Even the babble talks about "evil" spirits.

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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27-01-2015, 10:00 PM
RE: Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
(27-01-2015 07:13 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(26-01-2015 06:19 PM)666wannabe Wrote:  "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 thinking in terms of charismatic religions that mistakenly believe that the high levels of what is in fact, emotional experiences, are "spiritual" experiences. An interesting phenomena of study is emotional hijacking whereby the thinking brain is put out of commission by the stimulation of the amygdala (the controller of our emotional responses.

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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01-02-2015, 10:44 AM
RE: Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
I think that common usage of words reinforces certain beliefs. The following are words and phrases I consciously substitute on a daily basis, it takes practice and repetition not to fall back to ingrained habits.

It was a miracle - They were very lucky

God bless you or bless you - Gesundheit

God willing -If everything goes right

Spiritual - Emotional, introspective, deep feelings

Angels - Leprechauns, Fairies

God - Zeus, Thor, FSM

I’m sure there are others I can’t think of at the moment.

In Spanish every other sentence is ended with “si Dios quiere”, or God willing. I’ve made it a habit of asking the person who says this if the wouldn’t mind asking Him if He’s going to be willing so I can plan accordingly. Normally I get a quizzical look back so I have to explain;

"You said I would have the car back from the mechanic by this afternoon, God willing. What I’m asking you is to go ahead and ask God if the repairs will be made by this afternoon or do I need to call a cab? Go ahead and ask Him, I’ll wait.”

I get everything from nervous laughter to vacant stares. I kind of enjoy these little moments. Evil_monster

“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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02-02-2015, 09:58 PM
RE: Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
(01-02-2015 10:44 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  I think that common usage of words reinforces certain beliefs. The following are words and phrases I consciously substitute on a daily basis, it takes practice and repetition not to fall back to ingrained habits.

It was a miracle - They were very lucky

God bless you or bless you - Gesundheit

God willing -If everything goes right

Spiritual - Emotional, introspective, deep feelings

Angels - Leprechauns, Fairies

God - Zeus, Thor, FSM

I’m sure there are others I can’t think of at the moment.

In Spanish every other sentence is ended with “si Dios quiere”, or God willing. I’ve made it a habit of asking the person who says this if the wouldn’t mind asking Him if He’s going to be willing so I can plan accordingly. Normally I get a quizzical look back so I have to explain;

"You said I would have the car back from the mechanic by this afternoon, God willing. What I’m asking you is to go ahead and ask God if the repairs will be made by this afternoon or do I need to call a cab? Go ahead and ask Him, I’ll wait.”

I get everything from nervous laughter to vacant stares. I kind of enjoy these little moments. Evil_monster

Haha! That's pretty great.

I try to use substitutions when I can, as a sort of cultural protest, I suppose. Although I do catch myself saying "God" a lot - typically in a reactionary way. I wonder if I could train myself to use the names of other deities, just for fun... "Zeus dammit." "Oh dear Gaia." "Oh my Thor!"

Yep. This needs to happen. Yes
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06-02-2015, 09:59 AM
RE: Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
(26-01-2015 04:11 PM)666wannabe Wrote:  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.

I don't believe Christians solely base morality on their Bible . I believe it is a combination of :

1. The teachings of the 10 commandments and Jesus' teachings in the Bible
2. The Moral Conscience that we all have .
3. The recognizable/quantifiable fallout that comes from choosing immorality (consequences) .
4. The good feeling we get when we do something right, noble, moral, admirable , helpful, loving, caring, etc....
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06-02-2015, 10:37 AM
RE: Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
(06-02-2015 09:59 AM)QuasiAtheist Wrote:  
(26-01-2015 04:11 PM)666wannabe Wrote:  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.

I don't believe Christians solely base morality on their Bible . I believe it is a combination of :

1. The teachings of the 10 commandments and Jesus' teachings in the Bible
2. The Moral Conscience that we all have .
3. The recognizable/quantifiable fallout that comes from choosing immorality (consequences) .
4. The good feeling we get when we do something right, noble, moral, admirable , helpful, loving, caring, etc....

5. The morality of the family/society in which they were raised.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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06-02-2015, 10:55 AM
RE: Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
(06-02-2015 10:37 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(06-02-2015 09:59 AM)QuasiAtheist Wrote:  I don't believe Christians solely base morality on their Bible . I believe it is a combination of :

1. The teachings of the 10 commandments and Jesus' teachings in the Bible
2. The Moral Conscience that we all have .
3. The recognizable/quantifiable fallout that comes from choosing immorality (consequences) .
4. The good feeling we get when we do something right, noble, moral, admirable , helpful, loving, caring, etc....

5. The morality of the family/society in which they were raised.


#5 usually reflects the opinion of people whether in the family or in society where morality is being considered ..... whereby absolute moral laws to live by (the fact that they are really true for all) has to come from an ORIGINAL UNCHANGING SOURCE per Webster who said : ' Truth = Fidelity to the Original ' . Said another way , you cant know a crooked line is crooked unless you know what a straight line is ... meaning that there has to be some unchanging standard to which you are comparing otherwise , there is nothing objectively wrong with Hitlers actions or objectively right with Mother Thereas actions. Just as there is a Speed Limit of 70 mph for most U.S. Highways which is the objective standard for whether One is being unlawful or not with their car, so must there be an absolute standard of prescribed moral laws from which to judge actions otherwise its just one subjective opinion. The dilemma for non Theists is : Where did the unchanging standard originate from ? For the Christian, he says they come from a Prescriber (God) whereas for the Atheist he has to say they came from atoms by accident. This is one problem I have with Atheism in addition to a couple more. (I also have a couple problems with theism I might add) .
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06-02-2015, 11:15 AM
RE: Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
(06-02-2015 10:55 AM)QuasiAtheist Wrote:  
(06-02-2015 10:37 AM)Chas Wrote:  5. The morality of the family/society in which they were raised.


#5 usually reflects the opinion of people whether in the family or in society where morality is being considered ..... whereby absolute moral laws to live by (the fact that they are really true for all) has to come from an ORIGINAL UNCHANGING SOURCE per Webster who said : ' Truth = Fidelity to the Original ' . Said another way , you cant know a crooked line is crooked unless you know what a straight line is ... meaning that there has to be some unchanging standard to which you are comparing otherwise , there is nothing objectively wrong with Hitlers actions or objectively right with Mother Thereas actions. Just as there is a Speed Limit of 70 mph for most U.S. Highways which is the objective standard for whether One is being unlawful or not with their car, so must there be an absolute standard of prescribed moral laws from which to judge actions otherwise its just one subjective opinion. The dilemma for non Theists is : Where did the unchanging standard originate from ? For the Christian, he says they come from a Prescriber (God) whereas for the Atheist he has to say they came from atoms by accident. This is one problem I have with Atheism in addition to a couple more. (I also have a couple problems with theism I might add) .

Oh, bullcrap. There were morals before there was writing. Actions are comparatively good or bad.

There is no objective standard for atheists or anyone else.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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06-02-2015, 11:33 AM
RE: Are atheists more "spiritual" than theists?
(06-02-2015 11:15 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(06-02-2015 10:55 AM)QuasiAtheist Wrote:  #5 usually reflects the opinion of people whether in the family or in society where morality is being considered ..... whereby absolute moral laws to live by (the fact that they are really true for all) has to come from an ORIGINAL UNCHANGING SOURCE per Webster who said : ' Truth = Fidelity to the Original ' . Said another way , you cant know a crooked line is crooked unless you know what a straight line is ... meaning that there has to be some unchanging standard to which you are comparing otherwise , there is nothing objectively wrong with Hitlers actions or objectively right with Mother Thereas actions. Just as there is a Speed Limit of 70 mph for most U.S. Highways which is the objective standard for whether One is being unlawful or not with their car, so must there be an absolute standard of prescribed moral laws from which to judge actions otherwise its just one subjective opinion. The dilemma for non Theists is : Where did the unchanging standard originate from ? For the Christian, he says they come from a Prescriber (God) whereas for the Atheist he has to say they came from atoms by accident. This is one problem I have with Atheism in addition to a couple more. (I also have a couple problems with theism I might add) .

Oh, bullcrap. There were morals before there was writing. Actions are comparatively good or bad.

There is no objective standard for atheists or anyone else.

COWCHIPS !!

1. Correct, there were absolute morals before writing came to exist. Actions can only be called good or bad in accordance to some unchanging higher standard otherwise its just an opinion. I may think that using women for sex is perfectly permissible even if I have 4 stds because it makes me feel good and helps me sleep better, while you may find it reprehensible but it would be just your opinion .

2. Atheists like everyone else, daily demonstrate that there are objective moral standards . Notice the REaction of the Atheist who gets morally wronged by Another --- is their reaction one indicating that they have been violated of an absolute moral law or is their reaction ' Oh well, you thought it was correct to do to me so no problem.....have a nice day ' ? Atheists as well as some other social Groups want to live according to moral relativism but they expect others treat them according to absolute moral laws .
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05-07-2015, 03:00 AM
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.

I totally agree with you. Having been a christian I can't stand the baggage that the word carries.
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