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When someone says they are spiritual and also agnostic-atheist, I always wonder, "Do they believe there is something in addition to or beyond the natural world, like a "spiritual" heaven?" GROG

GROG 6 Sep 15
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7

I avoid the use of "spiritual" because the term can mean anything the user wants it to mean.

I always let it slide by too. Stay cool. GROG

I don't think it can mean anything. For example, it can't mean material. Like almost every other word, it has more than one meaning, but not unlimited meanings. One thing we can pretty well rely on is that it's referring to something non-material.

@skado It is the immaterial nature of spirit that bothers me too. GROG

7

Hiking is a transcendent, uplifting experience for me. The mountains are my sanctuary.

Apart from the staggering natural beauty, exercise raises my endorphin level that increases feelings of happiness and well-being. We all need more low-level ecstasy in our lives.

The Healing Power of Nature

"Japanese researchers found that people who spend 40 minutes walking in a cedar forest, had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is involved in blood pressure and immune-system function, compared when they spent 40 minutes walking in a lab.

Another researcher, Dr. Quing Li, a professor at the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, found that trees and plants emit aromatic compounds called phytoncides that, when inhaled, can spur healthy biological changes. Li has shown that when people walk through or stay overnight in forests, they often exhibit changes in the blood that are associated with protection against cancer, better immunity and lower blood pressure.

Recent studies have also linked nature to symptom relief for health issues like heart disease, depression, cancer, anxiety and attention disorders."

From "The Healing Power of Nature," Time magazine, July 25, 2016.

Yay! All of those things in your comment are spiritual to me.
Not a bit of religion exists there in nature, where we can be one with the soothing or invigorating essence.
Experiences that are soothing or invigorating are not intrinsically religious.
They simply make us feel deeply good.
Beautiful photos!

@AnonySchmoose

Thank you, dear. In the photo, I had just recovered from pneumonia. Felt ecstatic to be outdoors on a beautiful day.

@AnonySchmoose I agree with you there, I often feel more 'energised' when I'm out in bush around where I lived but I don't see as a 'spiritual thing' more like my body is getting back in synch with the rhythms, etc, that are both a part of nature and our bodies.
Like most other animals, primates included, we have what is termed a Circadian Clock in our system.
It is linked somehow to the rhythms of day and night, regulating our times of sleep, activity, etc, etc, to a natural pattern.
Shift working, especially night shift, can alter those regulations, sometimes quite drastically, since night shift forces the workers to be awake when they should be sleeping and vice versa.
Imo, there is nothing remotely 'spiritual' in either nature nor the human body/being, we are just another part of the cycles of nature, nothing more, nothing less.

6

They could be referencing Carl Sagan's definition of spirituality, which has nothing to do with the supernatural and everything to do with expressing awe and wonder with the world.

ezackly πŸ™‚

6

I never use the word spirit or spiritual. There are much better descriptive words for describing human drives and emotions.

6

Spirit = attitude, mood, or relative emotional buoyancy. Every human is spiritual.

skado Level 8 Sep 15, 2020

"Every human is spiritual," then please define 'spiritual' and also how it can be that a 'spiritual' human can also be a low murdering, often at times multiple murder committing being, when they are 'spiritual.'

@Triphid
Like most words, spiritual has several definitions. I tend to use the ones that don't have supernatural implications. Most dictionaries include a definition of spirit as anything incorporeal, or non-material. And every human has a non-material component. Feelings and thoughts, for example, may emerge from a material substrate, but are, themselves, non-material. They are perceptual or experiential. They are events more than things. We're material AND spiritual. What we choose to do with it is another matter. People can be "poor in spirit."

@skado Okay then let us start with,
A) "People can be "poor in spirit," a terminology that has its roots way back in the earlier years of the Judaic Belief system, ergo it has religious overtones,
B) "Definitions include "spirit being incorporeal ( sorry to be pedantic here but that IS Noncorporeal, not incorporeal btw) and non-material,
i) "feelings and thoughts, etc, etc, but are, themselves non-material," well all animals have sensations/feelings of some sort or another and humans are no different except we have learned to harness them, use them to our own benefit/s and, by inventing languages, have evolved to given them names,
ii) so, according to your definition/s these words I type here are but both non-material and have emerged from a 'material substrate,' where, precisely can this 'material substrate' be found or located?,
C) "We're material and spiritual,"
i) can you show empirically tried, tested and proven evidence in favour of this ASSUMPTION you so put forward as being a FACT?

@Triphid
A) So...? Is every word or phrase that ever passed through the Bible now sullied beyond usability? Oops! There goes Western Civilization!
B) (I don't find "noncorporeal" in any of the dictionaries I use.)
i) So...?
ii) My best guess would be the brain.
C) Yep.
i) "Material" and Spiritual" are words that humans made up to describe qualities in the world they experience. We print dictionaries to document the consensus meaning of words according to common usage. There is no absolute proof of any of it. Scientists haven't found anything "material" yet - it's just a word that allows us to communicate with other humans about our experiences. I experience rocks as material. I experience feelings as non-material. Do we really need to present proof that feelings exist?

@skado A) So-called "Western Civilisation" is NOT completely the product of the Christian religion nor the bible,
B) it took me less than a minute to use a Search Engine and find 16+ Dictionary definitions for BOTH spellings of the word Non-corporeal/Noncorporeal, Does that tell you anything?,
ii) "My best guess would be the brain," simply your supposition then, ergo no evidence to support it,
C) "Yep," We living beings are evolved from matter, ergo we are material - Logic, yet it has never been shown nor proven that anything remotely resembling 'spiritual exist either within or around us,
i) " Scientist haven't found "material yet.......: In which reference/s do you use the term "material" and the searches made by these scientist that haven't found anything material yet," Are you perhaps making the implication/s that the ground upon which we walk, live and dwell IS purely a figment of the imagination or something, the Solar body upon which most of life on this planet depends is also a figment of the imagination or that the walls, floors roofs, etc, of our dwellings are merely just as imaginary?

@Triphid
A) So-called "Western Civilisation" is NOT completely the product of the Christian religion nor the bible,

I didn't say it was. I'm saying if you prohibit the use of words and phrases that were used in the Bible - for no reason other than that they were used in the Bible - then you will bring civilization as we know it to a halt. Those phrases don't belong to Christianity; they belong to humanity. They have become a part of how we communicate. They don't carry communicable disease.

B) it took me less than a minute to use a Search Engine and find 16+ Dictionary definitions for BOTH spellings of the word Non-corporeal/Noncorporeal, Does that tell you anything?,

No, it tells me nothing at all. In what ways did the definitions differ from the definition of incorporeal? Links please.

ii) "My best guess would be the brain," simply your supposition then, ergo no evidence to support it,

I think there's plenty of evidence to support it. If you'll take the same initiative you took with looking up "noncorporeal" you can find it. Shortcut: start with Phineas Gage. Where do you suppose thoughts come from if not the brain?

C) "Yep," We living beings are evolved from matter, ergo we are material - Logic, yet it has never been shown nor proven that anything remotely resembling 'spiritual exist either within or around us,

Depends completely on which dictionary definition of "spiritual" you have chosen to use. When I look up spiritual, one of the definitions is:
 "of, relating to, or consisting of spirit; incorporeal."
When I look up spirit, one of the definitions is: 
"an attitude or principle that inspires, animates, or pervades thought, feeling, or action: the spirit of reform."
No proof is needed that such attitudes or principles exist; it is self-evident.

i) " Scientist haven't found "material yet.......: In which reference/s do you use the term "material" and the searches made by these scientist that haven't found anything material yet," Are you perhaps making the implication/s that the ground upon which we walk, live and dwell IS purely a figment of the imagination or something, the Solar body upon which most of life on this planet depends is also a figment of the imagination or that the walls, floors roofs, etc, of our dwellings are merely just as imaginary?

No, I'm not suggesting it's imaginary or that it doesn't behave as a solid (liquid, gas, etc.). I'm just saying that as science goes looking for the fundamental building blocks of matter what we find is tiny particles separated by vast spaces. Then we look into one of those particles and again we find even tinier particles separated by more vast spaces, and so on. Each time we think we have found the "real" building blocks of matter, only to find, a generation later, that they are made up of even smaller particles. I'm not aware of any reason to think we have yet discovered the smallest "russian doll".

But this is getting off into the weeds. My only point is that there is more than one generally accepted definition of the word spiritual. And among those accepted definitions is the one that correlates to attitude or relative emotional buoyancy. And if we choose to understand the word that way, it removes one of our excuses for thinking we are enemies.

Peace.

.

@skado Jeez Louise @Skado, after years as a nurse I'd reckon I'd know quite well that all our thoughts, et, etc, are generated in our brains, where else would they come from, our Anus perhaps?
To many the word' spiritual oft reeks of the religious connotation, i.e. holy spirit, etc, etc, and that is why I try to get you to put across a clearer and more precise explanation/definition.
However, re- your ending paragraph, I do not see other humans as 'enemies' as such UNLESS they threaten me or those I care about and I am both a humanist and a pacifist to the best of my abilities.

@Triphid
So as always, we are in perfect agreement! πŸ˜ƒ

5

I lean toward the following concepts expressed by thinkers far above me, authors whose books grace my library.

"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual."
Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

"Spirituality must be distinguished from religionβ€”because people of every faith, and of none, have had the same sorts of spiritual experiences."
Sam Harris, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion

I respect no one more than Sagan in these matters and I realize that Harris also uses the word positively. I just have a problem with the "spirit" in "Spirituality." I certainly experience the same feeling but personally use other words. I try not to judge those who do but I just don't like the feeling I get from that word. It's probably from personal experience with people I know that use it and which I disagreed with as they say they are not religious but carry all the trappings of being so.

@gearl When working with an inadquate vocabulary, semantics can be a treacherous path to follow. The word 'spirit' simply means 'to breathe,' and is the root of such innocuous words as 'inspire,' 'aspire,' 'expire' and 'respire.' One should not feel 'duty bound' to reject terminology that has been appropriated by religion.

5

To many, the Idea, or Ideal of 'spiritual', doesn't mean a higher power as in like a God, or Gods so to speak.
More, like in a meditative state one feels a connection with their inner self, or in some cases, with nature. Not saying that there is a divinity in either, more like a coming to understand ones self, and their environment much more.

In those cases I do get that there is a for lack of a better word, a 'Spiritual' moment, or thought.

Also. I think some get hung up on the word 'Spiritual' in some respects. I agree that there could be perhaps a better word. But for now, I think I am good at using that word for a few things that don't require a 'God' so to speak.
There is a lot to be said for the euphoric feeling when having that eureka moment when learning something new. or finding out on your own, Finding out that Vader was Lukes father,.....something you didn't accept before. or the OMFG moment realizing .. well what ever.
"Spiritual" , seems apt in most of those.
Again. I don't mean to use that word in any divinity sense. But yeah. Had to put the nerd bit in there just to see who got it.lol

yes yes yes and did I say yes? "More, like in a meditative state one feels a connection with their inner self, or in some cases, with nature. Not saying that there is a divinity in either, more like a coming to understand ones self, and their environment much more."

5

Not necessarily any connection to religion.
I was always agnostic, yet I can feel spiritual when looking at a beautiful setting, listening to amazing music . . . anything artistic that grabs my feeling profoundly seems spiritual to me. I have never connected spirituality with religion. When people say 'Awesome' that seems to suggest a spiritual feeling. So spiritual is anything awesome, not something religious that some institution pushes at you.

5

To me you cannot be spiritual and atheist. Period.

I can and I will. Semicolon. πŸ™‚

@redhog
When I look up spiritual, one of the definitions is:
"of, relating to, or consisting of spirit; incorporeal."

When I look up spirit, one of the definitions is:
"an attitude or principle that inspires, animates, or pervades thought, feeling, or action: the spirit of reform."

What about this understanding of spiritual is incompatible with atheism?

4

Everyone has their own definition of spiritual, so depending on one's personal definition, it is possible to be agnostic - atheist and spiritual. I use the term spiritual in the context of the connection I feel to the natural world. I am part of the natural world, but modern life tends to obscure this connection. So at moments when I feel that connection, those moments are spiritual to me. It does not mean to me, that there is any supernatural force present or involved. It just means that at that moment I have a heightened awareness of my connection to the natural world. This is my definition. I do NOT encourage anyone else to use it. But if you feel like using it, then that is your choice to do so, not mine.

3

I think that this is third thread I personally have seen posted about "spiritual" agnostics/atheists.

Define "spiritual" and we can go from there, again.

By the way, I am a pagan atheist. This does not mean that I believe in pagan deities, but that I revere and find solace in nature and I enjoy rituals.

I think being spiritual is luxuriating in our humanness, primarily through meditation. Walking through a glorious redwood forest can do it too. I like what you say about nature, reverence and solace.
What sort of rituals; like incense and chanting? GROG

@GROG If that is spirituality to you, then why wonder about what it means to others? If I told you about the rituals, I would have to kill you. (Grin.)

@Gwendolyn2018 γ€€Well, there seems to be too much wishy-washy about the god debate If you have listened to Hitchens,, Harris, Bart Ehrman, and so many others, you've heard them all say the supernatural doesn't exist. That for me is the basis for saying heaven doesn't exist, gods don't exist, religions are all a scam and the monotheists are a dangers group of crazies.
Candlelight and moon beams. Nice. GROG

@GROG I don't listen to Hitchens, et al. I gave up on preachers when I left the church and didn't trade them for atheist gurus/preachers. I can make my own decisions. πŸ™‚

@Gwendolyn2018 I think I know how you feel. There are so many on both sides of "religious" debate. It seems that both sides are in it for the money, but at least our side pays taxes.
I don't do God anymore. Since the supernatural realm does not exist, the only home for immaterial beings is between the ears of deluded humans. Religion is such a scam. Hope you are staying well. GROG

@GROG I see too many people trade one fervor for another without giving much thought to what either side has to say. There is nothing "supernatural," but there are things that we do not understand; they are just in realm of the unknown, not the magical.

Decades ago, there was a TV series about time travel. Merlin was brought into the present. He said some to the effect of, "Yesterday's magic is today's science." I never forgot that statement and it still has much validity.

Atheists can be scammers, too. Some are as evangelical and hateful as are Xtians. I tend to avoid fanatics of any type.

@Gwendolyn2018 "Yesterday's magic is today's science." Yes, the scientists are chipping away at the ignorance of the faithful. Do you know what they call the interaction of the supernatural with the natural world? A miracle!
As far as atheists being scammers, "What is the scam?" The scam of religions (the bad ones) is selling resurrection and an afterlife. GROG

@GROG "Scam" was not the word that I should have used. The point about some being evangelical and hateful stands. Those atheists are intolerant to the point of wanting religions to be banned. Not every pastor/church are scammers, and people have the right to believe as they wish. I want religion out of government, but if people want to believe, that is their right.

@Gwendolyn2018 Interesting relpy. Religion is a scam. It is the perfect Bernie Madoff type scam where people pay for a future big payoff. Yes, people can believe anything, but if as a child taught what to believe, the child has no choice. Taught by well meaning, but ignorant parents, to believe in heaven and a heavenly father, along with many other immaterial entities. All religions are not the same, it is the monotheistic Christians and Muslims who prophecy the End... Maybe I'm a bit hardcore?
A very bad thing about religions is that, they divide people. Is there any greater hate than religions hate? GROG

@GROG As a child, I was taught about god, Jesus, and the Bible. I went to church as an adult and yet, I am now a pagan atheist. Who decides what a child is taught? The state? People other than the child's parents? Children can be brought up in a religious household that is not fanatical or hateful as is the Westboro church. As for hating, yeah, I can think of some: Trump's followers hate me every bit as much as religions hate each other. People hate blacks to the point of killing them. Some people hate Mexicans so much that they do not care of the Mexican children die in concentration camps. Some atheists hate Christians/Muslims to the point of fanaticism; I know because I have read rants here and elsewhere.

Religion is way to validate hate. If all religion disappeared, factions would still hate each other.

3

Spritual: Relating to the immaterial essense of something. A spiritual experience is an emotional experience, perhaps a sense of awe and reverence for something more powerful than oneself. Or something mysterious enough to not be fully understood. eg...the universe, time, dark energy, ideas, life itself, concept of consciousness, etc.

This is another example of "Religion ruins everything." Because religionists have usurped the word, that does not mean they legitimately own it. Still, if it leaves an icky connotative taste in your mouth, don't use it.

I'm so glad you include time in that list. I know people who think "spiritual" simply refers to intangibles like values, attitudes, boundaries, dynamics, relationships, sheer downright plain respect for what and who is around us. One also speaks of something being done by someone "in a such & such spirit" or "spirited".

Given that by definition the speculative basis of "spirits" (plural) is well nigh indescribable, and that much of the baggage exists (or is supposed to exist) outside time, where we are unfamiliar, I think it's pointless worrying about them unless it is being weaponised against us: I like to quietly and ultra tentatively (multi) hypothesise but no more than that, and my many hypotheses wouldn't please most religious people, or spiritualists, that I know anyway.

I've got a theory that most religious people don't understand what might be meant by the many contradictory concepts of "heaven". My turn of mind isn't to maintain that something I "think" about "exists", anyway.

3

My spirits come in 750 ml bottles LMAO

3

Spiritual does imply something more than agno-atheism, at least to me. I think a simple shrug and β€œI don’t know” is better than referencing spiritualism.

and that is the honest and correct response.

3

No, spiritual indicates to me that you have empathy and attempt to understand both yourself and others.
Spiritual in this sense is just another way of saying "social" animal, I'm sure wolves and other social animals feel a sense of spiritualism.
It's this sense of others that lends the dim to imagine a sky daddy, but that's taking crap WAY to far.

2

I refrain from calling myself spiritual but many people describe me as such, much to my disdain, because of what we non-religious think of that word. But I just figure they mean that I like to weave inspirational or poetic references in my services as a wedding officiant and funeral celebrant. I never reference anything supernatural.

I remember a friend introduced me to someone as "Julie, she's very spiritual" and was mortified and a little bit sick to my stomach at that. Worried that they would think I was one of the woo weirdos we have here.

2

Spiritual to my mind is still one foot mired in woo.

Agnosticism to my mind is one foot mired in divinity.

I reject both woo and divinity, but I repeat myself.

2

I think they are still trying to hold on to the mystical beliefs that were infused to them religiously or culturally (many cultures are VERY superstitious and some people think they have to accept EVERY facet of their culture to be adhering to it "correctly" ) . I think they need to work on their critical thinking skills and learn about the scientific method to gain true freedom from superstitious BS mental trappings.

That's the feeling I get too. I have two ex-Mormon friends that gave up on the LDS version of the divine, but seem to hang on to a "spirit-world". It amazes me how people can be convinced that heaven exists. The answer is, they are taught as children that heaven is real. Thanks for your comment. GROG

I agree, I'm against package dealing and want everyone to go cafeteria, if they dare.

2

I had one(and ONLY one) "spiritual" experience in my life. So, I "hope" there is something beyond the current physical world I reside in. What that "something" may or may not be, I'm not gonna call it "heaven" because I don't know that there WILL be anything after this life.... there may be nothing.... I'll either find out or I won't. I'm cool with that 'cause I am here right now and I like it.

2

Being a spiritual humanist and apatheist I enjoy exploring the countless possibilities but I know none can be proven (or disproven). Humankind simply doesn't have the capacity because a) of intellectual, spiritual or evolutionary immaturity or b) there is simply nothing there.

I lean towards a) for many reasons (see my profile and posts on the subject) but I claim no certainty. As such, I am an apatheist. Why even worry about what I cannot know. I find any such arguments inconsequential and a colossal waste of time.

I'm just here for the ride to enjoy it to the best of my ability. What comes "next" is beyond me and therefore is nothing I concern myself with.

2

There are many things that are unexplainable.

2

Spiritual=Spirit=Spirituality=heaven=A CRAPLOAD OF BULLSHIT

1

I am an agnostic - anti-theist.

I'm with Penn Jillette on this:
Agnostic and atheist answer two different questions:
We cannot know fur shur how our universe started: agnostic (without knowledge)
There ain't no all-powerful invisible critters fucking with humans on the earth: atheist (there is no reliable proof of such beings)

And I agree with Sam, and Christopher,... I am an anti-theist because I oppose religionists imposing their mental illness on all us good folks.

Jacar Level 8 Sep 24, 2020
1

I'm an agnostic atheist. Agnostic means I have no knowledge that any god exist, Atheist means I believe in zero gods.

I think this is a humorous perspective. Agnostics think atheists are just arrogant agnostics, and atheists think that agnostics are just wimpy atheists."
There is a wide range of disbelief and titles, but I like 'nonbeliever'. Why? Because the supernatural does not exist and heaven is a mental construct. GROG sorry for the harangue...stay well

1

Looking at life force and love through religion 'colored glasses' will only confuse you.

Life and love exist all around us and within us. They are both strongly sensed externally and deeply felt internally. Everything that exists cannot be perceived by eyes alone. Chief among those things is beauty.

I like that first sentence, looking at life through the lens of religion. Yes, "colored glasses". Another attribute of the lens is that they cause double vision. GROG

@GROG My point, double or otherwise, is closer to that lenses distort in many ways. To emerge from an undesireble environment, as a mudhole for example, requires additional separation from residue before we are clean and 'in touch' optimally with the new environment. With long indoctrination particularly, the baggage carried through the portal to new understanding can still be tremendous.

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