Tuesday, April 28, 2009

by writerdd

Hi All! I've been away doing knitterly things lately. When I started posting on this blog, my goal was to periodically write about "spirituality without religion" and I still want to continue with that topic. I just have a crazy life and sometimes my paying jobs get in the way of my blogging gigs! For now, I would just like to point your attention to an interesting post on this topic by one of my favorite bloggers, Hemant Mehta, on The Friendly Atheist.

The post is about people changing their religious affiliation, but what caught my attention is that a very large number of people leave their church and religion because it is not filling their spiritual needs. This topic, apparently, caught the attention of other readers as well, and is being discussed in the comments. As atheists, I think we need to think and talk about this more than we do, and in a way that does not belittle those among us who are drawn to spirituality.

I notice that on many atheist blogs, readers who mention that they are spiritual or that they are interested in spirituality are criticized or ridiculed by the majority of people in the comments. (That happens less on this blog than on others, from my observations.) We need to stop doing this. It’s true that some, maybe most, atheists do not feel any need for the “spiritual” or hate the use of that word because of its religious baggage. But there are many, probably most, people in general who feel that spirituality is very important.

To use popular authors as examples, Dan Dennett, Sam Harris, and Eric Maisel have written about this and fit into the latter category. Dawkins fits into the first category, and does not seem to understand the need for spirituality at all.

This is a topic I think about, and have written about, a lot. I hope that more people begin to discuss this topic in a way that does not ridicule those who have the desire for spirituality without religion and without gods. I especially look forward to more from Harris on this topic. I found the last chapter of The End of Faith, "Experiments in Consciousness," to be one of the most interesting, but just a teaser.


Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I think there are a lot of people, theist or not who don't equate being spiritual with religion. We can all have feelings of awe and wonder while looking at a majestic nature scene, some see that as spiritual and some do not. No woo needed.

Justin said...

Yes. As an atheist, I find art to be a great spiritual path.