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Thread: Spiritual Lack

  1. #1

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    Spiritual Lack

    Atheists,

    A lot of people take up (or switch) religion to fill a spiritual void in their lives. How do atheists such as yourselves explain this act, and avoid experiencing a similar lack yourselves?

  2. #2
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    Re: Spiritual Lack

    well for religious people I think it involves hearing something in church they don't agree with for a myriad of reasons. It can be justifiable or it could be petty. In any event they go "shopping" for another religion or at least another church. I don't think it's deplorable but at some point you have to question WHY you left and if you are indeed wrong or was it the church bastardizing scripture.

    As for me....I just don't see anything else to shop for. There is no god. Until such time as I am proven otherwise I will hold firm to that belief. It would take great evidence for me to change my ways. As there isn't nor has there ever been.....it's rather elementary to not worry about it.

    In Heaven there is no beer. That's why we drink it here.

    Rogue Cardinal, Member of the God-Awful Atheist Syndicate


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    Re: Spiritual Lack

    I maintain that Spirituality is an emotion derived from a feeling of being a finite being which is part of a larger and potentially infinite system. You are small within the greater scope but feel a greatness as part of the vast whole of the system.

    For a Christian you are a mere mortal soul before the infinite of God, yet you are part of Gods great plan and the wonder of creation.

    For an Atheist you are mere moral intelligence self aware of your scope within a universe so large that you can sparsely comprehend a small portion of it in your brief lifetime. Yet every atom of your being is immutable and your actions interconnect with every other piece of it shaping the overall destiny of infinity in ways you may not understand but can intuitively feel.

    Love and spirituality are closely linked. Love is a more personal sense of connection to other individuals or a social group. Spirituality is the ultimate extension of that where you in some sense love everything and make it part of your identity.

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    Re: Spiritual Lack

    I'm actually pretty sceptical of the existence of spirituality itself. Much like the existence of a god, I have not found any substantial evidence that would support the existence a spiritual realm, let alone any sort of supernatural phenomena.

    Spirituality is based purely on emotion as far as I can tell. I've taken a decent amount of psychedelic drugs in the past that have blown my mind. But I have no real reason to believe that these experiences are based in reality, and not mere chemical storms in my brain induced by the drug.
    "What's so wrong about mentioning how attractive she is? That said, i don't think "Begin East Euro Fap" is an appropriate way to say shes attractive."

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    Re: Spiritual Lack

    But why does this occur, if there is nothing other than the material realm? And why is it that religion seems to cure it? Many people are driven into deep depression due to this spiritual void; but once they embrace whatever religious tradition they adhere to, they suddenly feel that live is worth living again. Is this depression some kind of mental disease? Could drugs cure it, and eliminate the need for religion? Is religions some kind of "emotional comfort food"?

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    Re: Spiritual Lack

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    But why does this occur, if there is nothing other than the material realm? And why is it that religion seems to cure it? Many people are driven into deep depression due to this spiritual void; but once they embrace whatever religious tradition they adhere to, they suddenly feel that live is worth living again.
    That may be the case. But this 'spiritual void' can easily be just an early stage of depression, where there is a lack of purpose in that person's life.

    They can go to a councillor regularly and try to face this demon head on, or they can get converted and live their rest of their lives blissfully confident.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    Is this depression some kind of mental disease? Could drugs cure it, and eliminate the need for religion? Is religions some kind of "emotional comfort food"?
    Yes, yes, and yes.

    Religion itself is a kind of mental drug anyway in my opinion. It fills gaps, eliminates uncertainty, and gives direction.

    But it's a double-edged sword, like many drugs taken too much. Your grasp of reality may be severely distorted depending on the belief system you are converted to.
    "What's so wrong about mentioning how attractive she is? That said, i don't think "Begin East Euro Fap" is an appropriate way to say shes attractive."

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    Re: Spiritual Lack

    Quote Originally Posted by pikatore View Post
    Spirituality is based purely on emotion as far as I can tell. I've taken a decent amount of psychedelic drugs in the past that have blown my mind. But I have no real reason to believe that these experiences are based in reality, and not mere chemical storms in my brain induced by the drug.
    The thing is, that chemical storm is real. The feeling you get from believing in the supernatural is a real feeling and its in my experience a very distinct feeling. Awe, grandeur, amazement, wonder. They are part of it but not quite the whole thing. It also comes with humility and smallness. Its both ego inflation and ego deflation at the same time.

    I define spirituality as that sensation and experience rather that whatever it is that triggers it for you which is why people of any religion or not of any religion can have that sensation and feeling. It gives us some common ground as people. Are you saying you have never felt that sense of the finite and infinite paired. You in relation to the entirety of the universe?

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    Re: Spiritual Lack

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I define spirituality as that sensation and experience rather that whatever it is that triggers it for you which is why people of any religion or not of any religion can have that sensation and feeling. It gives us some common ground as people. Are you saying you have never felt that sense of the finite and infinite paired. You in relation to the entirety of the universe?
    Yeah I took one of those flights that goes extra high into the atmosphere last year. The view was incredible, and I got quite emotional. The idea that we're all on the same planet etc. I'm not usually broken easily either.

    But otherwise, when I used to be a religious type, yeah, I got that feeling pretty often.

    And I've toyed with my fair share of drugs, the one which helps resemble that feeling the most has been mescaline (not including the actual trip itself).
    "What's so wrong about mentioning how attractive she is? That said, i don't think "Begin East Euro Fap" is an appropriate way to say shes attractive."

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    Re: Spiritual Lack

    I'll make a brief return from my hiatus to answer this, because I feel it's an important question.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    Atheists,

    A lot of people take up (or switch) religion to fill a spiritual void in their lives. How do atheists such as yourselves explain this act, and avoid experiencing a similar lack yourselves?
    1. I couldn't possibly presume to know why people convert to different religions. In fact, I find it rather presumptuous on your part to assume that it is, in fact, to fill up a spiritual void. People convert to other religions for a plethora of reasons; sometimes they convert to fit into the culture that they're living in (Famous logician Alfred Tarski converted from cultural Judaism to Roman Catholicism during the 30's), sometimes they do it because they find one religion to be more aesthetically (Many Americans convert to modified versions of Buddhism), ethically (Many Jews convert to Reform Judaism to leave behind the biases against homosexuality and sexual laws), or rationally pleasing than another (Benjamin Franklin converted to deism because he found the rationale to be better). Or perhaps the message of the religion just speaks to them --I couldn't say. There's not one reason or explanation. There are many, and it varies from person to person.


    2. Again, I find this rather presumptuous. A lot of times I find that, as an atheist, I forget what affect old religious traditions and rituals have on people. I lose part of my recollection of what those things "mean" to a person as I drift farther away from that culture. I think that there's a similar, but opposite, effect on the religious; except that, rather than forgetting what it's like to be irreligious, they simply don't know what it "means" to be irreligious.

    I will make a few suppositions about what you're denoting when you say "spiritual." I assume that you mean that the state of one having a sense of awe, a feeling of wonder, and a sublime oneness with the world around you. This feeling, I think, manifests itself in different ways; when Einstein wrote about the triumphs of his science, he related in spiritual terms; when a Christian comes to a sudden epiphany and understanding about an abstract Christian doctrine, they'll relate it to spirituality; when a Hindu finally grasps the meaning of a mantra or masters a meditation, they'll relate it to spirituality. When an atheist finally experiences a moment of clarity, they'll probably not use spiritual terms --but just because one doesn't relate an intensely personal moment to a deity or metaphysics doesn't mean that the moment isn't special.

    When you and I gaze into the night sky, we see the stars and see the same gorgeous infinity. When you and I sit down and reflect on our lives with all seriousness, we share the same introspection. When you and I lose a loved one, we will both feel the same sublime depths of loss, and we will both learn to accept the truth for it is. When you and I learn to find inner peace and gain a sense of accomplishment about what we have done with our lives, we will share the same experience.


    Spirituality is, in this sense, something which just happens to anyone who's alive. An atheist doesn't run from this; they simply carve out the unnecessary metaphysical baggage.

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    Re: Spiritual Lack

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    Atheists,

    A lot of people take up (or switch) religion to fill a spiritual void in their lives. How do atheists such as yourselves explain this act, and avoid experiencing a similar lack yourselves?
    I think it stems from the ego-centric nature of human beings. As the most intelligent animal species on earth, we generally appear to have a much more sophisticated sense of self than non-human animals, as well as a much more eloquent emotional and social structure. I think that these things cause us to insert "meaning" where there is none, save for what we imagine for ourselves.

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    Re: Spiritual Lack

    I get most of my spirituality from Buddhist philosophy and interacting with nature. Also, Science is beautiful and can be very spiritual. Despite the fact that Christians want to paint Scientists as being anti-God and lacking morals, I think observing the world with an objective outlook can be truly awesome and spiritually overwhelming as a human being, more so than reading The Bible or other religious text.

 

 

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