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The Belief in Things not Proven

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posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 11:28 AM
I have, in recent years, described myself as a "spiritual atheist". I don't believe in God, but I do believe in a spiritual realm. I believe that we all have souls that are non-physical and that continue to exist after the physical body dies... At least I thought that's what I believed.

During an interesting discussion with my husband, I realized that I can either believe what is proven or expand that belief to "things not proven". It doesn't really matter what those "things not proven" are. It coud be life after death, the existence of a "soul", God, or the Spaghetti Monster. If we believe in "things not proven", what those things are doesn't really matter and can't be used to differentiate people as "believers" and "non-believers". Because a belief in "things not proven" makes one a "believer".

I think there is such a thing as a "spiritual atheist", I just don't think they can be put into a different category than a religious person who believes in God, because BOTH believe in something not proven. Both have their reasons and their "evidence" for believing in this idea that they cannot prove.

Having come to this conclusion, I am considering dropping the "spiritual" from my own personal designation. I have indications that there's life after death, but it could just be in my mind, as I've thought people's evidence of God is in their minds. I THINK I've been contacted by loved ones, who have passed away. I THINK we are all connected somehow... But I don't know if I BELIEVE that anymore. It could very well all be in my head. The mind is a powerful tool and can convince us of things that aren't true.

Is belief in these things not proven just a way to explain away situations and instances that haven't yet been scientifically proven?

I'm especially interested in hearing what people who consider themselves "spiritual atheists" have to say about all this. If you're an atheist, but have beliefs in things not proven, do you consider yourself on par with people who believe in God? Do you know that believing in spirit is the same thing as believing in God? Because neither can be proven...

[edit on 31-12-2009 by Benevolent Heretic]

posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 12:08 PM
As far as I can remember, I've always been a spiritual theist.
Since science has always been my favorite interest, there was once a time when I thought.. what if all of this is only my wishful thinking and not real.

That moment in my life has passed. Because I have realized something, that "science" and "logic" is wrong. It really is a strange realization, at first you figure there has to be some sort of reality that you could cling to, but it turns out there's none, since reality keeps changing its form. You realized that you have a microcosm of your own, now that you've been set free from your yoke, you're free to explore the reality of your choosing within the confine of your own rule (personality). Hence... don't try to limit yourself too much.

It's a weird feeling. But the next question is.. what does our 'soul' really want? I'm not so sure. I guess that what's 'growing up' feels like.

posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 12:13 PM
I know quite a few atheists that actually believe in an afterlife or hope there is i know atheism doesn't say anything about an afterlife but i found it quite strange. It seems it spawns from a fear of death as does religion in a sense. Personally as an atheist i do not believe in an afterlife, but on top of that the thought of one disgusts me beyond belief.
As for believing in something that has no evidence, you would have to be more specific. For example there is absolutely no evidence for God/God's hence i don't believe they exist. There is absolutely no evidence of alien life but i do believe aliens exist, you could say a belief in God and Aliens are the same...but the sheer size of the universe and the fact humans and all other animals evolved on earth means the probability is staggeringly high, so i don't think you can compare the two. Hope im making sense.

[edit on 31-12-2009 by Solomons]

posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 12:27 PM
Tthose who refer to themselves as "spiritual atheists" most likely aren't truly either of those things. Rather, they're often people who've rejected religion yet have not completely shed their superstitions.

posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 12:35 PM
I don't know, I at times believe in the possibility,

I have come to the conclusion, all life is sacred, and life itself is a spiritual journey, I hate to think we live and die, love and hate, and exist only for this time and space,

I am hoping there is a purpose,

Otherwise the experience is pointless.

posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 12:39 PM
reply to post by Stormdancer777

Isn't the fact you atleast get to experience life worthwhile without adding superstition to the mix? ...very depressing that you feel life is pointless if you don't whizz of to some place after you die.

posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 01:07 PM

Originally posted by Solomons
reply to post by Stormdancer777

Isn't the fact you atleast get to experience life worthwhile without adding superstition to the mix? ...very depressing that you feel life is pointless if you don't whizz of to some place after you die.

Yes life is depressing, I often think of a starving child from Africa that knows nothing but hunger from birth to a death,

what was the point?

Was the child born into suffering and starvation to teach us compassion?

I don't know if you could convince the child they had a wonder experience.

posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 01:13 PM
reply to post by Stormdancer777

Children starving is a result of greed by rich countries and their citizens for allowing it to happen, that's the point...not some grandiose philosophical point.

posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 01:15 PM

Originally posted by Solomons
reply to post by Stormdancer777

Children starving is a result of greed by rich countries and their citizens for allowing it to happen, that's the point...not some grandiose philosophical point.

Well, that point you made didn't change a thing, they are still starving,


posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 01:36 PM
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

When I get into these types of discussions I like to focus on the definitions of the key words like proof, belief, physical and spiritual. Belief is only useful for things that have not been proven as fact. It would be incorrect to state that you believe in a fact. True scientific facts cannot be argued as they are indisputable. Beliefs and opinions cannot be argued neither as these are things that are beyond fact or which have yet to be proven, more on this below.

I usually get into trouble when I start doing this as it seems to irritate those around me but I can't help it, it is what it is. The attempt at arbitrarily defining words ambiguously is a poor debate tactic and almost always leads to no resolve.
For example what is a "Theist"?
A person who "believes" in a theory of God and an "atheist" would be a person who does not believe in any theory of God...does that sound correct? If this is correct then not believing in any theory of God or for God would be a theory therefore Atheism is impossible.

How about "Gnostic"?
Gnostic is a Greek word (Gnosis) which means, "To know", like in the words "Diagnostic" or "Prognosis". So Gnostic means "to know", "have knowledge" or "Understanding" (I think you fit in better as a Gnostic rather than an atheist). Agnostic would therefore mean those who do not believe in knowledge nor Understanding and this is quite confusing. How could one "know" enough to "believe" that there is no knowledge? Of coarse these are not the classical definitions for these words and that is the confusing part. How did these words digress into such a mess? Could this be on purpose to obfuscate any possibility of Understanding our own spiritual potential?

Scientific fact cannot be argued for it has been proven as fact.
Religion, Spirituality, Opinion and possibly even some theories cannot be argued neither for they are One's own thoughts and beliefs which have not been proven as fact. You will destroy a theory by proving it to be a fact.
As for your belief in spirituality, "You are never wrong unless you 'Believe' you're wrong in which case your right."

ADD: Stormdancer777, I would like to ask you if there is any spiritual, mythological and/or astrological meaning in your avatar.

[edit on 12/31/2009 by Devino]

posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 02:14 PM
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

I add these comments because I am an "atheist" from the point of view I do not believe there is a "God" as depicted in our current main-stream bible (i.e., the bible-thumping, bearded old man from above who sends people to everlasting hell--or eternal heaven--based on definitions of Good or Bad that may or may not be true.)

I think you need to ascertain your own definition of "God". This may be limiting your beliefs because of the propaganda put forward since the "he who rules, writes history" manipulation of the Bible's content (and lack thereof) and the subsequent ideology of Corporate Religion.

I.e., do you believe that "God" is a humanoid 'either Heaven or Hell' superhuman or do you believe that "God" is the original creator of every thing; that this Prime Creator has no agenda except to allow all that has been created to experience itself and ultimately return to its source?

Essentially, whether you believe in it or not, does not make it less real or non-existent. What it does mean, is that through the Law of Attraction, your non-belief keeps things from not happening.

posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 02:27 PM
One, we believe there is a god,
two, some believe there isn't,

quite simply both "believe" neither have proof one way or another,

posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 02:35 PM
I'm agnostic, but spiritual. It sounds like you're not an atheist to me, as you do have beliefs in the supernatural. I'm more atheist than you! I don't believe anything happens after death besides our body becoming one with the earth again, and our energy expanding out. No afterlife beliefs necessary for me. I don't discount the possibility of a God, but don't find a creator necessary, either.

Truth is, nobody knows for sure. Those who claim to know are mixing beliefs and personal experiences with knowledge. That's foolish and dangerous. A belief is something that you have faith in. It's usually based on subjective experiences, and has not yet been empirically proven.

As an atheist, one doesn't believe in anything pertaining to a god or the supernatural. This would mean you're not a true atheist.

Oh, I agree that both atheists and theists are holding onto a belief, because neither can (or has yet to) be proven. That's why I'm agnostic
It's the most logical stance. Even some of the greatest minds, once thought to be deeply religious, confessed later in life that they truly know not if there is a God.

Last thing: There's no reason to drop the spiritual aspect, just because you aren't sure of an afterlife. Being spiritual is personal. It means (IMHO) you have an understanding that we all root from the same source. We all experience (save the brain damaged) the same emotions. The only belief necessary here, is that the big bang theory is correct. If so, we all root from a singularity, which roots from nothing! Pretty miraculous if you ask me, but not beyond the realm of probability and possibility scientifically. It's just seems to be a miracle because we don't yet understand how the cosmos truly works.

[edit on 31-12-2009 by unityemissions]

posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 03:26 PM
Belief and disbelief are two sides of the same coin; a focus of energy (perspective/awareness/understanding), nothing less, nothing more, it is what it is.

If one believes in (something/nothing), one limits (focuses) awareness (consciousness).

Religion and spirituality are two sides of the same coin.

Which 'choice' is better than the other?

Which 'choice' is correct?

"Same Direction"

Whenever i step outside, somebody claims to see the light
It seems to me that all of us have lost our patience.
'cause everyone thinks they're right,
And nobody thinks that there just might
Be more than one road to our final destination

But i'm not ever going to know if i'm right or wrong
'cause we're all going in the same direction
And i'm not sure which way to go because all along
We've been going in the same direction

I'm tired of playing games, of looking for someone else to blame
For all the holes in answers that are clearly showing
For something to fill the space, was all of the time i spent a waste
'cause so many choices point the same way i was going.....

So why does there only have to be one correct philosophy?
I don't want to go and follow you just to end up like one of them
And why are you always telling me what you want me to believe?
I'd like to think that i can go my own way and meet you in the end.

But i'm not ever going to know..........

-Hoobastank: "The Reason" (2003)

I have another 'choice.'

I AM receptive.

I do not believe or disbelieve.

posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 03:35 PM
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

I'm not sure it's a matter of belief or disbelief.
Are we even aware enough to see the proof; because we are so primitive cognitively that we couldn't see the proof if it bit us in the butt.

In some "metaphysically" induced states I witnessed "something" but I discounted it as a result of my altered state of conscienceness, because of the complete high strangeness. Still there is a nagging suspicion that I caught a glimpse of "things not Proven"

[edit on 31-12-2009 by whaaa]

posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 08:31 PM
That is my attitude too OP, I do not believe in anything that I cannot prove. However, the difference is I am a spiritual theist. This indicates that I do have sufficient proof.

I find your comment that your indications of god, soul etc could be in your mind and not proven. Honey, the whole world is in your mind and therefore not proven. This could easily just be a vey vivid dream you are having.

Take your "indications" just as seriously as you take the chair you are sitting on.

[edit on 31-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]

posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 09:04 PM
reply to post by Solomons

Do you send money to organizations that help feed and clothe starving children?

posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 10:38 PM
There is such a thing as scientific fact, it has a realm all its own.
There is such a thing as spiritual belief, It has a realm all its own.
Never the two shall meet because there are separate and therefore not the same.
Never the two shall meet so we may Understand them as they are.

The first step is to acknowledge science as fact.
The second is to Understand spirituality as belief.
The third step, Thrice Great, is the ability to "Be" the difference between the two in a state of awareness of the three.

Your thread has inspired these thoughts in me.

posted on Jan, 1 2010 @ 08:18 AM
There are SO many interesting thoughts here! THANK YOU!

I don't have the time to answer each one just now, but I will answer more fully when I do have the time. I have been thinking about this so much, trying to sort out what my beliefs are and feel grounded and comfortable with them...

I used to call myself agnostic, because we can't know what happens after death or what exists (or doesn't exist) in a spiritual realm until we go there. And I'm comfortable with not knowing. I'm comfortable with that assignment. But there's that niggling thought that an agnostic doesn't know whether there's a God or not and I feel like I DO know. I may be unsure about our "future" and spirituality, but I'm pretty damn sure that there's not a ghostly sort of man who created everything and who's sitting "up there" watching everything we do and keeping score so he can grant us entry into "heaven" or banish us to "hell" when it's all over. I can't accept that a being is credited for everything good that happens in life, but when something bad happens, he is not to be blamed, because it's "God's will" or he's just testing us. I just cannot accept that. It's clearly a story people tell themselves to explain why things happen in life the way they do.

And that's my definition of God - it's what I learned as a child and what most people who talk about God mean. So, whatever is "out there" (if there IS something spiritual) I can't call it God, because I wish to communicate clearly my beliefs and people would be confused about my beliefs, because I don't believe in heaven, hell, creation, "God's will", God or any of that.

I LOVE hearing your thoughts. It's really helping me to get clear. Thank you again! Devino your last post was an eye-opener!

posted on Jan, 1 2010 @ 08:40 AM
Reply to post by Devino

Um. Everything can be argued against, sure, you may dismiss those arguments. But, your dismissal doesn't matter and could be argued as shortsightedness. It's ALL belief, even what we call "knowledge" right now. The only distinction is semantic illusion at best.

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