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The spiritual joys of atheism

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posted on Feb, 11 2010 @ 10:31 PM
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In case embedding doesn't work:
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I wanted to share this beautiful YouTube answer to the age old accusation, atheists have no spirituality /awe in the face of the universe. They are humo-centric, miss out on the true beauty of life, etc. In fact, it's actually the opposite as this video so succinctly illustrates. One does not have to humanize the natural word and force it to become a reflection of our own narcissistic selves and governed by mystical beings w/ deeply human emotions like jealousy and wrath. One can be profoundly moved and deeply connected with this amazing, fantastically huge and stunningly wonderful world around us, just becuase it is what it is. I might even argue the drive to anthropomorphize nature in our own image diminishes it's true beauty, separating us even more from the reality that "we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically, and to the rest of the universe, atomically" - Neil deGrasse Tyson.

A quote from the video:
" being humble is simply the feeling of recognizing the reality of one's small significance to a universe so massive. And being grateful to be alive doesn't require a person to be grateful toward. ...I am one with the universe. Not metaphysically, but physically. I am as much the universe as a supernova. made of the same particles, governed by the same forces. I am Genes that mutated randomly, then were selected naturally based on their success at survival..... I collapse in awe at the magnificence of this place. I crave romance. and I breath appreciation... I have to, with all my essence. with all my spirit. because imagine, in all the universe, we may be the only things that can, and that's beautiful."

I hope you enjoy this and that if you are of a religious bent, you can begin to understand that atheists have just as much awe and reverence for this universe and all her myriad splendours as you do.

Peace and beauty to you all....




posted on Feb, 11 2010 @ 10:40 PM
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If you don't personify your god like most major religions do, ll of these experiences can be accomplished. I agree with you on all points except that I go one step further and call the universe "god", and don't ascribe human aspects to it.



posted on Feb, 11 2010 @ 10:55 PM
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I use to be an atheist, but as i realized that the physical is impossible, i realized something.



posted on Feb, 11 2010 @ 11:49 PM
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Labels, labels, labels. We're stuck with them. I didn't know I was a skeptic until I joined ATS, didn't know I was atheist until my teens. I thought a religious bigot was an ###hole, apparently they are called 'fundies.' I thought an intolerant atheist was an ###hole too, apparently it's just Dawkins


Magical, awe and wonder are terms we can use to avoid annoying some of the cantankerous atheists with 'spiritual.' People of all creeds and beliefs regularly (some more than others) feel a deep sense of wonder for the world we live in. It's only human...possibly primate?

How can an astronomer feel less than awe when looking deep into space? Marine biologists studying the teeming and bizarre life of coral reefs? Apollo astronauts (all Doctors) looking at Earth from the Moon's orbit?

Looking at the Carina Nebula provokes awe, wonder and 'spiritual joy' whether you choose to see God's hand at work....or not


:



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 12:03 AM
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Used to be an atheist myself...and to tell you the truth, I still had awe and respect for the universe in all its complexity.

I didn't say "God" made it but I sure in hell recognized its unbelievable majesty as absolute.

But then I smartened up and am no longer an atheist.

Eh, I know how you atheists mostly are, you will probably call me dumb for rationalizing faith...but for me, I find it even more "insane" to look back and see myself without faith.

I was a stupid kid, with big fists and a pissed off outlook.

Now...I'm just as stupid but at peace.

God or not...it makes no difference what anyone thinks outside of your own skull.

I just wish that so many faith-havers and atheists didn't think they had to attack each other over the issue.

I mean hell...When I was an atheist I didn't make it my job to kick the faith out of everyone in my way...I just secretly found them dumb and prided myself on being "smarter then them".

Now that I am a man of "faith", I have no desire to attack the godless, nor do I find them stupid for taking their time to find faith (or even for refusing it altogether in the end).

Never understood why you would want to remove someone's faith in God, or try to destroy the poor bastards without one.

Hey! Whatever the case, I hope you end up where I am.

Peace.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 12:05 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Well said sir.

Star.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 05:16 AM
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Agnostic here. I am unsure where you are going with this.

It is uncontroversial that plenty of human spirituality is unmediated by gods (to name a few: core Buddhism, core shamanism and ancestor veneration). There are also other religious approaches to spirituality where gods play a different role than in the desert monotheisms.

So, yes, the belief that there is no god is uninformative about a person's other opinions. We could no more decide whether "the typical atheist" is spritual than we could decide whether "the typical atheist" is a social democrat, or a basketball fan.

But the OP video, in my opinion, establishes mostly that its maker thinks highly of himself because he can entertain warm and fuzzy feelings about apple-buttered biscuits and appreciates quality time with his girlfriend.

Um, yeah, well... good for him.

But it also establishes that he thinks that that is what other people's sprituality is like. His theory needs work.

I think it was Timothy Leary, of all people, who observed that it is difficult to explain sex to a virgin.

"Is sex like chocolate ice cream?" the virgin asks.

Well, yes, it is, in a way.

"Good. Then I know what sex is like," says the virgin.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 05:58 AM
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Originally posted by Mr Mask

But then I smartened up and am no longer an atheist.



How/why did that happen? From the gist of your post it seems like you adopted faith as a means of overcoming some undesirable behaviors (?).



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 06:04 AM
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reply to post by DeathTribble
 


OK, so where did this fantastic planet come from?

Someone invented it, surely?

How can you be an atheist and still worship the Creator? (which you do, by loving this planet).

I mean, how could anything begin, without a beginner? Not possible.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 06:12 AM
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Originally posted by kawacat
reply to post by DeathTribble
 


OK, so where did this fantastic planet come from?

Someone invented it, surely?

How can you be an atheist and still worship the Creator? (which you do, by loving this planet).

I mean, how could anything begin, without a beginner? Not possible.


come on mate, if we're to work on that logic who created the creator



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 06:19 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


The Creator was there - so, my Aussie mate, I can't argue with this fact.

But I would like to know your theory on where the universe and all the people, animals and plants came from.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 06:31 AM
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thats the point, it's a mystery, i'm not prepared to fill in my knowledge gaps by assuming there is a creator. I'm happy wondering in the amazement and mystery of it all.

By the way I'm not an Aussie we Brits "mate" too.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 06:35 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


Oh, sorry, wood,

That mate thing is a huge Oz thing - oh yeah, they got it from the Brits - I just usually have smart Ozzies putting me down.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 07:46 AM
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But I AM one with the universe. Not metaphysically, but physically. I AM as much the universe as a supernova. made of the same particles, governed by the same forces. I AM Genes that mutated randomly, then were selected naturally based on their success at survival.


With that statement there, he just aligned himself more as pagan christian rather than an atheist. I don't think the person who made the video doesn't understand that being an "atheist" mean "not theism" and that includes "not theory" either.

"I AM" is the translated name of "jesus" when it is spelled correctly as "je suis," which means "I AM" in french, which old-french (not newer french since the revolution) is based upon the phoenicians and old-latin, which predates hebrew when split off from the phoenicians.

I AM CRYSTAL. How is that not different from I AM ONE WITH THE UNIVERSE. This is pagan christianity, where christos is a greek word, which means "annoited," so he has been annointed with the universe.

Are we sure a true atheist made this video?

EDIT: note that pagan christianity is not like judeo-christinaity

[edit on 12-2-2010 by dzonatas]



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 11:25 AM
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Where was I going with the post? Nothing more than to share a life affirming video I found in the context of arguing that contrary to some opinions, atheists aren't missing out on the appreciation of the innate grandeur of the universe (which is a common accusation along w/ amorality that is thrown at us). I also fail to see how my post does anything to try and take religion away from someone. Had I wished to do that, believe me I have a LOT of ammunition on just about all of them!

I have that because I have been a seeker and thinker all my life, and have searched high and low through history, in supernovas and DNA for even an inkling of "Jehovah was here" or anybody else. Oddly enough, the only thing I have found of a process even hinting of a designed plan (and by extension, a planner) is evolution itself. The difference between life/non-life and the amazing interconnectedness of all of us through our biochemical makeup and skeletal structures. It's truely mind boggling to know that we all (humans, whales, birds, etc) have the same basic bone structure, and the apparently innate ability to differentiate from a basic blueprint (for lack of a better word) as environmental pressures change. Evolution being of course roundly dismissed by many religious folk. But nowhere do I see ANY evidence of a personified god who just happens to share the same cultural morays of the people who first described him/she/they, and just so happens to consider these same people the "chosen". Ah hem. And I stand by my initial comment that by insisting on putting a human face w/ human desires and needs on the grandeur of the universe, we are in danger of artificially separating ourselves from it and missing the "true" interconnectedness that exists. Yes, this is a critque on religion, but certainly not an "attack" on your's. I hope you can see the difference?

Back to the point, as I was searching to make sure this vid. had not yet been posted I saw thread after thread accusing atheists of "missing out" (and much worse). And I think it's odd that a post about my philosophy and an attempt to reveal the beauty that we see just as clearly as you do, is interpreted as an attack on yours. This is only my view, and I would hope your faith is strong enough to withstand a simple difference of opinion expressed!

As for the pagan/christian comment, he is speaking of the scientific fact that the atoms that make up our bodies (and all matter) were literally first created inside supernovas millions of years ago (the beginning of the "we are connected"quote by Neil in the OP explains this concept extraordinarily well, FYI). And for being Christian, isn't it one of the most basic tenets of faith that you believe that Jesus existed and died for our sins? How can an atheist that believes Jesus to be in the same class of mythical creatures as Zeus qualify? That's the point. You don't need religion to be moved to grateful tears by the universe's majesty, nor do you need to automatically define a person as religious just becuase they are deeply connected to the world they live in. Revere and respect the earth for exactly what it is? Check. It could loosly be called a creator b/c without it there would be no life at all. But religion goes much further than that, does it not, by stating that life is a deliberate act from a designer entity? As I said, evolution may hint at that, but it's not actually necessary to come to the world as we see it today.

But thank you all for replying, they were a very interesting read. My dastardly plan of opening up a dialogue on a topic near and dear to my heart worked!
Bawahaha!



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 11:38 AM
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Athiest....? i'm ashamed of you!...you can do better than that.!
make your mum proud.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 11:59 AM
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I think many atheists use that as a religion as much as religious people do. Many of them only believe in what we have found through science so far, and refuse to believe there is anything more, which is silly as we have learned a fraction of a fraction of all there is to know. They think of our world as materiel, with no non materiel component, and write off anything outside of their experience.

As another pointed out, many spiritual traditions have no need to anthropomorphize their spirituality. I follow mostly buddhist and shamanistic tradition, but can be considered an a-theist myself, as i dont ascribe to any "theism", i have no need to believe in any god, or intellectual guidance in the traditional form. However, i do believe in metaphysical connectivity in a way that most atheists write off. I would imagine that similarly, 100 years ago, atheists would have labeled radio waves and xrays as mystical magical nonsense as well. I do believe in tao, and chi, as i have personally experienced them. Sadly, in the US there is very little exposure to such things, so most people write them off as nonsensical fairy tales, as western thinkers, they judge ALL things in the universe by their limited experience and exposure. I think agnostics more realistic in that they embrace the experience of ignorance, the fact that they dont know....which all of us should do to some degree.

I also practice natural health, which according to most western thought is also voodoo and placebo effect, even though it has been proven effective time and again, often much more so than western medicine. Many of these ideologies are not reached by rational scientific thought, as our society would have us believe, but rather by marketing and political pressures.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 12:08 PM
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Originally posted by DeathTribble
As for the pagan/christian comment, he is speaking of the scientific fact that the atoms that make up our bodies (and all matter) were literally first created inside supernovas millions of years ago (the beginning of the "we are connected"quote by Neil in the OP explains this concept extraordinarily well, FYI). And for being Christian, isn't it one of the most basic tenets of faith that you believe that Jesus existed and died for our sins? How can an atheist that believes Jesus to be in the same class of mythical creatures as Zeus qualify? That's the point.


Please reconsider what I wrote, if your comment above is directed at what I said.

A pagan christian doesn't believe in "Jesus Christ," except for the possibility that someone happened to name their child after that. Pagan christianity started before 0 BC. What you wrote about above is Judeo-Christianity. Judeo-Christinanity is complete against pagan christianity. Neo-pagans, like wiccans and judeo-christianity, either don't follow or totally misunderstand pagans. Neo-pagans turned the words "I AM" from "je suis" to "jesus."

So, to the viewpoint of a pagan christian, when you say you don't believe in "jesus" then it literally mean you don't believe in yourself.

Why would you not want to believe in yourself?

Don't atheists believe in themselves?

The bible is made up of atoms, just like you stated in your body, so why wouldn't an atheist want to believe the bible is made up of the same atoms that are in their body? Isn't that beautiful?

[edit on 12-2-2010 by dzonatas]



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 12:18 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
How/why did that happen? From the gist of your post it seems like you adopted faith as a means of overcoming some undesirable behaviors (?).


Long story and a miracle.

It wasn't by choice or necessity.

I was a super hardcore atheist...very weird to have found faith seeing where I came from and how I was.

But here I am on the other side of the debate now and when I talk to an atheist , no matter how confident or disapproving, I know where he/she is coming from.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 01:36 PM
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Originally posted by Mr Mask

Long story and a miracle.



Thank you for your response, sir. If I may be so bold, may I ask if you follow a particular religion or denomination or would you consider yourself simply a theist in general?



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