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spirituality

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  • uuchild73034
    Hello All! I have just joined this group and am interested in some feedback here. First, let me tell a little about myself. I am a member of a Unitarian
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 5, 2003
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      Hello All!
      I have just joined this group and am interested in some feedback
      here.
      First, let me tell a little about myself. I am a member of a
      Unitarian Universalist congregation. I was raised in the Lutheran
      tradition, but always found that path to be, more or less, just mere
      mythology. I recently, within the last three years, felt that I
      needed some type of spirituality in my, and my daughter's, life and
      started loking around at churches within my area.
      I discovered the Unitarians.
      I liked what they had to say about "the interdependent web of all
      existence," and "the free and responsible search for truth and
      meaning." I sensed logic in the humanist teachings and, yes, even
      the Christian/Judaic roots that UU's draw from.
      Personally, I consider myself, if one has to have a label, to be
      pagan. Mainly because, if categorizing, I am not a follower of any
      of the Abrahamic religions. Yet, I do feel a sense of divinity.
      Not "God" in the preconceived definition of the word, but "God" in
      the process and connection of Life.
      (The word "God" is very difficult for me to comprehend or convey
      since the word "God" has so many traditional attachments to it.)
      Anyway, to me, Life itself is "God." Life itself is divine.
      I have struggled, and continue to do so, with the notion of "God".
      Part of me "feels the spirit." I feel the spirit when I look at a
      child. I feel the spirit when I see a hawk flying with a snake
      writhing in its' talons. I feel the spirit when I make love. I feel
      the spirit when I am overwhelmed with laughter. I feel the spirit
      when I am among devout Christians, or Judeans, or Muslims, or
      Buddhists, or Taoists, or Wiccans, or Yorubans, or Atheists or any
      other belief system. I feel the spirit in the trees, and rocks, and
      stars, and clouds, and ...
      Okay, enough of this diatribe. My question to you is:
      Does someone who labels themselves as "atheist" have a type of
      spirituality to them? (Bear in mind that I see a distinct difference
      between spirituality and religion.)
      At the church, for lack of a better word, that I attend there are
      quite a few professed atheists. These are some of the most
      spitritual people I know.
      They are loving and connected and happy. They seem to worship beyond
      what any Christian is capable of. And, FYI, they embody the
      principles of Jesus far beyond ANY holy roller, evagelical, bible
      thumping, right-wing, fanatical, warrior for Christ, flag waving,
      anti-abortionist, homo-phobic idiot that I can think of.
      So,...what's the deal?
      What started this train of thought in my head was a conversation I
      had with a fellow worker who says he is "atheist."
      He, who perhaps is on his own journey of discovery, says that as an
      atheist he can not recognize or accept a spirituality. From what I
      can gather with conversation with him, "atheists" have no
      spirituality.
      This, to me, seems pretty bleak.
      Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it's just my Lutheran upbringing that still
      has a hold on me. Maybe Life is just a wondrous, endless chance for
      experience and change. But, isn't there SOMEHING?
      Okay, I'll end now.
      (By the way, I do the children's R.E, religious education, at the
      UU "church." I try to teach through stories. And I believe that ALL
      paths have a lesson to be learned. Atheism is a lesson that I have
      not touched on, yet. But, if it exisits, then it must be relevant
      and necessary.)
      Without thinking of belief, or creed, or faith, or religion...
      What is spirituality to you? Is there spritualtity?
      When you hear the phrase "higher power" what does that mean, if
      anything?
      In a country that, unfortunately, seems to be governed by "God bless
      America," how do you justify and maintain, and explain to the
      ignorant masses, that "God" is an abberation?
      In this same country, that insists on misinterpreting our fore-
      fathers and mothers, how do you manage to impart the goodness
      (spirituality) and connection (spirituality) and love (spirituality)
      that is, in my mind, divinity?
      What is atheism?
      Is it just another label?
      I see Life as "God."
      What can I learn from you and what can I teach the children of the
      new world?
      (As a teaser: To me, the statement "I don't believe in "God" is
      admiting that there is a god to not believe in. Strange...)


      Please don't think that I am trying to convert or preach. I am
      merely curious and hungry for growth and understanding. I write a
      lot of children's stories and am always trying to expand on the
      wealth of life that exisits.

      With or without...Life goes on. And Life ALWAYS goes on. That, to
      me, is "God."

      Sincerely,
      Melody
    • Maurice Temples
      Hello Melody, That was a very nice introductory letter. I hope you get some other responses to it, as each can really only speak for himself. You have some
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 6, 2003
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        Hello Melody,

        That was a very nice introductory letter. I hope
        you get some other responses to it, as each can really
        only speak for himself. You have some exposure to
        atheists in both your church and your work, and I'm
        sure you can see a wide range of attitudes in them.
        Like everyone else, atheists are growing and their
        attitudes will change as they grow. I am fifty-two
        and have been atheist since late adolescence, so my
        views may be different from an atheist in his twenties
        or thirties.

        One thing I have noticed is that, as a general
        rule, athiests tend to behave more morally than
        believers. I don't know if this is what you mean when
        you say the atheists in your church are very
        spiritual. I think atheists behave more morally
        because they know they must take personal
        responsibility for their morality, whereas Christians
        can just go to confession or get baptized.

        You mentioned atheism in the same breath with
        belief systems. I want to point out that atheism is
        not a belief system. Believers like to characterize
        it as such, but that is not the case. There is no
        atheist creed to which atheists must subscribe; no
        dogmas, no rituals, no articles of faith. Atheism is
        the freedom from such things, and freedom from
        supernaturalism and superstition. But individual
        atheists vary widely in what they find intellectually
        acceptable. One on this group finds the idea of moral
        absolutes acceptable, which astonishes me.

        Christians like to think that atheists will
        "repent" on their deathbeds, and they like to recite
        the worn-out platitude that there are no atheists in
        foxholes. They are as wrong about these things as
        they are about their other supernatualisms. I doubt
        that the number of atheists who become deathbed
        believers is any greater than the number of Christians
        who become deathbed atheists. And as for foxholes, a
        fair number of atheists were *created* in foxholes,
        just as some found religion there. I used to know
        some WWII vets before they died who were atheists due
        to their experiences; but they were gentlemen of a
        bygone era and didn't advertise their atheism. My own
        father was one of these. He was also a very spiritual
        man. He read the Bible, the Tao te Ching, and other
        religious texts, and took his family to church. That
        didn't stop him from his private atheism, nor did he
        (as my ultra-religious sister would like to believe)
        repent on his deathbed.

        You certainly didn't write a diatribe. A
        diatribe is an angry rebuttal, and you were neither
        angry or rebutting. Do atheists feel spirituality.
        Some do, perhaps all do. I am moved by beauty, by
        belief in ideals, and by the agonistic struggle. You
        find it difficult to explain what you mean by "God."
        That's not surprising. When you were very young, you
        found it difficult to know what the word "far" meant,
        even though you had a much clearer idea of what "near"
        meant. We gain knowledge (in one way), by the
        juxtaposition of opposing things, with one of those
        poles being relatively clear while the other is
        murkier but in a sense defined by the clearer pole.
        The idea of God is no more than that unmarked pole
        juxtasposed against all that we know of the world.
        It's no wonder we continually try to define him, but
        his definition is always unclear. I suppose some
        atheists might claim to be entirely rational, but I
        doubt it. We are all humans, creatures of emotion as
        well as reason. Who is not moved by fine art, by
        pity, by love?

        Have you read the Tao, or Chuang Tzu, or
        Confucius, or the Dhammapada? I personally don't
        recommend the Buddha: he walked out on his wife and
        family for a selfish pursuit of religion, but you
        might find some meaning in his sayings. Lao Tzu, and
        his student Chuang Tzu, were nothing more than ancient
        Chinese Deists (even though Deism itself was a much
        later European creation). The Tao can be very
        enlightening, and the Old Boy begins with your same
        sentiment of not being clear about God by saying the
        Tao that can be talked about is not the true Tao.
        These are very spiritual writings, but not in the
        western religious sense. They can be considered
        humanistic, and even atheistic, but again not in the
        senses we are used to. Second only to that tale of
        terror that is the Bible, the Tao te Ching is the most
        widely translated book in the world, and it has none
        of the blood, slavery, and guilt of that other book.
        Check 'em out if you haven't already.

        If by spirituality you mean something
        supernatural, then your work friend is right.
        Atheists have no supernaturalism. If you mean,
        however, the sense of wonder we all have, then yes,
        atheists can be as spiritual as anyone. There is no
        "supernatural:" it's a self-defeating concept, which
        is why atheists have no truck with it. However, all
        people share a similar psychology and atheists are as
        capable of the "religious feeling" as anyone -- it's
        just that we recognize it for what it is: psychology.

        The phrase "higher power" means to me belief in
        God and the supernatural. It's no more than mere
        superstition. Either that, or it describes a really
        good stereo system :-).

        > In a country that, unfortunately, seems to be
        > governed by "God bless
        > America," how do you justify and maintain, and
        > explain to the
        > ignorant masses, that "God" is an aberration?

        It's OK in this country -- and even condoned --
        to be prejudiced against atheists and middle-aged
        white men. There are areas of the country where it is
        physically dangerous to speak one's atheism too
        loudly. I live in one such area. Atheists tend not
        preach publicly, but if our numbers were much greater,
        perhaps we would. When the subject comes up in
        conversation, I will talk about it, and the usual
        reaction is like a south sea islander encountering
        snow for the first time -- shock and disbelief. For
        instance, people like to say this country was founded
        on Christian principles and the ten commandments.
        When I point out the real facts to them, that the
        country was founded by Deists who didn't believe in
        the Christian God and many of whom (including Madison,
        the Father of the Constitution) were anti-religious,
        and that the first treaty this country signed
        explicitly stated we were not founded on Christian
        principles, they have a hard time believing it. When
        I point out that E Pluribus Unum was the national
        motto, only usurped by religionists about fifty years
        ago, and that since then all the social ills they like
        to complain about have arisen, they don't know what to
        say. When I say that not just the phrase "under God,"
        but the entire Pledge should be scrapped because it
        was written by a socialist for socialist purposes, I
        can see the smoke coming out of their ears. I will
        occasionally reply to religionist letters to the
        editor in the local paper, and once in a while one
        gets published. But I can't be too blatantly
        atheistic in these, as there are rednecks here who get
        drunk and stupid. And, on occasion, a believer will
        engage me in the existence argument, but they're never
        very sophisticated in theology and so it's too easy to
        wrap them up -- I have to be careful not to cause them
        too much affront.

        > What is atheism?
        > Is it just another label?
        > I see Life as "God."
        > What can I learn from you and what can I teach the
        > children of the
        > new world?
        > (As a teaser: To me, the statement "I don't believe
        > in "God" is
        > admiting that there is a god to not believe in.
        > Strange...)

        Your "teaser" is one of the oft-repeated things
        believers like to say. It is an extremely weak
        argument. Saying "I don't believe the sun rises in
        the west" is admitting that there is a western sunrise
        to believe in. See what I mean?

        What is Atheism? It is simply a state of
        non-belief in a God or gods. It is freedom from
        supernaturalism and superstition. When I do enage
        Christians in debate, I like to call them atheists.
        Of course they protest. But then I ask them if they
        believe in Zeus. They say no, and I call them an
        atheist again. Then I point out what "atheist" means,
        and tell them I just believe in one less god than they
        do. It is practically impossible to get a believer to
        undestand that atheism is *not* a belief system. They
        continually ask, "Well, if you don't believe in God,
        what *do* you believe in?" But atheism has no creeds,
        no articles of faith, no system of bondage -- after
        all, the very word "religion" means to bind and bind
        again. But atheism doesn't mean we're bound to some
        other credo; it simply means we have rejected god
        beliefs. We encounter the world just like everyone
        else, and just like everyone else we muddle our way
        through it. We just don't suppose we have answers
        where we don't, so there's no way we can bind
        ourselves to answers we don't even have. Beyond that,
        those who do pretend to have those supernatural
        answers are wrong.

        Teach the children as many facts as possible.
        Don't inoctrinate them with opinion masquerading as
        fact. Teach them not to accept answers purely on
        authoritarian grounds. And teach them the art and
        science of critical thinking. These things are the
        base from which they can build a fulfilling life.
        Within these things, teach morality. Not that
        morality is handed down from some super-being, but how
        it arises from social interaction and how it should be
        applied by them in their own lives. Don't teach them
        guilt for the bad, but desire for the good. That
        desire will teach them all the guilt they will ever
        need; don't add to it. Teach them to fly, not just to
        walk. Never put them down for being childish or
        child-like, but build them up for being exactly that,
        with the firm belief that they will grow better and
        better at whatever they are doing. And teach them
        about art; that art is the uplifting of the beautiful
        so that all may see, not the vulgar expressions we see
        in the public media today. If you can do all these
        things, they will grow up as best they can to be
        happy, fulfilled adults who are awake to both sides of
        life: the rational *and* the spiritual.


        mctempedocles



        --- uuchild73034 <uuchild73034@...> wrote:
        > Hello All!
        > I have just joined this group and am interested in
        > some feedback
        > here.
        > First, let me tell a little about myself. I am a
        > member of a
        > Unitarian Universalist congregation. I was raised in
        > the Lutheran
        > tradition, but always found that path to be, more or
        > less, just mere
        > mythology. I recently, within the last three years,
        > felt that I
        > needed some type of spirituality in my, and my
        > daughter's, life and
        > started loking around at churches within my area.
        > I discovered the Unitarians.
        > I liked what they had to say about "the
        > interdependent web of all
        > existence," and "the free and responsible search for
        > truth and
        > meaning." I sensed logic in the humanist teachings
        > and, yes, even
        > the Christian/Judaic roots that UU's draw from.
        > Personally, I consider myself, if one has to have a
        > label, to be
        > pagan. Mainly because, if categorizing, I am not a
        > follower of any
        > of the Abrahamic religions. Yet, I do feel a sense
        > of divinity.
        > Not "God" in the preconceived definition of the
        > word, but "God" in
        > the process and connection of Life.
        > (The word "God" is very difficult for me to
        > comprehend or convey
        > since the word "God" has so many traditional
        > attachments to it.)
        > Anyway, to me, Life itself is "God." Life itself is
        > divine.
        > I have struggled, and continue to do so, with the
        > notion of "God".
        > Part of me "feels the spirit." I feel the spirit
        > when I look at a
        > child. I feel the spirit when I see a hawk flying
        > with a snake
        > writhing in its' talons. I feel the spirit when I
        > make love. I feel
        > the spirit when I am overwhelmed with laughter. I
        > feel the spirit
        > when I am among devout Christians, or Judeans, or
        > Muslims, or
        > Buddhists, or Taoists, or Wiccans, or Yorubans, or
        > Atheists or any
        > other belief system. I feel the spirit in the trees,
        > and rocks, and
        > stars, and clouds, and ...
        > Okay, enough of this diatribe. My question to you
        > is:
        > Does someone who labels themselves as "atheist" have
        > a type of
        > spirituality to them? (Bear in mind that I see a
        > distinct difference
        > between spirituality and religion.)
        > At the church, for lack of a better word, that I
        > attend there are
        > quite a few professed atheists. These are some of
        > the most
        > spitritual people I know.
        > They are loving and connected and happy. They seem
        > to worship beyond
        > what any Christian is capable of. And, FYI, they
        > embody the
        > principles of Jesus far beyond ANY holy roller,
        > evagelical, bible
        > thumping, right-wing, fanatical, warrior for Christ,
        > flag waving,
        > anti-abortionist, homo-phobic idiot that I can think
        > of.
        > So,...what's the deal?
        > What started this train of thought in my head was a
        > conversation I
        > had with a fellow worker who says he is "atheist."
        > He, who perhaps is on his own journey of discovery,
        > says that as an
        > atheist he can not recognize or accept a
        > spirituality. From what I
        > can gather with conversation with him, "atheists"
        > have no
        > spirituality.
        > This, to me, seems pretty bleak.
        > Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it's just my Lutheran
        > upbringing that still
        > has a hold on me. Maybe Life is just a wondrous,
        > endless chance for
        > experience and change. But, isn't there SOMEHING?
        > Okay, I'll end now.
        > (By the way, I do the children's R.E, religious
        > education, at the
        > UU "church." I try to teach through stories. And I
        > believe that ALL
        > paths have a lesson to be learned. Atheism is a
        > lesson that I have
        > not touched on, yet. But, if it exisits, then it
        > must be relevant
        > and necessary.)
        > Without thinking of belief, or creed, or faith, or
        > religion...
        > What is spirituality to you? Is there spritualtity?
        > When you hear the phrase "higher power" what does
        > that mean, if
        > anything?
        > In a country that, unfortunately, seems to be
        > governed by "God bless
        > America," how do you justify and maintain, and
        > explain to the
        > ignorant masses, that "God" is an abberation?
        > In this same country, that insists on
        > misinterpreting our fore-
        > fathers and mothers, how do you manage to impart the
        > goodness
        > (spirituality) and connection (spirituality) and
        > love (spirituality)
        > that is, in my mind, divinity?
        > What is atheism?
        > Is it just another label?
        > I see Life as "God."
        > What can I learn from you and what can I teach the
        > children of the
        > new world?
        > (As a teaser: To me, the statement "I don't believe
        > in "God" is
        > admiting that there is a god to not believe in.
        > Strange...)
        >
        >
        > Please don't think that I am trying to convert or
        > preach. I am
        > merely curious and hungry for growth and
        > understanding. I write a
        > lot of children's stories and am always trying to
        > expand on the
        > wealth of life that exisits.
        >
        > With or without...Life goes on. And Life ALWAYS goes
        > on. That, to
        > me, is "God."
        >
        > Sincerely,
        > Melody
        >
        >


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      • twoedgedsword
        Maurice Said: One thing I have noticed is that, as a general rule, athiests tend to behave more morally than believers... I think atheists behave more morally
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 15, 2003
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          Maurice Said:

          "One thing I have noticed is that, as a general rule, athiests tend
          to behave more morally than believers... I think atheists behave more
          morally because they know they must take personal responsibility for
          their morality, whereas Christians can just go to confession or get
          baptized."

          Then he said

          "I want to point out that atheism is not a belief system. Believers
          like to characterize it as such, but that is not the case. There is no
          atheist creed to which atheists must subscribe; no dogmas, no
          rituals, no articles of faith. Atheism is the freedom from such
          things, and freedom from supernaturalism and superstition. But
          individual atheists vary widely in what they find intellectually
          acceptable. One on this group finds the idea of moral absolutes
          acceptable, which astonishes me."

          --
          OK:

          Atheists "behave... morally" even *more* morally than 'believers'.
          Somehow they accomplish this despite a "wide variety" of that which
          is "intellectually acceptable". And at the same time, you're
          astonished over the idea of support for moral absolutes. There's a
          pretty large logical conundrum there. Without a finite "set" of
          morals, how can you measure (as in "more moral") the morality of one
          kind over another?

          You could be a UU - then you can invent whatever definition of
          morality you wish and therefore your statement of you and your kind
          being *more moral* than another kind would be true as can be (for
          what it's worth). Oooops, that won't work either. I forgot about
          dogma, superstition etc.

          By inferrence, you seem to state that 'believers' are not free from
          those rituals or dogmas, even superstitions. That characterizes every
          religious order as having those attributes. That's an incorrect
          attribution - and blatantly so.

          You know, I'm always telling my kids "Behave will ya?". I guess
          behavior is important afterall. Where do I get such a notion?????
          Thank God for atheism then?

          But on "articles of faith"? Just put your hand on the left side of
          your chest, feel your heart beating, and understand that there's no
          escape from faith as long as that machine's pumping man - like it or
          not.

          Someone needs to rename this group 'Death To Logic' or better
          yet 'Plllllease.... ANYTHING But GOD, ack!'.
        • Lovejoe1
          I see different spiritualities when I look at the hawk with a snake in its mouth. What is the meaning of life for the hawk and what is it for the snake?
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 18, 2003
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            I see different spiritualities when I look at the hawk
            with a snake in its mouth. What is the meaning of life
            for the hawk and what is it for the snake?

            Imagine the moment; hawk is laughing and creeking:
            "God! thank you for the supper".
            While snake is crying for its wounds and whistling:
            "God! Where are you? Is this your justice? What is the meaning of my
            life for you, dammit"
            Think that the same snake was eating a funny frog last night!
            The Frog which hunted that lovely butterfly you saw day before,
            the colorful butterfly which made you think of beauties of life.

            And continue to imagine;
            A black bird eating vegetables on the ground and shouting
            back to hawk:
            "Killing is bad. Listen to me. I go to church. Killing is bad..."
            Then a gun shot heard with echoes from surrounding trees.
            Hawk falls off nearby with a bullet wound.
            Baptised black bird laughs:
            "I told ya! Listen to me. Killing is bad."
            And another gun shot blowns up black bird's head
            and human says: "I'm the god. The god of this Earth..."
            Who is God? Who is Evil?

            What is the meaning of life in Earth?
            What is the spirit behind life in Earth?
            Isn't it just the arena of survival.
            Everyone is a victim of another one, survival of another one.
            It's a bloody circle. Is that the same spirit you saw ???

            You say, God is life itself for you, or life is God.
            Is your God evil? Is it dangerous? Or is it under threat?

            A life of a tinny butterfly is in great danger.
            A frog can eat it if it doesn't die in 3 days.
            Life of frog, life of snake, life of hawk are in danger too.
            They are programmed to destroy each other for survival.
            Is your life safe? Is this what you mean for God?

            The whole life in Earth is in threat.
            Universe is arena of survival. Against what? To God? Or to Evil?
            Think of many huge meteors turning around the Sun and
            every year several of them approaches to Earth.
            There is an asteroid belt around the Sun, next to Earth,
            consist of billions of small stones and dusts, it looks like
            one huge meteroid destroyed the planet next to Earth
            in the past. One could destroy the Earth in any future.
            Ask yourself:
            What is the meaning of God for eaten snake or killed sheep?
            For a children dying of hunger, for his already dead mother?
            or is she lucky not to see his child dying from hunger?
            (by the way 24 thousands die every day from hunger)
            What is the meaning of life in Earth in such damn situation?
            Why life is in danger? On purpose? By fault?
            Can those human beings survive anymore?
            Can they destroy the life in Earth with their nukes
            having capacity to destroy 12 more Earths?
            Are humans Evil?
            Or life is Evil and you think its God?


            There is no single definition of Atheist, but in general,
            Atheist does not believe in god or gods.
            Some Atheists can believe other things.
            I know some atheists who believe in astrology, mind reading, tarot,
            teleportation, UFOs, djins, spirits, supernaturals etc...
            There is no restriction in beliefs other than god.
            But there are Atheist who are also Sceptics,
            do not believe any system that can't be scientifically proven,
            and questions everything that other people believes.

            Mostly; Atheists are more reliable, moral, spiritual,
            strong, self driven, sceptic, responsible, reasonable and
            free people compare to believers.

            What I have written about life does not bound or represent my
            viewpoint of life, it was just questioning your beliefs
            and create questions that hard to answer.
            I love animals, humans, trees, birds, the nature and life in Earth.
            I do not believe that they are created conciously by a god!
            And I don't like religious people.

            Good days.
            Cem



            --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "uuchild73034"
            <uuchild73034@y...> wrote:
            > Hello All!
            > I have just joined this group and am interested in some feedback
            > here.
            > First, let me tell a little about myself. I am a member of a
            > Unitarian Universalist congregation. I was raised in the Lutheran
            > tradition, but always found that path to be, more or less, just
            mere
            > mythology. I recently, within the last three years, felt that I
            > needed some type of spirituality in my, and my daughter's, life and
            > started loking around at churches within my area.
            > I discovered the Unitarians.
            > I liked what they had to say about "the interdependent web of all
            > existence," and "the free and responsible search for truth and
            > meaning." I sensed logic in the humanist teachings and, yes, even
            > the Christian/Judaic roots that UU's draw from.
            > Personally, I consider myself, if one has to have a label, to be
            > pagan. Mainly because, if categorizing, I am not a follower of any
            > of the Abrahamic religions. Yet, I do feel a sense of divinity.
            > Not "God" in the preconceived definition of the word, but "God" in
            > the process and connection of Life.
            > (The word "God" is very difficult for me to comprehend or convey
            > since the word "God" has so many traditional attachments to it.)
            > Anyway, to me, Life itself is "God." Life itself is divine.
            > I have struggled, and continue to do so, with the notion of "God".
            > Part of me "feels the spirit." I feel the spirit when I look at a
            > child. I feel the spirit when I see a hawk flying with a snake
            > writhing in its' talons. I feel the spirit when I make love. I feel
            > the spirit when I am overwhelmed with laughter. I feel the spirit
            > when I am among devout Christians, or Judeans, or Muslims, or
            > Buddhists, or Taoists, or Wiccans, or Yorubans, or Atheists or any
            > other belief system. I feel the spirit in the trees, and rocks, and
            > stars, and clouds, and ...
            > Okay, enough of this diatribe. My question to you is:
            > Does someone who labels themselves as "atheist" have a type of
            > spirituality to them? (Bear in mind that I see a distinct
            difference
            > between spirituality and religion.)
            > At the church, for lack of a better word, that I attend there are
            > quite a few professed atheists. These are some of the most
            > spitritual people I know.
            > They are loving and connected and happy. They seem to worship
            beyond
            > what any Christian is capable of. And, FYI, they embody the
            > principles of Jesus far beyond ANY holy roller, evagelical, bible
            > thumping, right-wing, fanatical, warrior for Christ, flag waving,
            > anti-abortionist, homo-phobic idiot that I can think of.
            > So,...what's the deal?
            > What started this train of thought in my head was a conversation I
            > had with a fellow worker who says he is "atheist."
            > He, who perhaps is on his own journey of discovery, says that as an
            > atheist he can not recognize or accept a spirituality. From what I
            > can gather with conversation with him, "atheists" have no
            > spirituality.
            > This, to me, seems pretty bleak.
            > Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it's just my Lutheran upbringing that still
            > has a hold on me. Maybe Life is just a wondrous, endless chance for
            > experience and change. But, isn't there SOMEHING?
            > Okay, I'll end now.
            > (By the way, I do the children's R.E, religious education, at the
            > UU "church." I try to teach through stories. And I believe that ALL
            > paths have a lesson to be learned. Atheism is a lesson that I have
            > not touched on, yet. But, if it exisits, then it must be relevant
            > and necessary.)
            > Without thinking of belief, or creed, or faith, or religion...
            > What is spirituality to you? Is there spritualtity?
            > When you hear the phrase "higher power" what does that mean, if
            > anything?
            > In a country that, unfortunately, seems to be governed by "God
            bless
            > America," how do you justify and maintain, and explain to the
            > ignorant masses, that "God" is an abberation?
            > In this same country, that insists on misinterpreting our fore-
            > fathers and mothers, how do you manage to impart the goodness
            > (spirituality) and connection (spirituality) and love
            (spirituality)
            > that is, in my mind, divinity?
            > What is atheism?
            > Is it just another label?
            > I see Life as "God."
            > What can I learn from you and what can I teach the children of the
            > new world?
            > (As a teaser: To me, the statement "I don't believe in "God" is
            > admiting that there is a god to not believe in. Strange...)
            >
            >
            > Please don't think that I am trying to convert or preach. I am
            > merely curious and hungry for growth and understanding. I write a
            > lot of children's stories and am always trying to expand on the
            > wealth of life that exisits.
            >
            > With or without...Life goes on. And Life ALWAYS goes on. That, to
            > me, is "God."
            >
            > Sincerely,
            > Melody
          • Maurice Temples
            twoedgedsword: There was a young lady here who asked for some input regarding atheism and some specific situations in her life. I gave her mine. And now you
            Message 5 of 5 , Sep 20, 2003
            • 0 Attachment
              twoedgedsword:


              There was a young lady here who asked for some input
              regarding atheism and some specific situations in her
              life. I gave her mine. And now you waltz in and try
              to piss all over it. Get an idea.


              There's a
              > pretty large logical conundrum there. Without a
              > finite "set" of
              > morals, how can you measure (as in "more moral") the
              > morality of one
              > kind over another?

              The conundrum is "what were you thinking?" Let's see
              now: without a finite set of inches, how can you
              measure the inchness of one inch over another? I
              suppose you think inches were handed down from some
              god or built into the fabric of the universe rather
              than being established by the big toe of some dead
              British ruler. Your "measure" is arbitrary, therefore
              relative. How would you find out how many inches your
              brain weighs? There's no translation. But it's
              entirely possible to determine the accuracy of
              measurements in terms of the scales being used for
              those measurements, and then to compare those
              accuracies to determine which one might be the more
              accurate. So what's the conundrum? If you subscribe
              to a 10-point moral code but comply with only 5, and I
              subscribe to a 12-point moral code but comply with 9,
              who's "more moral?"


              > You could be a UU - then you can invent whatever
              > definition of
              > morality you wish and therefore your statement of
              > you and your kind
              > being *more moral* than another kind would be true

              Why would you measure try to measure the weight of
              your brain in inches?


              > By inferrence, you seem to state that 'believers'
              > are not free from
              > those rituals or dogmas, even superstitions.

              I'm sorry if I only "inferred" it. I'll state it
              explicitly: Believers are not free of rituals, dogmas,
              and superstitions. Is that better?


              That
              > characterizes every
              > religious order as having those attributes. That's
              > an incorrect
              > attribution - and blatantly so.

              You're not really awake, are you? Those are *exactly*
              the things that define a religion.


              > You know, I'm always telling my kids "Behave will
              > ya?". I guess
              > behavior is important afterall. Where do I get such
              > a notion?????
              > Thank God for atheism then?

              So? Are you one of those parents who thinks good
              behavior includes strapping a bomb to your chest and
              blowing innocent people up? Thank reason for atheism.


              > But on "articles of faith"? Just put your hand on
              > the left side of
              > your chest, feel your heart beating, and understand
              > that there's no
              > escape from faith as long as that machine's pumping
              > man - like it or
              > not.

              Oh. I guess that answers my question. You're one of
              those neanderthals who don't take their kids to the
              doctor when they need it. Get an idea, man.


              > 'Plllllease.... ANYTHING But GOD, ack!'.

              Cool! The only thing you've said that comes close to
              sense.


              Maurice

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