Monday, April 6, 2009

Spirituality equals Mumbo Jumbo

I'm thinking that if you're a bullshitter you don't like to be CALLED on your bullshit.

"Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit."

Oh, well, guess that clears thing up. LOL

The English word "spirit" has many differing meanings and connotations, but commonly refers to a supernatural being or essencetranscendent and therefore metaphysical in its nature.

Really? I can't make up my mind if I'm being 'dazzled' or 'baffled' here.

Metaphysics, a branch of philosophy dealing with aspects of the ultimate nature of reality

Oh, I see, 'they' pretend to be doing a little dazzling AND a little baffling here, because following the word-trail Spirituality had to do with Metaphysics which is 'really' the study of spiritual things, isn't it? Let's see.

Metaphysics investigates principles of reality transcending those of any particular science.

So, spirituality is looking for a deeper understanding of reality, going beyond science then? How would one go about that?

Cosmology deals with the world as the totality of all phenomena in space and time.

Here we seem to be drifting away from spirituality all together.

Ontology is the study of the nature of being, existence or reality in general, as well as of the basic categories of being and their relations.

This branch of Metaphysics seems like a better lead to discover what spirituality is all about, yes?

After much hemming and hawing, ontologists ask, "Why does anything exist rather than nothing? (This overlaps with questions in cosmology.) "

But where is the elusive spirituality?

This drivel about cosmology and ontology seems to be going nowhere.

Let's backtrack.

Spirituality apparently concerns the supernatural which pertains to an order of existence beyond the scientifically visible universe.

Concepts in the supernatural domain are closely related to concepts in religious spirituality.

I see, so spirituality is a concept closely related to the supernatural and the supernatural is closely related to spirituality.

Ah yes, I see now, don't you?


Stacy said...

It's all perfectly clear ......?? ;-)

Anonymous said...

pb, (you've now been "diminutived")

There are multiple reasons for someone to not believe in the naturalist atheism that comes from the Enlightenment. Remember, atheists, you included, still have false beliefs. You can't escape your humanity (yes I see the irony in a theist saying that). But there is hope in that humanity.

I've been thinking for a while not just on the personal reasons I believe, but what atheism (as if it is something) lacks, and it is quantum or another "reality." It steers clear of anything that doesn't scream empirical. But how much stuff isn't empirical without something as basic as a microscope?

Atheism is without wonder because it is always satisfied. That being said, humans (atheists included) are not satisfied. There is always something more to be discovered and we know it.

The scientific method will not vindicate spirituality, but it will vindicate the spiritual. Why? Because they know that existence is more than just, "Hey look around stupid this is all there is." How do you find bacteria, or fold space with that attitude?

pboyfloyd said...

Really oneblood, is that not just what you imagine atheism to be?

I think that there is a lot more advancement of the sciences that can and IS being done.

No 'beliefs' are necessary to be an atheist except what they see around them.

So what? Being 'spiritual' doesn't make you any curiouser.

If this were a video game, we'd be losing, we ought to have a station on the Moon by now at least.

Anonymous said...

And in a nod of the head to Brian. I was just reading Heidegger today. I hate Nazis. I shouldn't, but that manifestation of, not hate, but cold rational conclusions carried out with efficiency is a sickening reminder that intellectualization is not the answer. It is part of the answer.

When are we going to get the parts together and get a whole?

As an aside, I hate Nazis. Did I mention that? I need to go pray. Even thinking about that fat philosophizing buffoon pontificating on Being makes me ill.

pboyfloyd said...

Why do you hate the Nazis, they were no worse than the Hebrews.

Very religious genociders(?), the Hebrews, even BRAGGED about it!

I read that in a crappy book ironically called 'The GOOD Book'.(seems that God helped WRITE the thing, and here I though that I was 'amaze-proof')

Anonymous said...

No pb,

Atheism isn't anything except non-belief in what's not apparent/extant. My point wasn't against atheism, it was against atheism as an explanation. It's not an explanation, it's a negation of a worldview.

It was a mistake of mine to define atheism earlier in my theism by the not-God'ers. Harvey has eloquently pointed out time and time again that atheism doesn't have a leader or a structure per se. It's simply a negation.

Look, if I'm a thinking atheist I'm not defined by my atheism. I am defined by the beliefs I do have. And you have wonder, Brian has wonder, mac wonders all the time. Atheism does not wonder. Do you think theism wonders? No. But I do.

That's where I was headed with the atheism. Does that make more sense? Believe it or not I wasn't trying to insult atheists but point out the flaws of relying on atheism as an explanation, and the boors who do... "Hey look around stupid this is all there is." Really?

Anonymous said...

Good point. I don't hate them because I haven't seen their smug faces over dead Canaanite children, but if I did I'd probably be incensed.

Pb, I am Heterodox and firmly do not believe that there is "holy" authority to genocide. Even if it's in the bible.

Every believer defines how they believe, and I'm no exception.

pboyfloyd said...

"I am defined by the beliefs I do have."

Hmm. Maybe you are giving your beliefs too much credit allowing them to define you.

If you re-examined your beliefs, would you have to throw 'you' as you 'are defined' out the window first?

""Hey look around stupid this is all there is." Really?"

That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is that it? it is.

Your are the product of your envirnonment.

That's not 'sad but true', it's just true.

What do you want oneblood, more than three dimensions?

How about time bubbles. Walk in one end and 'poof' you come out into the far future?

I think that 'humanity' is like bacteria spreading in a petri dish eating the agar.

I hope we can and will make an effort to change that by at least reaching out an enlarging 'the dish'.

Hey, do you wanna live forever though? Really?

mac said...

But I do believe in spirituality.

I believe it lies in our minds. It manifests itself in our compassion, our empathy, our concern for our fellow man...or lack of any of that.

I merely think religious folks misplace this "spirituality, imagining some god(s) gave it to them rather than they gave it to themselves.

I don't believe in gods because I know none exist. The very idea of gods is a control mechanism man invented about the same time as man became a social animal. Folks had to be kept in line, religion was(is) a great tool for that.

pboyfloyd said...

I agree mac, with the religion as a tool thing.

It's a social tool which gives the population common purpose and/or POV.

Great for it's time. Broadcast news serves that purpose very nicely now, I think.

GearHedEd said...

Oneblood said,
" was against atheism as an explanation. It's not an explanation, it's a negation of a worldview."

It may be a negation of someone's worldview, but it's not a negation of MY worldview.


"Atheism does not wonder."

along with

"...I wasn't trying to insult atheists but point out the flaws of relying on atheism as an explanation..."

Of course atheism doesn't wonder-it's not a conscious entity capable of wonder. As an atheist, I am comfortable with not knowing the answers to the ultimate questions. We are here; that suffices, without going into questions of "why", and then dragging ill-conceived hypotheses such as gods into the arena to use for explanatory power. Is the need to KNOW so vast and unconquerable that xians and other people of faith MUST have answers? And is the need so great that they will not stop short of the absurdities in religious texts to explain existence?

I still wonder, but I don't have the facilities or the time to probe into the ultimate. Nor do I believe that I might even find it, whatever it is.

But I do think religion, especially Christianity, is a waste of time as an explanation of our origins, our purpose, or our ultimate fate. This is why I would, if I were to continue investigating these questions, attempt them with rational methods like science, not equally unknowable, unproveable and unsatisfying theories about petulant, capricious, whiny gods.

Asylum Seeker said...

"It's not an explanation, it's a negation of a worldview."

Agreed. That's probably the best way of putting it.

"I believe it lies in our minds. It manifests itself in our compassion, our empathy, our concern for our fellow man...or lack of any of that."

We do have those things, and those things are commonly associated with spirituality, but usually with the implication that there is something more to spirituality than that, pushing it so that it is rather nebulous concept. It is one of those terms that have become meaningless because they've been randomly applied, more and more, to an assortment of (seemingly) positive aspects of (in this case) human nature. Largely as an attempt to have an operational definition for the concept.

GearHed, I think you might've misread oneblood: his point was basically that atheism, as nonbelief in god/belief in no god, doesn't, in of itself, offer up anything by which to define your mindset or to explain reality. That's what we uses the science for, but atheism itself is less helpful. At least that's what I thought he was going after.

GearHedEd said...

Then what he's saying is that Atheism should provide for atheists what Faith does for the Christians? I may be wrong, but I don't remember anyone ever claiming that atheism should provide answers; on the contrary (for myself anyway), atheism is a challenge to the smugness of the xian attitude that they KNOW the answers because someone postulated a deity and wrote books about Him. And more: it's a (positive)statement that says, I don't KNOW the ultimate answers, but I'm not going to make up a bunch of illogical shit to attempt to explain it and then claim I DO know, or worse, abdicate my brain to a bunch of zealots and let THEM do my thinking for me.

GearHedEd said...

OK, I also skimmed the "Operational Definition" wiki. I'm aware of the difficulties of quantifying things; my career is intimately involved with precision measuring devices, and the systematic and random errors that creep in to any given measurement. Also notwithstanding the conceptual definition of a suitable "yardstick" to compare the measurements TO. So yes, atheism fails on that count; but I don't think atheism was ever postulated as a 'solution' or 'answer'. Rather it is as I said above: a statement.

Anonymous said...

So basically the only one who read my post was Asylum.

1. Atheists are usually smart (they may however be poor readers).

2. Atheism, especially if coming from theism, is a thoughtful view to have.

3. There are unfortunately, atheists who think a negation is an explanation.

4. There are also unfortunately theists who think an assertion is an explanation.

5. The people of 3 & 4 end up with zero contingent 'facts.'

Asylum Seeker said...

The wiki article for operational definition was just a reference to spirituality having a particularly murky definition that people try to pin down by using things like quantification (or, as was the case for mac, tying the concept of spirituality with other "positive" personality traits and whatnot). I don't think that the same applies to atheism (although the definition has broadened and changed, so it is hard to pin down, but not impossible). So, yeah, I agree that atheism isn't posited as an answer or solution to anything.

"5. The people of 3 & 4 end up with zero contingent 'facts.'"

That's a pretty good description of a common experience I find on the interspheres: people battling to the last breath over something that is essentially a matter of different interpretation. Long-winded arguments that ultimately amount to a heated, single-minded insistence to declare that a glass is half-full rather than half-empty. It's frankly why I try to avoid argument whenever possible (also, because I am a coward).

Anyway: HALF-EMPTY!!1!!

Anonymous said...

"Anyway: HALF-EMPTY!!1!!"

That made me laugh out loud. Nice. ;-)