Many people automatically, and wrongfully assume that as atheists, we are immoral, hateful, depressed, morbid people. I know that this is not true. I don't know if this issue's been covered. If not, I'd like to here from fellow freethinkers: atheists and agnostics and others on your views on this. What is spirituality, and how is it different from religion and its dogmas. Is it possible to be spiritual and an atheist?

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Only a retard would call himself a "bright". But there is no worse retard than an Afrocentric, an adherent to an occult philosophy. This word "freethinker" is being misused once again. You can create whatever verbiage you want, but I'll just think of you as Anton from "In Living Color". Now conversate among yourselves.
Ralph, could you expound on your dislike and distaste for Afrocentricity?
I am also wondering if you spread this dislike and distaste for Eurocentricity as well? Their Eurocentricity poisons minds globally. Also what about Asiancentricity? Should Asians completely assimilate and be european in ways also? To me it seems as though people of African decent can not have anything to be proud of including our ancestors' achievements in the past which we can build upon and even excel beyond. If it were not for certain "Afrocentric" thinkers I would not be an atheist. James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Fredrick Douglas, Dr. Ben, John Henrik Clarke, Ivan Van Sertima, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, et al.
I really hope you spread the wealth of disdain for all forms of ethnic centricity.

I would like to thank all the members of Black Freethought for continuing Free Thought in the face of criticism, and to continue with sharing your heartfelt views, hopes and ambitions. Hotep, Ase!
This is all bullshit, and yes, I do disdain ethnocentrism across the board. Your indiscriminate grouping of figures under Afrocentricity is ridiculous. Baldwin, Hughes, and Douglass by no means fall into the same category as the others. Afrocentricity itself is an ethnomystical doctrine concocted by Molefi Asante, who of course was no African but started out life as Arthur Davis or somesuch. There is nothing African about Afrocentricity; its ethnomysticism derives from German Romanticism. There is plenty to be proud of without having to resort to obscurantist bullshit. There is also plenty to be ashamed of, like clitoridectomy or subliterate occultist brainlessness.

Where do I start with the reading list? OK, Against Race by Paul Gilroy.
Animus, I fully understand your point here. Man and woman invented words and speech. With this in mind, I choose as the master of my mind to define myself as I please. That is the essence of being a freethinker. The ability to use any word from any language to define ourselves is a hallmark of freethought. Tomorrow a person may change the words and phrases he used to define himself today. That is a wonderful thing. I would never attack someone for what they chose to call themselves. That being said, today I call myself Tigerlilly, tomorrow it may be Sugarfoot. Comprende?
This is nonsense. There is no worse pretension than the illusion that one is the master of one's own mind. The essence of being a freethinker or anything else is not to define any concept any old way that comes into your head, irrespective of the history, terminology, and nature of concepts. Freethought refers exclusively to the freedom from religious dogma and authority. And these little gambits like redefining superstition and metaphysical folderol as spirituality mean nothing to anyone who actually exercises intellectual discipline.
Dear Ralph, Western Freethought's definition only includes freedom from religious dogma and authority. But, Eastern Freethought includes this and the ability to think freely. So, when I stated this I was quoting an Eastern Philosophical as
well as Western one. I like to remain fluid in interpretations. I also refuse to pollute my mind with only European ways of thinking, which entails one track thinking, as well as, divisive, labelling, and categorizing things which are not fully understood, misrepresented. I like to view others' centric culture in a broad spectrum light, wholistically, and not automatically dismiss a culture on solely what I perceive to be a truth. Unified, unity of humanity with all its diversity is beautiful.
Hotep...If we are to include **all thinkers**, then let me get my axe, sword or jack(ass)hammer! Tear down the walls of misappropriated wordslaying crap. It's either think or thwim(swim). I love you all truely I do no matter what creed, color or gender. That may sound hard for some to understand, just let me say we've all been to hell in a hand-basket.

I've waited nearly 40 years to find intelligent life on this stinkin' rock and when I finally find the non-alien life forms of intelligencia, here we are attacking one another for using verbiage we are not familiar with nor comfortable using...

Lets start by recognizing that we have all been suffering from “victim-ocracy,” and it's time to re-focus our mental abilities towards that for which we came here for. I will save my attacks for the real enemies of reason...

As far as I can tell no thinking person anywhere here on the nexus fits that description. No black, white, green nor purple matters here. If Dr. Hutchinson can lay the cards out on the table so can we... step up to your A Game.

See the total picture here people, humans, signifying monkeys or whatever! The word I used was a made up word by me called: afro centrical freeman, commonly called a compound word. We can use or make anything we want for we are the ones who've studied this historical fact or that historical person.

Sharing our combined knowledge will prove to be very helpful and useful in the coming months and years. Why do we need to show my lack of testosterone now? Is it that hard to be honest amongst ourselves? What, what and then what?

We could better utilize our efforts to combat **real issues** like education or the lack thereof, hunger, rape, sexism, racism and the list goes on. So draw a line in the sand and come out swinging with whatever you have. "Each one, Teach one." When I attack religion I am not attacking the person. What is most important is if you are not well versed in a subject ask!

You have the right to remain ignorant (emphasis intended) Ignore ant what does this mean? You have blindly ignored what's as plain as your nose...

The world is in a shambles and we need to come up with real!!!! I'll put it out there for you, I need help to fix a few problems and there are things I don't know but am willing to learn. Let's say we try that angle....Ase... CRAWLS BACK UNDER MY ROCK!!!
What is a freethinker? --free-think-er n. A person who forms opinions about religion on the basis of reason, independently of tradition, authority, or established belief. Religion is one aspect of human life freethinking is needed, but the mechanism of freethinking does not end with religion, but extends too other subjects areas of human experiences. In that light, the individual, as you can see Ralph, does have the right to investigate and interoperate what is presented. As a result, he or she is in control of whatever conclusion he or she reaches. Ralph, when make this statement “The essence of being a freethinker or anything else is not to define any concept any old way that comes into your head…” are you implying that you have the right way of defining concepts. Are you one of the “bright,” as you called them? I don’t know if you notice, but you appear to be one. Just saying!
I am bracing myself for your written attack.
Dare I say "Awesome!" ?

The place to find this text with the least rigamarole is:

If you can log on to accessmylibrary without a hassle, you can find it here:
Thanks for this article. The emotions described in "aweism" are what spiritual atheists and those interested in naturalistic spirituality are highlighting as a positive next step in the worldview of the naturalistic thinker.

A mystic or spiritual person will do just that: seek out or interpret feelings or experiences of wonder, awe, and the sense of rapturous mystery as evidence of there being something more, something else, something holy out there.

Here the author makes assumptions about what all self-described spiritual people will do and think. No spiritual atheist or neo-pantheist looks for "something more, something else, something holy out there". To suggest otherwise is to ignore all that they have to say on the subject. It's understandable to reject a term or a label because one deems it unpalatable. But it's another thing to tell those that embrace the term what it is that they're really thinking when they use it.
Another article describing spiritual atheism:

There is nothing supernatural about it. Nothing outside of a naturalistic worldview.

So why not say Naturalistic Atheists that feel awe for all there is without making claims about karma and such supernatural things.

Where have you read that spiritual atheists make "claims about karma and such supernatural things"?

I'll leave this discussion now. The OP asked what spirituality is and if one can be both atheist and spiritual. Like so many words, it means different things to different people. I answered that there are atheists that accept that all that is can be explained via naturalism and yet call themselves "spiritual". They exist. Tom Clark, philosopher and founder and director of the Center for Naturalism, explains a Spirituality without Faith. It's the same sense of connection and awe that Adriana describes. To my knowledge, Clark is no guru looking for followers. He's done much to advance and dispense the understanding of metaphysical naturalism. Richard Carrier(author of Sense and Goodness without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism) has as well. I think it honest to include Carl Sagan in the group. To ridicule such thinkers as believers in hocus-pocus is absurd.

I respect and understand the aversion to the word. I simply ask that one attempts to understand why some atheists use the term "spiritual" without impugning motives and making false assumptions- they're accomodationists, they believe in karma, they have a secret belief in the supernatural, they can't let go of faith, they want to impress others with their "goodness", they believe in ghosts, they worship nature, they're looking for something beyond the material world.

More false assumptions from Steven Waldman:

For the Spiritual Atheists, not everything can be explained rationally. They know that the religion of their childhoods doesn't explain it but they haven't given up on the idea that supernatural mysteries play a role.
No one, though, as far as I am aware, has ever adequately demonstrated in the mainstream that it is possible to live a spiritual, meaningful existence without a belief in God.

" that it is possible to live a spiritual, meaningful existence without a belief in God"

Why does he think none has shown this to be possible? Surprising words if it says what I read but maybe my english fails me?

Why would that be so difficult to show?

Could it be a edit error. He means the opposite doesn't he?

I think he means that it's new territory, Fred. He doesn't mean that it's "difficult to show". But as some of the comments on this thread and elsewhere on A|N demonstrate, not only is the idea of "spiritual, meaningful existence without a belief in God" opposed by theists, it's also highly unpopular with atheists, many of whom have an aversion to all things that would be called "spiritual".

In my opinion, he's continuing a line of thought presented by Carl Sagan:

How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, "This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant?" Instead they say, "No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way." A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.
Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot (1994)




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