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aquatus1

Godless Spirituality

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aquatus1

As an atheist, I am frequently asked what keeps me from committing immoral acts, what prevents my corruption, what, essentially, protects the spirit it is assumed that I do not believe I have. This thread, essentially, is an answer to that.

Spirituality, to me, is defined as the sum synergetic total of my intellect, my reason, and my honor. The importance of spirituality to me is that, without spirituality, I am less than what I can be. Without spirituality, I am a simple common animal, on the same level as any other whom is still ruled by the law of the jungle. I do not consider humans, in general, to be animals. The distinction is spirituality, versus instinct. Instinct is the default programming. Instinct is what you follow when all else has abandoned you. Yes, it is true that some humans resort to this on a more than frequent basis, and some animals have shown an ability to surpass it as well, but, in general, the common animal is ruled by instinct, while the human has the ability to surpass instinct, through the use of spirituality.

Intellect is the ability I have to put various facts to work for me. Intellect is the physical, the material, the objective side of things. Intellect is what allows me to make the connection between chemical properties of elements, to electrical properties of batteries, to the use of a flashlight. It is more than the basic gathering of useful things for survival; it is the gathering, storing, and analyzing of data for current and future use, not just for survival, but for comfort and even entertainment.

Reason is the ability to work out the responses of hypothetical situations. In particular, moral actions are largely determined by reason. I do not murder, not because I am forbidden by the God of the Babylonians to do so, but because I recognize it to be an action which would have disastrous effects on my personal psyche, to say nothing of the actions society will take on me after having done so. I exist because I enjoy existing, I enjoy the sunlight, I enjoy the challenge of discovery, not because I am testing myself for an existance yet to come in another realm.

Honor is the combined result of my courage, my obligations, and my sense of justice. This serves as my shield against corruption. Actions are measured against these things, and their effects are weighed and found to be honorable or dishonorable. Stealing a candy bar, for instance, requires a mild amount of courage, no obligation, and a definite lack of justice. Very little honor there. Stealing a loaf of bread to feed a hungry child requires a bit more courage (as your actions are endangering not just yourself, but the child) and are high in obligation (in regards to your duty to the child). They, however, violate the law, and the law is part of justice (not all of it, just part of it). While this is a dishonorable act, it isn't as bad as stealing for selfish pleasure. Getting a job mucking out fish stalls requires a certain courage (more humility, really), is definitly fulfilling your obligation, and is well-withing the bounds of justice. This would be considered and honorable act.

These three immaterial, boundryless aspects of myself are what define my spirituality. They are part of what makes me who I am. They are not defined by an external code or authority, but rather by my own abilities and beliefs. This is my spirit, or soul, if you wish. This is the most precious part of myself.

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101

aquatus1, Hey I am a Christian and I have just rededicated my life to God only 5 months ago. I feel that your reasons are wonderful. I believe that everyone even if not a Christain should use these reasons to better their own lifes. I mean like you said intellect, reason,and honor is what keeps you from doing the injustices. You have a respect for what you have and has been created. You have honor within yourself. This honor is what prevents you from harming yourself and others. I have much respect for you. 101

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aquatus1

Thank you 101, and congrats on re-finding you faith! thumbsup.gif

There are far too few who understand that blind faith is not only insufficient, but it is an unworthy gift from ourself to those we worship. A dog can have blind faith, but it takes a human, God's special creation, to look carefully at their own beliefs, question them, really dig deep and decide if the facts support them or not, and regardless of the response, still be willing, once all is said and done, to have faith. That is a tested faith, that is a faith that has faced adversity and contradiction, and come out stronger for it. To paraphrase Job: As the morning sun turns to a seal, so does a tested belief harden into a strong faith.

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Irish

Hi aquatus1

It’s good to see that you have strong moral convictions that are not religious based. Although I am a Christian I decided to give back to society in a different way other than trough the church. I joined a service club 12 years ago, it has been extremely rewarding. It’s a national service club called Kinsmen, now known as Kin Canada our goals are to serve the communities greatest needs. Our local club consists of only 33 members but we manage to raise on average over the past 10 years of 1.5 Million dollars a year to give back to the community. We work hard and play hard too!! rofl.gif

There are similar service clubs world wide. UK it’s the Round Table, Australia its Apex International as well as world wide clubs such as Rotary and Lions clubs. It’s a great way to grow learn and make friends while giving something back to the community.

All The Best

Irish

President of Stampede City Kinsmen Club.

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101

Yes like you said Blind Faith leads to nothing........also we all are tested in our lives and we all have to figure out whether or not jeapordizing our faith is worth it. I mean is is worth living an immoral life to gratify our flesh? I don't think so.

Irish congrats on giving back to your community. It is a way you utilize God's gift given to you to bless others. I only wish others would use their gifts for the greater good. Some people just put their gifts aside. I have been at fault with that also. But you learn from your mistakes. And you can only try to better yourself. Taking it one day at a time.

101

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hyperactive

interesting...

spirituality to me (as one who has no gods) is the interconnectedness of the universe. we are all parts of a system that is defined by the interactions of the parts, not the parts themselves.

i too live by my own codes, but long ago abandoned terms such as justice, morality, and ethics since they are already loaded with a history of idealogy.

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Jodie.Lynne

Just out of curiosity Hyper, what happens when your personal code conflicts with society's? How do you resolve the conflict?

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Walken

Morrality and ethics don't and never have come soley from religeon. That was a very informative and intresting read and I really enjoyed it.

Thanks for posting Aquatus.

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hyperactive
Just out of curiosity Hyper, what happens when your personal code conflicts with society's?  How do you resolve the conflict?

596899[/snapback]

good question!

my codes win out is the simple answer.

However, because part of my conduct is based on respect for the system (that being the entire universe), there are plenty of things society allows that i do not in my own life. A good example of conflict is smoking. I will never purposely poison myself with tobacco or any other substance and from a socialist perspective would ban tobacco. I approach everything with a level of respect to the individual though, and recognize the importance of individual choices in a productive society, so I allow for it within the limits of i won't expose myself to second hand smoke and think banning it in public places combined with education is the best approach.

Conflict on a more major issue, such as murder: I am not (or have not yet) been capable of killing anything beyond insect or plant (plant for food - i am vegan so i don't eat animals that others kill either, as well a i do not eat any processed foods, foods that involve the use of child labour, foods treated with herbicides/pesticides ,etc). I also do not seek justice if one were to kill. I see the only true judge is yourself and thus the only viable method to treatment of a killer is education allowing the killer to become aware. (this probably is not worded well - lets just say i seek no retribution, feel no anger towards, and see no benfit to punishment - the only exception being people hardwired to kill, in which case imprisonment for life or until we develop effective treatment is necessary for the good of the society)

Edited by hyperactive

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Amalgamut
aquatus1, Hey I am a Christian and I have just rededicated my life to God only 5 months ago.

596634[/snapback]

Im glad this happend.

God bless.

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dmgspycat

I am like you in that regard Aquatus...good post. You can be spiritual w/o religion. When we can all live together in peace regardless of religion then that will be a great day indeed!

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101
aquatus1, Hey I am a Christian and I have just rededicated my life to God only 5 months ago.

596634[/snapback]

Im glad this happend.

God bless.

597553[/snapback]

Thank you amalgamut. I am proud of my decision too. grin2.gif 101

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Imaginary Friend

user posted image

I think the original post is timely, given the posts on board re; skepticism, atheism, etc... or those threads that would declare "god" is contained solely, to one point of view. (How arrogant is that!? :no:)

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MadMachine

Appreciate the bump, IF. :rofl:

I enjoyed your post, aquatus1. To me you really seem like a role model for atheism today. Sorry if that sounds corny, but I mean it.

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Imaginary Friend

I had to read Aquatus thread again, just because it's refreshing after reading the contention that often attends topics in these forums.

And that caused me to wonder and so I'll ask; Aquatus, have you considered forwarding that article to an atheist website or community forum!? How about an Atheist site that publishes!? (http://www.americanatheist.org/)

I can only imagine the atmosphere at a message board dedicated to atheism, what with the tendency some believers have of besieging such sites so as to spread the good news everyone there is damned unless they accept one way of thinking about what they don't believe in in the first place; god. So perhaps the calm peaceful reason in your philosophy would be a boon to everyone. Flamers and membership alike. I think your belief is a beautiful realistic role model for anyone that claims to worship a spirit in faith. :tu:

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M.A.D CapeBretoner

As an atheist, I am frequently asked what keeps me from committing immoral acts, what prevents my corruption, what, essentially, protects the spirit it is assumed that I do not believe I have. This thread, essentially, is an answer to that.

Spirituality, to me, is defined as the sum synergetic total of my intellect, my reason, and my honor. The importance of spirituality to me is that, without spirituality, I am less than what I can be. Without spirituality, I am a simple common animal, on the same level as any other whom is still ruled by the law of the jungle. I do not consider humans, in general, to be animals. The distinction is spirituality, versus instinct. Instinct is the default programming. Instinct is what you follow when all else has abandoned you. Yes, it is true that some humans resort to this on a more than frequent basis, and some animals have shown an ability to surpass it as well, but, in general, the common animal is ruled by instinct, while the human has the ability to surpass instinct, through the use of spirituality.

Intellect is the ability I have to put various facts to work for me. Intellect is the physical, the material, the objective side of things. Intellect is what allows me to make the connection between chemical properties of elements, to electrical properties of batteries, to the use of a flashlight. It is more than the basic gathering of useful things for survival; it is the gathering, storing, and analyzing of data for current and future use, not just for survival, but for comfort and even entertainment.

Reason is the ability to work out the responses of hypothetical situations. In particular, moral actions are largely determined by reason. I do not murder, not because I am forbidden by the God of the Babylonians to do so, but because I recognize it to be an action which would have disastrous effects on my personal psyche, to say nothing of the actions society will take on me after having done so. I exist because I enjoy existing, I enjoy the sunlight, I enjoy the challenge of discovery, not because I am testing myself for an existance yet to come in another realm.

Honor is the combined result of my courage, my obligations, and my sense of justice. This serves as my shield against corruption. Actions are measured against these things, and their effects are weighed and found to be honorable or dishonorable. Stealing a candy bar, for instance, requires a mild amount of courage, no obligation, and a definite lack of justice. Very little honor there. Stealing a loaf of bread to feed a hungry child requires a bit more courage (as your actions are endangering not just yourself, but the child) and are high in obligation (in regards to your duty to the child). They, however, violate the law, and the law is part of justice (not all of it, just part of it). While this is a dishonorable act, it isn't as bad as stealing for selfish pleasure. Getting a job mucking out fish stalls requires a certain courage (more humility, really), is definitly fulfilling your obligation, and is well-withing the bounds of justice. This would be considered and honorable act.

These three immaterial, boundryless aspects of myself are what define my spirituality. They are part of what makes me who I am. They are not defined by an external code or authority, but rather by my own abilities and beliefs. This is my spirit, or soul, if you wish. This is the most precious part of myself.

and to me you wear the number of the beast who ever forgets the truth of the father only arrives at the number 6 in life.

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Imaginary Friend

user posted image Call me an over achiever!

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M.A.D CapeBretoner

god luv ya bye!

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Imaginary Friend

Goddess wuv ya right back and so long. user posted image

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M.A.D CapeBretoner

till then may we be as one in all for that was the year i was born and my time has come in the now!

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aquatus1

And that caused me to wonder and so I'll ask; Aquatus, have you considered forwarding that article to an atheist website or community forum!? How about an Atheist site that publishes!? (http://www.americanatheist.org/)

Honestly, no, it never crossed my mind.

The thing of it is that my atheism...isn't really all that important to me. I didn't become an atheist by actively deciding that there were no gods. I can't even say when it was that I became an atheist, other than to say that I just realized it one day. I was simply sitting around, thinking about my beliefs, and I realized that I simply couldn't think of God, or any of the other religious characters, in any terms other than fictional. I don't really take any particular pride in this, nor am I in the slightest ashamed of it. It is a state of being for me, much like being Hispanic. In and of itself, it is merely a title, nothing more, and not one that I earned, but rather one bestowed on me through sheer definition, neither adding nor taking away anything from what is truly myself.

and to me you wear the number of the beast who ever forgets the truth of the father only arrives at the number 6 in life.

It is interesting that you would make such a comment. Let's think on it a bit, shall we?

The Spirituality, Religion and Beliefs Board was created specifically for the purpose of being a place where a person could share their spiritual beliefs without fear of being attacked or ridiculed, as sometimes happened on the Spirituality and Skepticism board. It was because of that that I proudly made this thread, which was the first post to go into this new board, to express my personal views on my spirituality, and also to set the standard that this board was not meant to be limited to religious faiths and beliefs, but also to those that did not derive from any particular supernatural or divine resource. I asked no one to share my opinion, I accused no one of being wrong or evil for not believing what I did; all I did was post how I myself felt about the subject of spirituality, and all I wanted to do was give an honest answer to what I felt was an honest question: How is it that you define your morality without a God to define it for you?

So, what happens now? What happens is that M.A.D., for whatever reason, decides to come in and post his little blurb. Let's take a look at it:

"and to me you wear the number of the beast who ever forgets the truth of the father only arrives at the number 6 in life."

What exactly is this? What is it's purpose? What is it meant to accomplish?

M.A.D. has, essentially, come into this post and claimed that I am Hell-bound, that I am condemned to the same place as murderers, rapists, thieves, and not only that, but also that I would be an active supporter of the anti-Christ when, presumably, he comes to power.

Why? Why post this? The only conclusion that I can come to is this: M.A.D. does not care about the sort of person that I am. He does not care if I am good, evil, or whatever gray medium is in between. M.A.D. is concerned with one thing, and one thing only: Does he believe what I believe. If I do not believe what he believes, than that is all the reason that is needed to condemn me to Hell.

Was this meant as a genuine warning? Was it meant to be helpful? Of course not. There is absolutely nothing there to indicate that any sort of offer was being made. No matter how you look at it, it is nothing more than a blanket condemnation. It isn't even relevant to the original post, when one comes down to it. Out of the entire response that I originally posted, M.A.D. took one look, and all he saw was "athiest". That is it. That is all. And that is all that he needed.

Ultimately, the only reason this response was posted was due to one of the original sins: Pride.

The only reason M.A.D. posted this was to ensure the entire public forum at UM that he, M.A.D., was a righteous fellow, more in tune with God than I, and worthy of being saved while I was not. It cannot be argued that he was trying to save my soul, as the statement is nothing but a condemnation. It cannot be argued that he is even expression his own opinion on the subject, as his response does not address the topic in the slightest manner. Quite simply, the moment he saw the word "atheist", I became his enemy, and anything else that I had to say became unimportant. By being an atheist, I automatically became his enemy, and that justified his posting on my thread an irrelevant statement dedicated to one thing and one thing only: Making himself look better by making me look worse.

M.A.D., to paraphrase an excellent line from the Christian gospels: Look to the stick in your own eye, before condemning your neighbor for the speck in his.

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Imaginary Friend

:clap: Well said!

Perhaps it's a state of mind and the SN not an acronym but a reflection of that; mad.

The spirit of your words escaped the read of but one; atheist.

Is it any surprise the favor of judgement is returned likewise, when one reads mad's opinion that speaks as nonsense and means nothing at all, save to show who they are that we share this world with!?

If one's heart is enslaved and their eyes are closed by a veil of faith as they gaze toward the living philosophy of all others one shares this wide world with, and judges them condemned, how then can it be open to the visitation of an infinite god!? If one does not see god in all things created, how would they recognize god at all!?

So Must We Be One..., Otherwise We Shall Be All Gone Shortly”: Narragansett Chief Miantonomi

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Omnaka
Hi aquatus1

It’s good to see that you have strong moral convictions that are not religious based. Although I am a Christian I decided to give back to society in a different way other than trough the church. I joined a service club 12 years ago, it has been extremely rewarding. It’s a national service club called Kinsmen, now known as Kin Canada our goals are to serve the communities greatest needs. Our local club consists of only 33 members but we manage to raise on average over the past 10 years of 1.5 Million dollars a year to give back to the community. We work hard and play hard too!! :rofl:

There are similar service clubs world wide. UK it’s the Round Table, Australia its Apex International as well as world wide clubs such as Rotary and Lions clubs. It’s a great way to grow learn and make friends while giving something back to the community.

All The Best

Irish

President of Stampede City Kinsmen Club.

I don't belong to any clubs, except this one, but give to the bro on the street, I don't even care that he may be using the money to buy another bottle or whatever, I can't help it, I see them as the disenfranchised Children of an Unconditionally loving Father, what made them as they are may just be the work of the " righteous" Or self respecting citizen, who did it all right, at the expense of someone else, not always , but alot of the time I feel this way.

I was locked up for crimes i Did not commit, so I know others have also, then stigmatised for the rest of their natural life.

work, and shop giving Back to the comunity, but look for other methods of giving back, more personally, like just talking to the bro who has lost touch with love.

They are all good ways, all way's.

All the ways I have seen on this thread are worthy. Love is why we do it, Learned while we were Concieved in it between Father and Mother, Or God to most.

Love Omnaka

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Omnaka
and to me you wear the number of the beast who ever forgets the truth of the father only arrives at the number 6 in life.

WTF, Did someone really say this?

I can only say you don't know the truth Of The father or son, Or Mom for that matter, I raelise this was written three years ago, and hopfully Mad has had a change of hreart, If not that's ok too she/ he does not know where I live. amen.

Love Omnaka

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Omnaka
Honestly, no, it never crossed my mind.

The thing of it is that my atheism...isn't really all that important to me. I didn't become an atheist by actively deciding that there were no gods. I can't even say when it was that I became an atheist, other than to say that I just realized it one day. I was simply sitting around, thinking about my beliefs, and I realized that I simply couldn't think of God, or any of the other religious characters, in any terms other than fictional. I don't really take any particular pride in this, nor am I in the slightest ashamed of it. It is a state of being for me, much like being Hispanic. In and of itself, it is merely a title, nothing more, and not one that I earned, but rather one bestowed on me through sheer definition, neither adding nor taking away anything from what is truly myself.

It is interesting that you would make such a comment. Let's think on it a bit, shall we?

The Spirituality, Religion and Beliefs Board was created specifically for the purpose of being a place where a person could share their spiritual beliefs without fear of being attacked or ridiculed, as sometimes happened on the Spirituality and Skepticism board. It was because of that that I proudly made this thread, which was the first post to go into this new board, to express my personal views on my spirituality, and also to set the standard that this board was not meant to be limited to religious faiths and beliefs, but also to those that did not derive from any particular supernatural or divine resource. I asked no one to share my opinion, I accused no one of being wrong or evil for not believing what I did; all I did was post how I myself felt about the subject of spirituality, and all I wanted to do was give an honest answer to what I felt was an honest question: How is it that you define your morality without a God to define it for you?

So, what happens now? What happens is that M.A.D., for whatever reason, decides to come in and post his little blurb. Let's take a look at it:

"and to me you wear the number of the beast who ever forgets the truth of the father only arrives at the number 6 in life."

What exactly is this? What is it's purpose? What is it meant to accomplish?

M.A.D. has, essentially, come into this post and claimed that I am Hell-bound, that I am condemned to the same place as murderers, rapists, thieves, and not only that, but also that I would be an active supporter of the anti-Christ when, presumably, he comes to power.

Why? Why post this? The only conclusion that I can come to is this: M.A.D. does not care about the sort of person that I am. He does not care if I am good, evil, or whatever gray medium is in between. M.A.D. is concerned with one thing, and one thing only: Does he believe what I believe. If I do not believe what he believes, than that is all the reason that is needed to condemn me to Hell.

Was this meant as a genuine warning? Was it meant to be helpful? Of course not. There is absolutely nothing there to indicate that any sort of offer was being made. No matter how you look at it, it is nothing more than a blanket condemnation. It isn't even relevant to the original post, when one comes down to it. Out of the entire response that I originally posted, M.A.D. took one look, and all he saw was "athiest". That is it. That is all. And that is all that he needed.

Ultimately, the only reason this response was posted was due to one of the original sins: Pride.

The only reason M.A.D. posted this was to ensure the entire public forum at UM that he, M.A.D., was a righteous fellow, more in tune with God than I, and worthy of being saved while I was not. It cannot be argued that he was trying to save my soul, as the statement is nothing but a condemnation. It cannot be argued that he is even expression his own opinion on the subject, as his response does not address the topic in the slightest manner. Quite simply, the moment he saw the word "atheist", I became his enemy, and anything else that I had to say became unimportant. By being an atheist, I automatically became his enemy, and that justified his posting on my thread an irrelevant statement dedicated to one thing and one thing only: Making himself look better by making me look worse.

M.A.D., to paraphrase an excellent line from the Christian gospels: Look to the stick in your own eye, before condemning your neighbor for the speck in his.

Hey bro, Is this your web site?

I never gave it too much thought, but I guess someone had to start it?

Just askin.

Love Omnaka

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