Dear Dr. Meaden -
Thank you so much for inviting me to this group - it is just what i have been looking for (for a loooong time). I absolutely love this discussion!
I am not as good at writing as all you 'guys' are, so i will be brief, as I usually am- brief, that is :).
I find what John Jubinsky says that "the belief that there is an energy involved in sustaining life that is different from any known to science. . ." to be a statement closer to my thoughts. Only it's not a 'belief' but just a feeling of the energy of Gaia itself. I have felt connected to the earth since I was a child in the country. I do not 'believe' in "our imaginary friend in the sky"! I do feel that life/earth are somehow connected.
I also agree with your definition of 'life'. But it has always been a conundrum to me where the 'energy' of a brain comes - the chemistry/physics of the neurotransmitters? Why are we 'electrical' - if I can put it that way?
Does this make any sense to you?
Thanks again, alexa (NYC)
(n.b. I will not feel slighted if you do not asnwer me specifically :)
dear john jubinsky -
i like your part of the discussion quite a bit, as i agree with you that there is a 'spirituality' out there. to me it the energy of Gaia herself or itself really. and i don't call it a 'belief', it just is.
Does this have any meaning to you?
Oh, Blasted !!!! i am soooooooooooo embarassed - the reply stupid thing (yeah, i know it doesn't have it's own spirit !!!!!!!!!) confused me - argh!!
sorry, everyone --jeez :P
dear john jubinsky -
i like your part of the discussion quite a bit, as i agree with you that there is a 'spirituality' out there. to me it's the energy of Gaia herself or itself really. and i don't call it a 'belief', it just is.
Does this have any meaning to you? - alexa
"True atheists make no allowance for any kind of supernatural nonsense."
Wow. That's just simply not true. Atheism doesn't mean that you don't believe in anything you can't prove, it means you don't believe in a god. There are a lot of reasons people might not believe in a god- logic isn't the only reason. You might think it's the only GOOD reason, but that doesn't change the definition. Who are you to judge a "true" atheist?
And until you know everything there is to know about the universe and the way it works, who are you to say that what appears to be "supernatural" doesn't exist at all? Depending on what kind of "supernatural" you're talking about, it could be perfectly natural, just not within our current understanding. It's perfectly ok to have had experiences that demonstrate that there are things you don't understand about the world we live in, things that nobody can explain to you, and to still not believe in god. These aren't things you have to prove to anyone, because it doesn't matter if anyone believes you or not- you know you can't prove it, but you also know that you don't have an explanation for it. So you leave yourself open to wondering what it COULD be, without pretending to know the answer.
If you've never experienced anything that you couldn't explain, I feel sorry for you. There is great joy in the unknown, in the mystery of it all, in the knowledge that we have so much more to learn and to figure out. And if you HAVE ever experienced something you can't explain, but you ignored it because you couldn't explain it, well, that's just not very scientific.
Strictly speaking, this statement, "True atheists make no allowance for any kind of supernatural nonsense" is false.
Atheism refers to a lack of belief in gods, not a lack of belief in any supernatural concepts. Many atheists believe in other supernatural constructs, such as animism, afterlives, reincarnation, psychic powers, etc. The proper term for someone who rejects ALL supernatural claims is 'naturalist'.
Spiritual is one of those squishy words/ideas that, like quicksand, can swallow you whole & kill you. To me, spiritualism is the gateway drug to delusion and, thus, religion. My woo-woo detector howls & bullshit meter glows red whenever I hear the word or its cousins: "soulful", "essence", "heart", "gut" and all of the rest of the squish-words that 'journamalists' use to describe something they think is outside simple brain functions. They are, of course, rewarded by their 'FreeMarkets!' overlord-oppressors when they do this so our media is chock full of this crap.
Forget who said/wrote this: "Spiritualism is a parasite that weakens our intellectual immune system."
Works for me. Nope. No spiritualism for this guy. Not even a teeny-tiny little bit. Opens the floodgates to the woo-woo, every time.