During a conversation with a friend, the subject of religion came up. This friend was very proud of the fact that she was not religious but rather "spiritual". It occurred to me after ascertaining exactly what she meant by spiritual, that there may exist yet another significant speed bump on the road to freethought in the form of this so-called spiritualism. Most of you know someone who ascribes to this quasi-spirituality. Those of you who don't personally know someone need only log on to any social networking site (except this one) and send friend requests to the 30% of members who call themselves "spiritual but not religious".

Some of this new spiritualism has a familiar Judeo-Christian tinge to it. Other manifestations take the form of ancient Egyptian mysticism, doomsday theorists or African ancestral worship; as if these folks have channeled their inner Erykah Badu (whose music I love by the way). Then there are the ones who just make the sh*t up as they go. But whatever form it takes, the fact remains that these people are just as deluded as any institutionalized theist. Perhaps they are not as inflexible in their reasoning, but certainly they’re just as misguided in their world view. So here's my question to this community of Black Freethinkers: Is this new "spiritualism" harming blacks just as much as the old school organized religions? Get @ me..

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Read not hear... :)

Why I am not a Humanist, letter by an Australian atheist.

But by Googling various combinations of "humanism / anthropocentrism" you'll find plenty more. The trouble is, these discussions often end up with Humanists throwing insults and wild accusations at those who disagree. But as per this discussion, the main reason I associate Humanism with the other fuzzies is that the definition constantly changes, from person to person, year to year, to suit whatever sensitivity happens to be on the speaker's mind. Whatever it takes to acquire more adherents.

Sorry for additional derail, but I am confused about the setup of the debate. If the research were actually done in accordance with the scientific method in its planning, execution, and reporting of analysis, then what reason is there to doubt it? The involvement of corporate interests is a concern to the extent that it impacts the scientific analysis and reporting, not in and of itself.

Jonathan you're right; well kinda. Some people have only a mild flirtation with spiritualism while they are coming to grips with abandoning their faith. I like the way gerard26 phrased it in his post: "a half way house between the Abrahamic faiths and rational thought". However, I'm sure you will also acknowledge that some people start down this slippery slope and descend right back into the place they nearly escaped. The place where mysticism trumps reason and irrational beliefs dominate scientific evidence. It is in this esoteric abyss that the charlatans lurk, waiting to extract cash from the unwitting victims of this spiritual mumbo jumbo. In my mind spiritualism is sort of like light beer. It's less filling, but it can still leave you in a drunken stupor. So I ask again; Is this new "spiritualism" harming blacks just as much as the old school organized religions? Your thoughts..?

From my own experience with people claiming to be spiritual they are less likely to proselytize, attend church regularly or at all. This to me is less harmful than organized religion because these people are less likely to indoctrinate others or their children in religion which I view as a domino effect to secularism. Now new-age spiritualism as mainstream as it may be is just as harmful as religion regardless of many it's tenants mirroring humanism. They still endorse the existence of the supernatural and a deity which is still a step back from science and reality altogether.
Hi John. In the long run it seems spiritualism would be more of a self inflicted hobbled stance as opposed to being reared in a church. But wait, if they can't think clearly at the end of the day this would be nothing to bragabout either!
Ok, this is interesting! I have a group of friends that deal with a lot of kemetic theology. Lately, they have been trying to sell me on this law of attraction thing. Think positive things and positive things will come to u. I thought it sounded like prayer to me. They were saying if u believe and meditate enough on something, it will chime to u. They relate this to quantum physics (which I am not really familiar with). Is quantum physics considered science?
 

The folks that perpetuate the "law of attraction" are using an old device to stir up new converts. They take something mysterious like quantum mechanics (which is barely understood by the scientific community) and with insufficient evidence, use it to explain to explain some perceived phenomena. This is the same device that the church used for centuries to explain plagues, poor crops and untimely deaths.

So ask your friends to try this experiment. Use this "thought energy" to win the lottery every day for a week or prevent all car accidents or still births for 24 hours. They will find that good and bad will continue to happen at about the same rate that it always has. The power of positive thinking probably derives its "power" from the positive actions that follow the thoughts.

 

In the mean time, go to youtube and check out the double slit experiment; it's a good intro into what quantum physics is all about.

Good example.   I keep tellin' them, it sounds like prayer and faith to me!

I am disappointed with the responses posted here.

Those of us who have had the LUCK (living in the 21 century)  to escape the oppression machine in America dont seem to recognize that the social and economic ills besetting African Americans  to a large extent ARE a function of this capitalist, racist society where the black minority has been targeted for 400 years.

It is commendable and a testament ot black Americans that we have gained a modicum of advancement in a system where a good %  either hates you  or at best, now days tolerates your presence, but to hold the ideas that impoverished blacks are responsible for their own predicament  indicates the pervasiveness of anti black / poor  hatred infecting all kinds of americans.

for you balck males try walking in unfamiliar white neighborhoods, you will see how much your individual merit counts for (or ask Dr. Gates).

for you black females check out the magazine stands, who are listed as "THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMEN IN THE WORLD" by corporate america, NOT YOU  , nor anyone that looks lie you!!!

the point i am making is that the subtle idea that blacks that dont make it have their own selves to blame is a damn lie and we should not subscribe to it.

there are many things that we need to change , but it is unfair and inaccurate to criticise the black community without of the context of 400 years of amnerican oppression,manipulation psychological warfare and class hatred..

now , what is to be done?          next installment when i get back form work...

 

@ Thomas Smith Respectfully,

 

Sir your disappointment may be the result of the fact that you are reading the posts on a discussion thread under the topic heading; "Is Spiritualism Just as harmful as Organized Religion". In your own post you've thrown out a cornucopia of legitimate concerns which in my opinion are in desperate need of debate and redress. But I fail to see why you chose this particular discussion to express the range of topics that you have introduced. I'm wondering if you are addressing specific respondents or the group as a whole. I would recommend that you check out the thread under the heading "Should black people be moving out, or building up" started by Devin Crim. It seems to me that would be a more appropriate forum for your critique. After all, you can't show up to an Earth Wind & Fire concert and get mad when the OJays don't perform.

And if it happens that you are responding to a specific post, you would be better served by identifying that post and its composer by name so that the context of your response is understood. However, if you are attempting to make a sweeping indictment of the entire discussion group and their comments, I just think it’s without merit and generally bad form considering your comments seem to be the ones that have nothing to do with the topic.

thank you Salters, As you noted,  my reply was in fact directed towards the thread
"Should black people be moving out, or building up" started by Devin Crim.
a technical error on my part , I am quite sure.

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