On Spiritual Humanism (or religion based on reason)

For the first time since jumping off the fence I have been tempted... at www.spiritualhumanism.org apparently you can be ordained as a member of the Spiritual Humanist clergy with only one requisite, agreeing to the following statement Religion must be based on Reason.

Spiritual Humanism defines itself as a religion based on the ability of human beings to solve the problems of society using logic and science. Furthermore, the site goes on to explain how Spiritual Humanism allows everyone to fuse their individual religious practices onto the foundation of scientific humanist inquiry. How does it pretend to accomplish this task? by "redirecting" the underlying significance of spirituality from the supernatural to the natural...sounds good doesn't it?

Well, my problem with this "religion" is it just presents an inescapable paradox. Religion is fundamentally NOT based in reason. Religion is at its essential core based on the exact opposite of reason, which is belief. Exact opposites can't be reconciled in anything other than wordplays...which is what the term "Spiritual Humanism" is at the end.

Spiritual Humanism is an oxymoron, the product of cognitive dissonance at best...or maybe it is a clever scheme to begin the human race's process at demistifying our conception of the world? a stepping stone from the superstitious to the rational society? I certainly hope so, for now, I'm just considering it a philosophical mirage.

Views: 96

Tags: belief, faith, humanism, reason, religion, science, spiritual

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Comment by Pengiko on October 14, 2008 at 8:13pm
I think "Atheist Spirituality" can exist for those who believe in the separation mind-brain as two separate things... there is a plethora of scientists who do not believe in such dichotomy. Neuro-scientists, by the way. In the way you wrote it Steve, I'm not sure if you conceptualize spirit and mind as two separate things, or if you are equating them as the same thing with two different labels.
Comment by Rosa on September 4, 2008 at 1:19pm
Steve: There certainly can be atheist spirituality, such is the case of Mahayana Buddhism. What I can't envision is natural spirituality. A natural world-view implies a stance in which phenomena labelled as "supernatural" are regarded as false. Given that spirituality accepts the existence of spirits and by definition a "spirit" is supernatural, natural spirituality is an oxymoron.

Jim: I agree, I'd rather have rational integrity than a semi-rational, semi-spiritual middleground, it just wouldn't make sense to me to have both things at the same time.

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