How to find spirituality or a sense of deeper meaning as an atheist / agnostic

C4Cat

Executive Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Messages
8,936
I'm curious how spirituality is defined in the absence of religious context.

It sometimes feels a bit like the way people use the word 'god' generically - like they'll say they're not religious but still believe in god, which seems somewhat paradoxical: To describe the thing you believe using the language of religion gets confusing. Is 'spirituality' the same, or does it's meaning have more independence than 'god' from religious context?
Religion has fixed rules and regulations, specific rituals and rites, hierarchies of power and authority - none of which is necessary for a personal belief in god/s or a spiritual understanding of life. Imo, obviously
 

saor

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Messages
20,736
Religion has fixed rules and regulations, specific rituals and rites, hierarchies of power and authority - none of which is necessary for a personal belief in god/s or a spiritual understanding of life. Imo, obviously
I'm still not sure what spirituality means in that context. It seems like much of the time it's used as a label for things like philosophical inquiry and loving each other. If someone says: "I'm not religious but I am a spiritual person", what does that mean?

Maybe this is just semantic silliness, but the god example is a good one: Sometimes people will say they don't believe in God, but they believe that some (good?) force created the universe, which they call god. And I find language gets messy at that point: The word 'god' has been so molded by religion that it seems almost pointless to use it in non-religious contexts. Spirituality feels somewhat similar.
 

Techne

Honorary Master
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
11,724
See, that's where you're wrong Riet, you think you're consciously making "every small decision/action" but determinism (and supporting experiments) tells us that you're only conscious of the action the moment you make the action. "You are free to do what you will, but you aren't free to will what you will." or as Schopenhauer put it, "A man can do what he wants, but not want what he wants'. That is the point I'm trying to make. Determinism debunks religion in 1 foul swoop. You're confusing this with theists who say "God has already worked everything out" that's likely just an ignorant way of saying, "everything is determined" but for some reason, trying to bring a deity into the argument.
There are no experiments that deny free will is true or that determinism is true. The ones you will likely cite are Libet's experiments and other similar ones and they are not even close to convincing. It is a bit ignorant to claim that determinism debunks religion lol. There are plenty of religions who would be quite glad if determinism is true. If you support determinism just to debunk religion then you are are going to fail, and hilariously so.


"It is not common among atheists though"
-I guess this is just an opinion as it's quite the opposite in the circles I hang in.
That is probably because the circles you hang around just haven't got a clue what the problem of induction is. Ask them next time lol.


"You deny that there are objectively true and good morals we can discover via observation, reason and logic yet you want to tell people that there are objectively true facts about reality that we can discover via science using observation, reason and logic."
-Okay, I may have misrepresented myself here. There are objective scientific truths in the current time / era. Example, Carbon atoms exist. This is testable, verifiable and knowable all around the world, wherever we can test for Carbon atoms. Will this still be the case in a million / trillion years? Who knows. If the heat death is a real thing, then there will literally be no more Carbon atoms in a trillion years, essentially meaning that the fact that "Carbon atoms exist" is not an eternal scientific fact. So in that sense, I was wrong. There is no such thing as an absolute truth.

Anyway, I've veered off course a little here. It's an interesting discussion and debate to have nonetheless.
Lol, there you go again, refuting yourself. Gosh this is so predictable :laugh:.

So in some universe where there are no carbon atoms, the following statement made by those aliens cannot be absolutely true:
In the year 2000 ac on a planet called earth where Prawnapple lives there were carbon atoms.

Why? because your almost religious-like faith demands that we all believe there is no such thing as absolute truth.

I must say, I quite enjoy having "debates" with atheists as they invariably refute themselves on a regular basis.
 

Prawnapple

Expert Member
Joined
May 18, 2015
Messages
1,157
There are no experiments that deny free will is true or that determinism is true. The ones you will likely cite are Libet's experiments and other similar ones and they are not even close to convincing. It is a bit ignorant to claim that determinism debunks religion lol. There are plenty of religions who would be quite glad if determinism is true. If you support determinism just to debunk religion then you are are going to fail, and hilariously so.
There are many more experiments, ones where the conscious action are a couple of seconds rather than just milliseconds seen beforehand (Do some research). It's absolutely hilarious how that article is using Aquinas in any sense :laugh: - That guy is literally just nonsensical nonsense that can be wiped aside any time he is brought up. It's looking at one experiment and woops, Determinism is debunked. Yeah, no try harder please.

So in some universe where there are no carbon atoms, the following statement made by those aliens cannot be absolutely true:
It can be absolutely true in this case because you've set the parameters. You said, "in this time, at this point, the following is true. So you've set the parameters and would be absolutely correct. If you had changed the statement to, "In this universe where Prawnapple existed, Carbon atoms existed from the inception of the universe until it ended in a heat death and beyond, it'd be incorrect".

TL DR Using a faith, Christian Apologist, weird sort of Christian based website for anything is just... yeah, I don't know.

Edit: See here: https://www.freewilldocumentary.com - This is going to cause a world of hurt to Theists everywhere and it's coming in end of 2019.
 

Techne

Honorary Master
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
11,724
There are many more experiments, ones where the conscious action are a couple of seconds rather than just milliseconds seen beforehand (Do some research). It's absolutely hilarious how that article is using Aquinas in any sense :laugh: - That guy is literally just nonsensical nonsense that can be wiped aside any time he is brought up. It's looking at one experiment and woops, Determinism is debunked. Yeah, no try harder please.
If you read carefuly the Libet experiment is used as an example of what is wrong with these types of experiments and why they simply fail to refute free wil. Part of the problem is that some straw man version of free will is setup and knocked down. Sloppy philosophy.

You can disregard one of the greatest philosophers at your own peril, doesn't change the fact that his ideas about free will is still very relevant.

It can be absolutely true in this case because you've set the parameters. You said, "in this time, at this point, the following is true. So you've set the parameters and would be absolutely correct. If you had changed the statement to, "In this universe where Prawnapple existed, Carbon atoms existed from the inception of the universe until it ended in a heat death and beyond, it'd be incorrect".

TL DR Using a faith, Christian Apologist, weird sort of Christian based website for anything is just... yeah, I don't know.

Edit: See here: https://www.freewilldocumentary.com - This is going to cause a world of hurt to Theists everywhere and it's coming in end of 2019.
Well then absolute truths do exist (heck you will find a lot in the maths dept) and you are simply mistaken to think they do not. Now you just need to convince people that they do not exist with regards to morals.


Anti-Christian bigotry and some pop film won't do much to refute free will:X3:. The film will most likely not even delve into a proper definition of free will.

Anyway, how anyone can even defend determinism seems daft given what we observe in quantum mechanics. For freedom (or free in free will) to be true then the outcome of any situation needs to be indeterminate (not random, there is a difference). Experiments like the Stern–Gerlach experiment demonstrate that atom-scale systems behave in an indeterminate manner. People supporting the idea of determinism will have to refute indeterminate atom-scale reactions for the whole brain if they want to convince people that we do not have freedom. Good luck. The easier part may be to try and convince people do not have a will or that they may be free but they just do not have a will. Good luck with that too.
 

Bobbin

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
6,574
@OP, as an Atheist, nature is the dominant force in your life. You can, if you wish, personify it as mother nature. A relentless and indifferent force that promotes hard work and punishes ignorance and stupidity. There's your new God.

As an Atheist, having morals is the best survival strategy. It is individualism at its core. We all know that impulsiveness has negative consequences in modern society - there's a f**k ton of study and fable around this - so good survival doesn't equate to being an impulsive monkey. So you can argue that promoting a safe environment for everyone, collaboration and allowing others to live to their potential as being equally self-serving.

You wake up each day with nature bearing down on you, but you already know in your mind what it takes to find and hopefully gain favour. Work hard and don't be stupid. And knowing that everyone around you suffers the same toil promotes a sense of oneness and collaboration as a species - also with a sense of urgency knowing that you have a relatively short life to make your contribution that is uniquely you and hopefully witness it before you go.

If that isn't spiritual or meaningful enough for you then you need some drugs :p I hear DMT is some pretty good ****.
 
Last edited:

DMNknight

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Messages
3,280
We only live in the present.
That is far to simplistic. The present only exists in a transitional state between the past and future. It's what is done in the present, the choices that are made, the realities made manifest that determine how the future flows into the past.
If you didn't plant the seed into the ground and water them in the present at the time that was required, then by the time the present comes around where you need to eat, becomes a non-eating present rather than an eating present.

Every state of your being, be it past, present or future has a multidirectional relationship with the others.
 

Prawnapple

Expert Member
Joined
May 18, 2015
Messages
1,157
The present only exists in a transitional state between the past and future. It's what is done in the present, the choices that are made, the realities made manifest that determine how the future flows into the past.
Carlin handles almost EXACTLY that point in this video: "There's no present, only the near future or recent past"

 

Ninja'd

A Djinn
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
46,556
The present only exists in a transitional state between the past and future. It's what is done in the present, the choices that are made, the realities made manifest that determine how the future flows into the past.
Also reminds me of

 

DMNknight

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Messages
3,280
Carlin handles almost EXACTLY that point in this video: "There's no present, only the near future or recent past"

Yeah thanks, you just complicated my life. In his comedic way, I had a bit of an insight.
A planck second is literally the smallest unit of time. However... we don't function in plank seconds, we function at about 50-1500ms which means we actually span quite a considerable portion of time in the "present" or in "the moment"
Here's the rub, I've noticed in extremely stressful situations we focus time, like we can reduce the spread of time so that we can watch schit happen at a much slower rate. What Einstein initially called relativity.

But a moment can be a rather large blob of time through which we go quickly or a relatively small block of time which we go through very slowly.

*ack*
Brain hurts... go away
 

scudsucker

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2006
Messages
5,041
How to find spirituality or a sense of deeper meaning as an atheist / agnostic?

80 - 100 mg 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine with 80 - 100 μg ND-Lysergic acid diethylamide

Taken orally.
 

Splinter

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
21,335
How to find spirituality or a sense of deeper meaning as an atheist / agnostic?

80 - 100 mg 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine with 80 - 100 μg ND-Lysergic acid diethylamide

Taken orally.
I think for some of our members a suppository will be better.
 

dabean

Expert Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
1,498
I lost my mind in 2014. Almost ended up like Kyle Odom or Ted Kaczynski. Luckily I ended up in a mental hospital instead.

Some of it was chronicled here but most of it happened on the Rogan Board under the nick deltav. That's gone now but some of the members moved over to standing69.com (NSFW obviously). I posted some of it there if anyone's curious.

I've since learnt that what helped me the most is called CBT. Simple, practical tools to retrain your thinking. Baby steps.

That stay cost me R50K but it was worth it. I still have my life and family. Things are looking up again.


I still think about this poor guy sometimes. Some of you might remember him starting a few threads here. I wanted to say something at the time but I couldn't think of anything that wouldn't make things worse.

Hope he's okay.
 

DMNknight

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Messages
3,280
Laugh all you want you smug fsck.

What this means is, that we may actually have something akin to momentum through time, rather than an actual "speed" that while a certain directionality of time is certain, the speed of it is not.
Also, seeing as we exist in a block of time, let's say 50ms long, that means we are active in a ****load of planck seconds.

Here's the other rub. If we exist in all of those planck seconds, all of the time, then all the time we are in those planck seconds, we exist. That means the broader theory of time existing all the time is fundamentally true.

What then determines the directionality of our time? Why are we stuck on a rail inevitably going, what we see as, forwards in time.
Can we slice time? Like in Terry Pratchett's History Monks?

Good thoughts for going into the weekend.
 

Prawnapple

Expert Member
Joined
May 18, 2015
Messages
1,157
Laugh all you want you smug fsck.

What this means is, that we may actually have something akin to momentum through time, rather than an actual "speed" that while a certain directionality of time is certain, the speed of it is not.
Also, seeing as we exist in a block of time, let's say 50ms long, that means we are active in a ****load of planck seconds.

Here's the other rub. If we exist in all of those planck seconds, all of the time, then all the time we are in those planck seconds, we exist. That means the broader theory of time existing all the time is fundamentally true.

What then determines the directionality of our time? Why are we stuck on a rail inevitably going, what we see as, forwards in time.
Can we slice time? Like in Terry Pratchett's History Monks?

Good thoughts for going into the weekend.
I like the way you think.

"What then determines the directionality of our time?"

I guess time is just the expansion of the universe, constantly continuing on from the singularity. Like in this pic: Big Bang Expansion

"Why are we stuck on a rail inevitably going"

I don't think there's much we can do about this. Our cells are degrading and changing all the time. People's minds are changing, the universe as a whole is in a constant state of change. Change seems to the only constant in the universe and I don't think there's anyway to stop or undo this. When we look at this constant change, I guess we are then perceiving "time" or progress of time as we know it.

Just my 2 cents :)
 

DMNknight

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Messages
3,280
If I am thinking correctly, by my earlier observations on determinism, When time comes into contact with us...or the other way around, non-deterministic becomes deterministic.
Sort of like a time zip. What we bring to the table is Consciousness and The Observer. (effect)
By observing, we change things, especially by making reality real. Does this change therefore propel time?
When we stop observing, is it death?
But seeing as we existed before and into the future... *melts*
 
Top