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Sam Harris and atheist spirituality...

Bernie D.
BernieDehler
Hillsboro, OR
Post #: 1,395
As an atheist, I have some views quite different than most atheists. However, one guy I really like is Sam Harris. Here's something he's coming-up with, and I feel like I'll be agreeing with him. I think most (vocal) atheists will have a negative knee-jerk reaction to it:

RE:
"In Defense of “Spiritual”"
http://www.samharris....­

Interesting Excerpt:

"We must reclaim good words and put them to good use—and this is what I intend to do with “spiritual.” I have no quarrel with Hitch’s general use of it to mean something like “beauty or significance that provokes awe,” but I believe that we can also use it in a narrower and, indeed, more transcendent sense."


Gavin
Atheistic-ExJW
Beaverton, OR
Post #: 2,113
Bernie said:

As an atheist, I have some views quite different than most atheists. However, one guy I really like is Sam Harris. Here's something he's coming-up with, and I feel like I'll be agreeing with him. I think most (vocal) atheists will have a negative knee-jerk reaction to it:

RE:
"In Defense of “Spiritual”"
http://www.samharris....­

Interesting Excerpt:

"We must reclaim good words and put them to good use—and this is what I intend to do with “spiritual.” I have no quarrel with Hitch’s general use of it to mean something like “beauty or significance that provokes awe,” but I believe that we can also use it in a narrower and, indeed, more transcendent sense."


Yesterday I read portions of Alain de Botton's "Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion" book (while I was at Powell's) about how atheists should copy some of the customs of religions. The interesting thing is, since my whole former religious life was as one of Jehovah's Witnesses and later as an independent Christian, I never engaged in any the types of religious customs mentioned in the book other than a few. That is because Witnesses essentially have no rituals other than baptism and yearly last supper event. They do a little bit of singing of songs, but I don't consider that to really be a ritual. For me the best part of de Botton's book was the latter part which spoke of Auguste Comte's idea of a Religion of Humanity. Comte's ideas are closer to what I have in mind than are de Botton's. However even Comte has to much religious ritual for my tastes. Comte also proposed a reform of the calendar system and for many years (online) I have promoted a variation of his calendar reform concept. My idea (other than my calendar idea) is that of a quasi-religion and it is not envisioned for current atheists (except for a small percentage of them) but rather those theologically liberal Christians who have religious strong doubts and tendencies towards scientific and naturalistic thinking. For a description of it see my Yahoo Group page at Humanistic_Biblicalism · Educators of Naturalism and of Humanism .

My idea is considerably different from what I think happens in most Unitarian Universalist congrgations/fellowships during their worship/sermon service. That is because my idea does use "god language" (other than to say that are no gods or at least probably no gods). But it does express admiration for Nature and the philosophical worldviews of atheistic/metaphysical Naturalism and of Humanism.

To me the best parts of the Christians religion are the good (though relatively few) philosophical, ethical, and moral teachings of a portion of the texts of the religion. Another good part is the use of singing, public teaching, and being part of a movement which tries to make the world a better place.
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