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Is There Room for Spirit Beings in Atheism?

  1. Rhonda D Johnson profile image76
    Rhonda D Johnsonposted 4 years ago

    I was about to reply to rickylidea's forum "How Did You Become an Atheist?" when it dawned on me that I might not qualify as a bona fide atheist.  Some of you may remember from my previous hubs that I hesitate to apply a label to what I do and do not believe.   Still, there are some points in the atheistic paradigm with which I agree and that is why I started to reply to ricky.

    Atheists don't believe in the existence of what can be called a god.   While I cannot argue logically that there is definitely some al-powerful, overarching being, I still believe that there are spirits/ancestors/orishas. Since atheists are human, I must surmise that atheism is like any other human paradigm, consisting of conservatives and liberals, hardliners and progressives.  Therefore my question will bring a diversity of opinions.

    My reply to ricky's forum will most likely consist of my reasons for leaving the Christian church rather than taking upon myself a predefined label.   Is there anyone here who would object to such a reply as being off topic?

    1. Eugene Hardy profile image60
      Eugene Hardyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      No really.

      There are many kinds of folk who call themselves atheists, and I believe not all of them agree on just what that is.

      For instance, in the States, when I hear online or out on the street the argument of atheism it is the non-belief in Jesus Christ as God, or anything dealing with the Bible.  But what stopped me from being an atheist and started me on my path of spiritual exploration is that this argument does exclude any other form of spirituality.  It seemed to me that the choice between Christ and atheism to be -limited.

      What of all the other spiritual traditions and faiths?

      What of the Truth?

      So it is a fair question.

      To be honest though, I think your forum would be more interesting.

    2. pennyofheaven profile image80
      pennyofheavenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Maybe this is off topic??

      I think when we attach ourselves to labels the logical and reasoning mind then goes about collecting only the data that relates to that label. It restricts data from any other label because that is the logic doing it's job. When we do not attach ourselves to labels our logical mind does not have to fit data into any label and therefore does not restrict data coming in or going out.

      1. Recently Awakened profile image61
        Recently Awakenedposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Beautifully said. Too much emphasis is placed on labeling, categorizing, and what not. Then, the whole point is being missed. You can label yourself what ever you like and it really doesn't matter what other people say. If that is what you want, go for it. It is best to stop thinking about it so much and just be who you are!

        1. pennyofheaven profile image80
          pennyofheavenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Just be says it all! Thanks

      2. profile image0
        Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I dislike labels, but other people seem to require them, so I eventually acquiesce and select one. However, i promise that I don't afterwards pre-select data based on that label. I am an insatiable consumer of data, and I take great care to consume it from many, many sources.

        1. pennyofheaven profile image80
          pennyofheavenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I don't doubt that at all about you Chasuk.

    3. Cagsil profile image60
      Cagsilposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      No.

    4. profile image0
      rickyliceaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Thanks for the mention Rhonda D. Johnson. wink
      My opinion is that atheists embrace a materialist outlook, thus excluding them  from the group of people that believe in spirits, etc.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materialism

      1. profile image0
        Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        You are correct. Of course, not _all_ atheists embrace a materialist outlook, but most certainly do.

    5. TMDHemsley17 profile image90
      TMDHemsley17posted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Well, technically yes. Atheism is the belief that there is no God, but that doesn't mean said atheist doesn't believe in spirits or ghosts or other supernatural phenomenon. However, atheists such as myself tend to be rationalists and skeptics who believe in evidence and science, and so most people who identify with atheism would probably not believe in spirits as they have no evidence or rationale behind the idea.

      1. Eugene Hardy profile image60
        Eugene Hardyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I think the term for a disbelief in God, but a belief in spiritualism would have other 'labels'.

        For instance, it is possible to be a gnostic that does not believe in an all powerful god as in Christianity and still have spiritualism, seeking spiritual answers for existence and other life issues.

        It depends on what you need spiritually or lack there of.

        But this isn't strictly atheism.

        1. jacharless profile image82
          jacharlessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Good call, Mr Hardy. Atheism would lean closer to Gnosticism, given the no-god concept, yet still leans toward Christianity, leaving room for spiritual. A metronome effect, perhaps? That is quite an extraordinary premise. It opens further ideas about the fundamentals of atheism.

          James.

    6. oceansnsunsets profile image89
      oceansnsunsetsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      To answer the main question of this thread, the answer would have to be no.

  2. kathleenkat profile image89
    kathleenkatposted 4 years ago

    I think that's agnostic.

  3. profile image0
    Chasukposted 4 years ago

    Most atheists wouldn't believe in "Spirit Beings" because most atheists -- myself included -- don't believe in the supernatural, at all.

    EDIT: Let me amplify the statement above.

    Atheism is the lack of belief in God or gods, nothing more, nothing less. However, most atheists also lack belief in the supernatural, at least when "supernatural" is defined as something outside of nature. Some atheists define the supernatural as phenomena _currently_ inexplicable, yet existing within nature. Those atheists could logically believe in spiritual beings.

  4. jacharless profile image82
    jacharlessposted 4 years ago

    Of course there is. Atheism simply practices what most do -most meaning the believing- that is a rationality of something incomprehensible by textual validity; by terminology defined as supra-natural. Neither can explain it, and therefore dismiss it for some other doctrine idea/recompense. But both can attest to something powerful around them -call it whatever you prefer: space, matter, energy, love, consciousness, nothingness. Neither can be clear or emphatic in stating, because both lack what it is they define as the testable, provable, tangible parameters of experience. Therefore, spirit implies what is beyond the scope of reason, rational, logical experiential. It does not dismiss the probability, only the possibility and the effects of that possibility...

    James.

    1. profile image0
      Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I'm not sure what you mean by "textual validity," as atheism has no canon texts.

      Naturally, atheists know that things more "powerful" than them exist. However, that isn't a tenet of atheism. Atheism addresses only the lack of belief in God or gods.

      Most atheists dismiss the probability of supernatural phenomena. This is because most atheists reject non-empirical claims. Still, dismissing the probability of something is not the same as dismissing its possibility, which is why most atheists _do_ concede the possibility of supernatural phenomena.

      1. jacharless profile image82
        jacharlessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Obviously. I disagree. The probability is more acceptable by the a/theist, than the possibility. Because possibility demands practical application or thorough scrutiny by all testable parameters. Neither theist nor atheist {identified equals} } will do so, because it dismisses/nullifies their traditional/accepted rationality pro/con, of the issue itself. Probability, on the other hand, is purely speculative, barely considerable. If anything, a quasi-experimental, not a literal.

        1. profile image0
          Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I disagree. :-)

          "Possibility" refers to something being capable of occurring or existing. I acknowledge the possibility of a velveteen hippogriff orbiting Uranus.

          "Probability" refers to the likelihood of something occurring or existing.  I acknowledge the possibility of a velveteen hippogriff orbiting Uranus, but I don't consider it very probable.

          1. jacharless profile image82
            jacharlessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            lol velveteen wha-? Now that story is totally ruined for me. Was one of my fav's.

            Precisely! The likelihood of, versus the capability of. Therefore void of testability, a moot point. It is more plausible to consider the likelihood of a thing, than the capability of a thing. Capability demands validity by experiential -that is something neither a/theism want to do.

            James.

            1. profile image0
              Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              I'll respond by explaining, briefly, my own atheism.

              Everything is a belief. There is no knowledge. To say that I "know" something is merely to say that I believe it with a high degree of certainty.

              I don't know that I am sitting in front of a computer in South Korea, entering text on a keyboard, communicating with you via the Internet. I don't know that my cute poodle puppy, Licorice, is sitting beside me. However, because I believe these things with a high degree of certainty, I refer to them -- in general discourse -- as things that I "know."

              I believe that I exist. If I "know" anything, I know this.

              I know that I like chocolate. I know that Christina Ricci is more sexually appealing to me than Angelina Jolie. I say that I "know" these things without hesitation, and without qualification. After all, they are matters of opinion, and matters of opinion never require empirical proof.

              On the other hand, not all "knowledge" concerns matters of opinion. Some concerns questions of fact. A question of fact has a "yes" or a "no answer."

              The existence of Yahweh is a question of fact. He either exists, or he doesn't, and my opinion is irrelevant. I lack belief in the existence of Yahweh -- or other gods -- because I have no reason to hypothesize him/them.

              All of the claims that I believe with a high degree of certainty are claims that 1) interest me enough to have investigated their probability,  and 2)  are supported by non-trivial evidence.

              Many claims I neither believe nor disbelieve, but merely acknowledge. This includes any claims regarding the origin of the universe.

              All of my beliefs, excepting the belief in my own existence, are provisional. I happily modify any of them.

              1. Jerami profile image76
                Jeramiposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                all things contain some truth and  NOTHING is as it apears to be.

                1. profile image0
                  Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  All things? Really?

                  Of the following statements, which contain truth?

                  1. ALL pizza consists entirely of puréed Labrador livers.
                  2. Genghis Khan was married to Nancy Sinatra.
                  3. Jerami is the secret identity of Abraham Lincoln.

                  1. Jerami profile image76
                    Jeramiposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    The word pizza is true and labrador livers do exist. And yet when you put them together it is not as it apears to be

                       And now that you have spread the word ..  me being Abraham Lincoln is no longer a secret.

                    Genghis Khan's boots were made for walking though he usually rode his horse

              2. Disappearinghead profile image89
                Disappearingheadposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                To summarise then, you can know your owns opinions with certainty, but facts are not absolutely knowable? Facts either are or are not but can only be up to 99.9% certainly known. The level of known is partly dependant on the level of research and partly subjective. Subjective in that the known may get only as far as 90% and the the observer fills up the remaining 10% in their heads.

                1. profile image0
                  Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  That's a pretty decent summary, yes.

              3. recommend1 profile image71
                recommend1posted 4 years ago in reply to this

                I agree (provisionally)  except that even things that are 'facts' can be ultimately proved to be wrong, also opinions are certain but are subject to change, for instgance your sexual preference for Christina Ricci would be subject to modification if you met Angelina Jolie and she took a 'liking' to you !

                This brings up interesting issues - I have much the sam view as you and realise that actually we know very little about even what we think we know, most of what we believe as facts are not true or usually are not even facts, and we make our opinions on this bed of fallacy - oftenin accord with viewpoints that were imprinted on us before we were thinking for ourselves.

                This surely is the depths of the chasm that critical thinking flies above.

                1. profile image0
                  Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Yes.

                  I do believe that greater levels of certainty are (theoretically) possible. Unfortunately, most people are not interested in -- and perhaps incapable of -- learning the critical thinking skills necessary to obtain it.

                  I like the phrase, "the depths of the chasm that critical thinking flies above."

                  Thanks. :-)

                  1. recommend1 profile image71
                    recommend1posted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    help youself to it - comes from a series of lectures I gave on critical thinking - to add drama and to make me sound more intelligent than I am

              4. jacharless profile image82
                jacharlessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Understood. And well put, I might add.

                My perspective:

                Nature {universe} is what happens when an unstoppable force meets and immovable object.
                Sub-nature {unseen}, nature {where knowledge is static}, supra-nature {unseen}.
                I would also call knowledge white noise.

                Everything within the static is given a name, title, image, limitation, ability, mobility -an identity.
                Everything came from nothing {unknown, unseen, without name or title}.

                So, when the concepts arise regarding the sub or supra, knowledge goes from static to active/passive  toward the sub or supra. {Liken this to when Neo flexed in the film Matrix.} The sub-supra are the same, ever constant, which is why knowledge can be, can exist.

                Our greatest example of this is space itself. It is a force, unknown, unseen, yet exists as sub-supra, and maintains the static -the visible of itself. Wave and ray merge, projective and reflective collide and comes optic view, the absorptive, the visible.

                As you mentioned, YHWH is a name, a title given by knowledge, that flexes. The term g/God is the same, exemplified by the many titles, forms, images, names given to an astounding number of what knowledge defines as a power between the sub and supra. the largest collective is in the {now} Hindu tradition, having millions of said powers, now borrowed in part of whole by the Big Three. Would that make knowledge god, because it is giving place or reality to the things it titles? One wonders.

                In further philosophical studies of gnosticism and ancient North African culture {thanks be to an aunt who works for the Smithsonian}, regarding the origins, almost precisely what I stated meets theirs like a mirror -ideas 5700 'years' in the making. Ideas older than any known collective theology {science & sensation}. From now reading, more in depth, many of the unearthing of the DDS, am further convinced this is the case.

                So, when, to the general dislike of a/theist, alike, I say they are the same, this is the thinking behind it. Dis/belief are the flex. They too are what happens when that unstoppable force meets that immovable object, from either perspective --or both. And continues to the greatest and smallest -enth.

                Probability, like space, is that force unseen yet exists. Knowledge is what forms from it and possibility is the re/flex -that static, that white noise. If correct, meaning Creator, then this universe, is that static, is that white noise, is Knowledge.

                James.

                1. profile image0
                  Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  You've obviously given this a lot of thought, so I will give a respectful, if puzzled, reply.

                  You write, "Nature {universe} is what happens when an unstoppable force meets and immovable object."

                  What does that mean, exactly? The question, "What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?" is a famous paradox. Are you saying that nature is a paradox?

                  You then divide nature up into the sub-natural and the supra-natural (the supernatural) without giving any reason for the division. You define knowledge as white noise/static. When concepts arise regarding the  sub-natural and the supra-natural (from where? by what means?), the knowledge isn't white noise/static anymore, but transforms to "active/passive toward the sub or supra."

                  You then write, " {Liken this to when Neo flexed in the film Matrix.} The sub-supra are the same, ever constant, which is why knowledge can be, can exist."

                  What does all of this mean? Respectfully, you may have all of this fixed in your mind, but the meaning is lost in translation to the written word.

                  Please, don't take any offense. I'd like to understand what you mean, but, as currently expressed, I'm not finding your thoughts very explicable.

                  1. jacharless profile image82
                    jacharlessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    True enough. Putting ink to thought is often the most difficult of tasks.

                    Now, what is a paradox? A defined implosive-explosive; a probable-improbable; a proof-unprovable. It is simply the same force balancing itself. It simply means "itself" is unchanging/constant/immutable, even as it changes, mutates, interacts. In a word: Irresistible!

                    No one knows how great or small that Irresistible is.

                    Nature is not divided, but expressed in terms, because of how we speak. Hence, supra, static, sub. The supra-nature and sub-nature is the result of that Irresistible. Nature, Creation, Universe. A thing of singularity {constant} yet having many parts {motion; unstoppable}. A continuum that seems to breathe, flex.

                    Knowledge is the between. How can that be? Well, what is knowledge: a revealing of what is not readily known, seen, visible, tangible. What caused Knowledge? The passion from within that Irresistible. Knowledge is static, because it cannot move outside of itself, or it would not be known. The Universe cannot be outside of itself, but can contains many things within. Knowledge is apart of that Irresistible and therefore is also irresistible to itself. We could again continue down this helix to the smallest -enth.  "The Greatness is measured only by the smallness of the things within it"

                    What is called supra-natural or sub-natural are those components of the Irresistible. The unseen which is often labeled spirit. Theos, meaning the Great Sensational Equation, which is Reason, within our Knowledge, forms labels, titles, etc. This is why the mind is never satisfied, because it is Irresistible to itself. Ever constant information, always in motion {doing}. As the imagination in us creates whatever we perceive.

                    I hope this makes better sense. I apologize for being lazy in my explanation -am exhausted today. lol.
                    James.

  5. Rhonda D Johnson profile image76
    Rhonda D Johnsonposted 4 years ago

    Yes, I see there are a number of differing opinions, all claiming to represent orthodox atheism.  Some may even argue that since atheism has no written canon, there can be no orthodoxy in atheism.  That argument could spark a whole nother hub/forum.

    I’m still not sure if I should reply to rickylicea’s forum.  I could with some sort of disclaimer.  Say certain experiences in my life, which I can neither duplicate  nor demonstrate, have led me to believe in the possible existence of indefinable, unknown, non physical beings who for some reason, unknown to me, have taken it upon themselves to make me suspect that they exist and are responsible for certain blessings in my life.

    Based on what you guys have said, I could shoehorn that into a forum for atheists.  As I read it, it sounds like something that might warrant a visit from the men in the long white coats.  Glad none of you knows where I live.

  6. Druid Dude profile image59
    Druid Dudeposted 4 years ago

    This is why I have said that just because someone doesn't believe in God doesn't mean that they don't harbor other beliefs that would be considered illogical by others. Some think that I'm a mystic...I don't see it that way. Some think I'm a christian and refuse to see me any other way. I believe that I experienced something very real and very human, natural, not super-natural (I don't believe in the super-natural, just aspects of nature that we don't yet understand). I see God as being equal to Einstein's 'E'. From there it is pretty self explanitory, although many don't seem to get it. Stephen Hawking would be apoplectic.

    1. A Troubled Man profile image59
      A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Then, we are merely seeking the mass for the 'm' in the equation, which is what exactly?

  7. Druid Dude profile image59
    Druid Dudeposted 4 years ago

    For an atheist to deny even the spiritual aspect of man, would be supreme folly...but, they will tell you that the spiritual aspect is a delusion, and is illogical.

    1. kathleenkat profile image89
      kathleenkatposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Or they would explain it differently than something supernatural.

      Also, what do Vulcans believe? They are very logical smile

    2. A Troubled Man profile image59
      A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      It is folly to deny Santa Claus, too, for fear of receiving coal in ones chimney stocking.

      1. Eugene Hardy profile image60
        Eugene Hardyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Unless you do not have a chimney.

      2. kathleenkat profile image89
        kathleenkatposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Coal is a great source of energy. Much more useful than candy or toys. I like coal. It powers things like trains, real trains (rather than toy trains). Bring on the coal!

 
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