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Posted: 20 July 2013 05:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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mid atlantic - 19 July 2013 11:19 PM
Lois - 19 July 2013 11:10 PM
FreeInKy - 18 May 2012 11:35 AM

“What I’m asking you to entertain is that there is nothing we need to believe on insufficient evidence in order to have deeply ethical and spiritual lives.”
― Sam Harris

How do you define spiritual or spiritual lives?

I realize that’s a Sam Harris quote, but what does spiritual mean to you? (or to anyone on this forum). I’m curious.

Lois

We’ve had discussions about this before - that spiritual doesn’t have to mean “spiritual” in the normal sense. I don’t think of myself as having any spirituality, but some members here do feel they have some sort of secular spirituality.

Yes, I know, but i’d like to know what it is.  If something can’t be defined in a rational way it is completely useless.

Lois

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Posted: 20 July 2013 09:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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FreeInKy - 21 May 2012 08:54 AM

By the way, Jack, I love the Thomas Paine quote in your sig.

Your quote:
Free in Kentucky
—Humanist
“I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.”—Edith Sitwell

I like it but it tends to mean that you’re a loner in reality and spend a lot of time on forum discussion groups! I’ve been trying to Tweet to others to engage in intelligent conversation, and so far, I’m struggling. I had my own quote below as my intro quote on Twitter and it doesn’t attract much attention. So I changed it to something similar to yours, in my own words: “I need some brain damage; I thought intelligence was wise.” Woohoo! I gained 6 followers! (now up to 10)

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Posted: 21 July 2013 06:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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I like it but it tends to mean that you’re a loner in reality and spend a lot of time on forum discussion groups! I’ve been trying to Tweet to others to engage in intelligent conversation, and so far, I’m struggling. I had my own quote below as my intro quote on Twitter and it doesn’t attract much attention. So I changed it to something similar to yours, in my own words: “I need some brain damage; I thought intelligence was wise.” Woohoo! I gained 6 followers! (now up to 10)


I believe you live in Canada Scott. Whie I’m certain there are many conservatives in your community there are many more in our neck of the woods. So, in a way we are loners and fellow travelers in our community. I miss Free as he was the only one on this forum to share my culture and background. So this forum and discussions with a couple of my former students and my son are it here. He BTW just found a meet up group near us and we hope to widen the circle. They are a new skeptic group and I hope to find more youth that I’d farts like me. It does get lonely at times! But it could get complicated as I’m running for our local school board and if I win will be the first openly atheist board member in our school district’s history. I will follow our only African American member. It will be interesting to see if or how my opponents use this against me.

 

Cap’t Jack

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One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

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Posted: 21 July 2013 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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Lois - 20 July 2013 05:54 AM
mid atlantic - 19 July 2013 11:19 PM
Lois - 19 July 2013 11:10 PM
FreeInKy - 18 May 2012 11:35 AM

“What I’m asking you to entertain is that there is nothing we need to believe on insufficient evidence in order to have deeply ethical and spiritual lives.”
― Sam Harris

How do you define spiritual or spiritual lives?

I realize that’s a Sam Harris quote, but what does spiritual mean to you? (or to anyone on this forum). I’m curious.

Lois

We’ve had discussions about this before - that spiritual doesn’t have to mean “spiritual” in the normal sense. I don’t think of myself as having any spirituality, but some members here do feel they have some sort of secular spirituality.

Yes, I know, but i’d like to know what it is.  If something can’t be defined in a rational way it is completely useless.

Lois

Lois how about music? Not only is science still trying to grapple with the mechanics of music, but it certainly has a spiritual quality for me. And I daresay many billions
more.
So, Music is still tough to define in a rational way mechanically, yet rationally no one can deny that music affects people in a secular way.
I would also say that everyone has their own right to define their own spirituality as it applies to them.
Of course you are more than entitled to point out how useless you think it is.

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Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

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Posted: 21 July 2013 06:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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I think a problem is the use (misuse) of “spiritual”.  Many, both religious and non-religious, use it when they are really talking about emotional.  There are some foods I like and some I don’t like and certainly some music the same.  As I was driving this afternoon, I saw a man walking his Samoyed puppy.  I couldn’t help but smile at how cute the pup was - not rational and not spiritual, but nicely positive emotions. 

Occam

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Posted: 21 July 2013 07:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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VYAZMA - 21 July 2013 10:47 AM
Lois - 20 July 2013 05:54 AM
mid atlantic - 19 July 2013 11:19 PM
Lois - 19 July 2013 11:10 PM
FreeInKy - 18 May 2012 11:35 AM

“What I’m asking you to entertain is that there is nothing we need to believe on insufficient evidence in order to have deeply ethical and spiritual lives.”
― Sam Harris

How do you define spiritual or spiritual lives?

I realize that’s a Sam Harris quote, but what does spiritual mean to you? (or to anyone on this forum). I’m curious.

Lois

We’ve had discussions about this before - that spiritual doesn’t have to mean “spiritual” in the normal sense. I don’t think of myself as having any spirituality, but some members here do feel they have some sort of secular spirituality.

Yes, I know, but i’d like to know what it is.  If something can’t be defined in a rational way it is completely useless.

Lois

Lois how about music? Not only is science still trying to grapple with the mechanics of music, but it certainly has a spiritual quality for me. And I daresay many billions
more.
So, Music is still tough to define in a rational way mechanically, yet rationally no one can deny that music affects people in a secular way.
I would also say that everyone has their own right to define their own spirituality as it applies to them.
Of course you are more than entitled to point out how useless you think it is.


You are trying to define a word usung that word to define it. I might not think it’s useless if anyone could explain what it is—without using the word “spiritual” to define it. If music moves you in some way why not expalin exactly what it does instead of uaing an undefined concept?

Lois

[ Edited: 22 July 2013 03:07 PM by Lois ]
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Posted: 21 July 2013 09:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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Yes. Spirit means liquors, ghosts, bon homie, good cheer, etc.
I see you’re in good spirits.
That’s the spirit!
School Spirit. etc..
The average person is going to know what I mean when I say that music can be a spiritual thing.
Especially when I add that I don’t mean it in any religious sense.
But really..does it matter if I clarify that last part?  Probably not.  I know I’m an atheist, that’s all that matters.

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Posted: 21 July 2013 09:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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You are trying to define a word usung that word to define it. I might not think,it’s useless if anyone could explain what it is—without using the word “spiritual” to define it. If music moves you in some way why not expalin exactly what it does instead of uaing an undefined concept?

Lois

Why?  Sometimes I like using the words in the English language to convey quick, short bursts of information.
It’s alot easier than having to take 5-10 minutes and explain exactly how music makes me feel to someone.
I can just as easily relay…“Oh yeah man, this Miles Davis album is so good, it’s like a spiritual journey!”
Then the other person will say…“Yeah, I know what you mean.”

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Posted: 22 July 2013 09:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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I’ve been reading Richard Carrier’s Sense and Goodness Without God, he gives the best definition I’ve heard. We are acting “spiritually” when we focus on joy and happiness and not on material things. When experience “spiritual” when we feel awe and wonder.

He says more than that, but I would throw in that the term has too much else attached to it. I might use the above explanation if someone said I incapable of feeling “spiritual”, but I’d rather just say that I can experience wonder just as well as any Christian.

Sorry, no great quote to go with this.

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Posted: 22 July 2013 09:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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VYAZMA - 21 July 2013 09:21 PM

You are trying to define a word usung that word to define it. I might not think,it’s useless if anyone could explain what it is—without using the word “spiritual” to define it. If music moves you in some way why not expalin exactly what it does instead of uaing an undefined concept?

Lois

Why?  Sometimes I like using the words in the English language to convey quick, short bursts of information.
It’s alot easier than having to take 5-10 minutes and explain exactly how music makes me feel to someone.
I can just as easily relay…“Oh yeah man, this Miles Davis album is so good, it’s like a spiritual journey!”
Then the other person will say…“Yeah, I know what you mean.”

Sure it’s easier, but it adds nothing to the other person’s understanding of what you are trying to get across and often interferes with it.

Lois

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Posted: 22 July 2013 09:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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Lausten - 22 July 2013 09:15 AM

I’ve been reading Richard Carrier’s Sense and Goodness Without God, he gives the best definition I’ve heard. We are acting “spiritually” when we focus on joy and happiness and not on material things. When experience “spiritual” when we feel awe and wonder.

He says more than that, but I would throw in that the term has too much else attached to it. I might use the above explanation if someone said I incapable of feeling “spiritual”, but I’d rather just say that I can experience wonder just as well as any Christian.

Sorry, no great quote to go with this.

I’d rather say I feel better when I focus on joy and happiness and not material things.  What’s wrong with that?  Why bring in another concept that has implications you may not intend to make?


“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.   Henry David Thoreau

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Posted: 22 July 2013 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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Carrier goes on to discuss the mistake of associating an experience, such as looking up at the stars and feeling connected to the universe, with something non-existent. That’s the part of “spirituality” that has inherent dangers. If you think you really tapped into some power that isn’t there, you might take all sorts of wrong turns. So that’s the downside of the term, and I agree with you Lois, a good reason to not use it.

But what I’ve heard religious people say is that if you don’t believe in God, you can never have that experience, or “spiritual” people say if you “think scientifically” you aren’t open to such experiences and won’t have them. This is bunk of course on many levels. Reaching some agreement on just what “spiritual” means reclaims this territory as something available to everyone. We don’t have to deny a Christian a “spiritual” experience, we just don’t associate it with something that isn’t there. They are then stuck with their exclusionary tactic and nothing to back it up.

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Posted: 22 July 2013 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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I think it’s safe to use the term, “spirituality” or others in the context of people who understand one another. I agree that using it elsewhere may likely lead to others reading more into it than you actually do. So you have to keep adjusting your language with varying audiences—especially if you don’t have time to explain yourself.

Mind you, I can picture certain authors purposely plucking quotes selectively from others to falsely support something they hold. One name that comes up nearly everywhere to support people’s claims is Einstein. That’s why I’m afraid of using something he’s ever said outside the context. I’m actually quite hesitant about quoting others without an explanation. But at least I read them from others with the same mindset. That is, I don’t take the quote as a communication from the source. I interpret it solely as one’s means of conveying some idea of their own. It would be nice if they taught people to do this in school.

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Posted: 22 July 2013 01:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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Lois-I’d rather say I feel better when I focus on joy and happiness and not material things.  What’s wrong with that?  Why bring in another concept that has implications you may not intend to make?

Nothing’s wrong with that. It’s a little clunky in that you may end up having to have a 2-3 hour philosophical discussion with someone, when all you really wanted to say was that the sunset was moving you deeply.
As far as implications…? What implications?  I don’t care if a stranger gets the impression I’m a religious person.
Who cares?  What does it matter?
I can say..“This music is a spiritual moment for me.”
or I can say..“This music makes me feel good because it helps me focus on joy and happiness and not material things.”
And then the discussion will change from music(which I wanted to discuss) to some 3 hour long discussion on materialism or the definition of happiness.
If that person then says aloud or to themselves…“Oh it helps you(him) get closer to god?”
I might say “yes”.  I might say, “no, I’m an atheist!”  It depends on the moment.
I don’t care anymore about what people think I believe.  I stopped atheist proselytizing.
Another thing which commonly leads to secular spirituality would be admiring nature and one’s place in that context.

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Posted: 22 July 2013 02:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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Vy, although it might not sound as euphonious, I think you could substitute the word “emotion” for most of the places you use “spirit”.  When talking about liquor, one is really referring to the components which vaporize.  This is a case where the word is just about completely unnecessary and could be dispensed with without even bothering with a substitute. 

I realize that when the religious use it, they are referring to a metaphysical fairytale about the same as when they use the words “god”, “angel”, “hell”, “sin”, and for some of them, “easter bunny” and “tooth fairy”.  However, that’s not a usage most of us here bother with.

Occam

[ Edited: 22 July 2013 02:05 PM by Occam. ]
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