Ganesha VS Flying spaghetti monster
People give me lots of shit because I'm catholic. It seems an accepted truth in Europe that religion is just a fix for gullible fools or a tool for mass manipulation and that anyone sane can only be atheist. "And surely I don't believe that God made the world in 6 days, or that Eve was made out of one of Adams rib, and surely I don't support the interdiction on condoms" and blah blah blah... Few people question the atheist dogma that religion is bad.
Most of the time, my response to the nagging is in the vein of "Fuck off, or I'll sue you for religious discrimination". But sometimes, I just ask them if they believe they have a soul. They mostly say yes. So most atheism is not exempt of spirituality.
But what exactly is the atheist spirituality? Is it any different to religious spirituality? Anymore difference than there is between the spirituality of two separate religions? If not, Atheism would actually qualify for inclusion in the list of recognized religions. Now that'd be funny!
Defining Atheist spirituality
The various religious spiritualities have that in common that they have very slowly evolved over centuries or millennia. One consequence that atheists like to point out is that this huge inertia make them close to impossible to adapt to a changing world. But there are other consequences to that patient evolution: Religious spirituality is rather mature, universalist and equilibrated.
If one doesn't want to buy into that scheme, but still wants to believe that they are more than mere flesh and bones, one will need to construct themself a spirituality from scratch. Very often, what he will end up with will be neither mature, universalist nor equilibrated.
A number of atheists I have questioned about spirituality told me that, though they give the finger to the concept of God, they believe in a sort of omnipresent invisible energy that is very reminiscent of primitive sorts of animisms. And I suspect mostly inspired from the Jedi belief system..
In any case, a spirituality is a rather complex philosophical system that deal with your soul's health and that ends up being the basis of many a crucial choice in a person's life. It is not to be taken lightly ; an out-of-tune spirituality can have devastating effect on one's life in the long run. And while one might be in disagreement with some aspects of the spirituality of his peers, it is a bit pretentious to willingly throw it all away and intend to rebuild from scratch a very subtle system of belief, without having any training in the matter, and expect it to be of superior quality. It takes guys like Jesus Christ, Siddhārtha Gautama and Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullāh to achieve that.
That's how someone like me can be both rational and religious. And I defy you atheist scum to prove me wrong using rational arguments.
Adopting third-party spirituality
Now, I intentionally left out one obvious possibility: If one shouldn't expect to build himself a spirituality successfully, then can't they adopt an already existing and successful spirituality. Us religious fanatics call that "converting".
Well... Doesn't it beat the purpose? "Fuck religion! From now on, I'll take spiritual direction from Steve Jobs!"
We cannot not notice that an atheist that hasn't bothered assembling a self-spirituality is cannon fodder for all the scam or destructive spirituality systems out there. The clever greedy gurus, the sincere but a bit weird belief systems like scientology, and the spirituality surrogates "for a fee" that the consumption society is always eager to provide.
The super atheist
Now, some atheists, when I ask them if they think they have a soul, answer "no". It could be argued that they are in denial while saying that, and thus in another world of shit. But I don't think humans can only define themselves within a spiritual belief system. I believe that it is possible and consistent to define oneself as solely made of interacting matter. I believe that a human being is potentially able to lead a sane and happy life without needing spiritual guidelines. I believe that one can live until their last day convinced that their self will not outlive their flesh.
I also believe it is extremely unnatural and that few people will be able to do it without melting a fuse at one point or another. Every single otherwise unrelated human society has developed a spirituality to help its members deal with metaphysical issues. The ones that have enough free will to extirpate themselves of it have all my respect. As long as they don't try to drag the unsuspecting bunch after them.
Enough already with blog articles?