Friday, January 09, 2004

Spirituality without Faith? 

How can naturalism inspire spiritual experience?

Although I use the words spirituality and faith differently, this article contends that just as we can be good without God, we can experience spirituality without spirits, and works around the dualism of typical conceptions of spirituality. "I hope to show that in its dualism, the traditional notion of spirituality in effect sets up problems of existential alienation and cognitive dissonance that religions have wrestled with, more or less unsuccessfully, for millennia. At a stroke, naturalism cuts these problems off at the root, providing an emotionally satisfying and cognitively unified basis for feeling completely at home in the world."

He asks: "What would it mean to naturalize spirituality? What precisely would a naturalistic spirituality look like?"

I would phrase the question: how can naturalists have religious experience? (But I'm swimming against the current--naturalist circles tend to regard the word "religion" as anathema.) The linked article, however, is worth reading regardless: http://www.naturalism.org/spiritua1.htm.


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