Can Atheists Have Spirituality?

by John Henson
mansky4.jpgWe now interrupt our regularly scheduled program for this news flash: atheists believe they can be spiritual.
Of course, for an atheist to confirm spirituality, there are some necessary disclaimers to consider. An anonymous writer on an atheistic blog posits, “I do not care for the word ‘spirituality’ when referring to atheists. I have trouble getting past the ‘spirit’ part of the word…” /1
His definition of spirituality is just about anything existential, experiential thing except God. “Spirituality is not the same thing as religion, or even religious belief,” according to the writer.
On one other blog, another writer’s definition of spirituality takes about 200 words. It is probably summed in this statement, “Life is good. I felt that in my soul.”/2 For this writer, spirituality is defined by his own experience and feelings, must as it was defined in the first example.
That spirituality is defined by many people ? religious and atheistic ? within the purview of feelings should not be surprising. Many people believe their feelings central to their understanding of what is spiritual. Thousands of people who consider themselves religious don’t think their worship is spiritual unless they contribute applause, special “music” or some other enhancement designed to stimulate feelings of closeness to God.
Therefore, emotionalism has become today’s measure of whether something is spiritual or not. However, feelings are fickle. We feel differently every day, and startlingly different things can provoke an emotional response.
As Steve Higginbotham wrote, “Proof of this is seen in the fact that our emotions can be equally stirred by what is good and what is evil; by what is true as well as what is a lie.”/3 However, just as Steve has written, what is spiritual is not determined by what is felt, but what God has said.
It is impossible for atheists to have any connection to spiritual things, because they don’t believe those things exist. Seeing a morning sunrise may “feel” like a spiritual experience to them, but it isn’t truly spiritual because spirituality is what God says it is, and not what we may feel.
Only our true, objective God is always the same (Hebrews 13:8). For a true foundation on a spirituality that will never fluctuate, build it on the foundation God provides in the Bible.
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1/ http://www.atheistrev.com/2008/01/atheist-spirituality.html
2/ Ibid
3/http://de-conversion.com/2008/06/27/atheistic-spirituality-a-personal-note/
4/ http://preachinghelp.org/wordpress/?p=1118

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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