There is a movement by some atheists towards becoming more spiritual. This is according to a NPR program that aired on February 17, 2013. It seems wise to define atheism and some of its core beliefs to see if there is room for atheists in the spiritualist community.
The following information is from an article by Richard Lombard on a website called WorldviewU. The article is called Atheism and Secular Humanism.
“Definition - Atheism: The belief that neither God nor gods exist. Atheism holds to the belief that the physical world is all that exists. Atheism denies the existence of the supernatural world. Since God does not exist, man is in control of his own destiny and creates his own meaning in life. Observation, experience, logic, and reason are the foundations of knowledge and understanding.
Atheistic arguments against the existence of God:
- There is not sufficient evidence to suggest that supernatural beings exist.
- The presence of pain and suffering in the world prove that God does not exist, because an all-loving and all powerful God would not allow pain and suffering.”
© 2009 Richard Lombard, WorldviewU. The definitions found in this article are for educational purposes, and not necessarily the views of Richard Lombard. You can learn more at http://worldviewu.org/.
We will take a spiritualist view of the definition and the arguments against the existence of God.
With regard to the beliefs of any of the God(s) of specific religions, these are based upon definitions and actions of the people writing the religious texts and running the religious organizations. Most of the authors were men, and most of the attributes of the God(s) are based upon the thinking of the authors.
Yahweh, the Judeo-Christian God, can be used as an example of God having characteristics of men. Yahweh can be bribed with tribute and sacrifices, kills people that don’t follow His commandments, and provides special protection for His followers in times of war and famine. Man is said to have been created in the image of God, which makes God about 5’ 7” according to the average height of men at the time the Jewish religion was founded. Yahweh has proclaimed that His followers are chosen people. In the grand scheme of history and given the total extent of just this world’s population, this seems to have been disproved.
While it is true that the physical world is part of the creation, it is not all that exists. Thoughts and ideas exist, but the content of the thought or idea cannot be proven. They are formless and outside of the physical world. It is also true that everything is made up of energy, but science cannot explain the origin of all energy, and it certainly cannot create energy from nothingness.
Spiritualism uses as proof of the existence and continuation of the soul the messages received from those that have passed to those remaining on the earth plane. The intimate information known only to the receiver of these messages from those no longer in the physical world is certainly proof to the receiver that the soul has continued to exist. Confirmation of the validity of the information by the receiver to the medium provides validation to the medium of their beliefs.
There are numerous near-death experiences (NDE) that have occurred due to the miracles of modern science. People are often brought back to life after accidents, medical mistakes and occurrences of seizures, strokes and other incidents that once caused immediate death.
Some say that these experiences are the result of chemical changes and oxygen deprivation; they are hallucinations. The similarity of these experiences over a wide range of cultures, religions, mental capacity and age are proof of a unique experience that is not generally shared among such a large group of diverse people.
The combination of the spiritual content of spiritual messages, dreams, and near-death experiences lays the groundwork of proof of higher beings and souls outside of the observed physical universe.
The existence of pain and suffering does not prove that there is no higher power. It just proves that the higher power, i.e. Infinite Intelligence, does not have the same standard of good and evil that mankind holds. In the larger view, what is a disaster on a local level is often a major benefit to the Universe at large.
The Eastern view is that there is no good or evil, but only the reality of what has happened. The Creator of All That Is established the framework for physical existence, and has allowed free will to occur to some extent in determining what happens in the Universe. Each person is held personally responsible, and what happens in their lives, or past or future lives, reflects their actions on the physical plane.
We have very limited knowledge of the full range of actions and beings in the totality of the creation. As one example of a practically infinite number of galaxies, stars and planets, we cannot make conclusions on the intent of the Creator. We can assume that our assumption of specialness beyond any other beings in the Universe is more likely the view of mankind than that of the Creator.
Spiritualism is a very open community with regard to individual beliefs. Atheists that cannot recite “We believe in Infinite Intelligence” are welcome. We do expect that everyone respects all others in the community, and everyone treats everyone else according to the Golden Rule.
Spiritualists believe that no soul is ever beyond redemption, and that each soul has a purpose and a spiritual journey to achieve. We welcome all beliefs, including those that do not believe anything for which we declare to be in our principles, as long as respect and dignity are provided to every other person’s beliefs.
We welcome atheists to our spiritualist community. You can learn more about the wonders of the Universe and the creation at www.christianspiritualisttemple.org.