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Atheist unite!!

That would make me furious.
wasted energy. Far easier to just know that these people walk among us and that they are for the most part harmless. If I see harm, yeah, I'm in up to my armpits.
An ex family member used to call ahead to stores and ask that they turn off the music because she was going to go shopping there. She couldn't buy groceries and listen to pop music at the same time. It wasn't enough that they would comply, she had to seek out the manager and thank them personally, probably the main play in the first place. Boy was she pissed when they just stopped shutting off the music for her.
Being angry that a hospital invites me to listen as they talk to god is kind of like my ex family member being pissed because she was being invited to shake rattle and roll.
I will comment on it here, but waste no energy on fighting it. I have simply lost the will to tilt at these windmills. Saving energy for the damned war machines.
 
Hi all,

I have a question. I was raised as an atheist by atheist parents. Mostly I'm fine with that and it's part of my identity. However, on my trauma journey, which has led me to some pretty dark places and difficult questions, I've come to wonder whether there's not something "lacking" in such a simplistically scientific view of the world. It's not religion that's lacking for me but something I can best attempt to define as spirituality.

There's a quote I like "Religion is for people who are afraid of going to hell. Spirituality is for people who have already been there."

Do you find that as atheists, some of you do yet embrace spirituality in some sense? Or do you think that's just hogwash and a scientific understanding of the world is all there is and all that's needed for you?
 
Or do you think that's just hogwash and a scientific understanding of the world is all there is and all that's needed for you?
For me it depends how that is defined.
but ultimately: we are mammals. We live. We die. No bigger , no less, than that.
do we have beautiful moments and connections with ourselves, others, nature, the world, during our lifetime? For sure. So if spirituality is defined like that, then yes. But it’s Not a word I use to define myself and my outlook.
 
For me, I have DID and one of my parts would definitely be classed as ‘spiritual’. But, possibly not in the way that a lot of people use the term.

Essentially, she feels an energy from nature and animals. There’s something ‘unseen’ that she feels, flowing through all living things, which energises her in turn.

(Sounds suspiciously like she may be a Jedi…)

What is that? *shrug* Bar two of my other parts (who have complicated relationships with religion because of my trauma history), I actually struggle to muster any cognitive energy about spirituality at all.

People believe all sorts of weird shit, and get very creative at finding a way to make themselves happy. Seeking something that is fulfilling to you is definitely a worthwhile endeavour, and spirituality is one way of doing that. So is religion more specifically.

There’s a number of different meanings for spirituality. Very roughly, some of the big ones:
  • An internal version - where we have an essence, purpose or deeper ‘meaning’ inside ourselves that goes beyond birth-life-death;
  • Opposite to the above, that there is something that overarches the entire cosmos, and either is unknowable or, is experienced outside our ordinary senses, and (usually) removes the ‘randomness’ element that people sometimes feel about our existence;
  • Spirituality in the religious sense. A divine power, that we know about, and is probably worth organising our existence around in a coordinated way;
  • Spirituality as an afterlife or supernatural.
There’s been quite a bit of research on spirituality and its role in mental health, and there’s certainly a lot of schools of thought that spirituality plays a core role in good mental health. So, I like the idea of spirituality, and while she can be a little…weird… I dig it that one of my parts really defines herself around that (she falls in the second dot point type of spirituality). She does it completely harmlessly, so whatevs!!

I also dig that neuroscience can probably explain all of those things, in the same way it can narrow done ‘true love’ to particular types of neuro-connections in our brain, and that probably most anyone who insists that they have a direction connection to God likely meets the criteria of certain mental health disorders. It isn’t some kind of weird coincidence that “God spoke to me” forms the core of psychotic experience for such a large portion of people living with schizophrenia.

Is there a bigger purpose? Don’t know, and most days of the week I actually don’t care. I found purpose elsewhere (and yep, finding meaning and purpose was as essential for me as it is for even the most devout) and I’m not going to spend emotional energy on existential dread.

Probably my finding ‘meaning and purpose’ was merely a particularly pattern of synapses all hitting a positive charge at the same time in my brain. It conveniently coincided with a substantial easing of my depression symptoms, and I have a sneaking suspicion that finding meaning and purpose was indicative of the easing of that illness, rather than causative.

Care factor = zero. Does it matter if science can explain love if love feels sensational? Go with it anyway!

So, I do buy the idea that spirituality is important. But I also suspect that we’re simply using a ‘spirituality’ stamp to explain something that is, in its essence, as normal and everyday as 2 magnets magically connecting together when they’re in close proximity. One day we’ll have the explanation and humans will say “I can’t believe they used to think…” about spirituality the same way we currently do about the way we can light a fire with a Zippo. Our brain is an amazing thing.

There's a quote I like "Religion is for people who are afraid of going to hell. Spirituality is for people who have already been there."
I don’t buy this. And this forum is an excellent case study.

There are religious folks here who genuinely find meaning and purpose from their faith despite having endured profound trauma, just as their are people who can be profoundly depressed, naive and extremely spiritual. There are people on the forum who really only started being able to love themselves once they found their religion, and I try not to be dismissive of that, even though I find religion offensive most days of the week.

It may be ludicrous. It may be used to justify and promote devastating atrocities against our fellow humans. But it also forms the basis of identity for many people, and the reason to keep living and loving and maintaining functional, cooperative and moral communities for people living with extreme deprivation all over the world.

And in that respect, underestimating religion, and the religious, is probably naive.
 
to answer the questions posed by @Ecdysis
I say that as an atheist i dont know if there is more to life than meets the eye, any more than anyone that believes there is. none of us here can say anything about it with certainty, i dont know is all i know for sure.

wouldnt it be great if this is all just a big job interview for the eternal spot on the spiritual payroll, the big gig in the sky? Show me the proof, I would like to at least consider it if it’s a legitimate offer.

humans want to procreate and live forever, that much we can agree on. they say prostitution is the oldest profession, i think false prophets and religious charletons are members of the second oldest profession.

not afraid of hell, not tempted by promises of salvation and eternal life. curious about lifes puzzles and hoping i live long enough to see some more progress in our quest for understanding most definitely.
Atheist and believer in things i see and happy with it.

There are people in my life that plugged into a religion with the same degree of devotion as a junkie to a drug, they just couldnt get enough and trying to convert others was their biggest high, they chased it till the end and fought any body that wasn’t a willing victim to the end too. They showed me the back rooms of their religion and i won’t go back, not even close, i live in a safer place now. Count me as a content atheist and devoted anti- theist.
 
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I've come to wonder whether there's not something "lacking" in such a simplistically scientific view of the world.
I am not an atheist, so pardon my comment here, but I disagree with this sentiment. The natural world is incredible, and full of wonder and bizarre delights. You absolutely don't need to be religious or spiritual to find joy in the "simple science" of our universe. Being religious or spiritual for me is purely an internal process. It has nothing to do with anything outside of myself, other than my own experiences.

It exists alongside the natural understanding I have of the world, and they intersect at times, but one isn't more profound than the other. All that to say, I'm not religious because I'm looking for meaning. I don't need anyone else to believe what I do, or to argue or debate about the existence of G-d. That stuff is purposeless, why would I impose my beliefs on others or expect them to accept it as true when I can't prove it to them?

Of course it makes sense that you don't believe, and want proof. That's a normal human function. I have enough proof for me and that's all that matters. That other shit isn't relevant (especially when imposing religion on others in order to harm them, such as the horrendous treatment of LGBT people), because religion is an internal process; it should have nothing to do with anyone but yourself.

It's a part of what I choose to find meaningful, but it doesn't generate meaning on its own. At the end of the day, religion doesn't mean anything, either. Let's say G-d comes down from the heavens and announces to all "hey! I'm real! What's up!"

OK, cool. That, cosmically, doesn't really mean anything either.

"Religion is for people who are afraid of going to hell. Spirituality is for people who have already been there."
This is also definitely false. My religion doesn't have hell, or eternal damnation. And many other religions don't as well. This is more a Christian-centric comment. Even in the most blistering interpretation of the Talmud, the worst punishment a person can receive after death, can only occur for 12 months before they are spiritually cleansed and move on to Olam Haba ("The World to Come") like everyone else. Generally, Jews have Sheol, which is where every single person, from the most righteous to Hitler himself, goes after they die.

(If you ascribe to that belief-set. If not, obviously that doesn't matter.)
 
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Do you find that as atheists, some of you do yet embrace spirituality in some sense? Or do you think that's just hogwash and a scientific understanding of the world is all there is and all that's needed for you?
Scientific description of the world is all I need. It may be incomplete and imperfect but it's aware of it's shortcomings and never stops to question everything.
Spirituality for me, means giving up on looking for explanation.
 
giving up on looking for explanation.
this is where I fall too. I could probably attend a church that had curiosity and an objective look at the old texts and why they were written in the first place. Sadly, the religions I have been exposed to tend to snuff out anything like a questioning of THE RULES. I am best suited to an open discussion of what we know for sure and what we think we should learn from it and how it is best put to use, AKA a scientific approach.
when the answer to end all questions is "because it means we get to go to heaven if we do" I start looking for an exit sign.
 
I am at least agnostic. Some days more atheist. I would love to believe that there is a heaven where my family and friends and pets are and they are all dancing with the angels until we meet again. I just dont buy it and the wars over religion.....

Anyway, my 35 yr old daughter became mormon at 18 when she married her first boyfriend. She is gullible. It saddens me and it is beyond Christian beliefs. They think they are going to the celestial heaven, (thats the one above the catholics, methodists, etc) The believe in a prophet named Joseph. Secret handshakes, and magic underwear. So I lack relationship with my grandchildren because her husband is a nut and we are not like them.

I see the country (US) divided not only by politics, but by religion as well. I am finding it a very sad time for all. Still maintain friendships with serious right Christians. We are mutually respectful.
 
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