The fallacy of 'spirituality'.

by nicolaou 75 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • nicolaou


    Why d'ya make it so dang hard to be contentious with you?! Stop being so bloody agreeable you equanimous beardy!!

  • Dansk

    I haven't read all the posts in this thread thus far but will peruse them later*. I no longer consider myself a religious person - Watchtower's lies saw to that, but in a way it helped me become more discerning and pragmatic. I no longer take things on face value or via hearsay. I don't believe the Bible is the word of God and see absolutely no reason to believe that God exists.

    However, I should say I am a spiritual person. How so? Because we are all part and parcel of our magnificent universe which is subject to laws (not laws of a creator but the laws of physics). I dislike labels because they can conjur up erroneous views but I always feel Buddhism fills my needs/beliefs without my being a member of any particular school. The Buddha didn't found Buddhism any more than Jesus founded Christianity. What happened is that a bunch of followers came along and made a belief system, such system eventually being corrupted through attached dogma. In other words, a simple message became embellished with false teaching.

    To this end even an atheist can be a spiritual person, science (coupled with personal experience) being their "God". This is why Buddhism is so refreshing to me. One can look to science and atheism without conflict - and for me, I believe, it has made me a better person.

    *It's a strange kind of "hurried" morning this morning. Karl is at home from uni and Claire and I have just got back from Manchester, so I'm not giving this thread the attention it deserves - but I guess/hope the gist of what I am saying is understandable.

    Spirituality is by no means a fallacy but permeates our very being. It has to, because we are all interconnected. Our mother, if you like, the universe.



  • LittleToe


    Why d'ya make it so dang hard to be contentious with you?!

    Coz in my heart of hearts I'm a real b*st*rd, just like you

    Good points

    Regards to the family. It was great seeing them all the other week!

    LT, of the "Zen-Christian" class

  • LittleToe

    There was a Christian and Buddhist and an Atheist, all having a heated discussion on the origin of life.

    The Atheist turned to the Christian and said "You're an atheist just like me. I just beleive in one less God!"

    The Christian turned to the Atheist and said "Get over yourself. You have a God-shaped hole in your heart - I just believe in one more God than you!"

    The Buddhist said "Ommmmmm!"

  • Dansk

    Hi Ross (((((((((Hugs)))))))),

    It was great having you here!

    Hi Nic, me ol' Greek hugger ((((((((((Hugs))))))))),

    The spirituality I am dismissing is that 'spiritual realm' in which the Supreme Being resides, god, the divine.

    Actually, one can't dismiss that realm in reality because it's the very realm I speak of above - the universe (though I understand what you are saying). Yes, religionists would likely believe that God resides in a realm outside/beyond the universe which, of course, IS fallacious. For me, atheists and agnostics the 'spiritual realm' would be our universe where, if God exists, he/she would have to be a part thereof - which is why I say one cannot dismiss it. I am not playing with semantics here - God cannot be anywhere else.


  • LittleToe

    The difference between a Pantheist and a Panentheist is just one layer of abstraction

    LT, of the "Panentheist" class

  • nicolaou

    Bumped in response to LouBelle's topic.

  • Terry

    Ross, where have ya been, mate?

    As I recently mentioned on a previous thread, I prefer the term AESTHETIC instead of SPIRITUAL.


    AESTHETICS is a philosophy based way of looking at the world, whereas, SPIRITUALITY has the dung-scented paw of superstition padding about it.


    Judgments of aesthetic value clearly rely on our ability to discriminate at a sensory level. Aesthetics examines what makes something beautiful, sublime, disgusting, fun, cute, silly, entertaining, pretentious, discordant, harmonious, boring, humorous, or tragic.

    Many see natural beauty folded within petals of a rose. Many see natural beauty folded within petals of a rose.

    Immanuel Kant, writing in 1790, observes of a man "If he says that canary wine is agreeable he is quite content if someone else corrects his terms and reminds him to say instead: It is agreeable to me," because "Everyone has his own (sense of) taste". The case of "beauty" is different from mere "agreeableness" because, "If he proclaims something to be beautiful, then he requires the same liking from others; he then judges not just for himself but for everyone, and speaks of beauty as if it were a property of things." [4]

    Aesthetic judgments usually go beyond sensory discrimination. For David Hume, delicacy of taste is not merely "the ability to detect all the ingredients in a composition", but also our sensitivity "to pains as well as pleasures, which escape the rest of mankind." [5] Thus, the sensory discrimination is linked to capacity for pleasure. For Kant "enjoyment" is the result when pleasure arises from sensation, but judging something to be "beautiful" has a third requirement: sensation must give rise to pleasure by engaging our capacities of reflective contemplation. [4] Judgments of beauty are sensory, emotional, and intellectual all at once.

    Viewer interpretations of beauty possess two concepts of value: aesthetics and taste. Aesthetics is the philosophical notion of beauty. Taste is a result of education and awareness of elite cultural values; therefore taste can be learned. Taste varies according to class, cultural background, and education. Poor taste is usually seen as a product of ignorance. According to Kant beauty is objective and universal; thus certain things are beautiful to everyone. The contemporary view of beauty is not based on innate qualities, but rather on cultural specifics and individual interpretations.

    [edit] What factors are involved in an aesthetic judgment?

    Judgments of aesthetic value seem to often involve many other kinds of issues as well. Responses such as disgust show that sensory detection is linked in instinctual ways to facial expressions, and even behaviors like the gag reflex. Yet disgust can often be a learned or cultural issue too; as Darwin pointed out, seeing a stripe of soup in a man's beard is disgusting even though neither soup nor beards are themselves disgusting. Aesthetic judgments may be linked to emotions or, like emotions, partially embodied in our physical reactions. Seeing a sublime view of a landscape may give us a reaction of awe, which might manifest physically as an increased heart rate or widened eyes. These subconscious reactions may even be partly constitutive of what makes our judgment a judgment that the landscape is sublime.

    Likewise, aesthetic judgments may be culturally conditioned to some extent. Victorians in Britain often saw African sculpture as ugly, but just a few decades later, Edwardian audiences saw the same sculptures as being beautiful. [6] Evaluations of beauty may well be linked to desirability, perhaps even to sexual desirability. Thus, judgments of aesthetic value can become linked to judgments of economic, political, or moral value. [7] We might judge a Lamborghini to be beautiful partly because it is desirable as a status symbol, or we might judge it to be repulsive partly because it signifies for us over-consumption and offends our political or moral values. [8]

    Kittens are often considered quite cute. Kittens are often considered quite cute. [9]

    Aesthetic judgments can often be very fine-grained and internally contradictory. Likewise aesthetic judgments seem to often be at least partly intellectual and interpretative. It is what a thing means or symbolizes for us that is often what we are judging. Modern aestheticians have asserted that will and desire were almost dormant in aesthetic experience [10] yet preference and choice have seemed important aesthetics to some 20th century thinkers. [11] Thus aesthetic judgments might be seen to be based on the senses, emotions, intellectual opinions, will, desires, culture, preferences, values, subconscious behavior, conscious decision, training, instinct, sociological institutions, or some complex combination of these, depending on exactly which theory one employs. [8]

    Anthropology, especially the savanna hypothesis proposed by Gordon Orians and others, predicts that some of the positive aesthetics that people have are based on innate knowledge of productive human habitats. The Savanna hypothesis is confirmed by evidence. It had been shown that people prefer and feel happier looking at trees with spreading forms much more than looking at trees with other forms, or non-tree objects; also Bright green colors, linked with healthy plants with good nutrient qualities, were more calming than other tree colors, including less bright greens and oranges. [12]

    Nothing wrong with being an AESTHETE, is there? A bit more precise, I'd say.

    Clarity can be a virtue.

  • Narkissos

    nic, thanks for bringing that up, that was a great thread. I miss many posters from then.

    Terry, I think you are right on (for once ): much of what people call "spirituality" (especially as opposed to religion) would be better termed "aesthetics". And much of what is left would fall under "morality". I really wonder what is left of the concept of "non-religious spirituality" once those two elements are distinguished.

  • Terry
    Terry, I think you are right on (for once ):

    You make me cry for happy!

    (An old Japanese expression.)

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