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Toward a personal atheist apologia.

Summary. Is this page worth your time? Biography of the author. Is this writer worth your effort?

Introduction to the argument Narrowing the topic of interest

The basis of all spiritual systems... ...defined... ...and discussed... ...from a skeptical point of view

An objection to the method used What I want the reader to do now

A personal Apologia for atheism Conclusion to the argument

Links and Communication including guestbook and counter



Humanity uses a variety of social systems to give order and meaning to life's problems, pleasures, and discoveries. Among those systems are those built on spirituality, such as religion, divination, meditation, and psychic power. For a spiritualist, their own system is a unique revelation in a world full of revelations. Other spiritual systems are wrong, or wrong for the particular practitioner.

For me the question of finding the spiritual system that is right, or right for myself, is less important than the question as to whether any spiritual system is worth the investment of time. To explore that question, I will discover and discuss the basis of all spiritual systems. Finding the basis to spirituality is the first step in an honest investigation into spiritual systems.

The Topic of Interest

Candidates for the foundation to all spiritual systems include angels, prayer, faith, purposefulness of life and of death, mystical events, sin and evil , and others, no doubt. None of these, however, is the "basis", because all these types of events are mediated or caused by the "spiritual" state of the practitioner, and their relationship to their god. At the very base of spirituality are these two things: the practitioner (more specifically, the part of the practitioner that can contact their god), and the god. To put it another, more generic, way: spirits and superspirits.

The "Basis"

The basis of all forms of spirituality, then, are these two concepts: that spirits are somehow connected to individuals; that there is a superspirit. Sometimes a particular spiritual system maintains that spirits are connected to people only, as in the Egypto-Grecian religions; sometimes to all animals; sometimes that spirits are in rocks and wind in addition to living things, as in Shinto or Mother-Earth spirituality. The second common element is a superspirit. Sometimes it is god, or godhead; sometimes it is a state of supreme spiritual enlightenment, as in Buddhism or Jainism.

The practice of spirituality is a quest to reach the individual's spirit to the superspirit, either after death, or within the lifetime or lifetimes of the spirit. Many spiritual systems have been constructed to do this. But if the concepts at the very base of these practices are not reliable, then the practices themselves are questionable and the objects of those practices unreliable also.

Discussions of the Basis of Spirituality from a Skeptical Viewpoint

Spirits aren't.

"Does it not, then, appear that we are dealing with the laws rather of myth, fairy tales, and legends than of any order of fact yet substantiated for either natural or human history? It is difficult to imagine how tales such as these could have been read even centuries ago as chronicles of old ritual lore... with its concept of a hidden harmony and equivalence uniting the microcosm and the macrocosm and of a consequent resonance conducive to magical effects."

-Joseph Campbell
Masks of God
Three sentences from volume 2 & 3 of the series.

God(s) isn't.

(The Marquis de) Leplace is said to have presented an edition of his seminal mathematical work Mecanique celeste to Napolean aboard ship in the Mediterranean during the Napoleonic expedition to Egypt, 1798 to 1799. A few days later, so the story goes, Napolean complained to Laplace that he found no mention of God in the text. Laplace's response has been recorded: "Sire, I have no need of that hypothesis."

Carl Sagan
Broca's Brain. Reflections on the Romance of Science.

An Objection

An objection to my methodology has been raised centering on the
idea of historicity. That is, the religious heros are historical, their revelations are believable. To discount the historicity of any particular hero is wrong because that hero is the objector's favorite, or only, spiritual hero.

The place to start, according to my objectors, would be an historical analysis. Further, my objectors would start their analysis by taking the story they favor as a given fact not as one story out of several stories to analyze. If we find the birth place, the palace, where the boy who becames the Buddha was born do we automatically believe he was surrounded by demons as he sat under the Tree? That he placed his right hand upon the earth in prayer to be protected so he could continue his redeeming work? If we find the battlefields of the Illiad do we then believe that rivers, of their own accord, leave their riverbanks to chase their enemies?

I'll take present conditions as the operating conditions for life and society unless I see truly extraordinary evidence. By truly extraordinary evidence I mean evidence that cannot be equalled by other naturally occuring events.

It hasn't escaped my attention that those who live in a spirit-filled world have a different view of normal "operating conditions"or that those who view such a world may well see spirits intervening in natural occuring events. I do contend that the supreme spirit in such a spirit-filled world could well make itself known by causing events that were inexplicable without a non-natural causer. As technology and science progress those zones where god alone could be shrink and have fianlly disappeared.

What Action Should the Reader Take?

It's not up to me, and if you're comfortable with your spirituality, good. I, however, am comfortable with my lack of spirituality, and feel justified in rejecting all spirituality as folklore. But I can't take an "unholier than thou" attitude. After all, I enjoy listening to Led Zep, Alanis Morissette, and Enigma, and read the novels of Lustbader and Roquelaure, all of which is very spiritual stuff, albeit a heterodox spirituality. Nevertheless, if you're serious about investigating spirituality (as I am) you need to clarify in your mind the central, and unasked, question of spirituality: is there a good objective reason to believe in spirits and superspirits?

The preceeding arguments attempt to show the unreliablity of spirituality. If the elements common to all of these systems are unreliable, then all of spirituality: religion; divination; prayer; angelology; salvation; end-times; is questionable because these secondary items are derived from the primary items. The secondary items' truth claims are derived from those primary items.

So, having explained how I came to reject the spiritual, I'll exlain why I call myself an atheist.



ap o lo gi a; n. an apology, as in a defense or justification of a belief, idea, etc.
  1. The universe doesn't need a maker for it to be.
  2. Spirits are not necessary for gestation.
  3. "Mind" is a name for brain activity.
  4. Love is chemistry.
  5. Life doesn't need a maker.
  6. Geology is understood, and punctuated equilibrium is the key.
  7. Hominid evolution is understood.
  8. Human languages can be traced back beyond Proto-Indo-European.
  9. No particular religious hero is unassailable.
  10. Religion has a history, but that does not necessarily mean a goal-oriented process is occuring.
  11. Morality and ethics are social inventions.
  12. Patterns are not necessarily indicative of artifice or of intent.
  13. A broad range of studies support themselves on each other's discoveries without supernatural help.

These reasons, taken individually,or even severally, may well admit room for one or the other of the bases of spirituality. Taken as a whole they lend credibility to atheism as a whole and to atheists, their sensibility and credibility, individually.

It has not escaped my attention that some of these reasons are currently unsubstantiated (not to say metaphysical), but they are not weak. I am referring only to the third, fourth, and last points. The rest are not unsubstantial.



You have the right to follow, to any degree, any spiritual doctrine you wish; to interpret that doctrine as you desire, and, even the right to consider all other interpretations, and/or any other spiritual doctrine, heretical. You have the right to meet with fellow believers in any club house on any day you decide, for whatever reason you decide, unless you plan on sacrificing me. You have the right to
seek converts to your brand of spirituality, any doctrine, any denominational club, or specific club house.

But you also have the right to completely reject spirituality. And that is really good news.

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