Posts in Religions
Secular Spirituality, aka, Spiritual Atheism - Blog#21 - 12 July 2019

The following blog recreates the lecture I recently provided, on June 30, 2019, to the members of the United Universalist Fellowship of the Emerald Coast, in Valparaiso, Florida. The topic of secular spirituality requires us to define spirituality, its evolving meaning, and why it is important to human beings. It further requires us to distinguish between secular and religious versions of spirituality. And what is nonreligious spirituality?

Is there evidence to support disembodied consciousness, as in gods, ghosts, and souls? If spirituality isn’t about spirits, what is it about? Spirituality lies at the intersection of consciousness and connectedness. We can celebrate our consciousness of the gift of life, and our connectedness to each other, and the “All,” without believing in spirits or immortality. We can practice the positive spiritual emotions: existential joy and gratitude for the gift of life, humility regarding our special, small place in the universe, awe regarding existence, and love for our brethren. We can indeed be spiritual, but nonreligious.

 

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Why was Giordano Bruno Gagged and Burned at the Stake? - Blog#17 - 24 May 2019

Between the death of Copernicus and the birth of Galileo, Giordano Bruno was born in 1548 in Nola, Italy. Fifty-two years later, at the turn of the 17th century, he was gagged and burned at the stake in Campo de’ Fiori in Rome. His books were to be “publicly destroyed and burned in the square of St. Peter,” and placed in the Index of Forbidden Books. Why? He reaffirmed the Copernican view that the Earth circles the sun. But he went much further. His heresy argued that the universe is infinite, composed of “innumerable worlds” similar to our own solar system, and that our sun is not the center of the universe. His true sin? Proposing a cosmology that removed human beings from the center of the universe.

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Feminism and Religion - Blog#14 - 19 April 2019

God Himself and His patriarchal book of rules, otherwise known as the Bible, is the true glass ceiling, containing and suppressing the rise and equality of women. Feminists remain chained to an implicit Faustian bargain. They have traded mortality for patriarchy. Women have unwittingly sacrificed power and equality on Earth for immortality in the supposed afterlife. Women seldom challenge God’s gender. Only by deposing God, and His biblical male inventors, can women assume a  fully equal role in day-to-day gender politics and the governance of the planet.

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Morality: Top Down or Bottom Up? - Blog#12 - 5 April 2019

Many religious leaders talk as if religion has a monopoly on morality, and that one cannot act morally in the absence of religious belief. But despite religious press to the contrary, most atheists, and even some primates, are capable of acting quite morally. And the notion of objective morality, pre-woven into the fabric of reality, and monitored by an eye in the sky, may be seductive as a means of inducing social compliance, but is compliance really morality? Furthermore, morality comes from within, regardless of whether it initially comes from above (from God), or from around us (socially). And it starts out emotionally, not cognitively. In the words of the primatologist, Frans de Wall (2013), who studied morality in other mammals, morality is “bottom up, not top down.” Join us for a discussion of objective versus subjective, religious versus secular, and proactive versus reactive morality.

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