"Perspective on Spirit" copyright 2002 by David G. McDivitt, all rights reserved
Way back when I first began questioning spirituality I asked what need there was to have a "physical" and "spiritual" realm. If spirit controls the physical then how? Why? What functionality is present? I was still religious at the time but I came up with the idea of an "extended" or "enhanced" physical realm to simply include all things spiritual as well. Something is unknown? An extended physical realm by definition is just expanded to include that, too. We are playing word games with arbitrary convenient definitions, hence my later relativistic view, but at the time I was quite a realist.
The line between physical and spiritual is quite vague and over time encroaches one way or the other. To be noticed however is the way in which the spiritual domain seems to get smaller with inverse proportion to the number of answers available in the physical domain. Assuming we honor the spiritual construct, and assuming we honor the god construct or some idea of vague mystical forces, why would these behave as they do? Why does god do what he does? For what reason? In terms of what stimulus, planning, goal, or desire? As we analyse god or mysticism either one, they are effectively reduced. "You have no right to question god", one might say. Who's questioning? It is merely the logical statement god does whatever he does for a reason. What, if god does exist is he a raving, spurious, nondirective, irrational, fool, without reason, justification, or support for his actions even if no more than to satisfy himself? Saying the behavior of god occurs for whatever reason is not to question god. It is just to say there is a reason.
But this deflates the whole spiritual balloon. Spirit is expressly not to think in terms of reason. We can say such and such happens in the physical realm through spiritual influence, and that is a reason, or at least that's the reason given by mystics or theists, as if it was a reason, but questioning reasons on the spiritual level violates the meaning of spirituality. Hey - we are all down here blindly dependent on invisible forces up there, right? They cannot be understood, right?
Spirituality is authoritarianism. God does not control anything. Mystical forces do not control anything. Preachers and holy men do that. They just call it spirit. It keeps people without answers and without questions. People therefore have no incentive to challenge the control of the preacher or holy man.
For me anyway, Atheism has more to do with rebellion against society and nonconformity than it does the nonexistence of god. The feasibility of any idea can be debated. An Atheist is not an Atheist simply for challenging an idea. An Atheist is an Atheist for refusing to go along with a specific set of social definitions: those having to do with god.
Because I base my Atheism on rebellion, my own pride, and my right to refuse to submit, relativistic arguments serve me better than reality arguments such as whether god exists. Reality doesn't make any difference. Reality is whatever's in vogue or what society says it is. I address my argument at the person or group of people who want to control me and say NO. To a great extent, even debating the existence of god or plausibility of mystical forces is to give them power.
I am afraid those scientists who cannot shake loose spirituality do not really want to. They choose to reserve at least some small space for vagary, nebulousness, and yes, fluffiness. They choose to continue incorporating some avoidance behavior and thought in their persona. Maybe they still seek authority as well.
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