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Readers Respond: Are You an Atheist or Agnostic Who Feels Deeply Spiritual?

Responses: 17


A significant percentage of atheists and agnostics in America say that they are deeply spiritual. Since spirituality is usually associated with theism and religion, this may seem like a contradiction, but spirituality is compatible with both atheism and agnosticism. It all depends on how you define spirituality.

Do you count yourself as one of the 25% of atheists and agnostics in America who feel deeply spiritual? Do you feel spiritual at all? Or do you reject spirituality in all its forms just as you reject theism and religion? Do you think it's good for atheists to feel deeply spiritual or do you think this might contradict atheism in some way?

spiritual practices

When I left my religion and lost belief in God and the supernatural, I never lost my love for Ritual. I I meditate, contemplate, listen to new age music, spirit dance, light candles, go for nature walks (though I do not consider nature to be sacred so thats why I am not a Pagan or Pantheist). I burn incense and even sage to cleanse my home of emotional energies which I realize is completely psychodrama. I have a fountain that I sit by and do a tea ceremony as well. As for atheism, I am 100% an atheist, I reject all forms of woo. I am also a staunch skeptic and rationalist.
—Guest Madison


I see myself as an atheist, but I have always felt there is someone watching over me and mine, whoever she is.
—Guest Jimmy

Natural Spirituality

I do not believe in gods. I see no connection between spirituality and gods. Spirituality is but a philosophy that teaches the oneness of everything in the sense that a wheel is a part of a car. A wheel is not special but necessary. In the same way, no individual or species is special. We all evolved and are part of a great diverse family. Religion is a mafia that collects protection money for "after death" insurance benefits guaranteed by the "GODFATHER". Truth is only found in mathematics. Neither religion nor spirituality involve a search for truth but are but fairy tales that man has invented to find peace in a tumultuous world. However religion accentuates differences and only benefits the insiders at the expense of the outsiders while spirituality is a useful construct that accentuates joining and oneness, thus removing the differences that result in individual and group conflict. It thus has enormous potential to provide atheists such as myself with a godless paradigm.
—Guest fred_1


I believe that there is a human spirit /energy that animates us--a spirit perhaps common to ALL Life--However, this is STRICTLY a natural and physical phenomenon. Life to me, then is "sacerd" in a purely secular sense.
—Guest Douglass

Perceptual glow

I guess my experience -- and thoughts about it -- are similar to "It depends." These experiences can be pretty intense and can (with me) be brought on by almost anything. Night skies and mountain vistas are often occasions, but sometimes anything I'm looking at will do, a clump of dirt, a rock. It usually starts when kind of meditate, in a way, on what the connections are, the atoms in a clump of dirt, the incredible subatomic structure, the complexity of a blade of grass --- you name it. I think of it as a perceptual glow, but it is just that based on my perception and my thoughts. There's nothing supernatural or spiritual. But I think that some people may put a spiritual (ecotplasmic?) interpretation on such experiences.


Like many others I would have to see a definition of "spiritual" before i could give any meaningful answer. Probably not is my guess since I don't believe in the supernatural but I do have a certain amount of "part of a bigger whole" philosophy. "Everything fits within the pattern no matter how it is moved." If you don't understand that statement you probably didn't grow up in the 60s or at least never tried any mind expanding drugs,,,lol.
—Guest Borsia

Depends on What "Spiritual" Means

Sometimes when I'm outdoors at night, I'm overwhelmed by the immensity of the Universe, and I feel a kind of smallness and connectedness at the same time. That's about as close as I come to feeling spiritual.

Agnositic AND Spiritual for a reason

I'm not sure about a "God" but I know there is a universe. I know there are things greater than ourselves and that we don't as yet understand. Philosophically there are many answers and none. If you believe in spirits, ghosts, angels and/or demons, it doesn't make you sure of a god in any sense of the word. There are people born every day that claim a "gift" of "second sight". I have experienced a lot of supernatural things in my life and know that the experiences were as "real" as the world in which I exist. I don't feel this is a "gift" from some omnipotent being or even from the universe. It simply is a part of what I am able to see, feel, hear, and experience. Am I deeply spiritual? Yes. Do I feel there is a supreme being? No. My evidence for the things I know to be my truth are my personal experiences just as your's are from your experiences and lack of verifiable evidence that suits you. I've studied religions and philosophies and have come up with my own beliefs. Personal/truth.

Secularly spiritual?

The term "spiritual" appears to be an open invitation to incorporate a variety of unsupported beliefs into one's concepts of atheism or agnosticism. Certainly awe of nature may involve a profound emotional experience; but such an experience should not incorporate the likely non-existent supernatural or paranormal. If one can persuade oneself that such emotional experiences are "spiritual" without being supernatural, then I would suggest that he has some re-thinking to do before he uses the term in communicating his views on atheism or agnosticism. He very likely will confuse those who are trying to make logical sense of the non-rational contention that atheism may involve anything "spiritual". It's a poor word to choose, even suggesting that the "atheist" is not really an atheist.

Have no Idea.

I have no idea about Gods & Heavens /Hell. It does seem so childish & absurd... All I know is the experience of being lifted out of my mental knot of thought & conditioning by the energetic flow of life, which is beyond my understanding.This uplifting quality is due to the sense of connection with and as an inherent expression of totality.
—Guest Alan Hofland


Simple answer... NO and I am an atheist who does not believes in "Spirituality." Think about the fact that it contains the word "Spirit" that intones the belief in something supernatural and not available in reality.
—Guest Munyia

Believe in spirits?

No. I don't believe in spirits. Or ghosts. Or angels. Or demons. But I'm open to evidence.

It depends

It depends on how you define spirituality. Once somebody said to me that you can't be spiritual without being religious. I countered that I define spirituality as a feeling of being connected with the universe, and/or with something bigger than ourselves. I feel spiritual when I look at the stars, when I'm on a mountain top and look at the vista, when I see the ocean, when I read a good piece of literature, when I'm with a beautiful woman, when I see children smile or laugh, or when I feel patriotic. Many theists would argue that when you feel those things, you are feeling God. I could not disagree more. Those things and feeling are what they are, nothing else. As George Carlin would say, they have nothing to do with an invisible, spooky, incompetent, father figure who does not give a shit.
—Guest Oldcode

are you atheist or agnostic who believe

I am an atheist and I don't believe that spirituality is intrinsically linked with theism. Spirituality is more linked with human condition/predicament and atheists also have predicament-srinivasan sundaram
—Guest K.S.Sundaram

Am I Spiritual?

NO!! The word itself denotes a belief in the supernatural and, as an atheist, I DO NOT believe in the supernatural. Many have said that to me and I usually just let it slide as it gets too complicated but I always ponder what that person is thinking.

Not spiritual at all

My understanding of what people mean when they say they're spiritual is that they believe in some power that is outside and probably above nature, and that there are things that are beyond the ability of humans to understand. I don't deny that there are things that we do not YET understand, but I don't accept the idea that any of it is beyond the eventual reach of the human mind if our race manages to survive long enough.

Deeply spiritual

It's depend of the mood..Sometimes we feel that way and in another times we do not care..
—Guest Mario Saenz

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