Monday, February 5, 2018

Being an Atheist isn't Enough

Sometimes it takes me awhile to figure out what is bugging me. I'm a bit slow on the uptake and I'm generally a happy person so putting my finger on a thing that is ruminating in the back of my mind can take me a bit longer than most...but I've finally put my finger on it. 
And not in a gross way.

It's this: being an atheist person does not guarantee that one is a skeptic. *

Maybe it is the pervasively anti-intellectual climate that we live in that is to blame. Or it is that popular and warm-fuzzy idea of being spiritual that is to blame; that one always annoys me more than it should. The entirety of that school of thought called New Age just screams ridiculous to me. I'm trying to hold my temper here, but my anger and frustration with the whole idea of spiritual rather than religious just annoys me. There is no skepticism present in this ...what...realm?

I have had more than my share of uncomfortable conversations where the other person insists that the constellations and stars, somehow, tell them important things about their life here on Earth. I'm sorry, but too many people I care about have relationships with their chakras. Lovely, LOVELY people that I know throw their time and money and energy into healing massage and touch, with a belief that there is light and energy emanating from their hands.  I hope that I will never, ever again have to be in the position where a very beloved person looks at me with their puppy dog eyes and says Well, our family truly believes in astrology.

Breath work and Reiki. Chakra energies. Transformational breathing. Various retreats. Energy coming from rocks and crystals. 
The goddess. Astrology. Flat Earthers. Satanism. Aromatherapy. Climate change deniers. Wiccan. Himalayan salt lamps. Vibrations. Essential oils. Numerology. Shamanistic healing. Cleansing scents. Putting your needs out to the universe.  
Colon or liver detoxifying. Sigil symbol magic. Energy healing. Spiritual alchemy. Soul groups. Grounding rituals. Feather magic.
Reflexology. Sacred Geometry. Acupuncture. Homeopathy. Qi gong. Scalar Energy. Naturopathic medicine. Transformational breath work.
Superstition of many kinds.

I find it lonely sometimes being a true skeptic. So many people find these spirituality practices meaningful to them and I truly find them unpalatable to the extreme. Even people who claim to be atheists cling to some of these spiritual practices with no irony or cognitive dissonance. I'm certain that some of these people find me very abrasive or intolerant IRL.

Yeah, it can be lonely being a true skeptic, but I am at a place where I absolutely couldn't be anyone else.

* I'm sure I've offended at least one of my regular readers.

...Feeling a little grumpy and intolerant lately. 
What do you think?

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  1. Just want you to know that I agree 100% with this article. And so do my husband and 2 kids. We often feel alone too. But looks like were not!! It is hard to tolerate the lack of respect for reality. There is so much to wonder and awe at that is tangible and real. Why bother with religion and spirituality! Take care, Bonnie

  2. I can definitely understand this and it's something I recognize in myself, especially looking back through the years. These were things I very much believe in when I was younger that will still kind of crop up here and there in my mind and I have to stop and think, "No, that's not right either." I used to be a HUGE astrology fan (I was 14), used to be really big on the power of crystals (which I still have my collection but they're pretty rocks, nothing more though some have some sentimental value and I do have a worry stone in my soothe box but that's a texture and focus thing). I find lavender helps to relax me and I enjoy other scents but that's the extent of that. I get massively bugged by tarot cards and the sending thoughts to the universe thing, I don't see that helping at all. Unfortunately, I do struggle with superstition regarding patterns and anniversaries but I recognize that too as something I struggle with and something that's not entirely logical.

    And you know, I think that's part of the human psyche, that there is this bit that it prone to catching patterns and making something of them, to believe in things that are out there and not think rationally. There's some fear behind thinking rationally and we humans are all about our comforts. And it doesn't help whatsoever that there are plenty of people out there willing to take advantage of it and gain money from it. Then you have the fact that there is so much conflicting information too! What do you believe?

    But yes, I entirely agree that there are too many people who don't know how to think critically and don't even want to try.

    1. Your point is SPOT ON, Janeen, that for every nutty, illogical effort for control and comfort, there is a group of people willing to take advantage of that and make money off of it.


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