Atheism is not a belief, as many uninformed religious and even intellectual people propose (Christina, 2010). Yet, atheism can be said to be on the rise, especially in countries that are economically sound. However, there should be no fear from people of faith from this ascension: the spiritual dimension of human life is alive and well.
Atheism is a statement, based on empirical evidence, that there is no demonstration of a higher power existing. That is reasonable. But that is just the issue: life is not reasonable all the time. Daily, countless people claim to have miracles happen in their lives, countless people believe they feel a sense of peace from religious or spiritual practice, countless people attribute positive change in their lives to religious or spiritual practice, countless people feel a profound sense of fellowship with religious or spiritual groups, and countless people feel love from a god they worship.
To the unaccustomed to religious practice, the rituals might seem downright strange: bowing down to stone idols of a half-human-half-monkey god, drinking wine and saying it is the blood of Jesus Christ, reading from a holy book handed down by an illiterate person, and so on. But what many atheists are not factoring in is the spiritual element of theistic practice that people claim transforms their lives. These spiritual practices include meditation, yoga, mindfulness, and positive behavioral actions.
Meditation is verified empirically that it results in a plethora of positive changes in practitioners—especially if the meditation centers on the state of thoughtless awareness, or being aware without the bother of bombarding thoughts. Yoga has been used for eons as a way to be more balanced physically, mentally, and emotionally. Mindfulness allows us to be present, and to leave our worries and future dilemmas behind, at least for a while. And the positive behavioral actions I mentioned are connected to most religious and spiritual practices: be kind to the people around you, forgive others and forgive yourself for their faults, do not commit crimes, and so on.
Though religion has fueled wars upon wars throughout history and has caused countless people grief and prosecution, we cannot disregard spirituality. Spirituality is the essence of religious thought, and whether or not the heads of the religions like it, it is more important than dogma. And whether or not atheists like it, spiritual practices are more popular now than any other time in history.
Christina, Greta. “Is Atheism a Belief?” Alternet. 2010. Web. 25 Jan. 2016.
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