Secular Spirituality

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marjoram_blues
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Secular Spirituality

Post by marjoram_blues » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:29 pm

What is 'Secular Spirituality' ?
Would you agree with the suggestion below that it is 'the ultimate goal of philosophy'?
From wiki:
According to Robert C. Solomon, an American Professor of Philosophy, "spirituality is coextensive with religion and it is not incompatible with or opposed to science or the scientific outlook. Naturalized spirituality is spirituality without any need for the 'other‐worldly'. Spirituality is one of the goals, perhaps the ultimate goal, of philosophy."
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_spirituality

FlashDangerpants
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by FlashDangerpants » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:28 pm

Not in the least, sorry. Spirituality without any need for the 'other‐worldly' strikes me as a concept specifically designed to embolden Nick. Religious comfort food with none of the calories you get from all that occult stuff that grants religion its flavour.

marjoram_blues
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by marjoram_blues » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:51 pm

FlashDangerpants wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:28 pm
Not in the least, sorry. Spirituality without any need for the 'other‐worldly' strikes me as a concept specifically designed to embolden Nick. Religious comfort food with none of the calories you get from all that occult stuff that grants religion its flavour.
Thank you for your contribution. It is a concept which has philosophical interest, apparently.
It is unfortunate that you consider it designed to embolden anyone.
It is seen as both a religious and non-religious concept.
I was interested to find Solomon's views on it - and would like to discover more of what he might have meant. He clearly prefers the term 'naturalized spirituality' - perhaps to avoid the negative baggage which some bring to the word 'secular'.

fooloso4
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by fooloso4 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:23 pm

I have not read Robert Solomon’s take on this but I offer the following:

Plato’s Socrates famously said that philosophy begins in wonder (greek: thaumazein). Aristotle said:
All begin, as we have said, by wondering that things should be as they are …
(Metaphysics 983a).

Wonder is an spiritual experience. The history of the term ‘spiritual’, however, has led many to understand this is a narrow and confused sense. Spiritual in its etymological meaning had to do with breath, that is, life (cf. respire, expire, aspire). That we live and die and how best to live and die is a matter of wonder. It arises, as Aristotle said, from aporias, that is, from an impasse of our understanding.

A further difficulty we must face is that Aristotle referred to the Metaphysics as a theology. This may lead some to conclude that what Aristotle was up to was something akin to Aquinas without Christ. But Aristotle’s concern was with “being qua being”, the study of the first causes and principles of things. One who has knowledge of such things would properly be wise (sophia) but Aristotle never claims to be wise. He aspires (note the extension of the term) to be wise,but has not overcome the perplexity that gives rise to and guides philosophy.

In religion we find both an emphasis on the unknown and a plurality of answers to the unknown. When Solomon says that “spirituality is coextensive with religion” I take him to mean that it raises some of the same questions and concerns about life, but when he goes on to rejects the “otherworldly” I take him to mean he rejects the appeal to transcendent answers that are found in religion.

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Conde Lucanor
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by Conde Lucanor » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:58 pm

marjoram_blues wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:29 pm
What is 'Secular Spirituality' ?
Would you agree with the suggestion below that it is 'the ultimate goal of philosophy'?
From wiki:
According to Robert C. Solomon, an American Professor of Philosophy, "spirituality is coextensive with religion and it is not incompatible with or opposed to science or the scientific outlook. Naturalized spirituality is spirituality without any need for the 'other‐worldly'. Spirituality is one of the goals, perhaps the ultimate goal, of philosophy."
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_spirituality
This looks like pure old Idealism, without the heavy burdens of conventional ritualistic religions. Supernatural realms can take the shape of natural domains surrounded by an aura of "mystery". The link provided even attacks materialism, so there you have it.

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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by -1- » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:50 pm

Secular... as in non-theistic? Or as in atheistic? Or as in scientific? or as in separated from the church?

The answer whether spiritual secularism is an oxymoron or not, depends on the answer of my questions.

Scientific spirituality? I think not. (One can be proven false, the other, can be debunked, but not proven false.)

Ex-cathedra (outside of church) spirituality? Sure, plenty. In fact, the Christian churches all denounce practices of spritualism as witchcraft, heresy, an abomination.

If it's spirituality, it is incompatible with science and condemned by religions. It belongs, indeed, to the orphanage of philosophical enquiry.

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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by -1- » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:52 pm

fooloso4 wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:23 pm
I have not read Robert Solomon’s take on this but I offer the following:
Hello.

marjoram_blues
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by marjoram_blues » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:35 am

fooloso4 wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:23 pm
I have not read Robert Solomon’s take on this but I offer the following:

Plato’s Socrates famously said that philosophy begins in wonder (greek: thaumazein). Aristotle said:
All begin, as we have said, by wondering that things should be as they are …
(Metaphysics 983a).

Wonder is an spiritual experience. The history of the term ‘spiritual’, however, has led many to understand this is a narrow and confused sense. Spiritual in its etymological meaning had to do with breath, that is, life (cf. respire, expire, aspire). That we live and die and how best to live and die is a matter of wonder. It arises, as Aristotle said, from aporias, that is, from an impasse of our understanding.

A further difficulty we must face is that Aristotle referred to the Metaphysics as a theology. This may lead some to conclude that what Aristotle was up to was something akin to Aquinas without Christ. But Aristotle’s concern was with “being qua being”, the study of the first causes and principles of things. One who has knowledge of such things would properly be wise (sophia) but Aristotle never claims to be wise. He aspires (note the extension of the term) to be wise,but has not overcome the perplexity that gives rise to and guides philosophy.

In religion we find both an emphasis on the unknown and a plurality of answers to the unknown. When Solomon says that “spirituality is coextensive with religion” I take him to mean that it raises some of the same questions and concerns about life, but when he goes on to rejects the “otherworldly” I take him to mean he rejects the appeal to transcendent answers that are found in religion.
Thanks for a substantive offering. I have not yet read Solomon's book 'Spirituality for the Skeptic'. However, I have found a secondary source which provides some more of his quotes and further explanations on the topic of secular spiritualism.
There is an article by Leon F. Selzer in Psychology Today, ' Contemporary Humanism and Spirituality, Part 3, - How can the term 'spirituality' be humanistically secualarised ? Breaking Religious Ties - Secularizing the Concept of Spirituality (Posted Jul 01, 2013 )

I think this ties in with what you understand Solomon to mean.
'Solomon describes his book as a search 'for nonreligious, noninstitutional, nontheological, nonscriptural,nonexclusive sense of spirituality, which is not based on Belief [with a capital 'B' ], which is not dogmatic, which is not antiscience, which is not otherworldly,[and] which is not uncritical or cultist or kinky.'

Solomon prefers the term 'naturalized spiritulality', and provides his 'summary Hallmark-card phrase, 'spirituality as the thoughtful love of life'.

marjoram_blues
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by marjoram_blues » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:38 am

Conde Lucanor wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:58 pm
marjoram_blues wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:29 pm
What is 'Secular Spirituality' ?
Would you agree with the suggestion below that it is 'the ultimate goal of philosophy'?
From wiki:
According to Robert C. Solomon, an American Professor of Philosophy, "spirituality is coextensive with religion and it is not incompatible with or opposed to science or the scientific outlook. Naturalized spirituality is spirituality without any need for the 'other‐worldly'. Spirituality is one of the goals, perhaps the ultimate goal, of philosophy."
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_spirituality
This looks like pure old Idealism, without the heavy burdens of conventional ritualistic religions. Supernatural realms can take the shape of natural domains surrounded by an aura of "mystery". The link provided even attacks materialism, so there you have it.
It might look like it but I don't think it is. There is also no attack on materialism, as far as I am aware. It might be an idea if you would provide the quote where you think it does this. Thanks.

marjoram_blues
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by marjoram_blues » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:49 am

-1- wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:50 pm
Secular... as in non-theistic? Or as in atheistic? Or as in scientific? or as in separated from the church?

The answer whether spiritual secularism is an oxymoron or not, depends on the answer of my questions.

Scientific spirituality? I think not. (One can be proven false, the other, can be debunked, but not proven false.)

Ex-cathedra (outside of church) spirituality? Sure, plenty. In fact, the Christian churches all denounce practices of spritualism as witchcraft, heresy, an abomination.

If it's spirituality, it is incompatible with science and condemned by religions. It belongs, indeed, to the orphanage of philosophical enquiry.
There is quite an abundance of definitions and interpretations of both words 'secular' and 'spirituality'.
My understanding is that 'secular' is used here as meaning 'nontheistic' or 'nonreligious'.
It could also be considered equivalent to 'humanist'.
I don't think there is anything contradictory in the idea of a godless spirituality.

Spiritualism is not the same as spirituality.
From what I have read so far, 'spirituality' is compatible with science and is not condemned by religions. Could you please explain what you mean by 'the orphanage of philosophical enquiry'.

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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by -1- » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:00 pm

From all that I read, "secular spirituality" is humanism. The article states it too. A touch of positive optimism, living in the present, fen shui, new wave, all that crap, given a brand new name. Depak Chopra is a secular spiritualist.

Enough said. It's the same old crap, given a different food-colouring and thrown to the romantic realists, or secular spiritualists.

O I hate shit like this. It drips of saccharine-sweet wishfulness of a false hope for happiness. But that ought not to sap your enthusiasm, lavender-song. I mean, marjoram-blues.

marjoram_blues
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by marjoram_blues » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:17 pm

-1- wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:00 pm
From all that I read, "secular spirituality" is humanism. The article states it too. A touch of positive optimism, living in the present, fen shui, new wave, all that crap, given a brand new name. Depak Chopra is a secular spiritualist.

Enough said. It's the same old crap, given a different food-colouring and thrown to the romantic realists, or secular spiritualists.

O I hate shit like this. It drips of saccharine-sweet wishfulness of a false hope for happiness. But that ought not to sap your enthusiasm, lavender-song. I mean, marjoram-blues.
How very emotional of you. And wrong. Again.

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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by -1- » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:40 pm

marjoram_blues wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:17 pm
How very emotional of you. And wrong. Again.
I am ready to admit my response was emotional. But not that I was wrong.

You, Marjoram-Blues, are just one more additional player on this forum who is in love with a special ideology. Like other, similar loves, your love is founded upon emotional ties, not rational thinking. Other examples of single-minded obsessions with a specific ideology on this forum are bobevenson and his Ouzo, Attofishpi and his simulation/ God / Sage, and Nick_A and his megalomania of his alleged sole proprietorship of truth.

Nick_A
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by Nick_A » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:53 pm

-1- wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:00 pm
From all that I read, "secular spirituality" is humanism. The article states it too. A touch of positive optimism, living in the present, fen shui, new wave, all that crap, given a brand new name. Depak Chopra is a secular spiritualist.

Enough said. It's the same old crap, given a different food-colouring and thrown to the romantic realists, or secular spiritualists.

O I hate shit like this. It drips of saccharine-sweet wishfulness of a false hope for happiness. But that ought not to sap your enthusiasm, lavender-song. I mean, marjoram-blues.
Quite true. Being ignorant of both the human condition and universal laws which act upon it assure that the mechanical cycles of life including war and peace will continue regardless of the finest heartwarming speeches.

fooloso4
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Re: Secular Spirituality

Post by fooloso4 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:24 pm

We should keep in mind that the term ‘secular spirituality’ covers a wide variety of meanings and practices. A major problem that will prevent mutual understanding in our discussion is a type of guilt by association.

Robert Solomon was an accomplished teacher of mainstream Western philosophy. As a quick reading of the preface to his Spirituality for the Skeptic makes clear, on the one hand he wishes to rescue the meaning of the term spirituality which has been taken over by religion, and on the other hand he wishes to rescue philosophy from the narrowness of contemporary trends . In addition, it should be noted that he is disdainful of what might be called “new age spiritualism”.

What Solomon calls his Hallmark-card phrase “spirituality as the thoughtful love of life” seems to me to be wholly consonant with the meaning of philosophy as the love of wisdom. Although we would probably never find it on a Hallmark card, we might put Socrates’: “the unexamined life is not worth living” together with Solomon’s. As Plato reminds us, the lover of wisdom desires but does not the possess wisdom. That is the source of both the comedy and tragedy of life.

We fundamentally misunderstand spirituality as long as we posit a disjunction between the physical and the spiritual or the rational the spiritual. The desire to be wise shows them to be aspects of a whole. But it is a whole that is incomplete because the philosopher never possesses what is desired. The circle is never closed. We desire the good life, but we remain tentative in our understanding of what that is and powerless to secure it for ourselves.

Analogous to the aporia of Plato’s Meno, we do not know what it is we desire when we desire wisdom because unless we possess it we cannot know what it is. Here we may fall victim to promises of answers from religion, spiritualism, mysticism, etc., or to the despair of longing. The thoughtful love of life may lead most to wisely conclude that the love of wisdom is not the proper pursuit for them. The love of thought and thoughts of love may lead one to see that there are other things their spirit desires more than an empty and abstract notion of wisdom. As Nietzsche’s Zarathustra discovers, what he loves most is life itself. Is this then the abandonment or fulfillment of philosophy?

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