Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Politics, Ideology, and Spirituality

As you know, I have recently decided to explore spirituality. My goal as a secular humanist skeptic is to develop my own spirituality to improve the quality of my life. The exercise has led me back to reading Hegel, Nietzsche, and Hume.

I have been speculating if there can be a politics of secular humanist spirituality—one that counteracts the toxic message delivered by the most loathsome of the right wing Christian leaders. My intuition tells me it is possible. Developing the rhetorical devices and strategies to deliver a new spiritual message might take many decades.

What passes for religion in the U.S. is not spiritual in any meaningful sense of the word. Many people are proud of their ignorance and hatred because their so-called religious faith has led them to it. This, of course, has spilled into the political sphere.

Other people have passed into New Age nonsense to gain a foothold on spirituality. That in its passive way is just as toxic as the right wing Christian message, for it leads to passivity and a denial of the power and necessity of political ideology.

There has to be a third way. One can embrace science and philosophy without scientism. One can be spiritual without deluding oneself about the nature of the universe.

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