Sunday, August 28, 2011

"Soulful Atheist"? Really?!

Like so much of what gets put up on Huffington Post this latest from Dori Hartley made me laugh for a good five minutes or more. I'm not sure if what amused me was that she seemed to think what she was writing was so profound or that she was so clueless about every label and concept she threw around. She is, put bluntly, not "The Soulful Atheist" for the simple reason that she is not an atheist at all. Her own words clearly demonstrate that she is not an atheist.

"I do not represent any particular way of thinking, other than my own. And as an 'atheist,' I can tell you this:
I pray.
I have faith.
I believe in the cosmic consciousness.
I live in gratitude.
I am moved to tears by the beauty that is nature.
I feel the intensity of great love."

"Cosmic consciousness"? Sounds like the abstract version of God to me. Hartley may not believe in the God of scripture but that is only one version of the God concept. She doesn't seem to realize that the concept is not limited to that one interpretation. She goes on to dismiss other aspects of a more personal scripture based deity while clinging to the notion of a higher divine consciousness. She also goes on to muddle a number of other definitions and concepts like faith, energy, prayer, spirituality, militant...

Whatever else she wants to claim she is definitely not an atheist. She does not seem to get that despite there being very little that makes a person an atheist, really only one thing, belief in a supreme being definitely prevents you from being one. It doesn't matter how you define such a supernatural being since it is still the same basic concept, God.

Personally, I would probably label Hartley a new age spiritualist. She may come to realize that you don't have to belong to a denomination or church or even stick to one definition of God in order to remain a theist. I wouldn't mind her using the label atheist as long as she stopped associating so much supernatural crap with the term.

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