Monday, October 6, 2008

Atheist Spirituality?

I finally got around to buying Andre Comte-Sponville's The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality.

I've gotten about 20 pages in, and it's kept my attention so far. I'm not usually one for philosophical stuff, but I figured I need to learn to read the stuff.

I was hesitant on buying this book, at first, because of the idea of "Atheist Spirituality," which, I guess, is why I needed to buy it, to see if his idea makes sense. I think of spirituality as too closely tied to religion, and having belief in some deity. However, Comte-Sponville attempts to show how spirituality can be detached from religion, which is entailed in the last part of the book.

As of now, he's described the idea of communion. He argues that communion, a community of people brought together by similar ideas, can exist without religion, as is the case of early Buddhist and other "atheistic" religions. The main gist is:

Society has yet to exist without religion, because societies have yet to live long enough to move into that point. Society cannot exist without communion. Communion does not have to be based on religion, however. So, does this mean that society can exist without religion?

This is a question I've been pondering myself, and want to read more into his explanation of whether or not this is possible. It's pretty thought-provoking stuffs.

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