The Spiritual Materialism Blog: An Introduction

What is this blog about? Well like any blog it is an opportunity to voice my random thoughts on an array of subjects, (whether they are worthy of anyone’s time is another question, I’ve had many requests from friends to set this up, so here goes) but they will broadly focus on the idea captured in the name: spiritual materialist.

I want to express my conviction (I would like to think an educated one) that people can be spiritual without believing in anything supernatural, spirits or even the soul.

Unsurprisingly, then, I am an atheist, I don’t believe in god, gods, an afterlife or a soul separate from the body. I’m a materialist, I believe there’s nothing in the universe (or outside if it’s ever demonstrated that there is an outside it) that is not matter or energy, pending changes in scientific understanding.

Perhaps more surprising is that I maintain that without the need for anything beyond the physical humankind can and should still be spiritual. I developed this thesis over 5 years of reading as many sacred texts, books and articles on religious culture, evolution, psychology and neuroscience as I could. I have come to one conclusion that they are all getting at (consciously or not): Religion is a tool for manipulating human psychology. Not in a cynical, Machiavellian way of controlling other people (although this happens), but for self- and communal regulation to fulfill spiritual needs.

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