We’ve all heard this: “Oh, I’m not religious, I’m spiritual.” So, just what does “spiritual” mean? My computer’s dictionary says: of, relating to, or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.
So spiritual, for me as an atheist, means nothing. I see no evidence for anything in the supernatural realm, including a human “spirit.” We are human beings, each of us merely a body with a brain. Each brain is unique, and therefore there are billions of unique human beings, unique with regard to personality, interests, learning styles, sexual interests, etc. It’s our brains which dictate how we are, what we like, what we choose. There is no evidence for anything supernatural about this. Therefore, there is literally nothing that is spirt-ual.
Ah, but you say, “I don’t mean this literally. I mean something like when I look up at the stars at night, it’s such a ‘spiritual’ experience.” So, just what does that mean? Is it awe and wonder? Great! But what does that have to do with a supernatural spirit? Answer: absolutely nothing.
I experience awe and wonder. The vastness of the universe is more than my brain can comprehend. The questions that science has not yet answered are amazing, awesome, and wondrous. Just because there is something that is beyond what we humans know, doesn’t mean that this something is supernatural. So far, nothing has proved to be supernatural.
Words do matter. If something is awesome and wondrous, great! Enjoy! But, especially if you’re an atheist, for the sake of clarity and consistency, please, please, don’t call it “spiritual.”