The first step to taking back control is understanding
Everyday we are bombarded with incoherent, illogical and misleading information. We are swimming in more information than ever before but the paradox is, most people are drowning.
The Trivium is a systematic method of critical thinking for deriving certainty from any information coming into the mind via the five senses. In medieval universities, the trivium comprised the three subjects that were taught first, specifically in this order: grammar, logic and rhetoric. If the three steps are arranged any other way, the Trivium will not work as a method for deriving certainty. The word is a Latin term meaning “the three ways” or “the three roads” which lead to Truth. This forms the foundation of a medieval liberal arts education.
The order of the thinking process is very important. The most frequent problem in thinking is to jump to the logical debate before Grammar. The Grammar part of the Trivium is concerned with identification and gaining clarity about the facts.
I recently witnessed a discussion that is a good example of how this simple problem can cause circular debate that ends in unnecessary conflict with no resolution. In the rest of this post I aim to illustrate how by clearly defining facts that debate could heave reached a conclusive outcome. The debate was about the question
“Can an Atheist be spiritual?”
To be clear about the facts we must first be clear about the meaning of the words.
DEFINITION OF ATHEISM
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.
(A deity is defined as a supernatural being so a god or gods)
This definition above must not be confused with the often stated incorrect definition that “Atheism is a belief that there is no god”.
The definition states that “Atheism is, ..the rejection of belief .”
So the next step is to define belief
DEFINITION OF BELIEF
An acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof:
People often use the word belief incorrectly when they should be using the words judgement or conclude.
The statement “I believe that the sky is blue” would be more accurate to be “I conclude that the sky is blue”. This is because in most cases people judge the sky to be blue from evidence from their eyes when they look at the sky or from their ears when people tell them that the sky is blue.
So it is true to say that a person can believe in god or gods (religion) but it is not true to say that they conclude that there are gods.
Now Define Spirituality
DEFINITION OF SPIRITUALITY
This is interesting because there are actually two similar but different meanings, a traditional and a modern meaning.
Traditionally spirituality has been defined as a process of personal transformation in accordance with religious ideals. Since the 19th century spirituality is often separated from religion, and has become more oriented on subjective experience and psychological growth. It may refer to almost any kind of meaningful activity or blissful experience, but without a single, widely-agreed definition.
So according to these definitions we can see that the statement was made “Atheism is a rejection belief of spirituality” is true if you only take the traditional meaning of the word but not true for the modern, quite vague definition of the word.
The modern meaning is also the most common this can be shown clearly if you ask people if they would describe Buddhists or Taoist as spiritual people most would say yes. However there are Buddhists and Taoist that are 100% atheist because they do not believe in the existence of deities.
So Can an Atheist be spiritual?
by definition I can prove that in the modern sense of the use of the word spiritual an atheist can be can be spiritual.
OTHER STUFF ON THE TRIVIUM BY PAUL
The video is a bit of fun I put together to promote my now defunct project Use The Trivium I thought if you have read the post you might enjoy it.
AS EVER I LOVE YOUR FEEDBACK!