Our disagreement here is largely semantic, not substantial, because what you prefer to call “spirituality,” I call “existentialism.” Those two aren’t exactly the same thing, but there’s a lot of overlap between them, as I tried to show in the article.

Perhaps the most important difference between them, though, is the attitude towards science. You say I don’t understand spirituality, and that the meaning of words transcends their conventional definitions. But you’re skipping over the simple fact that to make any kind of sense at all, we ground our communication in standard definitions. That’s what I did in the article.

Of course there will be disagreements when it comes to important words like “spiritual,” but you’re just begging the question when you say I don’t understand spirituality. I based my criticisms on the key aspects of spirituality, citing the definitions word-for-word from a standard dictionary. My understanding of the matter is also provable by my many freely-available writings on the subject.

One of those criticisms is that the traditional notion of spirituality is obsolete because it conflicts with science. Scientists have found that consciousness is connected to the brain, and science tends to overturn the intuitive guesses about how things work, made in our species’ infancy. We presumed the Earth is central to the universe, because we had no idea how big and indifferent the universe really is. We presumed the earth is flat, not spherical, because we had no idea about gravity. And we presumed we have immaterial spirits, because we had no idea what else consciousness could be, we saw that nature is cyclical, and we feared death. Occam’s razor would seem to negate Cartesian dualism and thus spirituality in the traditional sense.

Thus your spiritual, outdated view of consciousness and of identity is itself an indication that “spiritual” is obsolete. That is, your first point conflicts with your second one. We don’t create our entire identity except in fantasy. Yes, we can adjust our character or our persona, although even that is difficult to do, because our character is based on years of training and experience. But to suggest that science hasn’t shown that the body is central to our mental identity is to be far afield of our zeitgeist.

We largely agree on organized religion and on academic philosophy. But once again, you’re being a little presumptuous in saying my statement about what’s objectively true is my “base belief.” In the article, that paragraph is followed immediately by one about what’s subjectively true. You’ll find that my writings give credit to both the objective, science-centered picture and the subjective one of our personal nature. It’s just that I modify the latter to make it consistent with the former, instead of trying to work with old-fashioned, anachronistic concepts like “spirituality.” We can simply talk instead about consciousness and existentialism, to create a late-modern sense of the sacred. Sometimes, when an old, worn-out tool fails you, you have to throw it away and pick up a new one.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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