The spirit of humanity.

OK, I give up, I cannot resit the temptation to write a polemic,  Partly because it's interfering with my thoughts concerning creative writing.

Many of my regular readers will by now have realised I am an atheist. And something of an anti-theist.

I am also interested in what we might term 'spirituality'. "Wait!" I here you cry,  "Atheists don't believe in 'spirit', you can't be spiritual. It's against the rules."

But I wonder.

When we see a boxer fight, we often say he fights with spirit. It seems legitimate to me to think of a spirit of man and a spirit of the law. There are lots of ways we talk about spirit, that are not ghosts that follow our death.

I am not sure I want to lose this sense of spirit. Humans  have invested a lot in these 'spirits', particularly the spirit of justice for instance.

They are different to the ghosts, religions would have us questing to be, they are not some archaic soul doomed to exist through eternity, but creations of the human mind. Something linked to our ideals. The world's we want to create.

A world with a 'true spirit of democracy' a 'true spirit of justice', a true spirit of an inclusive society?'

We create spirits. I would not think it particularly absurd to speak of something as being, in the spirit of Christopher Hitchens legacy. No ghosts no unprovable claims about an afterlife, just in the spirit of the man's life and works.

"Equivocation fallacy!" someone is bound to cry. Well perhaps,  I don't really think so.

It makes me wonder if the word 'spirit' is worth holding onto. We are keen to describe the human spirit as indominatable. Surely this is not lessened by that spirit, not being an immortal ghost, why would it be less valuable, or significant, if it is just the essence of a human being, the sum of consciousness mind, with a place in time.

Or is the word 'spirit' too confusing? Should we abandon it and look for new words?

The religious seem to shout out, "ah see,  your reaching for god." But No! Only to really understand the phenomena which leads humans to create god/s. Logically absurd entities to defend us from the great emptiness,  to protect us from our own responsibility to ourselves, to create our own purpose  rather than wait for it to be given to us.

And there will be those atheists who will say 'spirit' is meaningless to an atheist. To claim the word would be a slippery slope towards, a theology of atheism, with all the contradictions that implies.

I can't say these musings lead anywhere,

But I wonder if we create the spirit of humanity, and justice and democracy and the rest, to be what we want it to be, whether we think there be a god, or spirits or not?

So perhaps just musings rather than the polemic I imagined when I began.

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