Humanity vs. Spirituality

My friend Mick wrote me the other day about his thoughts on Humanism.  He said he had been playing with the concept of humanity.  I liked what he wrote so much I asked him if I could share it here.
"It occurred to me recently that 'humanity' is a much more useful concept than 'spirituality'. Basically, the thing I would like more atheists to admit is that there are a lot of things, which transcend our understanding, and there always will be.  But the problem with the word "spirituality" is that it suggests a definition of what that transcendence is -- i.e. spirit.  A humanist, on the other hand, just says - I am facing the unknown as a human with all my limitations, but also all my amazing abilities. I do not have a God, or a lucky number 7, or any of that - just my humanity. I am willing to learn from experience.” - Mick

You can find Mick on youtube at: where he is known as the Fragile Atheist.


  1. Thanks for sharing Mick's words. They really harmonize with my own thoughts on this. I'll be checking out his Youtube posts.


  3. In the same spirit, I wrote my book Human Spirituality and Happiness. One pervading theme is that "spirituality" should not carry any religious label, and that the only apt label, if any, is "human". This underlines that fact that humanism is fundamental to spirituality. However, I would not dump the term. Although spirituality is nothing mystical, it requires Love(this is similar to humanism), Insight(wisdom: transcendence--in particular giving up the ego, sense of proportion, moderation), Fortitude (resilience and faithfulness to the belief that humanism will triumph), and Engagement(purposive and active living). Spirituality is humanism with wisdom and faith added.

    1. Ho Lok Sang - please share a link to your book so we can check it out. I am aware there is a secular form of spirituality and that even the supernatural form of spirituality is quite humanistic. So there is a lot of overlap there certainly. And any good spirituality will be focused on maximizing the Humanistic and therefore pragmatic application of belief. Humanism, however, does reject supernaturalism for some very pragmatic reasons - it hinders problem solving. Most Humanists have a problem with the word spiritual because of the supernatural connotations, which may not be there at all. I know there are a lot of Humanists that argue we need to reclaim the word spiritual. And so it goes. Again - link to your book please!


      Some excerpt:

      I. LIFE is The Happiness Formula and Spiritual Growth is the Greatest Success One Can Ever Achieve

      Success brings happiness. Greater success brings greater happiness. But most of the successes that people achieve are transient and are soon forgotten. In the end they may not even mean much at all. On the other hand, there is one kind of success that you can keep forever. Every bit of this kind of success that you have achieved is yours to keep forever, and no one can ever take it from you --except yourself. Yes, one can self destroy.

      Spiritual growth means seeing oneself grow wiser --more in tune with Life itself; and grow freer --less subject to the bondage of one's weaknesses; and then more at peace with oneself.

      The formula to achieving happiness is very simple, it is LIFE!

      L stands for Love, and that means love of life and love of all that is living.

      I stands for Insight, and that means an understanding that since Life is really our greatest treasure, we must not mistake means for ends, and must live with a sense of proportion and reverence. Rather than allowing ourselves to be troubled by noises of all sorts, we need to take each day seriously as a unique opportunity, a unique blessing, so we will grow into a better person each day.

      F stands for Fortitude, and that means we will never give up. We will fight to the end, and will never call it quits, no matter what happens. We will, simply put, never be intimidated.

      E stands for Engagement, and that means that as long as we live, we are in action! We keep our purpose clear and well focused, and which is always to let our lives realize the potential that Life offers.

      Spirituality is not at all mystical. It is just a way of life, one that gives Life its due respect.

      Believe in the bounty and the blessings of Life!

      Let LIFE triumph, that is our goal.

      Love: a Blessing from the Heart

      Have a Reverence for Life, loving yourself as much as you would love others.
      Love starts with loving yourself…your life…
      Then extending to your immediate family…
      Then extending to all forms of life.

      Love is an aspiration from deep inside:
      An aspiration that the loved one will live a life free from worry;
      A wish that the loved one will realize one’s full potential and will enjoy a rich life:
      Away from danger and ever joyful.

      A pure love is free from self-interest considerations;
      A broad-minded love benefits all;
      An enduring love is ever so new;
      A selfless love knows no sacrifice too big.
      Love always stems from identifying with Life .

      There are no other kinds of Love.

      Love is unconditional and certainly not an exchange.
      Love requires nothing in return.
      Love is the strongest motive.
      Love often begins with a relationship.
      Yet it must transcend that relationship.

      Love is a Blessing from the Heart.

    3. Looks very cool! Your background is amazing as well! Want to do an ebook swap - I send you mine, you send me yours? email me at - and we'll set that up.

    4. PS - you should consider checking out the Spiritual Naturalist Society - DT, the guy who runs it would probably love to have you participate. I'm on the board so if you need an introduction, let me know.

    5. My email with the attachment bounced back.

    6. Yeah - you can't attach things through blogger - email me directly at and I will reciprocate.

  4. The google book preview has more pages available for viewing.

  5. I did go to the Spiritual Naturalist Society website and do find its thrust most agreeable to mine. Although I was initiated as a Buddhist I prefer to call my religion Life. That is to say: I believe in Life. Since Life is our common denominator I hope saying this will help break barriers across different religions and denominations.

  6. I had this message when I sent it to you. The attachment was only 3 mb but it did not work nevertheless.

    Delivery has failed to these recipients or groups:
    A communication failure occurred during the delivery of this message. Please try resending the message later. If the problem continues, contact your helpdesk.

  7. Interesting, wonder if I'm having trouble with my email service. Email me without an attachment. Let's make sure I can get your email at all. I just checked and that account is working and I have been getting email through it today. technology. ugh


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