Deepak Chopra: The problem with atheism

Posted: April 2, 2015 at 12:43 am


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Story highlights We all fall somewhere on the sliding scale of belief and unbelief, Deepak Chopra says Skepticism is a way station on the way to a higher, more fulfilling kind of spirituality, he says

Standing back a bit, faith is on a rheostat, not an on-off switch. Putting God into the position of yes/no, belief/unbelief doesn't really reflect the modern state of faith. There are gradations of belief. In fact, 17% of people who identify as atheists still go to church -- they have social and family reasons for their choice rather than religious ones.

We all fall somewhere on the sliding scale of belief and unbelief. Secular society has sharpened our demand for truth. To me, this is a positive development. If belief in God can't stand up to proof, it won't sustain a person through difficult times.

Deepak Chopra

I consider skepticism a way station on the way to a higher, more fulfilling kind of spirituality.

Millions of people have walked away from organized religion to become more spiritual, not less. They call themselves seekers; their disbelief is a starting point for starting their own investigations.

Where the census form asks what faith they belong to, they might not have a ready answer, but that's not important. What's important is walking your own spiritual path. As a lifelong goal, it's one of the most rewarding.

What's not rewarding is to base your belief or unbelief on secondhand opinion. Being a knee-jerk skeptic is as limiting as being a knee-jerk fundamentalist. In both cases, the mind is being conditioned by others.

In my own conception of God as the source of consciousness, creativity, intelligence, love and evolution, the reason to be spiritual is to increase all of those qualities.

Unfortunately, the goal of many faiths is to obey dogma and accept a cultural mythology. Atheism can do good by casting a skeptical light on cultural mythologies, but believing in nothing but the material world is cold comfort.

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Deepak Chopra: The problem with atheism

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April 2nd, 2015 at 12:43 am