Friday, August 24, 2012

Spiritualitysaur strikes again!

I read an article about Camp Quest, mostly because I support Camp Quest, along with the Secular Student Alliance. The article was discussing how Camp Quest is a haven for non-believers who just want to be themselves without being ostracized by their theistic peers, etc.

Of course, via journalistic methods, the author of the article just had to include an opposing viewpoint, even if it's a dumb one.
But Lisa Miller, the director of clinical psychology at Columbia University whose research focuses on the spiritual awareness of children, said spirituality is incredibly valuable to a child's development and it has been shown to emotionally protect children against suffering, even depression. 
"Consistently, it's been shown that spirituality is associated with health, greater academic achievement and, of great importance to teens, more meaning and purpose," Miller said. "Spirituality, globally, helps children and adolescents to thrive." 
Most children are more spiritual than their parents, Miller said, and often the child will be the one to encourage the family to be more spiritual. 
"We are inherently spiritual beings," she said. "Spirituality is, just like cognitive development, moral development and social development, that cornerstone of our whole personhood."
Cover your ears!

What, the fuck, is spirituality?

This is what I observe. I observe people using this umbrella term, that has supernatural baggage, to also include natural things like ethics, self esteem, introspection, consideration, empathy, etc.

... none of which are mutually exclusive with atheism, you stammeringly ignorant fuck. None of which are the sole proprietorship of the religious.

It's called being a "human", and to be raised in a healthy manner is not contingent on having delusions or hallucinations.

Is this person familiar with the studies that show that religiosity does not equate to having a high level of societal health? (Emphasis mine):
The United States’ deep social problems are all the more disturbing because the nation enjoys exceptional per capita wealth among the major western nations (Barro and McCleary; Kasman; PEW; UN Development Programme, 2000, 2004). Spending on health care is much higher as a portion of the GDP and per capita, by a factor of a third to two or more, than in any  other developed democracy (UN Development Programme, 2000, 2004). The U.S. is therefore the least efficient western nation in terms of converting wealth into cultural and hysical health. Understanding the reasons for this failure is urgent, and doing so requires considering the degree to which cause versus effect is responsible for the observed correlations between social conditions and religiosity versus secularism. It is therefore hoped that this initial look at a subject of pressing importance will inspire more extensive research on the subject. Pressing questions include the reasons, whether theistic or non-theistic, that the exceptionally wealthy U.S. is so inefficient that it is experiencing a much higher degree of societal distress than are less religious, less wealthy prosperous democracies. Conversely, how do the latter achieve superior societal health while having little in the way of the religious values or institutions? There is evidence that within the U.S. strong disparities in religious belief versus acceptance of evolution are correlated with similarly varying rates of societal dysfunction, the strongly theistic, anti-evolution south and mid-west having markedly worse homicide, mortality, STD, youth pregnancy, marital and related problems than the northeast where societal conditions, secularization, and acceptance of  evolution approach European norms (Aral and Holmes; Beeghley, Doyle, 2002). It is the responsibility of the research community to address controversial issues and provide the information that the citizens of democracies need to chart their future courses.
To be clear, the connection between this and spirituality is that the religious are the front-runners of spirituality. Clearly, it isn't working for them.

If you haven't caught on, I'm sick to death of this notion... this concern trolling... that not raising children to be delusional is harming them - that, "Oh! Be careful raising your child to be a free thinker - you'll probably emotionally harm him/her!", while ignoring the unsurpassed devastation of religiosity, especially when the evidence is that having a reality-based outlook on life tends to create more well-rounded and stable people.

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