Skeptics' Peña

What's a "peña?" In South America, the term refers to a gathering of like-minded people who get together to talk about some topic with the aid of finger food and wine and spirits (of the alcoholic variety). It's like a salon, but for regular folks.

This month's topic is "Neither Spiritual or Religious."

We will gather to ponder the world, one topic at a time. We will examine debates without debating, exploring our convictions –or lack thereof– and the reasons we have to have them –or to not have them. We will do so in relaxed, friendly setting, keeping in mind what Bertrand Russell is said to have said about beliefs: "I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong." Or, if you prefer, what The Dude said about opinions:

Feel free to bring food and beverages of your liking.

The plan is to meet the Wednesday after the Assembly each month, with a new topic.

Because of limited space at my place, we have to limit the attendance to 10, so please only RSVP if you plan to plan to make it, or cancel if you won't be able to in order to open a spot up for someone else.

January 17, 2018 at 7pm - 10pm
Wilmer's Abode
3332 Mentone Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90034
United States
Google map and directions
Wilmer Rojas Buendia ·
James Witker Max Tolkoff Mollie Knute christoph ruegg Ken Alexander

Will you come?

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  • James Witker
    commented 2018-01-16 23:21:26 -0800
    Some additional context.
  • James Witker
    commented 2018-01-16 23:20:24 -0800
    “We need to consider that over the centuries the core idea of spirituality has evolved, so it’s not simply that the word is hopelessly abstract or obscure. Rather, it’s that its meaning has expanded—especially as humans generally have become less religious and more secular. And there’s no question but that more and more the word spiritual is being employed in a non-theological sense… [This] spirituality involves ‘opening our hearts and cultivating our capacity to experience awe, reverence, and gratitude. It is the ability to see the sacred in the ordinary, to feel the poignancy of life, to know the passion of existence and to give ourselves over to that which is greater than ourselves.’

    I might add here that to be inspired means (if we de-construct the word) ‘-spirited’—which is probably something all of us (however aware of it we may be) are searching for. In fact, the word inspire is employed twice in the latest version of the Humanist Manifesto (III).The religious seek inspiration from the supernatural and the Church… the non-religious look for it in… the love of humans for other humans—not the holy love of God or any other divine, worshipful being. The non-religious quest for spirituality also includes identifying oneself as part of a larger community, as well as developing a vital, enthusiastic involvement with nature, the arts, and science. Here spiritual fulfillment equates with feeling fully, vibrantly alive and connected to others, as well as to our broader environment.”

    Leon F. Seltzer, PhD, “Contemporary Humanism and Spirituality, Part 1,” Psychology Today
  • James Witker
    commented 2018-01-16 23:19:43 -0800
    “There are secular Jews who call themselves religious because they define religion differently from the popular notion. They may say, for instance, that a religious attitude is a spiritual one: not just going beyond crass materialism, but relating to nature and to society in a way appreciative of beauty, external and internal; for example, experiencing, enjoying, and internalizing art, music, philosophy, and literature. They may view spirituality as a way to grapple with the many unsolved problems of human existence without reference to a supreme being onto whose shoulders such problems can be unloaded. Secular Jewish religionists say that a belief system that does not acknowledge a godhead but fulfills the spiritual needs of individuals and communities by providing meaningful seasonal and life‑cycle ceremonies that relate to the Jewish past is, by definition, religious.”

    - Yehuda Bauer, ”Secular Humanistic Judaism: Rejecting God”
  • James Witker
    commented 2018-01-16 23:18:41 -0800
    “For many, the word ‘spirituality’ has an association with the supernatural. However, we mean the term in its more general and original sense. The Latin root word spiritus meant ‘wind’ or ‘breath’, or the essence of something. As we might speak of the ‘spirit of the law’ or ‘school spirit’, the spiritual is that which is concerned with the essence of life – or the essential things in life. Thus, a person with no sense of spirituality would be a person that lives on the surface, always dealing only with the shallow or the mundane; perhaps even a materialistic person. But to have spirituality is to be concerned with the larger, deeper, and essential matters of life and to apply ourselves consciously toward them in a committed practice or ‘walk’. This includes, as Socrates put it, the ‘examined life’, and this is what we mean by spirituality.”
    -Spiritual Naturalist Society
  • James Witker
    rsvped 2018-01-16 23:17:41 -0800
  • Max Tolkoff
    rsvped +1 2018-01-16 15:29:11 -0800
  • Mollie Knute
    rsvped 2018-01-16 15:24:54 -0800
  • christoph ruegg
    rsvped +1 2018-01-15 21:33:59 -0800
  • Ken Alexander
    rsvped 2018-01-10 00:01:58 -0800
  • Wilmer Rojas
    is hosting. 2017-12-01 19:47:30 -0800