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Forum – Varieties of Nontheistic Religion and Spirituality

Every Saturday we meet to discuss a topic decided upon the previous week. These are topics of humanist interest, from a humanist perspective.

The topic of the discussion will be decided in a prior meeting, usually two weeks in advance. This week’s topic is, “Varieties of Non-theistic Religion and Spirituality?” by HAT Members, Mark Turi and Terri Palmer.

Join us, won’t you?

Nontheism is defined on and Wikipedia as:

1. A range of both religious and nonreligious attitudes characterized by the absence of espoused belief in a God or gods

2. An umbrella term that includes agnosticism, naturalism, rationalism, ignosticism, igtheism, ietsism, skepticism, pantheism, deism, atheism, apatheism and humanism (both religious and secular)

Nontheistic Religions: Buddhism, Progressive Christianity, Liberal Quakerism, Jainism, Taoism, Humanistic and Reconstructionist Judaism, Unitarian Universalism and Ethical Culture

Nontheistic Spirituality: meditation, yoga, nature walks, discussion groups and music

Nontheistic worship: appreciation of existence as a miracle in terms of likelihood, adherence to a set of stated principles

Questions for reflection:

What do we mean when we say “spirituality”? Not just a list of what we do — what makes an act or belief spiritual and not intellectual or emotional? What need do these acts and beliefs fulfil?

Are non-mystical and non-theistic religions a contradiction in terms? Are they really religions in any recognizable sense?

Arthur C. Clarke said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” What does that mean, not just to established mystical or theistic religion, but to a humanist sense of wonder, transcendence, the holy, some kind of naturalistic immanence? Will all human emotion and thought eventually be exhaustively described by neurobiology, or are some human experiences shared, perpetually inexplicable, and yet not mystical?

Meet our diverse group, trade perspectives in a free and open forum and learn from others as they learn from you!

BTW: don’t be concerned if there are not many RSVP’s. Many HAT members attend regularly but don’t sign up on Meetup. Our online meetings have been very popular with 20-30 attendees.

NOTE: The HAT Forum adheres strictly to the City of Toronto Policy on Non-Discrimination (

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