One of the things atheists tend to shy away from is human spirituality. I think this tends to cause some rather uncomfortable shuffling of ideas and sidestepping of certain issues. So let’s address it now.
Human beings are by their very nature spiritual. I wonder if theists would resist atheists quite so fervently if we were more willing to admit that simple fact. As an atheist, I see no contradiction in that statement and the assertion that there is no god. Our spirituality was not implanted by some designer or breathed into us by an omniscient being. No, spirituality does not require belief in god. All that is required is a basic understanding of chemistry and the hormonal and electro magnetic responses that take place in our own bodies. I’m currently reading a rather brilliant book on the subject: The Mystical Mind: Probing the Biology of Religious Experience.
Dr. Newberg’s work is well researched and documented and explained in clear terms which show unequivocally the link between our biological selves and our spiritual selves.
Like any emotion, spirituality is not lessened by having its origins exposed. If anything, that spirituality is validated with Dr. Newberg’s research. Spirituality is real. We experience it. And like any other emotion, it is one which, as reasoned beings, we should understand and exercise with clarity and forethought.
I am aware that many atheists deny any feeling of spirituality. They, too, are correct. What each side of the argument fails to recognize is that emotion is subjective. That depth and strength of feeling is dependent upon the person experiencing that emotion. Love, sadness, hate, spirituality, joy…all these emotions may be felt in varying degrees from one person to the next. It is not inconceivable that we feel some more than others.