Oh, Oprah the things you say. If you aren't up on things, a quick recap: Diana Nyad, who successfully swam from Cuba to Florida after four unsuccessful attempts, appeared on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday to talk about her accomplishment. During the interview, Nyad revealed she was an atheist, and added her lack of faith doesn't prevent her from appreciating the awe and majesty of nature.
All of which lead to the following exchange between Nyad and the big O:
Silly Oprah, experiencing awe and wonderment isn't just for Christians! Did you notice how Sophia's mouth widened into an "I still have all the answers" grin when she asked "But are you a spiritual person?" I mean respect Oprah and what she's achieved, but sometimes... *argh*.
But I digress. I'll have to side with Diana on this one (I know, it's a HUGE shock:). Just because you don't believe in a god, doesn't mean you still can't notice and derive joy from nature and the things that make up this world. If anything, the idea that all of this complexity, our human race and millenia of culture all started seemingly from random chance and not at the hands of an all-knowing creator (though I can get how that would be awe-inspiring as well) is all the more reason to marvel at the beauty of it all. This wasn't "supposed" to happen; we weren't preordained or "chosen" to survive, let alone thrive. But we have, and that in itself is miraculous.
Secondly, Oprah, like many religious folks, seems to equate atheism with a total lack of spirituality. Of course, if your definition of spirituality is actually believing in spirits, then many atheists, would probably fall into that category. But I willing to be most atheists would give Nyad's definition, that being spiritual is having a deep love of and respect for humanity. At least that's how I'd define it. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism or any other of the many religions that have, do and will ever exist, don't have a copyright on what constitutes spirituality, nor do they have the final say on whether their adherents alone can feel awe and wonder.
Contrary to popular belief, atheists aren't cold, unfeeling androids, and I love how Diana held her ground firmly while displaying a live and let live attitude.
Okay, rant over. What do you think?