Anyone else know people who say this and find it really annoying?

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I think there's more than one definition of the term religion, but basically a belief in the bible or a belief in Jesus is religious because those beliefs cannot continue without institutional dogmas. Noone can come to the conclusion that there's a Jesus or that the bible is true on their own; it must be taught.

A lot of people consider spiritualism and psychology synonymous. Things like meditation has many benefits psychologically. Some simply say it's spiritual. A rose by any other name in my opinion.

I agree with Doug Reardon

Hello!  This is my first post, and I'm new here.

"I'm not religious, I'm spiritual."  I say that to church people all the time.  I drive in the point that "there is a difference between being religious and spiritual."  I don't know, I may be referring to air or gas or something not of a supernatural nature.  What I may be trying to say is that religion to me is a substitute for thinking; God says it's wrong, the Ten Commandments says that you shouldn't kill, that it's wrong to kill someone.  The question I ask is, "Why is it wrong?"  They look at me like it's a trick question.

Well, what is being spiritual, then?  I'm guessing it's referring to the awareness within you, the sensience that is aware that if you kill someone, it's not that it's wrong, it's that there are bad consequences that you must live with if you decide to do so.  You take away the life from that person.  Everything and everyone that the person knows.  What about the people who know him/her?  The pain inflicted upon them?  The consequences for you when they find you?  Do you want to go to prison, be executed, not have the freedom to do what you want, when you want? Even when it's a cold case long after your death, there's that looking over your shoulder and you seeking relief from that strange feeling the rest of your life.

See, people don't think in those terms.  They just go black/white "it's wrong."  There's no thinking at a human level.

I went through a phase where I thought this way while falling away from religion.  It served as a sort of stepping stone for me where I still believed in a "soul," but felt completely detached from any established religion.  During this time, I got into yoga and meditation (which I still continue in a completely non-religious way) and took some time to explore my thoughts and philosophies.  I eventually wound up confronting myself with the right questions and giving up my irrational beliefs was easy.

That said, I think the "spiritual, not religious" idea is often used as an excuse to avoid being associated with the less attractive aspects of religion.  People don't want to be associated with the sexual scandal, financial fraud, and violence that come along with religion, but they are not willing to face the scrutiny of being non-religious. 

It is often used, but not always.  I'm an exception to that.  You see, I didn't know about religion until I was eight and a half because of my deafness; my parents didn't know I was deaf until I was seven and a half.  I had already flunked the first grade and went to a school for developmental disabilities for less than a semester (they found out in the spring of that year and pulled me back out of that school).  I finally received my three Rs in a way I could understand when I was getting close to eight.  I stayed with a catholic family who had a deaf daughter going to the school for the deaf while my parents were working out their terrible divorce.  Because I waited so long to "restore" my hearing, I had a lot of anger and picked up cussing from my Dad.  Finally, the mother nanny had enough and stood me in front of the cross over the TV set in her living room, telling me about Jesus.  I COULD NOT believe my ears.  Immediately, I felt, how can you possibly believe something like that.  It was nonsense to me!  It was like you being told today, "Don't go outside!  The Birds have arrived!  People are dying out there by the thousands!"  And you see nothing outside.

I set up a discussion thread about my nature over at -


Yes, you can be spiritual and not religious, but... it is subjective. Subjective in the way that only those who thoroughly follow the definition of spirituality vs religiousness. Think of it as the way that people define the word theory. To those who understand that theory has two definitions, we do not accept Evolution in the same definition that fundamentalists (and the most of our generation) do(es). Same goes for spirituality.

We base our opinion off of a general populous. A consensus, if you will. And that consensus is consistent with the most well known definition of "Spirituality".

Anyone can channel their 'soul' (or in my opinion, their fervency... their passion) into something they love. The same way I channel my 'soul' into my love for Evolution and Science in a whole.

Some people channel their passion into a supernatural power. Anything can be a God to someone. Anything can be supernatural if you don't want to take the time to define it, or feed your curiosity. I could say a cheese sandwich is supernatural, if I had no way of knowing how it was put together. In regard, if you look up the definition of God (in consideration of Google's resources) we can concede that God can be any sort of matter or anti-matter to anybody. It's the generally accepted opinion, or the sociological definition which we allow ourselves to be deterred by.

Specifically speaking, I see all atheists as intellectuals, in the sense that, not all atheists are atheists because they're smart enough to see through bullshit, but because they're open-minded enough to question bullshit to a full throttle. And in present time, (IMHO) anyone who's able to overcome media and society in such a way to dispute religion in today's world, is an intellectual to me. Majority of us, (agnostics/atheists) are accepting without aggression, (and for the aggressive half, I can't speak for).

And I don't think situations like this should be deserving of aggression, unless we felt personally attacked, or understood, in full, enough to reject and rebuttal someone's obnoxious, religiously-biased judgment.

TL;DR (Too long, didn't read) - To each their own. You know what you're beliefs or lackthereof consist of. Don't let anyone question it.

i'm not aggressive about this. I would say i'm passionate about it though. I'm passionate in my belief that the use of the word "soul" or "spirit" in place of other words is counter productive. As it insinuates to many people who want to believe that you believe in A SOUL. Because the ETERNAL SOUL is almost always what is suspected when you use those words.

I find people find it even MORE difficult to come out as nonbeliever in the soul than it is for them to come out as a nonbeliever in God and that's a problem to me because belief in God is DEPENDENT on the belief in the soul...

Please, just reconsider using the word spiritual and soul.. see if you can find a word that more accurately depicts the meaning :)

Please, just reconsider using the word spiritual and soul.. see if you can find a word that more accurately depicts the meaning :)

Why must other people reconsider their accurate use of words like spiritual simply because you refuse to accept these words can be used in a non-religious sense?

Me and others have explained it in this thread quite a few times but basically because the use of those words in that regard directly support a religious belief.

Let me ask you again.. would you use the word GOD to describe the natural universe? And if someone were to do so would you question them? And if you WOULD question that. Why wouldn't you question someone using the words "spirit" and "soul" to describe "their personality" or "their connectedness to the universe"

The word Spirit means Soul... that is the number one most likely meaning  anyone thinks of when you use that word.

You've said it, but it seems to be a position supported by little more than personal experience and opinion.  That's not to say it is incorrect; it's just not compelling.

So what about you personally Kris, if someone tells you they believe in God... but then later explains to you that they consider God to be "the universe" would you not prefer them to or perhaps ask them to reconsider calling it God?


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