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

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I think herein lies the problem. "Spirituality" is an ill-defined, kind of inherently ambiguous word. People who want to call themselves spiritual because they meditate, or because they like to reflect on the beauty of reality, or whatever - these people I have no problem with. In these cases I just think that "spiritual" is a poor word choice, because it can bring with it all kinds of unintended connotations.

But I have likewise met plenty of people (such as the girl in question) who just posit unsubstantiated claims totally analogous to religious beliefs, but that are overly generalized, purposefully hazy, and irritatingly new-agey, and all for the sake of throwing off the religion label. This annoys me. 

There's a fantastic lecture from Neil DeGrasse Tyson where he mentions how "there's a kinship with the cosmos that resonates deeply with new age thinking" and compares his feelings about the cosmos to the feelings of religious people who have revelations. (around the 5:47 mark)

I think "spiritual" is the poorest word choice, except all the other words. Our language has no other word to describe this feeling. Perhaps skeptics should invent one.

I'm a skeptic. How about "rapture"? Not in the recent sense but in the older sense of being overwhelmed by emotion or awe.

If you want to use "rapture" as a comparison, then this discussion is the equivalent of implying anyone who uses the phrase "joy and rapture" actually believes they're going to fly up into the air to meet jeebus one day.

or maybe they should invent one...

No, it's not good enough at all.  Why would it be?  It doesn't meet ANY reasonable standard of evidence.  It also contradicts my experience, and apparently that of Jewelz. The word 'mostly' means that most people in that class exhibit the trait, but I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that his sample size (or any of ours) is not statistically meaningful.

Furthermore, he's saying that what people say is not what they mean, as if he is better informed on their postion than they are themselves.  That's really not impossible, but needs to be supported.  At least with something like Christianity, there is pre-existing doctrine and documented mythology to reference, but in the case of 'spiritualism' he's recognized that it's used in a personal sense.  

Do I have to perform a study and have this scientifically proven or can we just agree that i'm right?

If you cannot back it up objectively, don't make an objective statement.

Point is, none of the conversations on this board would get very far if everything needed scientific backing before you could say it.

I'm not saying that everything needs scientific backing; I'm saying that this claim, specifically, needs some form of reputable source supporting it.

If you cannot back it up objectively, don't make an objective statement.

And yet, you seem within your rights to be imperious by using the imperative. Didn't your mother teach you to use "Please" when asking people to do things for you?

I'm stating a general principle, not making a request. 'You' is being used in the awkward English universal sense.  Hopefully this clarifies the confusion.

What do you base this on?  To me, you sound no different than the people who make up shit about atheists being baby-eating, devil worshippers based off the three supposed atheists they've met.

Let me rephrase, then, using your own approved form of sentence construction: To me when people say they are not religious but are spiritual, it sounds like "I'm so bright that I made up my own religion. It's not one of the dumb religions other people believe that have names. It's MY PERSONAL religion."

So, I guess you have to be satisfied, now, don't you?

Yes.  That's a much more reasonable statement.


In my personal experience, people who need paraphrasing to include words such as "in my opinion" are reaching for the bottom of the barrel of ammunition and are usually trying to skew the conversation in another direction.


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