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

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I guess you don't realize how odd and far-fetched that explanation of the meaning of spirit happens to be. I doubt if it's what very many people who claim to be spiritual mean. Anyway, arguments from etymology are irrelevant. It's only usage that counts as to meaning. Lots of words wander pretty far from their etymologies.

While I agree etymology is irrelevant, there are many living definitions for the term that do not involve the supernatural. The wiki page on spirituality covers it extensively. If only usage counts, it's still a valid term, you just may sometimes need to ask for clarity due to multiple meanings. There is no other word in our language to describe spirituality and spiritual people understand this. I have come to accept that most atheists are not very spiritual. Many of them look at me like I have 3 heads when I talk about things like lucid dreaming, self-hypnosis, or meditation.

So Jewelz with that reasoning... are you fine with people who say they believe in God who just consider our universe as their creator?

"God" is another one of those words which cannot be clearly defined and like the word "spiritual" we've actually had quite a few discussions on this forum about what this word means.

There are certainly people who take the position that God = The universe or something similar. Einstein was one of them. I think it's important to simply ask people for clarification when they use terms with multiple meanings.

Jewelz, my point exactly... atheists in general don't like hearing the word god used in that way. So why would one entertain the use of the word "spiritual" in that way?

It doesn't matter if many atheists "don't like" hearing the word used that way. Pantheism is a valid label and some people will self-identify as such. It's not up to me to decide which labels people are allowed to use, or which definitions of words with multiple meanings should be removed from the dictionary. All I can do is ask for clarity if I'm confused.

Would it bother you if an atheist used a phrase like  "they had team spirit" or "he plays guitar with a lot of soul"? Just because some multiple definition words in our language can be associated with religion, doesn't mean they always are. There are plenty of atheists and agnostics who identify as spiritual.

I think what bothers is that a lot of people who say they aren't religious but that they're spiritual really have beliefs which ARE religious when you get right down to it.

They don't believe in a supernatural god, but they do believe in other supernatural ways to bend the universe.  It gives them a sense of control.

There are so many meanings of ill-defined words like religious and spiritual. Many people consider meditation to be spiritual but plenty of skeptics don't. And none of my "spiritual but not religious" friends (I acquired quite a few as a massage therapist) consider their beliefs religious. They usually don't want to be associated with organized religion. That's why they use the phrase. But multiple uses for these terms are correct.

Most people in general, including most "spiritual but not religious" people, are not staunch skeptics and often have some irrational beliefs in pseudoscience or the supernatural. But those beliefs existed long before (and independent of) religion or belief in God, and religion/spirituality certainly doesn't have a monopoly on irrational beliefs. I had to debunk ghost hunters to an atheist friend last week. Irrational beliefs bothers me greatly as well.

I understand many atheists shy away from the word spiritual because of its baggage. Many atheists also shy away from the word atheist for the same reason. I shy away from neither, as there are no labels in our language which more accurately describe aspects of me.

sooooo these people are...

"spiritual but not spiritual"?  whaaaaaatttt?!

I'm not spiritual.... i'm spiritual!

If you refuse to let go of the belief that your personal definitions of words like spiritual, religious, soul, god, etc are the only "correct" definitions then you will never be able to grasp what people mean unless their personal definitions precisely match yours.

Spiritual but not religious means people are not into organized religions. Atheism means a lack of belief in God. These labels say nothing about someones belief in souls, reincarnation, voodoo, psychics, astrology, or bigfoot.

Hey Jewelz, I totally get what you're talking about.  You've got a lot of patience. 


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