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

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spiritual 118 up52 down
Adj: What people on dating sites describe themselves as because they are afraid that nobody wants to marry an atheist.
Guy: So, do you believe that Jesus is your Lord and Savior and died on the cross to absolve you of all of your sins so that you don't burn in an eternal pit of hellfire for ever and ever and ever? 
GirL Um... I'm spiritual.

Comical, but not soul related.

Kris, no idea why I can't respond to your post but... for the record I think that's my personal favorite entry.

This site hits a limit on the number of replies to replies.  If it was unlimited, it would just keep cascading down until it was a vertical row of single characters.

Off topic, but another interesting thing I found on urban dictionary was that Dawkins related definitions were mostly pejorative and ugly; however Hitchens related terms were mostly empowering (like hitchslap).  The last time I looked this up was well before Hitchens passed away though.  Trends may have changed since then.

You do realize that the top voted spirituality definition according to the "urbandictionary" demographic also includes "This use of the word is so vague that it can be redefined to mean anything, even something that is completely materialistic.The writer of this entry then adds a rant implying "spiritual people" are actually atheists who do not want to adopt the label.

Also, as Kris pointed out, the top definition (115 upvotes 53 down) for spiritual is...What people on dating sites describe themselves as because they are afraid that nobody wants to marry an atheist.

This seems to imply the urbandictionary demographic understands the MAJORITY of people calling themselves "spiritual" are not religious and simply do not want to avoid potential mates by labeling themselves atheists.

So drago, if we want to use urbandictionary as a source of wisdom, perhaps we should be discussing why so many atheists consider themselves "spiritual" instead of assuming MOST people who use the term are actually religious and are referring to belief in the soul, as this is the opposite of your opinion on what MOST people who use the term actually mean.

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.


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