The Spiritual Atheist..

If the purpose of speech is to convey a message. And an atheist calls himself spiritual. Isn't that person misrepresenting himself by using a word that is most largely viewed to be synonymous with "soul"? Even if he himself has his own unique meaning for it (which takes a 5 minute video to understand)

Let's be honest most people hear the word spirit and think soul.. don't they?

It seems like a way of justifying for no reason. If there is a lack of a better word... make a new one. To me I find that people are kind of ridiculed or perceived in a derogatory way if they admit or "come out" with believing they do not have a soul. Like you are somehow less of a person, lacking mystery, etc.. So when someone tries to find a convoluted means of explaining why they call themselves "spiritual". I feel that they are pandering to this unfortunate misperception.

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Yes, Blaine, drugs are commonly used by primitive people in order to gain access to spirit beings.


I can't say that I have ever experieced a ghost, spirit, etc. If I had I might make a better candidate for theism. I do look for oddities in perception, but I am mostly disapointed by the normal, humdrum stuff. The outlyers would be interesting, in a disturbing way.

Spirituality is inevitably based on the concept of spirits (aka souls, ghosts, "haints").

That sounds more like spiritism to me, Unseen. Spirituality isn't spiritism.

A soul isn't a spirit?

The Holy Ghost is supposed to be a spirit - isn't it?

Maybe believing in The Holy Ghost is spiritism.

Strega, I thought that Ghost was a Germanic word for spirit and that they were the same, but I always try to check my answers and it turns out I was wrong. A spirit (Greek pneuma, from where the English pneumonia and pneumatic comes from) can be wind, breath, mental inclanation (i.e. a mean spirited person, the horses spirit was broken) or spirit being. God is a spirit, the angels are spirits.

But the word Ghost comes from the translation of the Greek word phantasma and only occurs twice in the Christian Greek scripture. (Mark 6:49; 14:26) The phantasma is an apparition, an illussion, though some translations use the word Ghost, or false vision.  The frightfully incorrect KJV uses spirit.

I get twitchy with these Greek half-translations, probably because I am half-Greek myself and speak the language.  (Ancient Greek does not divert from Modern Greek to the extent Latin does with Italian).

So, pneuma is breath in Greek.  It isn't a being, it's simply breath.  Now I have read elsewhere in this thread, that spirit and breath have been used interchangeably.  This is probably because of the ancient belief that when the last breath leaves the body, it is also a sign of the spirit leaving the body.  Pneuma, however, is simply breath.

Phantasma is phantom in Greek.  A phantom is a shadowy ethereal being, smoky, insubstantial.  You can use Phantom instead of Ghost but they are not the same thing.  A ghost does not have to be ethereal.  A phantom is indicative of a vagueness of shape, unformed.  A ghost is supposed to be the apparition of a dead person.  A phantom is not.

Perhaps there is more ambiguity in the Hebrew language, but Greek is certainly less manipulable. 


In the modern day Greek how would you say God breathed the breath of life into Adam and he became a living soul during a heavy wind?

David I do not have a Greek keyboard here.  When I get my iPad up and running, I understand there is a function to achieve that.  But you are not asking me to type it in Greek, are you?  You want a translation.

I remember from either my college German courses or the German woman I was married to for 14 years that in German (and English is a germanic language) that the noun Geist means BOTH soul and ghost in German.'s #1 definition for "illusion" is "something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality."

Notice the word "something." In other words, in its primary definition an illusion is a thing, not a nothing. A ghost is an illusion because it is not as it appears, but that is not to deny that something is the cause of the appearance.


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