Spiritualism and Religion

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#51 Posted by wis3boi (32507 posts) -

@lightleggy said:

@Aljosa23 said:

@Braun_Roid_Rage said:

@Aljosa23 said:

I'd consider myself a realist, alright? But in philosophical terms I'm what's called a pessimist... I think human consciousness is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware. Nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself - we are creatures that should not exist by natural law... We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self, that accretion of sensory experience and feelings, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody's nobody... I think the honorable thing for our species to do is to deny our programming. Stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction - one last midnight, brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.

WTF? You're crazy, man.

If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward then, brother, that person is a piece of shit. And I'd like to get as many of them out in the open as possible. You gotta get together and tell yourself stories that violate every law of the universe just to get through the goddamn day? What's that say about your reality?

This is a huge misconception about Christians...

No, Christians don't like doing good stuff to get to heaven...we like doing good stuff because doing good stuff feels good, it feels very nice to help someone else, it's simply human nature.

And also something that atheists usually don't know is that a person cant find salvation via deeds alone, in other words you may have the greatest charity in the world but if you're not Christian then you haven't found salvation, we are saved because of faith and grace, not deeds.

What a wonderful pile of contradictions and fear

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#52 Posted by -Sun_Tzu- (17384 posts) -

@lightleggy said:

And also something that atheists usually don't know is that a person cant find salvation via deeds alone, in other words you may have the greatest charity in the world but if you're not Christian then you haven't found salvation, we are saved because of faith and grace, not deeds.

Salvation is overrated. Enlightenment is where it's at.

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#53 Posted by XilePrincess (13130 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@XilePrincess: You seem to have a very narrow-minded approach to religion. Religion is as simple as a belief about the nature and cause of the universe. It does not require any exchange of money or adherence to rules from an ancient text.

That would be my definition of spiritualism, something one can experience without going to a church of any kind. Your definition may be different, but I see spirituality as a make-your-own rules thing, whereas every church already has a set of rules they want you to follow.

Pick a religion and you can probably find examples of both of those things in almost any:

-Christianity: Most Christian churches have a collection plate. Not required, you're unofficially frowned upon by your fellow churchgoers if you never contribute. Have the obvious rules we're still working through today; abortion, birth control, sexual orientation, etc. Some churches have evolved, but many still believe that these things are sins that are unforgivable. Emphasis on purity, virginity until marriage, and chastity are pushed heavily in almost every Christian church.

The idea that you must accept Jesus as your lord and savior or you won't be able to go to heaven no matter what good you do is another 'rule'...I'm sure there are more but it's too early in my day to make a long list.

-Catholicism, see above.

-Mormons, see above, but tithing is NOT optional. They say you pay tithing and if your family doesn't have enough to make it through the month after that, so be it. God comes first, even if your 12 children starve. And speaking of children, children are considered a 'blessing', which means they believe the more you have the better 'heaven' you'll get into. If you don't get married in a temple, you'll never see your loved ones again after death.

And don't forget the missions! 2 years in a foreign country is considered "optional", the only real option is do you want your family to be laughed at or not? If not then pack your bags and enter a whole new world of 1001 rules a missionary has to follow (google, it's scary).

-Judaism, much of the above, but there are also dietary restrictions. I'm sure you know Jews don't eat pork, but there is a good list of other rules just about food. There are something like 613 'binding laws' in their texts.

-Jehovah's Witnesses; Obsessed with blood in such a way that makes the Malfoy family look tame. Can't touch it, can't get it, can't give it, can't eat it. They don't celebrate any holidays that Jesus wouldn't have celebrated, including nonreligious holidays that are for fun like 4th of July. Most avoid entirely serving their country or saluting it all together, including serving in the military or on a jury. If your husband beats you, you can't get a divorce. Only if he cheats on you is it acceptable to get a divorce.


Then there's Scientology and Kabalah or however that's spelled, that are trendy religions funded by rich people and nothing more, which is a joke in itself. Oh, and those TV ministers who make you send them a big check to send some good vibes (YES REALLY) and holy water back to you. People actually do it, they're that desperate.

I won't comment on Buddhism and Islam because I don't know as much about those.


But the point being, you can easily have a relationship with your chosen deity without having to do any of those things that each individual church demands of you or says you cannot do. You may not be immediately excommunicated for not following rules, but you'll certainly feel shame. That's part of the structure. If you do what "God" doesn't want (says these books here) you'll (insert threat here, includes 'go to hell', 'never see loved ones again', 'not be allowed into heaven', mostly things that can't be proven false while still alive and thus have the most scare power).

Having spirituality is just the same thing as having a religion but where you can make all of your own rules and take what you will and leave what you don't want.

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#54 Edited by thegerg (18279 posts) -

@XilePrincess: You can define any word in any way you wish, but that doesn't change what that word actually means. Your narrow-minded view of religion does not change what religion actually is.

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#55 Posted by XilePrincess (13130 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@XilePrincess: You can define any word in any way you wish, but that doesn't change what that word actually means. Your narrow-minded view of religion does not change what religion actually is.

Dictionary.reference.com states:

re·li·gion [ri-lij-uhn] noun

1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2.a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.

And on the same page from World English Dictionary:
2. any formal or institutionalized expression of such belief: the Christian religion


I'm not saying your definition is wrong or right, I'm just saying if you want to start throwing out 'definitions' and what things 'actually' mean, mine fits the bill. The difference between religion and spirituality in my mind is that religion is an organized group of people all following the same set of beliefs, and the bolded definitions above support that idea.

Nobody is right or wrong here, it's a thread based on opinion, and that's where my opinion on the difference comes from. I'm not saying there is no good in religion, some people find structure in it and that's great for them.

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#56 Posted by thegerg (18279 posts) -

@XilePrincess: The issue is that you choose to discount one definition of the word and believe that only one definition fits. That's not how words work.

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#57 Edited by Perfect_Blue (29932 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@XilePrincess: The issue is that you choose to discount one definition of the word and believe that only one definition fits. That's not how words work.

Are you stupid or purposely being difficult? She is not discounting any definition, she is using one that fits her belief. Hence: opinion.

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#58 Posted by XilePrincess (13130 posts) -

@thegerg:

Again, like I JUST said, I'm not saying my definition is the ONLY definition or the ultimate correct one, I'm saying parts of the definition very clearly fit my personal definition.

Why are you so bent on turning what I have very clearly said is my OPINION into definitive fact which you're arguing against? Your definition can be as right or as wrong as mine. I didn't 'discount' anything, you're the only one doing that here. The definition I'm using is the definition that I feel makes the most sense for me. I'm not demanding that you also use that definition.

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#59 Posted by thegerg (18279 posts) -

@XilePrincess: The simple fact is that the manner in which you are using that word is not in line with the definition of that word. You are welcome to have any opinion you like, but that opinion has no bearing on the fact that in order for something to be a religion it doesn't necessarily require payment and adherence to rules as you have claimed.

It can be my opinion that trees are mammals, but that doesn't mean shit if the definition of the word "mammal" can't be applied to a tree. Feel free to have your opinion, I'm simply telling you that it's not in line with reality.

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#60 Edited by thegerg (18279 posts) -

@Aljosa23: No. Are you?

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#62 Edited by -Sun_Tzu- (17384 posts) -

I really get the sense that thegerg gets off on being pedantic

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#63 Edited by Braun_Roid_Rage (790 posts) -

@Aljosa23 said:

@Braun_Roid_Rage said:

@Aljosa23 said:

I'd consider myself a realist, alright? But in philosophical terms I'm what's called a pessimist... I think human consciousness is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware. Nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself - we are creatures that should not exist by natural law... We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self, that accretion of sensory experience and feelings, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody's nobody... I think the honorable thing for our species to do is to deny our programming. Stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction - one last midnight, brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.

WTF? You're crazy, man.

If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward then, brother, that person is a piece of shit. And I'd like to get as many of them out in the open as possible. You gotta get together and tell yourself stories that violate every law of the universe just to get through the goddamn day? What's that say about your reality?

LOL, you have no idea wtf you're talking about bud. But keep believing that, ha.

I feel sorry for the atheist though. Maybe on your death beds some of you will switch it up.

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#64 Posted by foxhound_fox (96695 posts) -

@Braun_Roid_Rage said:

LOL, you have no idea wtf you're talking about bud. But keep believing that, ha.

I feel sorry for the atheist though. Maybe on your death beds some of you will switch it up.

Stark awareness of one's insignificance in the universe is far more liberating and self-fulfilling than blind acceptance of a 2000 year-old fairy tale.

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#65 Posted by wis3boi (32507 posts) -

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

I really get the sense that thegerg gets off on being pedantic

Semantics make him moist. Should've seen the shit show he made when I told him youtube requires a G+ account and the huge denial he had

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#66 Edited by Ariabed (2121 posts) -

@Aljosa23: "If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward"

not true, a Christian can sin his/her face off commit the most horrible acts, but if they repent confess their sins they are forgiven.

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#67 Posted by BlackGenjii (256 posts) -

@ariabed said:

@blackgenji, the Book of Jude teaches a more spritual side to religion and less uniform, I haven't read the bible yet but what is the book of Jude? Why is this way of religion not taught?

Sorry it took me awhile to respond, I'm rarely on this site these days.

To answer your question, the book of Jude pretty much teaches us the truth about God and also teaches us how to best live for God...

which (though living a life for God is no easy walk in the park) it's know where NEAR as demanding or as constricting as the majority of Christians make living for God out to be.

Those who have studied the Book of Jude and have truly understood its messages have seen and learned that the majority of what most Christians say about God and his son Jesus are not true, most Christians make God and his son out to be nitpicking jerks who are constantly judging us and waiting to see when we mess up.

Not to mention, a lot of Christians also make out like Heaven is a boring white cloud where people walk in endless lines to see yet... more boring white clouds.

Not to sound negative, but if Heaven really was the way a lot of Christians make it out to be, then I'd rather be dead and feel nothing than to be in a place with no life, no joy, no marriage and no freedom to have children... but thankfully the real Heaven is not the way most Christians make it out to be...

In the real heaven you'll be able to get married (those who were married on earth will be in heaven with their spouse) and have children, and you'll be surrounded by infinite beauty and bliss.

And (though I'm sure this is going to sound crazy) in Heaven we'll be able to talk to animals (yes they'll be there too).

It's clearly stated in the Bible that (since we were able to talk to animals in the beginning of time) we'll be able to talk to them in Heaven as well. Like I said, that probably sounds crazy (and probably makes me sound like a fruit cake) but it is true.

So yeah, with what the Bible says about God, Heaven, how animals will be in Heaven and how we'll be able to talk to them, and how people who are in Heaven will be able to get married and have children, it's pretty clear that most of what the Christian religion has to say about all these things are untrue.

In response to your other question, I don't really know why the book of Jude is the least read and least studied book in the Bible, but I do have a theory, and that is, most Christians are probably afraid to read the book of Jude because they know that it will put them in their place... and rightfully so.

I sure hope that my response to your questions were helpful and not confusing.

-BlackGenjii.

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#68 Edited by ChristianGmr14 (157 posts) -

I am a Christian and to me spiritualism and religion are one in the same. They both come from The Holy Spirit and all people, even those who deny God, are still capable of feeling His tranquil presence.

Also as someone else said in this thread, salvation comes not from works of The Law but from God's Grace alone. We do good works out of Faith and Love, not out of obediance or oppressive legalism.

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#69 Edited by Ariabed (2121 posts) -

@SaintLeonidas: what does it mean to be a spiritual atheist?

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#70 Posted by ChristianGmr14 (157 posts) -

There is so much ignorance and hate here when it comes to Christianity and religion in general....it truly frightens me.

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#71 Posted by foxhound_fox (96695 posts) -

@christiangmr14 said:

There is so much ignorance and hate here when it comes to Christianity and religion in general....it truly frightens me.

Most Christians know very little about their religion.

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#72 Posted by CountBleck12 (4740 posts) -

@foxhound_fox said:

@christiangmr14 said:

There is so much ignorance and hate here when it comes to Christianity and religion in general....it truly frightens me.

Most Christians know very little about their religion.

They're pretty much hypocrites.

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#73 Posted by ChristianGmr14 (157 posts) -

@CountBleck12 said:

@foxhound_fox said:

@christiangmr14 said:

There is so much ignorance and hate here when it comes to Christianity and religion in general....it truly frightens me.

Most Christians know very little about their religion.

They're pretty much hypocrites.

Do either of you militants have any proof to support such a generalization? No? Didn't think so.

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#74 Edited by hippiesanta (10299 posts) -

Can we stop talking stt about atheist vs religion for a while ...

Ultimat Warrior is dead

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#75 Posted by CountBleck12 (4740 posts) -

@christiangmr14 said:

@CountBleck12 said:

@foxhound_fox said:

@christiangmr14 said:

There is so much ignorance and hate here when it comes to Christianity and religion in general....it truly frightens me.

Most Christians know very little about their religion.

They're pretty much hypocrites.

Do either of you militants have any proof to support such a generalization? No? Didn't think so.

Being a member of any religion (yes this obviously includes Christianity) is hypocritical because it involves you making an entirely unwarranted special exception for one belief while dismissing all others.

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#76 Posted by foxhound_fox (96695 posts) -

@christiangmr14 said:

Do either of you militants have any proof to support such a generalization? No? Didn't think so.

Militants? You are very quick to the defense, aren't you?

I stated a very common fact about most Christians. Either they know very little about their religion and go to church on major holidays and pay lip service to their God, or, they are so stupid, they believe the Bible is the literal truth about EVERYTHING and barely even have any understanding about any sort of parable or metaphor the text might contain (see: Ray Comfort or Ken Ham).

Very few modern religionists, from any religion, know much about their religion, and even less about other religions. It's a shame too, if they did, they might be better people.

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#77 Posted by thegerg (18279 posts) -

@CountBleck12: No it doesn't.

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#78 Posted by CountBleck12 (4740 posts) -
@thegerg said:

@CountBleck12: No it doesn't.

Guess the truth is too difficult to accept to some if not most, I'd figured.

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#79 Posted by thegerg (18279 posts) -

@CountBleck12: Maybe, but that has nothing to do with my post. Since you are so well aware of the beliefs of others , in what way do I make any unwarranted exception and dismiss all others?

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#80 Edited by Ariabed (2121 posts) -

@CountBleck12: what is a spiritual Atheist!!!!!!!!!!?

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#81 Edited by Ariabed (2121 posts) -

What is A SPIRITUAL ATHEIST!!!!!!!?(deep breaths deep breaths) ok,,,,I'm ok

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#82 Edited by chessmaster1989 (30204 posts) -
@foxhound_fox said:

@christiangmr14 said:

Do either of you militants have any proof to support such a generalization? No? Didn't think so.

Militants? You are very quick to the defense, aren't you?

I stated a very common fact about most Christians. Either they know very little about their religion and go to church on major holidays and pay lip service to their God, or, they are so stupid, they believe the Bible is the literal truth about EVERYTHING and barely even have any understanding about any sort of parable or metaphor the text might contain (see: Ray Comfort or Ken Ham).

Very few modern religionists, from any religion, know much about their religion, and even less about other religions. It's a shame too, if they did, they might be better people.

If it's a very common fact, then you should find it easy to give him proof of it, correct?

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#83 Posted by TheFlush (5885 posts) -

I guess I'm not very spiritual or religious then... no gods, demons, heaven, hell, angels, ghosts, spirits, souls, Qi and all those other things for me.
No thank you, I think I'll manage without those things.

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#84 Edited by Ariabed (2121 posts) -

@TheFlush: you don't need any of those things to be spiritual. Those things you mentioned fall soley into religious catergory. As a spiritual person it would be up to you to except those things you mentioned or not. You can be spiritual just by having a love for the world and for the universe and a love of people.

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#85 Posted by TheFlush (5885 posts) -

@ariabed: In a sense, yes, because I'm humanist. But often there are esoteric and mystical new age things added to the definition of spirituality. I don't do or believe in those things.

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#86 Edited by Ariabed (2121 posts) -

@TheFlush: since creating this thread I've come to realise that the definition of spiritualism isn't a clear cut thing as there are many definitions, but I like this analogy someone on here used,

Religion is like renting off a strict landlord/lady you can't really change/decorate to your taste or change anything you can't even smoke.

Spiritualism is like owning your own house you can change what ever the hell you like keep what you like and get rid of what you don't like.

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#87 Posted by thegerg (18279 posts) -

@ariabed: What makes you think that religion is so restrictive? Mine isn't, it seems that you simply have a very narrow minded view if religion.

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#88 Edited by Ariabed (2121 posts) -

@thegerg: what religion are you? I'm sure you have rules and do's and don'ts things that your religion frowns upon. What ever religion you are in I'm sure you can't go and change it to your preferences . You follow your religion, your religion doesn't follow you. So b4 you call me narrow minded you should realise that I'm probably the most open minded person on this forum. That is all

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#89 Posted by thegerg (18279 posts) -

@ariabed: My religion is simply the belief that there is some kind of unifying force that connects everything in the universe. In what way is that restrictive like a strict landlord? In no way do my beliefs prevent me from changing my preferences.

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#90 Edited by Ariabed (2121 posts) -

@thegerg: Lol!! that's spritualism not religion, if it is religion what religion is it? Your own made up religion? That is a spiritualist view of life.

Religious people follow a god they worship a god they follow a religion that has rules and those rules can't be modified to fit ones preferences.

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#91 Posted by thegerg (18279 posts) -

@ariabed: No. It's religion. Religion is as simple as a belief about the cause/nature of the universe. Again, you seem to have a very narrow minded view.

Not all religions have a god.

Ignorance FTL.

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#92 Posted by foxhound_fox (96695 posts) -

@ariabed said:

@thegerg: Lol!! that's spritualism not religion, if it is religion what religion is it? Your own made up religion? That is a spiritualist view of life.

Religious people follow a god they worship a god they follow a religion that has rules and those rules can't be modified to fit ones preferences.

I hate to defend gerg here, but: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion?s=t

Nowhere there does it define religion as something specific beyond a set of beliefs adhered to by a single person, or a group concerning the cause, nature and purpose of the universe, which may or may not involve superhuman agencies and/or rituals or observances and is considered an outline for morality for those who profess belief in it.

Religion isn't "Christianity" or "Hinduism". Religion is merely one's beliefs about the universe when not relating to a scientific or objective understanding (i.e. something philosophical, metaphorical, parabolic, etc).

Buddhism is also defined as a religion in general, but is largely atheistic (certain Mahayana sects aside).

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#93 Posted by Ariabed (2121 posts) -

@thegerg: ok you win, but your religion is more on the spiritual side of things and don't forget there are also many definitions for spiritualism.

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#94 Edited by thegerg (18279 posts) -

@ariabed: It's just as spiritual as any other religion.

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#95 Posted by wis3boi (32507 posts) -

@ariabed said:

@thegerg: ok you win, but your religion is more on the spiritual side of things and don't forget there are also many definitions for spiritualism.

I don't think I've ever heard a single coherent definition of 'spiritual' besides fluffy feel-good mumbo jumbo

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#97 Edited by Ariabed (2121 posts) -

@thegerg: @foxhound_fox: hmm thegerg has no name for this religion so it's just his/her own set of beliefs. A spiritualist could have thegergs same beliefs but not call it a religion. Thegerg chooses to call it religion bcos it fits the definition.

So there's really no differance between religion and spiritualism. I mean some forms of religion could be taken as spiritualism and vice versa?

@thegerg, how do you think this world/universe came to be?

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#98 Edited by thegerg (18279 posts) -

@ariabed: It doesn't matter what someone calls something. Pick up a dictionary. Religion does not require a god, rules, or to be labeled "religion." Maybe you should broaden your view of the world.

Anyway, how do you think the universe came to be? Share your thoughts first.

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#99 Posted by foxhound_fox (96695 posts) -

@ariabed said:

@thegerg: @foxhound_fox: hmm thegerg has no name for this religion so it's just his/her own set of beliefs. A spiritualist could have thegergs same beliefs but not call it a religion. Thegerg chooses to call it religion bcos it fits the definition.

So there's really no differance between religion and spiritualism.

@thegerg, how do you think this world/universe came to be?

A "spiritualist" is a "religionist". They just called themselves something else to avoid the stigma associated with the term "religion". To many "religion" carries the connotation of "believing in magic" when it encompasses a significantly greater number of things.

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#100 Posted by Ariabed (2121 posts) -

@thegerg: hence why I said there is no difference between religion and spiritualism, which is why I created this thread to find that out. It doesn't matter what you call something it's all about individual preference, and anyway your the one that called your beliefs religion not me.

You obviously don't want to share your beliefs on that matter I don't know why, I'm not one to take the piss out of someone's beliefs.