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Met someone who's "religious but not spiritual"

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Met someone who's "religious but not spiritual"
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LallapalalableUser avatarPosts: 1205Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:35 pmLocation: That place between childhood and adulthood Gender: Male

Post Met someone who's "religious but not spiritual"

How you kids doin'?

So I've been living easy, not giving a shit about what other people believe so long as they return the favor, and that's been pretty chill. Worked with a guy that was all "Born-Again Christian but also believes in reptilian aliens" and I just nodded when he talked about it and beyond that he was a pretty cool dude. I also met this girl a few months back and we hit it off pretty well, and one of the things that naturally came up is religion, of course. I knew since before we started dating that her father is a Lutheran minister, so I was kinda nervous about explaining how I'm not Christian, but she told me something that really surprised me.

She's religious, but not spiritual. Either does not believe in God or believes that the existence thereof doesn't matter, not 100% sure, but that part I'm entirely in line with. I'm agnostic vs atheist purely because the world does not change either way, and no matter the answer I still live in the same world. However, she does think going to church is the most important thing in life, no matter what you believe. I was a little confused, yeah, but I asked why that is and she gave some answers worth pondering:

1) Ritual: It's important to establish a rhythm in life, and the act of going somewhere to reflect on life for an hour helps with that.

2) Commitment: Forcing yourself to go somewhere every week when you may not always want to is good for personal growth. Just the act of doing something you aren't ecstatic about because you tell yourself you have to reinforces positive processes, and can be applied anywhere.

and 3) Community: There's a difference between personal reflection and community reflection. I don't know the difference yet but I guess I'll see what's up. I guess talking with people who are reflecting on the same things as you has that multiple perspectives benefit you won't find on your own.


So yeah, I'm sure this has been an argument since the beginning of time, or at the very least been brought up here more than once, but my experience has always been either religious fanatics or militant atheists, and her middle-of-the-ground views on spirituality and religion is new to me. Her dad is Lutheran, but she goes to Quaker Meetings because it's less "sermons and songs" and more "sit quietly and think about life," so I decided I can swallow my pride and join her this Sunday and attend church for the first time in... yeah, I don't actually know. A while. But my life has been less than wonderful lately (not bad, but could definitely be better and I've hit a wall), and if this is something I can tolerate then why not see if I can utilize it to improve myself? I'm not going in looking to change my spiritual beliefs, but maybe adopt a new philosophy or two, and at the very least get myself into a new routine with a new perspective on life. Who knows, I might enjoy it.
"I'm not stupid, I just have a command of thoroughly useless information." Watterson
Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:23 pm
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he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3308Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Met someone who's "religious but not spiritual"

I honestly hope I do not come off as a "militant atheist." I would say my philosophy on religion is a live and let live one. I also do not see religion as the soul source of all the wrong in the world. I mean, what is more threatening, a theist that practices their faith in private and might tell you "God bless you" or "Allah's peace be upon you" or an atheist that thinks vaccines are a violation of their personhood, so does not get vaccinated and does not vaccinate their children? I can tell you what I fear more.

However, being culturally religious is not a new idea to me. I have a few friends from high school that I am positive are culturally Catholic. Apparently, Jews and Catholics have been doing this for a few decades. Out of the three answers your friend gave, the third is probably the most likely, but not for the reason she gave. Having a since of community seems to be a major part of having a happy life for many people. An easy place to find a community is a church. They are already built to facilitate community building. Secular groups are starting to pop up to take those places of community, but not at a fast enough rate.

With that said, good luck on your new path. Hopefully, you will be able to get your life back to wonderful with the new change in scenery
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Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:21 am
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Collecemall
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Post Re: Met someone who's "religious but not spiritual"

One of the key things I miss about religion is the community aspect. I think it makes for happier people and is something many of us lack because there is no uniting reason to gather as a non theist. They automatically belong to an "in" group and many people find that comforting and important to their well being. I've considered doing it myself but I just can't fake it. Structure in life is important to a lot of people and it would benefit me as well but I won't compromise the things I think I know in order to fit into a group for acceptance. Lots of people manage it to one degree or another but I just can't make it happen.
"Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives, and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of their time."
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ~~Voltaire
Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:34 am
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3308Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Met someone who's "religious but not spiritual"

Have you tried looking up secular groups in your area? Something like Sunday Assembly or Skeptics in the Pub? You could always try and see if their is a Unitarian church, from my understanding, they are just gatherings of people that celebrate life and might pray to a deistic god.
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Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:00 am
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SpecialFrogUser avatarPosts: 827Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:13 pmLocation: Great White North Gender: Tree

Post Re: Met someone who's "religious but not spiritual"

Really, atheism and agnosticism don't have any rules. :)

If you feel that participating in this type of thing is dishonest that would be a good reason not to do it. If you don't, there is nothing inherently wrong with it. There are a reasonable number of essentially atheist Jews who still enjoy many of the practices of Judaism. I know David Silverman objects to this kind of thing but I frequently object to him.

I certainly agree that community can be a good thing, assuming you actually like the community. I tend to find Quakers amongst the least objectionable religious groups but your mileage may vary. As others have indicated, there may be other options for community that fit you better. But if you like that one and they aren't doing or saying anything you find objectionable, go for it.
"Life is nothing but an electron looking for a place to rest" -- Albert Szent-Gyrgyi
Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:12 pm
Collecemall
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Post Re: Met someone who's "religious but not spiritual"

he_who_is_nobody wrote:Have you tried looking up secular groups in your area? Something like Sunday Assembly or Skeptics in the Pub? You could always try and see if their is a Unitarian church, from my understanding, they are just gatherings of people that celebrate life and might pray to a deistic god.


Almost everything I would consider going to is at least an hour and a half drive one way. The few local groups meet infrequently, sporadically, are extremely small, and frankly have been awkward when I went. There just aren't a whole lot of options for small town bible belt locations. I've considered trying to start something but I'm lazy and believe it would be tons of effort for little benefit.
"Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives, and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of their time."
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ~~Voltaire
Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:25 pm
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Met someone who's "religious but not spiritual"

I mean I go to swinger clubs for the company, but yeah, why not church?

In all seriousness, go for it. If it's not about the nutty religion but more about the community, do it. I went to catholic youth camp because that's where the party was at. I'm currently volunteering for St. John's Ambulance, definitely a religious organization. Who gives a shit.
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:22 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3308Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Met someone who's "religious but not spiritual"

Inferno wrote:I mean I go to swinger clubs for the company, but yeah, why not church?


You are into swinging? That means you will find this interesting.
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Sat Sep 26, 2015 2:07 pm
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DustniteUser avatarPosts: 518Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 9:11 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Met someone who's "religious but not spiritual"

I joined a hackspace instead: FREE 3D PRINTING WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE
"But this is irrelevant because in either case, whether a god exists or not, whether your God (with a capital G) exists or not, it doesn't matter. We both are, in either case, evolved apes. " - Nesslig20
Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:49 am
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Met someone who's "religious but not spiritual"

he_who_is_nobody wrote:
Inferno wrote:I mean I go to swinger clubs for the company, but yeah, why not church?


You are into swinging? That means you will find this interesting.


You know what my reply is... Not so nice words compiled into a song.

:lol: Just joking of course, this stuff doesn't phase me any more.
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:09 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3308Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Met someone who's "religious but not spiritual"

Inferno wrote:
he_who_is_nobody wrote:You are into swinging? That means you will find this interesting.


You know what my reply is... Not so nice words compiled into a song.

:lol: Just joking of course, this stuff doesn't phase me any more.


I guess WarK and I will have to step up our game and start sending you real snakes.
_BONES AND FOSSILS = LOVE_
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Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:51 am
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InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Met someone who's "religious but not spiritual"

he_who_is_nobody wrote:I guess WarK and I will have to step up our game and start sending you real snakes.


Eeeeek, you brute! Don't you dare! :evil:

Why oh why did I deserve this? First you send me snakes, then my flatmate tries to torch the apartment... Oh, such woe! :cry:
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:45 am
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