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NerdyKeith's avatar

Is it true that, "Religion is belief in someone else's experience", but " spirituality is having your own experience”?

Asked by NerdyKeith (5464points) April 3rd, 2016

This was a quote I saw on Facebook from a page called The Mind Unleashed.

I thought it was interesting. What are your thoughts on this concept?

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10 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Nice quote. its like believing in anecdotal evidence vs. experimental factual , evidence .

jaytkay's avatar

I think lot of (most?) people who say they are “spiritual but not religious” are in fact atheist or agnostic, but feel a social obligation to be religious.

And I don’t think it’s a deliberate calculation or devious or manipulative. They just haven’t reconciled their lack of belief with the very strong biases surrounding us.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@jaytkay Oh I don’t know about that. A lot of people who are “spiritual but not religious”, from my experiences mainly feel that organised religion cannot define their beliefs. Not that there is anything wrong with being an atheist mind you. I just don’t think that most who are spiritual but not religious are generally atheist. They might be agnostic however, since agnosticism is not a position on faith or lack thereof; but a position on knowledge.

zenvelo's avatar

“Religion is for those who are trying to stay out of hell.
Spirituality is for those who have been to hell and want to get out.”

jaytkay's avatar

@NerdyKeith A lot of people who are “spiritual but not religious”, from my experiences mainly feel that organised religion cannot define their beliefs

OK, now that you mention it that is my experience, too.

Seek's avatar

Meh. “Spirituality” is one of those nebulous words that means whatever you want it to mean at the time, and is thus terribly unreliable as currency for transfer of information.

flutherother's avatar

Religion isn’t much if it doesn’t have a spiritual aspect to it. I’m sure many religious people have a very deep and personal relationship with their faith.

thorninmud's avatar

It’s too simplistic.

Spirituality is an impulse, an inclination, an intuition. By its nature, its nebulous, as @Seek said, because it’s a yearning for that which doesn’t belong to the domain of definable things.

Religion is the cluster of forms that tend to accrete around spirituality. If you have a particular way of expressing your spirituality. then you have given form to it, and you have a basic sort of religion. If you have some particular idea about what this yearning is for, then you have given it some form and now have a basic religion. These forms may be yours alone, or they can also be shared among others who also find that they’re fitting expressions of their spiritual impulse. They may be very loosely structured, or they may be tightly organized.

I get that people want to dismiss entirely these various systems of forms that have grown up around the spiritual impulse because they’ve seen how wrong this enterprise can go. But the spiritual impulse has to be expressed in some way. If it has no connection whatsoever to the world of form, then it’s nothing. Just because you craft your own personal religion doesn’t mean that you’re somehow above religion and have smugness rights.

NerdyKeith's avatar

Well my understanding from he quote, is that its more about self discovery. Self discovery to the extent that the individual must seek out to understand what spirituality means to them. And I will fully accept that it is subjective, and I would indeed argue that this is part of the point.

Many times from a fundamentalist perspective, religion can be very absolute and all or nothing. To them if you don’t tick all the boxes you are doing it wrong. To me, I could never get on board with something like that.

LogicHead's avatar

Keith, that is a reather perverted way of looking at things if you don’t mind me saying :)

First of all Belief is something totally different, at least in Christianity and Judaism
“No one who believes must believe; belief is by its nature a free act.”
you have a conviction that you ought to believe, reason has done its part, and what is wanted for faith is, not proof, but will.’”

So you seem to be one of those people who thinks that if I want or like something it must be moral.
From there to Spirituality is easy. S. is how you implement your belief in daily life.
ONe should pray, so let me put that in my schedule.
One should be sexually chaste , let me act on that

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