I’ll happily concede that words have multiple meanings and that new meanings evolve over time. Typically this is caused by social memes and technological influences.
Colloquially, “gay” once meant happy and “cool” generally meant not hot. Fine. No problem. I can make my peace with bastardized adjectives – as long as they don’t bastardize ideological precepts.
Ideologies are sacrosanct, and they tend to be black-and-white per doctrine of some sort (even if only a dictionary definition). Conjuring up new meanings turns resolute ideologies into wishy-washy gray areas that cater to the lowest common denominator which only serves to fuel their hypocrisy and duality. Mostly though, it just fucking annoys me.
For example, I’ve met plenty of people who call themselves a vegetarian, yet they eat chicken or fish from time to time. Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with eating whatever you want anytime you want, but you’re not a vegetarian if you eat chicken or fish.
Similarly, I know plenty of people who claim to keep kosher (which is set in stone by Rabbinical law), yet they eat treif outside their home or within the home on paper plates using plastic utensils. Again, there’s nothing wrong with this dietary practice, but you don’t keep kosher if you intentionally eat treif.
Okay, so these assholes are dietary hypocrites. They’re annoying and bring insult to the people who actually do maintain these dietary practices in sincerity. But at least they’re not giving credence to inane religious beliefs by hijacking their words.
But then, like the surfing blowhard who spews “Zen” platitudes about riding the waves, there are non-believers who claim to be [making quote fingers] “spiritual.”
No, they’re not.
You’ve heard it a ten thousand times: “I’m spiritual but not religious.”
Oh, go fuck yourself, you egotistical prick. What part of the meaning of the word spiritual are you in tune with that the rest of us aren’t?
- Of, relating to, consisting of, or having the nature of spirit; not tangible or material. See Synonyms at immaterial.
- Of, concerned with, or affecting the soul.
- Of, from, or relating to God; deific.
- Of or belonging to a church or religion; sacred.
- Relating to or having the nature of spirits or a spirit; supernatural.
Spirituality by its very definition implies transcendence, something that is beyond us. That so hard for you to comprehend?
And sorry, this excludes nature. We are demonstrably part of nature in every observable and participatory sense, and trying to cram spirituality into it in a “big picture” sense doesn’t change any of that:
6. Relating to the spirit or soul and not to physical nature or matter; intangible.
Every notable dictionary seems to be in agreement that the word transcends the material and physical world in favor of incorporeal matters.
Taste Your Hypocrisy
Does it make your blood boil that idiot Christians insist on calling atheism a religion? (It’s okay. You can admit it. We all know it does.) Well, there is no sane distinction between their perversion of that word’s meaning and your pervsersion of the word spiritual.
If atheism is a religion, then anything can be a fucking religion: golf, music, politics, integral calculus, cooking, and internet porn. Congratulations. The word “religion” has now been bastardized and beaten into utter meaninglessness.
But clearly atheism isn’t. And if atheism isn’t a religion, then spirituality can have no place in it.
Please, let’s leave crazy to crazy.
For the record, I see no real harm in any of this. I‘m just pointing out the illogical use of the word. I expect atheists and other freethinkers to be if only a bit more lucid and not cater to religious delusion – even colloquially.