Americans who identify as spiritual, experience greater life satisfaction

Discussion in 'Religion' started by wegs, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/american-...ea2631c34e

    Thought this was interesting. Though I may be biased, I tend to agree.

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    This isn't to say that ''feeling connected to something larger than one's self,'' needs to take the shape and tone of spirituality or religion. Actually, this article points out that religion without spirituality, isn't going to offer much. That seems obvious, considering that religion tends to be legalistic, and legalism doesn't bring peace.

    When you find the time to read the article, I'd be curious to know what you think.
     
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  3. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    The key phrase there is "self-reporting". The respondents use the word 'spiritual' in their own individual ways, so we can't know what larger entity they feel connected to or what the connection is. A person might get a lot of satisfaction out of 'belonging' to a rescue service, a political party, the medical profession, or the armed forces, each of which is larger than themselves, but not spiritual. We also don't know what their life situation is: whether they're spiritual because everything's going well for them, or things are going well because they're spiritual. And there are a lot of disclaimers in that article.
    So... does it really tell us anything?
     
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  5. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    While I see your points, I don't think Huff Post would have published an article discussing the benefits of spirituality, if there was no substance to it.
     
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  7. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    Define "spiritual"... It's a vague term. I experience a feeling I associate with "spiritual". It consists of an overwhelming feeling of peace/calm, a sense of being part of something much bigger, and often - watery/teary eyes. I often experience this at places of "ancient human activity" - like Mesa Verde, Grange Stone Circle. Also can happen in moments of understanding a new concept or idea. Also when watching a play like Our Town, which asks many of the "deep" questions. Also when I saw my mother holding her great granddaughter while they both napped. (One 89 years old, the other 4 years old.) Don't really consider myself "spiritual".

    I attribute it to a release of neurotransmitters or some other physiological response in the brain.

    Whatever it is, it's quite enjoyable.
     
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  8. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Aw, I really love this perspective.

    Spirituality isn't really defined in the article, and maybe it has many subjective definitions. My personal way of seeing spirituality is transcendence...like what you're feeling isn't explainable but can be felt, is metaphysical, is beyond the physical world.

    When I think about the universe, galaxies, science, philosophy, the human ''condition,'' it's just so awesome to ponder it all, and there aren't explanations for it all. We accept that we don't know everything, and it's in that mystery that I find spirituality.
     
  9. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    It's always been that way, Jeeves - spirituality as a subjective experience.
     
  10. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    I'm pretty sure that aligns with Einstein's spirituality also.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_and_philosophical_views_of_Albert_Einstein

    I can also understand the reasons for religiously inspired spiritualism. It's a rather daunting prospect to some that when you are dead, you are dead...that's it, back to the elements you evolved from. Spiritualty as defined by religions add some meaning that some desperately require.
    Ever been under Anesthetic?
     
  11. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    I could also add that the closest I have come to feeling these feelings "artificially" was when I was given morphine while passing a kidney stone.
     
  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Most definitions of spirituality don't seem to actually involve spirits or the supernatural. It's usually more about man going "home" to nature. To me that is the opposite of spirituality since it's nature and not supernatural.
     
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  13. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Aha. And publishing that - yet again - is informative or enlightening ---
    how, exactly?
     
  14. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    my kinda spirits (i was googling pictures to try and find a good looking bar that had a full wall of spirits behind it, and not all the same stuff, a good comprehensive range, this was the 1st picture i found, i dont know the place and have never been there)
    i like a bar that takes its tequila seriously

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    i kinda want to get into this subject but kinda dont wanna

    to try and remain succinct ... many people outsoruce their spirituality to an exterior master and in so doing abandon their own personal spiritual personality.
    this leaves them in a position of having a split personality.
    this cardboard cut out image conscious virtue signalling pretense becomes a flash card show n tell to define moral compliance while the inner person(their spirituality) doesnt agree and goes out of its way in many instances of life, to fight against those concepts of morals and ethics touted as religious culture doctrines.
    at rest on the subject i would suggest, such is the human condition in all its faults errors and issues.

    i give hufflepuf about a 75% pass rate on average
    if they get below 50% i wont bother reading them
    sites like fauxpews have a less than 50% rating as a negative rating
    anything between 0 & 50 lacks consistent factual content to be worth considering better than a tabloid gossip magazine.
    though i have in the past spent considerable time on some sites that are deemed to be somewhat fringe-esque like RT
    they have about 3 or 4 really outstanding journalists but they cheer lead for the russian skeptic market which makes them a little skewed for my personal data. love their humour.
    a site would need to be a science site to score above about 80%
    places like nasa & Smithsonian museum etc would score a 90%
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  15. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    The Elephant in the room as usual with american religion is

    "is it ok to not be a christian?"
    "if i am not a christian does that mean i dont have morals?"
    "am i allowed to be a nice person with morals and not be a christian?"

    these absolutes are a bit of a spiritual plague on the minds of many americans.

    The article is largely dealing with downstream issues of that core belief issue.

    the nature of the core of the article still sits inside christian normalcy.
    it needs to as most Americans identify spiritually as christians

    bring my savior to justice
    you deserve it
     
  16. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry to disappoint. But, did you know that you don’t have to read about topics that don’t interest you?

    If you didn’t know that, consider yourself enlightened.

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  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Of course. That's because the term - spirituality - has not degenerated over time as the word "spirits" has.
    Is there something wrong with that?
    Oh lord, let me let that fat pitch pass. It ain't worth it. Discipline, son; pick your battles, bite your tongue
    Why not? It has published entire websites and long running blogs by homeopaths and anti-vaxxers.

    Huffpost (the overall entity) is an aggregator - its business model is, or was until recently, cadging free or cheap content that will draw an audience some corporation will pay to target with ads. It was founded by - (among others, including the later founders of Buzzfeed) - Andrew Breitbart, was bought from Ariana Huffington by AOL, and is now owned by Verizon. Ariana Huffington became the face of it, and she is a long time conservative activist - including key roles in her former husband's political campaigns for House and Senate as a conservative Republican, friendship with Andrew Breitbart, etc - who later in life adopted liberal views in a couple of areas in which she had faced personal difficulties. (That is common among wealthy conservatives).

    It - the large site of many subdivisions - does not fact check much of what it publishes.

    The interesting aspect of Huffington Media Group, and news to me (I gave up on Huffpost long ago, preferring to go to the sources) is that Arianna Huffington has been replaced as CEO with an actual, bona fide, apparently competent journalist: Lydia Polgreen. This is her third year on the job, according to Wiki.
     
  18. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

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    What I find very strange are the types of responses sometimes thrown up

    "I used to be ??? religion but I studied xxx and yyy also ttt before I became a ggg"

    Didn't know about the adaptability of theist beliefs. Weird

    Along the same lines how many times have you heard of a primitive??? religion being taken from the followers when the followers get bribed to switch

    Years and years later the elders look back at their spiritual past and complain about the system

    Why didn't the followers of the old ways tell the newbies to piss off?

    Was their faith so weak?

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    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  19. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Well, theistic/deistic/faith beliefs are sometimes in flux...if one never doubts or questions his/her beliefs, that usually means they are too afraid to doubt. Too afraid to see if what they believe is ''real,'' or at least...testable. For example, I left Christianity a few years ago, and identified as an atheist for a time, and during that period, I explored Buddhism, and even Islam. I felt a connection spiritually to different philosophies. Then, I came back recently to believing in God, and all I can say is that spirituality isn't about an ''end game,'' with cookie cutter perspectives (not for me, anyway). I can see now, that it's always been about the path to God, and to learning more about myself. Religion to me, is often times legalistic, and seeks to control the masses, than set free. That's the problem with it.

    That said, my worldview isn't entirely shaped by my belief in God. Not sure if that makes sense, but many people start out believing one thing, and over time, they have a change of heart...or they simply stop believing in whatever it was they originally believed. Having said that, I never felt comfortable as an atheist, emotionally. Logically, yes...just not emotionally.

    It brings me comfort and peace to believe that God exists. This belief doesn't serve me as a ''crutch'', it simply brings me a sense of peace that I don't find in the secular world. And no one can prove that God does not exist, so there's that, too.

    When I labeled myself an atheist, I had an indifference to faith, to all things considered spiritual or religious. But, I knew then what draws people to believing, so I wasn't on of those non-believers who mocked anyone's views or beliefs. Of course, we should all take issue with anyone practicing a belief system that can harm others. But, the challenge with these discussions is if you're the type of person that you accept that things exist only if you can physically see, hear or touch them - then you won't empathize with drives a person towards spirituality, in a general sense. Not that a non-believer ''must'' empathize, but just saying.

    Many historians for example believe that Jesus actually existed. I believe that his teachings have value, but I also believe in God. It's hard to accept for some, that he existed at all, because of the religious story that has been attached to him. But, I've been studying his teachings lately, and he didn't seem like someone who was at all ''about'' religion.

    I don't think it's folly to believe in the possibility of the supernatural existing, but I can see why some may think it so.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  20. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

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    Respect your life and beliefs

    I went to bible school for a short time

    Came home one evening

    In Grandmothers lounge (can picture me now) full of the wonder of god preaching god is everywhere. This about age 15 / 16

    Gran ask if god was on the food rationing stamp book

    I said yes

    She told me to tell him to put more stamps in the book

    Sense of god vanished, I was,a have been ever since, atheist

    Thanks Gran

    Never have had any urge to seek any sort of spiritual meaning to life

    Cheers

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  21. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    lol ^^

    Well, if one's expectations of God is that he is to be a grantor of all wishes...one might come away disappointed, indeed.

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    We're all different, and I respect your views, too.

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  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Meanwhile, a couple of sources from which straight news can be obtained, reliably:

    "Vice", a sort of magazine for those who prefer to watch rather than read;
    The Tom Hartmann show, on radio and Free Speech TV;

    Again the choice: do you want straight news and accurate reporting by well informed journalists, or do you want the comfort of feeling no influence or pressure regardless of your prior opinions?
     
  23. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    lol Now, I know you meant to post this in the other thread, right?

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