Spiritual but not Religious??

Often I hear that people are spiritual but not religious.  What does this mean?  To say that one is spiritual–does that mean that s/he believes in spirits?  in ghosts? in some afterlife?  in God even?

Next, what does it mean to be religious?  To be religious means to follow a certain religion.  So to put this into a common-language term, it means that someone still believes in (God, ghosts, the afterlife, souls, etc.) but doesn’t follow the dogmas, doctrines or any dictations of a certain religion.

Now here’s my question: WHY?  Why do you still believe in God, souls, etc.?

Here have been a few replies:

1.  “Because it makes me feel better.”  Well, this argument is obviously flawed.  That’s like saying that one should believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny for the pure fact that it makes one feel better.  This argument doesn’t work.

2.  “Because if I don’t believe in God and God exists, then I’m doomed to eternal torment.”  Ahh, but wait a minute.  You just said that you’re not religious.  If you’re not religious, then why is it that you follow the dictates of a certain religion?  It seems odd that you will not follow the dictates of the religion because you find it too dogmatic or you’re skeptical about it.  But when it comes to hell, all the sudden you believe it.  Aren’t you picking and choosing what to believe and what not based on what you feel is good for you?  What it comes down to is that if the facts don’t correspond to your belief, you are more likely going to change the facts instead of your belief.  On top of this, the belief that you will be condemned to hell is a religious belief, not a spiritual one.

3.  “Because atheists are bad people.  I’m not a bad person.  Therefore, I’m not an atheist.”  This is a bad argument.  Assumption one is flawed.  First of all, does it follow that all atheists are bad people?  I’m sure you can think of many people who don’t believe in God yet are good people (the Buddha, for example).  Likewise, I’m sure you can think of many people who are believers but aren’t that good.  So one cannot assume to say that atheists are bad people because there are countless examples that don’t verify that fact.

In short, what I want to say to those people who say they aren’t religious, but spiritual.  My reply to them is you’re really a skeptic, atheist, agnostic, doubter but you’re just afraid to admit that.

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About shaunmiller

I am a Ph. D student at Marquette University. The primary purpose of this blog is to get my ideas out there, and then have other people scrutinize, critique, build upon, and systematize beliefs. This blog will sometimes pertain to what I'm learning in my classes, but it will occasionally deal with non-classroom issues that I'm thinking about as well.
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31 Responses to Spiritual but not Religious??

  1. Despite the fact that I agree with what you’ve said so far, I’m going to have to risk getting into a bicker-fest over definitions.

    IF spirituality means what you’ve said it means, then yes – I think you’d have a point. But spirituality is one of those words that’s been rendered almost meaningless due to abuse through overuse. It can mean anything. It’s a positive sounding non-term, the kind of thing that Orwell called duckspeak. Saying that “I’m spiritual” is a lot like saying “I’m nice”. Nice doesn’t really mean anything at all – and neither does spiritual.

    To sum it up in a single phrase – ‘I am spiritual’ doesn’t mean ‘I believe in the supernatural’ for the simple fact that it doesn’t mean anything anymore.

  2. Killer J says:

    You maintain that one cannot believe in something beyond the physical realm and claim to be spiritual but not religious? I don’t think it’s as black and white as you’re making it. Being spiritual doesn’t mean religious, as it has pretty broad application. Kind of like that Che guy said, the definition is watered down to mean quite the broad range of things.
    I believe in God, but don’t define myself as religious. What’s that make me?

  3. shaunmiller says:

    I would say what’s the point of believing in spiritual things? I agree with you that being spiritual doesn’t mean religious as I’ve maintained on the title of this post. But what I’m saying is that “spiritual, but not religious” is just an added feature that does nothing. To me, it’s like buying a machine with an extra button, but this button doesn’t do anything. I want to ask, what’s the point of the button then?

    “I believe in God, but don’t define myself as religious. What’s that make me?”
    I would say why believe in God? What does it do for you? What’s the point in believing anything spiritual if one isn’t religious? To be religious automatically means one is spiritual, but for it to be the other way around, I want to say what’s the point?

  4. Killer J says:

    I think I see what’s going on. You’re defining spirituality in a functionalist manner. You make suggestions like:
    “what’s the point of believing in spiritual things?.. just an added feature that does nothing… what’s the point of the button then?.. What does it do for you?”

    I think you may be mind reading and generalizing all theists with comments like that, in that not all theists view spirituality’s sole purpose as providing a function. It’s simply a belief, or an explanation of ‘what is.’ I believe there is something beyond the physical realm. That thing is a Higher Power, and I call that thing God. I believe God provides a purpose, but the functionality of God isn’t what drives my belief.

    Are all your specific beliefs rooted in a certain function they must provide? You are sort of an atheist (although you say you aren’t theist or atheist since you don’t care… or something). Here’s a question:
    What function does NOT believing in God provide you?

  5. shaunmiller says:

    Well, I don’t think it’s correct to say what does NOT believing in something provide you. One cannot prove a negative.

    On the other thing, I guess it goes back to the idea of God and God with the backing of a religion. With religion, it has dogmas, doctrines, rules, and rituals that one must follow. That’s part of what it means to be religious. This I understand, but don’t agree with.

    On the other hand, there are those that say they believe in God, but that’s about it. This I don’t understand. What’s the purpose of having that belief? Under this, God doesn’t do anything. It almost sounds like Deism or Pantheism. If this is what God is like, then I wonder why have God in the belief system in the first place if God doesn’t do anything?

  6. Killer J says:

    Are you kidding? You don’t think that your disbelief of God provides you with anything? I encourage you to do some introspection bro. It has nothing to do with ‘proving a negative,’ and has everything to do with the psychological payoff you receive from your belief. ESPECIALLY since you come from a functionalist perspective. Everything is all about ‘payoff’ in that regard.

    On the other issue, are you directing that towards me or whoever you have lumped as ‘others?’ I’m speaking from my belief system since that is what you asked of readers in your original blog on the matter. If you are directing your comment to me, then re-read the last post I sent. If it is meant to be more general, I understand.

  7. Prove a negative?

    Sorry? Negative?

    Nature created itself and we should be guided by our reason.

    How is that a negative statement?

  8. shaunmiller says:

    Che, that’s not the statement I’m referring to. In fact, I don’t even know whom you’re quoting. I was referring to Killer J’s comment about what the belief in NOT believing in God does.

    Killer J, as far as beliefs are concerned, it’s not that I purposefully believe or not believe because it “functions” well. When it comes to believing something, I think people believe it because it meshes well with his/her life, so I guess you could say people believe something because it does give some “payoff” and that belief “works” in his/her life. As for the “others,” I guess I considered them as anyone who believes something but isn’t religious. So I guess I call the “others” people who are spiritual but not religious as the title suggests.

    I’m still working out what it means to believe something. So perhaps I should start with that. I believe (haha) that beliefs are somewhat practical, meaning that it has some sort of payoff. People have beliefs because it “works.” I could spell this out more, but it’s late and I’m getting somewhat tired. Perhaps another time??

  9. (Note: I tried to include an ordered list in the HTML of my last post, but it got stripped out. Here it is again with the correct format – feel free to delete my last message.)

    Looking over my last post, I know that it came over as an attack – I’m sorry about that. It was a knee-jerk reaction to sing the ‘you can’t prove a negative’ comment in regards to atheism. Second time I’ve muddled something like this up today. I never did get the hang of Mondays.

    Just let me clarify:

    Che, that’s not the statement I’m referring to. In fact, I don’t even know whom you’re quoting. I was referring to Killer J’s comment about what the belief in NOT believing in God does.

    I’m not quoting anyone directly. There are two statements that can be made regarding the naturalistic worldview:

    1. The supernatural does not exist. (negative)
    2. Nature created itself and we should be guided by our reason. (positive)

    These are complimentary statements. It’s not seamless, and there’s room for debate… But it’s pretty clear to me that these two statements pretty much cover the standard atheistic viewpoint.

    It’s true that a negative statement on its own cannot be ‘proven’. But it’s not hard to see how comment 2 can be derived for comment 1.

    This is important to me, because many theists use the ‘you can’t prove a negative worldview like atheism’ to dismiss it – so the second I see the words ‘can’t prove a negative’ I take umbrage and charge like a wounded bull…

    And once again, looking back over this thread my last comment was worded innapropriately, and you have my apologies.

  10. Killer J says:

    If people believe something because it meshes well with their life/worldview, then you believe in payoff. You actually said this later on in your post (I believe (haha) that beliefs are somewhat practical, meaning that it has some sort of payoff.)

    At the risk of hijacking your spirituality/religiosity thread, I have to ask once again. My question to you is: What payoff do you get from your belief of there being no higher power?

  11. shaunmiller says:

    At the risk of hijacking your spirituality/religiosity thread, I have to ask once again. My question to you is: What payoff do you get from your belief of there being no higher power?

    What payoff? I guess all I can say is that the belief in God does nothing for me, it doesn’t work and so I have no need for that belief. I mean, I could ask you why do you not believe that Zeus exists? Following this example, you could say that it’s because that belief doesn’t do anything. I’m not exactly sure how to answer your question. Payoffs from beliefs means that if there is a practical difference in your life, then believe it; if not, then don’t.

  12. At the risk of hijacking your spirituality/religiosity thread, I have to ask once again. My question to you is: What payoff do you get from your belief of there being no higher power?

    Hmm…

    I’m pretty sure that the naturalistic worldview is the most accurate we’ve got, and I’d like to think that I’d be intellectually honest enough to accept that worldview on the basis of reasoned evidence even if it gave me a negative payoff. I admit that it’s hard to tell, though.

    However, in the interest of honesty I’d have to admit that I do get a payoff. A couple of payoffs, actually – there’s a lot going on with the naturalistic worldview. But the biggest payoff for me would have to be the strong feeling of personal empowerment that comes from realizing that I’m authority unto myself, and that no-one can take that away from me unless I let them.

    There’s more to it than that, but it’s the core for me.

    Looking forward to your response… I’m curious to see where you’re going with this.

  13. Killer J says:

    Che! You get me, now only if Shaun would follow suit. haha

    I’m not going anywhere with this, I’m just curious. The (emotional, spiritual, psychological, philosophical) payoff for being a theist is a little more well established than the payoff for believing in the naturalistic (is this atheism?) worldview. Marx had something to say about the religious crowd, I believe.

    Anyhow, I appreciate the honesty. Sometimes us thinkers, if I can include myself in that group, like to intellectualize philosophical matters. By dismissing any payoff we receive in adherence to our beliefs, we avoid being chastised for using emotions in our logic. The problem is, any thought is followed by an emotional response to some degree. Props for doing the self-examination Che.

  14. shaunmiller says:

    The (emotional, spiritual, psychological, philosophical) payoff for being a theist is a little more well established than the payoff for believing in the naturalistic (is this atheism?) worldview.

    What do you mean “more well established?” Do you mean more authority? More authentic? More popular? I think having a naturalistic view gives me an emotional, psychological, and a philosophical payoff. I would say that hold on to a belief in God gives me no payoff because the belief in God does nothing for me. So why believe in something where the belief doesn’t do anything?

    Marx had something to say about the religious crowd, I believe.

    He did, but he was critical of religion because religion keeps the people down and they look forward to the next life (which Marx thought was absurd) instead of concentrating on this life. It’s what he famously called “the opiate of the masses.”

    I don’t think this is going anywhere with what my original question was at hand. I may try again, or I may just stop the thread altogether.

    Let me give it another attempt:
    To have a religion takes on a set of beliefs, doctrines, dogmas, and rituals. However, to only have one of those beliefs, namely that God exists, seems to short shrift the reason to have that belief.

    The question again is this: what’s the point of believing in God if one isn’t religious? To me, this is like saying one believes in Zeus but doesn’t follow any of the rituals, doctrines, or dogmas of that belief. To have a belief in something entails what your actions will do. For example, to believe that your chair exists entails that your actions will reflect that belief, namely that you will sit in that chair. Actions reflect beliefs as well. If I sit in a chair, this entails that I believe the chair exists.

    So based on this, why belief in God if one isn’t religious?

  15. Killer J says:

    Okay, fine. Back to your original question. Why believe in God if one isn’t religious? Based on your reasoning, it seems you assume religion is the only outlet for action on a spiritual belief.
    Is it not plausible that one may view all religions as incorrect, thus, choose not to act in accordance to any one religion’s specific beliefs?
    If this is possible, is it not also possible that this person may still believe a higher power exists?
    Finally, if the previous statements are possible, is it not also very possible that this person acts on his/her beliefs in a manner different than which contemporary religions provide and still define themselves as spiritual?

  16. The (emotional, spiritual, psychological, philosophical) payoff for being a theist is a little more well established than the payoff for believing in the naturalistic (is this atheism?) worldview.

    That’s a tricky question, because trying to get any two atheists to agree on what atheism means is like herding cats.

    Here’s a bold claim: Usually, atheists consider themselves atheists because they accept the naturalistic worldview. They don’t express it that way because they accept the naturalistic worldview so implicitly that they don’t actually realize that it’s a worldview at all.

    Naturalistic worldview is very simple: The natural world is all that there is.

    In my case, I go a little further in to what might be called naturalistic creationism: Nature created itself, we are a small part of nature, and we should be guided by our reason.

    This then makes me reconsider what I told you about my payoff – I was describing a positive payoff from the naturalistic worldview… But although the naturalistic worldview is, by it’s very… er… nature, an atheistic worldview – the payoff I described came from the naturalistic part, not the atheistic part.

    Could a payoff from atheistic worldviews in general – in other words, the payoff from the avoidance theistic worldviews could be the relief from a negative ‘payoff’ that results from theism for the individual in question?

    Just for the record, I’m getting into some serious speculation here. I have no idea if I’m right – it’s just interesting to think about.

  17. Killer J says:

    Che, I’m not following your wording. I’m not a philosophy major, but it’s also a possibility I’m just a little slow! Could you explain this question differently?:

    Could a payoff from atheistic worldviews in general – in other words, the payoff from the avoidance theistic worldviews could be the relief from a negative ‘payoff’ that results from theism for the individual in question?

    Just for the record, I’m getting into some serious speculation here. I have no idea if I’m right – it’s just interesting to think about.

  18. shaunmiller says:

    Is it not plausible that one may view all religions as incorrect, thus, choose not to act in accordance to any one religion’s specific beliefs?

    Of course. One could find all religions as incorrect and thus not hold on to any form of religious belief.

    If this is possible, is it not also possible that this person may still believe a higher power exists?

    I guess one could. But my question is why? If one has found all religious beliefs flawed, then why hold on to a belief that deals with something in religion? To say that all forms a religions are false means that one holds the belief that any form of supernatural or transcendent positions are flawed. Thus, to say that all religions are flawed yet to say that a higher being exists is a contradiction.

    Finally, if the previous statements are possible, is it not also very possible that this person acts on his/her beliefs in a manner different than which contemporary religions provide and still define themselves as spiritual?

    I find this inconsistent. To say that all religions are flawed yet something about religion is true is a contradiction.

    I think in our American culture, we mainly concentrate in belief in belief in God. What is belief in belief in God? Philosopher Daniel Dennett gives a good description of it:

    People who believe in God are sure that God exists, and they are glad, because they hold God to be the most wonderful of all things. People who moreover believe in belief in God are sure that belief in God exists (and who could doubt that?), and they think that this is a good state of affairs, something to be strongly encouraged and fostered wherever possible: If only belief in God were more widespread! One ought to believe in God. One ought to strive to believe in God. One should be uneasy, apologetic, unfulfilled, one should even feel guilty, if one finds that one just doesn’t believe in God. . . People who believe in belief in God try to get others to believe in God and, whenever they find their own belief in God flagging, do whatever they can to restore it.

    It’s in Dennett’s book Breaking the Spell page 221. Indeed, to go further (and this is something that’s spelled out in a paper that I wrote), profession of belief has become more important that what the belief is about. So when people say that they’re spiritual but not religious, I hear that they believe in belief in God. And then my next question is why?

    So with the response with a negative payoff, the payoff is that a belief in God is an added belief that doesn’t do anything. Using Occam’s Razor, get rid of that belief.

  19. Sorry J – when you started speaking about payoffs, I kinda figured you were leading up to a functional behaviouralist sort of argument for a person’s selection of their worldview… I’d disagree with that, but it would be interesting to think about. Nonetheless, I sort of assumed that this was where you were going, so I skipped some steps. Sorry ’bout that.

    You were talking about what kind of payoff comes from a person’s choice in worldview. The problem that you and Shaun are having is that atheism is really just an umbrealla term for all worldviews that are NOT theistic. In and of itself, atheism doesn’t really have anything it adds to any of those worldviews.

    My problem was that I’d given you a payoff for the naturalistic worldview – but the payoff was related to that worldview in particular, which just happens to be atheistic. The payoff I described was due to the naturalistic part, not the atheistic part, so I hadn’t really answered your question.

    So that got me to thinking… Could there be a positive payoff to atheism all on its own?

    It seems at first that there can’t be. Atheism in the sense that I’m using is, by itself, negative. I hesitate even as I write this, because the dismissal of atheism, by theists, on ‘atheism is just a negative worldview’ grounds is one of my pet peeves because it waves aside as irrelevant all the positive worldviews that just so happen to be atheistic. However, its a true that atheism on its own is negative, and so it can’t really be said to provide a payoff per sey.

    On the other hand, if it could be shown that theism had a negative payoff – I’ll call it a ‘cost’ for now. If theism was costly, then the ‘payoff’ for atheism could merely be the avoidance of the costs of theism. So in other words, if for some reason theism made me deeply, deeply depressed, then there would be an argument to be made that atheism would give me the ‘payoff’ of no longer being depressed by theism.

    I added in that this would have to be evaluated on a person-by-person basis, as there are many theists that would feel that theism gives very strong, very positive payoffs. But if we could picture someone who deeply disliked the theistic worldview for whatever reason, then we could claim that adopting atheism on its own would have a positive payoff for that person.

    Then I threw in the disclaimer that I’m really just speculating and thinking aloud at this point… This involves a lot of ‘what if’ and ‘if we could’ hedging, so it’s not exactly a concrete idea yet.

    Does that make a bit more sense? Sorry if I rushed it last time.

  20. Killer J says:

    In one paragraph, you conclude, “to say that all religions are flawed yet to say that a higher being exists is a contradiction.” Not so.

    You seem to be making the assumption that religion created God. This may, or may not be true. Theists obviously believe this assumption to be absolutely untrue.

    You also claim, “To say that all forms a religions are false means that one holds the belief that any form of supernatural or transcendent positions are flawed.”

    This again assumes religion created God. Let’s assume this Che guy is the foremost expert and creator of the Naturalist theory. He knows anything and everything about Naturalist theory. He then decides to teach me, you, and Vic about this theory and then exiles himself to Antarctica never to be heard from again in our lifetime. We all decide we need to pass on this theory, and individually begin retelling this theory to those who will listen. There is no way that any one of us remember 100% of what Che said, and it is very likely we will all have different renditions of Che’s theory based on what we took in as well as our perception/bias. Therefore, the three of us will all have flawed interpretations of Naturalist theory and each of our subjective followers will only retain and pass down the watered down version (perhaps losing even more truth via THEIR interpretation).

    Now, the Naturalistic theory Che taught us versus the version we retained and passed down are substantially different. Che’s theory still holds true 100% despite being watered down and misinterpreted by the three of us. It is not hard to imagine that, in 300 years, Joe Blow could dismiss our teachings but hold on to the idea that the creator of Naturalistic theory exists and was correct. He believes in the Great Che, despite being left wondering what the Absolute Truth of Naturalistic theory entails.

  21. shaunmiller says:

    You seem to be making the assumption that religion created God.

    I make no assumption. In fact, that’s not really my concern at all in this question. My point is that if one is religious, then part of that belief system is that it deals with the things in that religion (e.g., rituals, doctrines, dogmas, etc.) and that if one claims to be religious but the actions don’t follow from those beliefs, then I say s/he is fooling him/herself.

    I don’t claim to say that religions created God, I’m not sure where you got this assumption. Also, you’re look at naturalism is ambiguous as well. Naturalism has been around since. . . well, ancient China. Through it’s 2500 years, there has been no different interpretations of naturalism or nature. So one cannot be a naturalist and hold different ideas of nature, otherwise one wouldn’t be a naturalist anymore. Indeed, if one held on to the idea that someone was the Great Che, that person isn’t a naturalist anymore. Let’s be careful about religion and naturalism. Religion is riddled with different interpretations based on the scriptures, but nature has no interpretation. Naturalism is just nature.

    So then, the question comes back, what’s the point in believing in God if one isn’t religious?

  22. Killer J says:

    I think you completely missed my point. haha

  23. shaunmiller says:

    I think you may have missed my point. So let’s try again: why do people believe in God but they’re not religious?

  24. Killer J says:

    Because religions are a product of man, and man are subject to both sin and misinterpretation/representation.

  25. shaunmiller says:

    First of all, what does that mean?

    Secondly:

    Because religions are a product of man. . .

    Doesn’t this imply that man came first and then religions came after, which was something that you accused me of doing earlier?

    I don’t understand what you’ve stated above means. Please explain.

  26. Killer J says:

    No, I accused you of saying religion created God.
    Here’s what I’m saying:

    1) God is the Creator.
    2) God created Man.
    3) Man is imperfect.
    4) Man created religion.
    5) Religion is imperfect.

    I believe in God, but I don’t believe in imperfect explanations of Him (religions).

  27. shaunmiller says:

    Ok, now I’m understanding what Killer J is saying. You are making a metaphysical claim about the world. I’m more interested in the epistemology about religious beliefs.

    So imagine this dialogue:

    Me: It may be true that God exists, but without religion, what’s the point of believing in God? After all, whether God exists or not, it doesn’t affect me.

    Killer J: That may be true. However, suppose God does exist. Now with religion out of the way, don’t you want to say that God’s existence is still valuable because now you know the truth and part of obtaining wisdom is seeking out the truth?

    Me: Sure, but I guess I’m more concerned about how it affects me, my livelihood, how I live my life. So for example, let’s suppose that there really is a planet inhabited by fairies. This planet is so far away, that it doesn’t even affect us and we won’t affect it. Thus, what’s the point of having that belief if that belief does nothing?

    Killer J: Ok, so a planet inhabited by fairies may not do anything for us. But if that is true, wouldn’t that be cool to know that it is true? Wouldn’t that shake up your foundations as to what types of life there are out there?

    Me: Good point. But my project is to figure out how beliefs work out someone’s actions. So with God, I want to know why his mere existence is necessary even for non-religious people? Why believe in God if one isn’t religious?

    Killer J: But this goes back to what I’m saying! The metaphysics is prior than epistemology. If God exists, we can have an explanation for things.

    Me: But we can explain them without God.

    Killer J: Let me finish. With God in the picture, one can still have a view of the world that accords with the Truth. There have been many people who believed in God but didn’t have a religion. People like the Deists such as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. There are the pantheists like Spinoza, Einstein, and I guess Hawking if you count him. They believed in God but were not religious. So one can believe in God without being religious.

    Me: Sure, one can hold on to that position, but my question is why hold on to that position?

    Killer J: Because it’s true. After all, you want to believe true things.

    Me: Well, that’s what I’m getting at. I don’t think this deals with truth or falsity. I think it deals with wanting to believe something or not regardless if it true or false.

    Killer J: But people believe things because they are (or at least the people believe) that it’s true, not because they want to believe it.

    Me: I don’t know. I think people believe it because they want to feel part of some crowd. It’s some God-believer crowd. They don’t have to be religious, but I can’t see why people would hold on to that belief if that belief does nothing.

    Killer J: It’s because of metaphysics. Ignoring the Gettier problem, let’s look at Plato’s definition of knowledge. Knowledge = Justified, True Belief. Now assume God really does exist and we can justify it, we would say that one has knowledge if one believes in God.

    Me: ok sure. One would have the truth as you put it. But something tells me they hold on to that belief because of a social epistemic procedure. Look at our culture for example. It doesn’t matter what you believe in as long as that belief is religious in nature. It doesn’t have to be about God, it’s got to be religious. So my claim is that epistemology actually has a higher ground than metaphysics when it comes to religion.

    Killer J: sure, there are some idiots out there who judge people’s beliefs based on the belief itself and not on the object of belief. But we’re smart people. To have knowledge of something deals with a truth claim, which is metaphysics.

    Me: But when it comes to religion, it’s social epistemology.

    Killer J: But metaphysics comes before epistemology.

    Me: Not when it comes to religion.

    Killer J: Metaphysics comes before everything, you can’t just pick and choose when metaphysics is prior on certain subjects.

    and so on and so on. . .

    I think this is where the conversation is leading us to, correct me if I’m wrong but I think I’m concentrating on the epistemology and you’re concentrating on the metaphysics.

  28. Killer J says:

    AWESOME dialogue! You made me sound smarter than I really am, thanks bro. I think you’re right, we’re arguing the same topic but from different backgrounds (or however you define epistomology and metaphysics). I think we did the same thing on our ‘feminists are Marxists’ debate, but I don’t remember what exactly.

  29. shaunmiller says:

    It’s possible. My claim is that in this day and age, epistemology has taken a higher precedence than metaphysics when it comes to God and religion. In fact, I wrote a paper about it last year. I’ve updated some differences, but the main point is that the importance of religion comes down to what other people believe, not necessarily what the belief is about.

  30. Killer J says:

    I remember your paper, and unfortunately I agree.

  31. Pingback: My most Influential Philosophers « Shaun Miller’s Weblog

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