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Your Take: Author who calls 'spiritual but not religious' a cop-out responds to comments
October 2nd, 2012
04:04 PM ET

Your Take: Author who calls 'spiritual but not religious' a cop-out responds to comments

By Alan Miller, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Alan Miller is director of The New York Salon and co-founder of London's Old Truman Brewery. He is speaking at The Battle of Ideas at London's Barbican in October.

By Alan Miller, Special to CNN

I wrote a Belief Blog piece on Sunday called "My Take: 'I'm spiritual but not religious' is a cop-out," which has received more than 8,000 comments, many taking up key points I raised.

My assessment is that the wider disorientation of Western society, the decreasing respect for many institutions and the disdain for humans alongside what Christopher Lasch has termed a "culture of narcissism" has played out both among the "spiritual but not religious" identifiers as well as among many "new atheists." Lots of the comments bear that out.

Some commenters accused me of outdated and dangerous dogmatism in sticking up for traditional religion. A commenter whose handle is spectraprism spoke to this view:

“The problem this author advocates is that of thinking anyone has the ONE COMPLETE TRUE WAY- and everything and everyone else therefore NOT advocating it completely must be wrong. This is dogmatic, archaic, leads to extremism and is completely incorrect. Not being challenged into blindly following whatever scripture is not showing softness of any kind - it's showing you have a brain to draw your own personal conclusions that work and make sense to YOU.”

I don't happen to believe in a religious "one true way" and in fact am not religious myself. My comments and observations are based on an increasingly common phenomenon in the past 20 years.

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It is telling, though, that this and many other comments converge on dogmatism and extremism and juxtapose them with the notion that an individual choice is immune to any of that. These comments speak to my point that not wanting to be held accountable to any set of ideas or principles is a very popular position among the “spiritual but not religious."

In recent decades, the demise of the notion that there can be universal truths and the ascendancy of relativism and the new preaching of "many truths" and the idea that "all truths are equally valid" has clearly had significant impact on that identity.

The disenchantment with belief and a commitment to some wider authority has also had an impact on the self-described new atheists, who are furious that anyone could have the audacity to believe in something bigger than themselves.

The end of the big ideas of liberalism and socialism left a vacuum in society. Atheism used to be a small component of bigger movements in society. Ironically, today what defines many new atheists is a shared outlook with “spiritual but not religious” views.

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New atheists define themselves in negative terms, as not believing without any broader sense of a positive alternative, while those identifying with a "spiritual but not religious" outlook define themselves as not religious rather than according to the strong convictions that they do have.

This commenter summarized the sentiments that lots of others express on my piece:

Gina Hamilton
So I should believe in God because Bach did and it was the basis for his work? What Miller fails to understand is that most of us started out with a religious tradition in our lives, and gradually grew up and out of it. I can say clearly that I am a recovering Catholic who at the age of 16 became a humanist and freethinker, but that from the acceptance of the lack of a god proceeds a sense of the oneness of the universe and my place in it. It's not touchy-feely; it's science, and yet it is profoundly spiritual as well. Perhaps Miller, one day, will have this sort of understanding.

It is so interesting how so many people now use the therapeutic language of recovery - "recovering" from organized religion. The group American Atheists describes anguish and toil as the "first step" of "coming out," making the analogy with gays coming out the "closet," as though somehow atheists are oppressed today in America.

The therapeutic outlook is of far more concern with regard to human autonomy and freedom than organized religion. The idea is that humans are all "damaged goods" and in need of constant counseling and instruction.

These comments take off on that theme:

Paul Dykstra
Now you need to do an article on ..... "The dangers of being religious, but displaying NO spiritually aware behavior at all".....

Dustin
Major religions such as Christianity and Islam have proven to be nothing but damaging and vile to our world. I reject this notion that we have to "take a side" on the matter of a higher power. The basic truth about it all is that no matter how much we read or try to decipher life's mysteries we were never meant to have concrete proof of what put us into existence. What is the point in living if you know all the answers? I am spiritual but not religious because religion is a disease of manipulation and control. I can believe in a higher power while also believing that it was never meant for me to understand this higher power until AFTER I die.

honesty is paramount
As a scientist, I am neither religious nor spiritual. I definitely know right from wrong and one of the things that positively defines me: when I don't know the answer to something, I indicate "I don't know". Don't EVER call that indecisive or "wishy-washy".

It is interesting how "spirituality" seems to be thought of as "clean" and unimpeded by problems.

Dustin calls religion a "disease" - once again we see the therapeutic language. Striving for an understanding of the world is an important and essential human attribute, yet so many of the comments have reiterated a generality about "spiritualism" and "my choice" that it seems to endorse the point I made that what seems so paramount is in a determination not to be "labeled" or dictated to by an authority.

So what is left? The superstition and mysticism of some "oneness" and often a therapeutic notion of being "spiritual."

Here’s a comment from someone who identifies as 51yo:

I always had a hard time with the guy in the front of the church, he's a guy... I'm a guy, what's the difference? He will one day be proven as a womanizer or worse, I will never walk that path. After another guy (Constantine) put his hands all over the Bible, I have little faith it is any more true than words my neighbor might come up with. Like you said, I search for truth and read as much as I can, but the final analysis is my own; I'm not tied to someone else's redistribution of "facts" or their interpretation of great stories. I can do that and be a good person without the trappings of a traditional place of worship, or someone telling me to do something they are incapable of.

The commenter 51y0 doesn't want to be tied to anyone else's "facts." While we all have to work out our things in life, I am interested to know what “spiritual but not religious" facts are.

It can seem that on the one hand there's a reluctance to commit to advocating anything and also that words can end up losing any meaning if one simply says something to the affect of "spiritual means it's right for me." Nick says it can mean a lot of different things to people:

Nick Heise
The author of this piece, though he admits that calling the spiritual-but-not-religious movement a movement would be incorrect, still wrote this entire piece as these people were a united group whose thoughts and beliefs could be analyzed and criticized as a group. I'm no genius, but these seems to make his entire position quite flawed.

I put myself out there as a point of reference since, as I'm talking about my own person, I don't have to rely on complete conjecture like the above article. Yes, I have used the expression "I'm spiritual, not religious." But what does that mean to me? Surely it can mean a lot to different people, just like the same scripture of the Bible can be inspiring to many Christians in countless different ways. To me, saying that I'm spiritual but not religious highlights that I'm not a person who believes in the existence of God as a fact, but neither do I believe in his nonexistence as a fact. It's my assertion of the respect and awe that I have in the face of a universe that I can't understand, which contains forces (perhaps a God) that I can never prove to exist or not exist. For me, it's not an unwillingness to think and make a decision - it's the result of years of thinking and consideration with the conclusion that I haven't yet gathered enough information to make a definitive choice.

I’ll end with this comment:

JustAGirl_78
If you look at the definition of religious – even atheists are religious, they just strongly believe in NO God...this is from Webster's Online Dictionary: Definition of RELIGIOUS 1: relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity.

Maybe it's just that people are tired of being fanatical about church – and want to go back to a more open an honest approach to beliefs? Maybe the stigma of being a church member now has such a negative impact on how people think of you that people don't want to admit they go to church? Being spiritual means you believe in something (which I think is better than nothing) – the alternative is NOT only being an atheist....

Organized religious beliefs (even going back into ancient times) have caused more death and destruction than any other organization in the world ... and it's done in the name of (whomever your beliefs say to) – and has been since the beginning of mankind! Maybe choosing to say you're "spiritual" means you don't want to be associated with all the chaos and destruction – and maybe organized religions need to rethink their controls on individuals.

This remark will chime with many – the new atheists among them - who believe that being "spiritual" means you don't want to be associated with all the "chaos and destruction."

It strikes me that having an opt-out plan should have something more than simply a negative, whether it's a "spiritual" one or a "new atheist" negative. We live in an age where many are disillusioned with institutions and humans generally, yet not so evident is a positive alternative.

Thank you for the comments. The event we held last night, "I'm Not Religious – I'm Spiritual" benefited from some of them.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Alan Miller.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Opinion • Spirituality

soundoff (1,789 Responses)
  1. Tron

    I find it ironic, Mr. Miller, that you condem that athesist form their beliefs around negatives when that seems to be exactly what you are doing in this article. While I agree with you about the loose rules and problems with the logic of "spiritualists" I'm left wondering if the negativity of this view is what you've structured your beliefs around. After reading this article the only thing I'm left wondering is why you haven't practiced what you preach.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  2. zach

    How is it sensible to simultaneously decry both religious relativism and atheist absolutism? You have just claimed as incorrect both a set and its complement, leaving us with nothing that you deem right.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  3. dave

    @Johnnie Here's the thing. Humans are all driven by the same urges, Christian, Muslim, Atheist, or self-divine. We tend to crave power, significance, control over our lives and/or the lives of others. The best of Christianity, and any religion really, helps one to confront those urges and purge them from our lives. The worst of religion (or lack thereof) is when belief is turned into the weapon by which we satisfy those same urges–power, significance, and control. That's what the Crusades were, that's what Islamic terrorism is, that's what Communist China (atheist) is. It's the human soul.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • suckItUp

      please dont use we. I am starting to disassociate myself from the psychos in my species. If they are whats "human", I am not

      October 3, 2012 at 11:31 am |
  4. suckItUp

    here is my take. It is a complete joke the death, destruction, war, hatred, judgement, and discrimination caused by religion/spiritual beliefs. just plain evilness. I have nothing against a belief system, whatever you need to get through this existence peacefully. I have a problem with humans and their inability to check an ego. I watched the dark ages on the histroy channel last night. if even a percentage was the truth? wow

    October 3, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  5. Latenite

    The original article hits the nail on the head. Whether God exists or not is objective reality; it is a fact completely independent of any of our beliefs, opinions, or convictions. If God doesn't exist, we're on our own to make the best of it. If He does exist, it behooves us to figure out as best we can from the evidence available what the nature and personality of this God is and what He requires of us.

    It's intellectually dishonest to describe and worship God in ways that are merely comfortable to us if it isn't accurate to His true nature. Similarly, if we've morally offended God through our own actions, it's paramount to learn about how to attain forgiveness and to make choices that lead to receiving it. Being 'spiritual but not religious' is a bit like choosing ice cream over medicine to treat a life-threatening disease.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • spectraprism

      If we knew what god's requirements were regarding the correct ways and actions to worship, I doubt we would be having this discussion right now about which way is correct or not. unless the individual's way of questioning and coming to their beliefs with their own sense, IS the new religion. As far as following regimented religion, how far would YOU personally go in following the inquisition, driving out and killing other differently religious people and other atrocities ascribed over the years because some church leader said to? it's like your mom asking if you would jump off a cliff because your friends did. That's why God gave us individual brains to think.

      October 3, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  6. James PDX

    Wow, talk about arrogant. This author continuously makes assertions about spiritualists and atheists that he simply cannot back up, yet continues his argument as if they were proven fact. It must be nice arguing in your own world where the sky is any color you want it to be. I'm an agnostic. I'm not spiritual. I know right from wrong. I sometimes make the wrong choice. I'm good with who I am.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      He a self satisfying hypocrite, IMHO. He's trying to use double-speak in an attempt to prove himself above anyone else.

      October 3, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  7. scriss

    The author seems to go out of his way to "label" anyone who doesn't acsribe to the idea of having to belong to a specific church/sect/organization, as an atheist. He then seems to go to great lengths to link these atheists to gays, or whatever "hot button bad element" you want.

    I think the REAL issue here is that the author is bemoaning the decline in people who are willing to support (give money to) some church group, so that people like him can make a living at the pulpit.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  8. krussell

    W e choose id we go to a church or not, and we choose to engage in these discussions or not – But we do not choose what we believe.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      If you cannot make a conscious choice of what to believe, then you are simply a lemming.

      October 3, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • That guy

      We do choose what we believe – that includes believing in a God or not. For example: you can choose to believe me or not. If you choose not to believe me, one of us will be right, and one of us will be wrong, but we will both still believe what we believe.

      October 3, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • krussell

      As an example – It makes no sense that an all powerful, loving knowing, seeing, etc. being would only reveal himself to a very few people, and expect the rest of us to fall in line without question.
      I do not believe in the christian god because my thinking mind does not accept their story. I cannot choose to make the bible start making sense to me. It sounds like BS to me, and I cannot change that.

      October 3, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  9. mytake

    I bet a lot of these people believe in there faith, but are burdened by the baggage that belonging to a brand name religion, or even a type of religion, comes with. Because of the NUT jobs that make everything look bad.

    ITS NOT PC TO BE ANYTHING ANYMORE. OTHER THAN A GRAY PAGE

    October 3, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  10. James

    What a moron. Organized religion is nothing more than a tool to control the masses and supress individual thought. Until Galileo 'discovered' that the earth actually orbits the sun people thought we were the center of the Univers... how silly we must look now. I'm SURE God planted us out in the middle of nowhere intentionally... and we MUST be the only life in this unbelievable place (not). Is there a God, or not? I have no idea, and neither does anyone else. If they try and force it down your throat it is YOUR choice to swallow so do what you feel is right. Some stupid book written thousands of years ago by people we have no clue about – is definitely not the word of God any more than the Quran is. The Greeks, Romans, Mayan's, and countless untold thousands of civilizations belived in many different Gods – all of them false – but don't worry, this one is the one true God, until the next big thing comes along. I'll take my chances on the other side based on the laws of physics and quantum mechanics as opposed to religion and conjecture.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Mohan

      Loved your post and love you guys! I am so proud of you for tackling this proecss again. You approach it with such ease and grace. The perfect combination for parents to have. I hope you are adjusting well. Keep the pictures coming. We love to see them!

      November 10, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  11. JDM

    I appreciate your opinion Alan Miller, but it is only an opinion, which I don't agree with, for the most part. But I do agree with your assessment that Atheism, in large part, is also a type of religion, which is why I don't claim myself as an Atheist. They are guilty of the same things religious "die hards" are guilty of, like cramming their beliefs down peoples' throats and being close minded to opinions that differ.

    Both are belief systems, and belief does not mean fact. The truth is that no one knows for sure. We live in a huge universe that is hardly understood. We are as small a part of the universe as it is big, and claiming to know anything about it definitively is naïve. All we have is a bunch of theories regarding our origins and 'life'. This goes for the the beliefs of god and science. Although I do appreciate that science is at least based on thinking outside the box and trying to discover truth, whereas religion is dead set on not finding the truth and having complete belief in something that was though up while we as a species knew a lot less about the world around us.

    So in summation, the only thing we know is that we don't know.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Steve

      A good point on atheism in there. I wholeheartedly agree. Over the years, I've lost all affiliation with religion, but still would not call myself an atheist, and probably never will. Atheists, at least the ones that organize, have earned a reputation as being just as stubborn and outspoken in their belief as anyone. I'm quite happy admitting that I don't know. Whether that qualifies me as spiritual but not religious, agnostic, or what, I don't know. I'd proudly wear the badge of "I think you're all a bit nuts over something you cannot observe definitively one way or the other".

      October 3, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  12. Steve

    Still waiting to hear an logically coherent explanation from organized religion on dinosaur fossils, light from galaxies billions of light years away, the witnessed birth and death of stars, why whales have hip bones, and all the various hominid fossils. These are all things we can easily and obviously observe for ourselves. I still don't see how how people are not forced to pick and choose what beliefs work for them when presented conflicting information. That level of scientific knowledge is becoming far more mainstream today in successive generations that grew up after the Scopes trial.

    Until churches find a way to live with well established scientific theory, they are forcing people to ask the hard questions that churches do not. As Richard Feynman said on the subject "Once you start asking, it gets a bit harder to believe."

    Also, the idea of the "One true God" is logic the church may want to start backing off of a bit. When you tell people this God is wrong, and that God is wrong, and all those Gods are wrong, it logically begs the question what if all Gods are wrong? Probably don't want people asking that question, it could be very bad for attendance.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • fiftyfive55

      Your too easy.The greatest scientific mind will tell you facts of science are o nly good until the new facts are in. Anything we see through a telescope is purely conjecture since we only guess,not prove,our hypotheses on what we are looking at that we will never experience first hand. There is no such thing as an exact science,only the current science and we know how fast that changes nowadays so dont count religion and God out yet as they have never been disproved.

      October 3, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Latenite

      Steve, you're only describing the 'young earth' theory of creation. There are plenty of Christians that believe in an 'old earth' theory that blends science and the Bible seamlessly (look up Hugh Ross).

      Yes, it's possible that all views of God are wrong. In fact, logically most must be because their beliefs are mutually exclusive. But given the abundant evidence (starting with the big bang itself – how can something be created from nothing?), odds are good that at least one view of God is correct. The question then begged is which one?

      October 3, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Steve

      @Latenite
      I keep hearing it said that there are Christian religions that aren't creationists, but have never actually heard this explained. How does that work, do you tear out large sections of the Bible that directly contradict evidence and pretend it doesn't exist? Then it again comes down if some of it is wrong, why do the mental gymnastics required to pick and choose what might be right?

      October 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Elspeth

      Fiftyfive55, hello there, couldn't have said it better my self. Yippee. At least this contrived piece of journalistic fluff has led to some enlightened reading this morning in the comments section. Scientists seem to forget this truth all too often. Scientific "fact" changes and as humanity progresses faster and faster the rate at which scientific fact changes increases too. There may come a day when the existence of God is proven Instead of remaining an unprovable singularity.

      Late night, thank you for reminding readers of the difference. In fact the Bible, when read closely, leaves room for more that one creator God. There are multiple uses of plurality to describe God in the Creation story of Genisis in the original texts not just the translations. It's also important to remember that humans are the one describing God. Imagine getting together a group of 100 of your closest friends and having them describe your local grocery store. You would likely get such wildly different descriptions that 100 years from now readers would be completely convinced that they were describing several different places despite describing just one. Imagine adding 900 years to that and changing society by removing current social constructs like processed foods, common food items, coffee bars, check stands, logos, sliding doors, cashiers, clerks, etc... And imposing then present social constructs to the interpretation of the descriptions....and you'll have an inkling of how the possibility of "one true god" has become thousands of various religions and sects. It's entirely possible that mankind really did believe in a single God or group of gods a 100,000 years ago...but time and distance has change all that and all those descriptions are really about that one true God...

      October 3, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Steve

      @55
      Not sure what your point is. Not all science is exact, therefore, don't trust in any of it? I agree, things are never proven right, and that they are only temporarily right. However, what is temporarily right is right as far as we can possibly tell. Take for example, gravity. Newtons explanation of it was considered right for hundreds of years, until Einstein came along and refined it. But, Newton's gravity is still used today in a majority of cases because it is just a small amount of practical applications in which his formulas are not completely accurate. The longview is that Newton was wrong, but right enough to make billions of accurate predictions. So while technically not entirely correct, I would say he was mostly correct. Thats the way things go. Theories will be refined to fit new criteria we were never aware of in the past, but anything that can be repeatable by any measure known to us right now, I'm happy to accept as fact. It may eventually be found not be the whole truth, but will still hold true as it applies today.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Elspeth

      @Steve, you have a Christin right here that doesn't ascribe to young earth belief.

      First off, the Bible doesn't tell us when God created the earth, it only tells us he did. Second, the Bible is based upon oral history and oral history usually uses the simplest form for ease of communication for the masses (akin to sound bites in modern media). 4,000 years ago a storyteller would have told the creation story that God created the earth in a week because humans can grasp a week. A year is easy concept also, but it is less deity like. And sure God can use the forces of nature to create something, but in an audience with no technical background at all because the concept didn't exist, how do you explain eons? However, when you look at the creation story it "pretty much" unfolds the way the universe would have unfolded based upon our present understanding of how the universe formed and how evolution took place. Not completely but close. For an oral tradition coming from people's without the benefit of modern science, they got a lot right...which suggest an information source from beyond their means.

      As a Christian with multiple degrees it is no mental gymnastics for me to accept a personal God who set the building of the universe in place billions of years before my birth, provided an environment for evolution to take place on this planet so I could eventually be born, and eventually post this comment. It is also no mental gymnastics to accept that the people responsible for the Bible had a unique relationship with God but not an infallible one and provided their best understanding of their enlightened relationship. I also believe that the human mind has the ability to process information that the conscious mind cannot see and that explains some mysteries such as claryvoiance or a connectedness with the Other that allows some people to "know" more than others (we all could probably do this if we understood it better and could be trained...accessing the universal consciousness is what I mean here).

      Humanity has JUST begun to scratch the surface of the mysteries that this universe holds. It is simply our limited knowledge base that keeps us from enlightenment. The more we learn the easier it becomes to accept such things as the Creation story. (I actually have no idea why Atheists claim that the more they learn the hard it becomes, the more I learn the more I understand I know nothing).

      TLDR an open mind allows one to accept many possibilities including that for simple humans to understand, a story was told using DAYS when many many eons was what took place.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Steve

      @Elspeth
      So, you are a Christian, but believe that the Bible is inaccurate and/or exaggerated. Most Christians I'm aware of would not count you amongst themselves. Yours is a view I've experimented with early on as I came to the realization that according to everything I can see around me, the Bible cannot possibly be accurate, unless God himself is purposely creating contradictory evidence to his own story, which would make God rather irrational. I found that view untenable, and ultimately is just a God of the gaps, where God only exists in the gaps of human knowledge, and direct contradictions in the "word of God" are rationalized away. In that rationalization is where the mental gymnastics are on display. If I am to believe in the inaccuracies of oral history, which I do, why should I assume whatever parts of it I don't know to be false are actually true? Should I then also assume that Achilles was aided in battle By Athena, Zeus, and Hera? That could be chalked up to the failure of ancient oral history, or I could assume Achilles actually kept personal relationships with his various Gods. For me, it's just extremely hard to acknowledge that the Bible is most likely wrong, but at the same time, believe that certain parts of it are immune from the same fallacies that seem obvious in other parts of the book.

      October 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  13. fiftyfive55

    If atheists and other folks have their way,organized religion will end but has anybody thought about the consequences ???
    Without the fear of Hell,people will not be afraid to sin,and sin they will.Fear of eternal burning keeps most people honest , without that fear we would witness violence on an unprecedented scale . So maybe just leave religion alone and try to realize why it is .

    October 3, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      Really? Is that all you have? Fear?

      Pathetic.

      October 3, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • biobraine

      Interesting thought. I would ask, why haven't all of the horrible things you are talking about happened in countries that are largely athiest such as China? I think there are a lot of reasons why we don't do things like murder. Having a fear of hell is just one of them.

      October 3, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Justin

      Thanks for the sociopath's take, fiftyfive55.

      October 3, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  14. William

    There is truth in all religions, but no one religion has the entire truth.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • biobraine

      One could say there is also deceit in all religions

      October 3, 2012 at 11:43 am |
  15. nojinx

    "I don't happen to believe in a religious "one true way" and in fact am not religious myself"

    Wait, so the author himself is not religious? Is he spiritual?
    If so, why is he writing this article?
    If yes, why is he writing this article?

    I smell defensive back-peddling.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Elspeth

      If he is not spiritual is he an Atheist? If so he is engaging in a lot of self hate and may be in need of serious psychological intervention.

      Glad to see I wasn't the only one who picked up on the inconsistency in the author's pov.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  16. spectraprism

    um, Actually i protested these wars for years- rallied, marched, vigiled, went to DC, wrote letters to the editor and congressmen- and where exactly where you? what were YOU doing Sybaris? with your finger up your nose? Who do you think you are, commenting like I did nothing , when you don;t even know me!

    October 3, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  17. KCollidge

    Are these forums really about debating issues or are they just strengthening our abilities to better defend our own certainties?

    October 3, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • nojinx

      Mostly the latter. It depends on the poster.

      Most people who post on threads like this are not interested in learning or "discussing", but often just want to bicker.

      October 3, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  18. walter

    Miller continues to dig himself deeper into a hole, in that he is still trying to define a very diverse group in a simple and demeaning way. Whatever, continue living in your fantasy world, Miller, for all the good it will do you.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  19. CINCEO1

    The funny thing about this article is that it treats spirituality as if its some type of other religion or gateway to being an athiest. That is simply not true. The problem is that religion has programmed us to treat everything that is not like what we believe as foreign and ungodly. Plus the goofy picture of the lady meditating doesnt help.

    Christianity has been so dominant for so long that Christians have become arrogant in their faith. ALLOW ME TO REPHRASE: They have become ARROGANT in their IGNORANCE. This is a BAD combination. You can destroy one, but if you combine the 2, you have nothing short of a disaster waiting to happen.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  20. @GuileOfTheGods

    See, what's REALLY funny by Mr. Millers complete lack of knowledge, is that people were "spiritual" before there ever was organized religion. But that would mean that Mr. Miller is wrong, and that's something he just can't handle!

    October 3, 2012 at 11:15 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.