Originally posted by jaywill
Actually, I was just musing over the fact that most of the discussions listed on the Spiritualily Forum really have very little to do with spirituality.
I see many titles which fall into mostly catagories of
Spoofs (Some form of lampoon or ridicule)
Bible Trivia or some other form of trivia
Challenges to historicity of the Bible
...[text shortened]... posters to the Spirituality Forum are probably antagonistic to the whole realm of spirituality.
Actually, jaywill, I think your characterization is pretty accurate—especially the comment about morality.
On the other hand, people on here have had difficulty agreeing on an understanding of what “spirituality” actually entails. My friend Freaky once asserted that spirituality necessarily entails theism—which position automatically excludes, for example, nontheistic Taoists, Zen Buddhists and Advaita Vedantists, and possibly the more monistic streams within what are normally considered theistic expressions. At that point, Freaky and I are at (a friendly) impasse with regard to further discussions about spirituality per se, since I am a monist.
On the other other hand, I am quite able to set such questions aside in order to engage in a discussion of Christology, say, such as you and Nemesio and I had—though I sometimes have to remind people that I may read the religious symbology differently than they do. For example, I think that the foundational creedal statement of Judaism—shema yisrael YHVH eloheinu YHVH echad
, pretty literally: “Hear O Israel, that-which/who-is, our god, that-which/who-is, is one!”—is a profound monistic (or at least panentheistic) statement, as do a great number of Jews (whether or not a majority, I can’t say). People sometimes are confused because I cross the religious-paradigm borders so readily—doing Hebrew midrash one day, talking about the logos tou theou
the next, challenging the coherence of certain theistic claims the next, citing a Zen koan or the Tao Te Ching, arguing for the ultimate ineffability of the Whole besides which nothing is...
I’m currently working on trying to pull some of that patchwork together into a more-or-less cohesive quilt, in order to test it vis-à-vis some of the good arguers on here—until then, you get it pretty much piecemeal, though there are a few people on here who have a pretty good idea of what that patchwork quilt looks like, and how it has changed over time.
Rwingett once suggested that the word “spiritual” seemed to have lost whatever meaning it once may have had, in the course, perhaps, of acquiring too many disparate meanings. Interestingly, Protestant theologian Paul Tillich said pretty much the same thing way back in his Systematic Theology
I do think that philosophy and the god versus no-god (and “faith versus science” ) arguments have a rightful place in this forum. Probably everything else that you cited does too. If I didn’t find it valuable to have my spiritual understandings challenged by theists and atheists alike, I wouldn’t be here. But in the whole mishmash, we sometimes are able to focus on spiritual understandings and concepts—lucifershammer and I, for example (not the only example), do often. So, I am not frustrated with it in any way.