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6 Points
The Contender
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0 Points

Religion & Spirituality are NOT the Same

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/23/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,515 times Debate No: 56952
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (51)
Votes (1)




Religion & Spirituality are NOT the Same

Many argue that the only way to be spiritual is through a religion - in particular - believing in the right religion.

I believe this is false.

Debate Stipulations:

1) Serious Debate
2) Semantics are Welcome
3) We Can Agree to Further Terms in the Comments
4) First Round is for Acceptance Only


Religion : devotional and ritual observances, the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices, the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith

Spirituality : the quality or state of being spiritual; sensitivity or attachment to religious values



Are you saved? The reason I ask is because you seem to be very ignorant. So that leads me to believe that you really have no understanding of the Lord. To someone who believes the Lord well enough to tell you about the free gift you can receive, called SALVATION. Salvation is the only way you will enter the kingdom of heaven. You have to believe with all your heart that God sacrificed his only begotten Son Jesus Christ for all our sins. You also must believe that Jesus died on the cross, was buried and resurrected in 3 days. I will pray for you that you allow yourself this gift and become a true Christian in the army of the Lord. If you choose to remain ignorant lost soul, enjoy your life in hell.
Debate Round No. 1


Religion & Spirituality are NOT the Same



A common mistake that many people make is in assuming that spirituality can only be achieved through a vehicle of religiosity. This is often accompanied by the assumption that one particular doctrinal religion is true and thus the only legitimate way to be truly spiritual.

It is true that the words religion and spirituality are both very loaded words. But they are very different words. As we might see in this debate, the religious fundamentalist often cannot distinguish the two. But the great spiritual leaders and philosophers have managed to differentiate the two different categories - though some aspects of each may overlap - they are not one and the same [1].

In the Venn diagram of Religion and Spirituality we observe two primary and distinct sets. On the left-hand-side is the space of Religion, on the right, Spirituality. In the middle is the overlapping space which they may both share and occupy.

For the sake of examination lets simplify the category of Religion to the variable R and Spirituality to the variable S and the overlapping shared space as either (R:S) or (S:R).

Notice then:

R is not always S
S is not always R
R can sometimes also share S (R:S)
S can sometimes also share R (S:R)

Spirituality and Religiosity:

Spirituality, broadly understood, encompasses a wide range of Human experience(s) in which the term is still very much applicable (Poetry, Art, Music, Dreams, Emotions, etc.). There are spiritual aspects within religion(s) - but not all aspects of spirituality are only religious.

Likewise, there are aspects of religion that have nothing to do with spirituality. For instance, a religiously motivated politics or even the act of attending church services would be considered ritual observance (religious) but doesn't automatically encompass and translate into what would be classified as spiritual experience - though someone's motivations for being religious might be to obtain spirituality.

Examples & Analysis:

The act of attending a routine scheduled church service(s) (going to church every Sunday) would absolutely be considered religious - but the act of attending a church service isn't automatically necessarily spiritual.

Conversely, if I was moved to tears by the sermon at this church service and it became a life transforming experience, I would, therefore, consider my experience at this church service to also have been a spiritual one.

However, if I am moved to tears by a similar experience (say my experience of a post-modern expressionist painting) and it becomes a life transforming experience, I could also conclude that this experience was a spiritual one - but would not be able to frame this in a traditional religious context.

Conversely, one could look at the exact same painting and feel nothing or experience very little in the way of what would be described as a spiritual experience.

Is it the religion that caused my spiritual experience in the first case? Was it the painting in the next?

Cultural & Religious Diversity:

The fact of religious diversity itself is suggestive as there is more than one religion in which authentic spiritualism is claimed. There are now over 2000 known and documented active religions worldwide. If the different sects of each mainstream religion are separated and accounted for because of incompatible doctrinal differences (an example would be Mormonism and Catholicism - both still classified as Christian - but most Catholics would argue that Mormons are not true Christians) the numbers quickly jump into the tens of thousands [2].

The important thing to note is that though these various religions are very different, they can equally claim spirituality and many of the adherents will fully endorse one of particular the subjective spiritualism as a truth.

The implications result in several conclusions, here are six:

1) Religion(s) and its practice are indeed used (much as a tool is used) to induce spiritual states and to achieve enlightenment - but given the differences and the application of very specific practices and the doctrinal beliefs themselves - which often contradict adjacent religions - religion and spirituality are not one and the same.
2) Religion is then not requisite to be spiritual or have spiritual experience.
3) The fact spirituality is achievable apart from religiosity exposes religious fundamentalist who claim this isn't possible.
4) The option of religion being useful (having utility) is still viable.
5) Religion can have utility (be useful) but not necessarily be literally true or an accurate way to characterize and describe the world.
6) If many adherents of different incompatible religions claim spiritual experience through their preferred religion, this would suggest something going on in the Human brain which allows humans to have these experiences - but would more than likely eliminate religious literalism. If there was only one true religion we would expect it to spread fairly equally.

(Hopefully we will get back to some of these ideas later in the debate)

Popular Culture:

Its interesting to note that social media recognizes this diversity. Its a common option to be able to identify with a category describing oneself as being "spiritual but not religious." Society at large recognizes the same diversity and pluralism.

Con's Acceptance - Round 1:

Notice in Round 1, which was only to be used for acceptance, Con immediately attacks Pro with ad hominem claims of apparent ignorance and then uses the room in the Round for a religious "plug" ...?

TRUECHRISTIAN, If you were truly concerned about someone's salvation - truly cared about saving them - you wouldn't start by attacking them - calling them ignorant and then expect them to actually listen to anything you have to say after (Just a word of advice).

Cited Sources and References:




TRUECRISTIAN forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2



That isn't a very Christian way to act!

I extend my arguments!


TRUECRISTIAN forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Once again TRUECRISTIAN forfeited and I extend my arguments.


TRUECRISTIAN forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
51 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Kazoku 1 year ago
The butthurt in this argument is really strong.
Posted by philosurfer 2 years ago
Wait, it just dawned on me.... Are you from the Westboro Baptist church TRUECRISTIAN..?!

Posted by philosurfer 2 years ago
TRUECRISTIAN, you didn't have to forfeit the last round and you can always pursue the current and remaining round(s) if you choose and are brave enough - which will afford you the opportunity to demonstrate my stupidity.

Talk is cheap and it seems to me, and probably most everyone else, you would prefer to resort to name calling rather than present a cohesive and rational argument. I understand you have an opinion - but do you have an argument. You have given your opinion but do you have an argument..?

Its easy just assert someone is stupid. Anyone can do that. I could say your stupid back lol and around and around we will go calling each other names. BUT I wont...

Again, if you were truly concerned about "saving people" and cared about their salvation, you wouldn't attack folks you aim to "save" nor call them stupid lol.. Its counterproductive and I doubt a Christian god would appreciate your behavior or endorse your methods. Calling someone stupid isn't very Christian. God, if such a being exists how you probably think of him, would more than likely be ashamed of your approach - being on a debating site and then calling ppl stupid (as if that is gonna help you "save" anyone)..

What you should do is defend your propositions, engage in the physics of your claims, and demonstrate your case using evidence, logic, and reason.. If you choose to just slur insults you're proving nothing except what intellectuals already think about folks who behave like you are/have..

My guess is that you aren't prepared to debate, argue, be reasonable, etc., so as a last resort - you insult - which is irrelevant to anything. I challenge you to demonstrate my stupidity even. Ball is in your court.
Posted by ChosenWolff 2 years ago
I am wondering if you'll mind answering a few questions christian?
Posted by ChosenWolff 2 years ago
Besides the conduct violation, I think truechristian won this.
Posted by TRUECRISTIAN 2 years ago
about to explode, from LAUGHING so hard at how STUPID you are! This place is littered with some of THE dumbest people I've ever encountered, but even HERE, its truly rare to come across a person as completely STUPID as yourself! You truly ARE one sad pathetic petulant CHILD! Let me know if you ever GROW up, emotionally AND/OR intellectually. I certainly WON'T be counting on it tough!
Posted by philosurfer 2 years ago
1) JUMP - If I was flying on a jet-plane and decided to "jump" while the jet was in flight - flying through the air at 500 mph - why doesn't my body go flying through the air and slam into the back of the fuselage? Because of Psychics - Newton's laws of motion! Bodies that are in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an external force! The same is true of the Earth's rotation and "jumping" - as you are affixed and already spinning with Earth. (I have tested this btw, I have jumped on a plane and nothing happened).

Keep in mind the Earth is going around the Sun at a tremendous rate also, so why wouldn't "jumping" also be hazardous if we consider our motion around the Sun as well? Further, our Sun is rotating around the center of the galaxy, why wouldn't "jumping" also be hazardous from this? ...And so on.

2) BLOW - You didn't finish ... Were you gonna suggest placing the paper on the bottom of the balloon and watch it fall? Gravity from the Earth is greater than that of the balloon so of course ... BUT WAIT - it will sometimes not fall ...! Oh that is static charge... Oh these scientist and their theories... pshhh ha ha

AWESOME - thank you! You set em up and I will knock em down!
Posted by philosurfer 2 years ago
This awesomeness is great! I'm tickled to death. But I wanted a serious debate on the topic. Please tell me you aren't being serious?
Posted by TRUECRISTIAN 2 years ago
We know the Earth is flat because the Bible tells us so. But for those of you skeptical, close-minded types that flat out refuse to accept the overwhelming Biblical evidence, I have designed some experiments you can do at home that will show you, before your very eyes, that the world is indeed flat, and not spherical as some crazy scientists proclaim. It's amazing how many people blindly believe in a spherical Earth, without ever having seen it for themselves! I intend to change that.

1) Jump!
Now, scientists claim that Earth is spherical and rotating at a speed of between 700-1000 miles per hour, depending on your latitude. This is a very high rate of speed. You can disprove this nonsense by simply jumping up as high as you can. Really, it's that simple. What happens when you jump? You come straight down to where you were. But, if the Earth were indeed spinning at such a fast speed, wouldn't you land hundreds of feet away?

If you were to stand in the flat bed of a truck going 75 mph, and jump straight up, what would happen? You wouldn't fall straight down. You would fall out of the truck. That's because trucks move, the Earth doesn't. This experiment proves the Earth is fixed in space and doesn't move.

2) Blow!
Since if the Earth is supposedly a sphere, it naturally comes to assume what would happen to people below the equator, like in Australia? Since they are underneath the sphere, wouldn't they fall off? This is where scientists come up with mumbo-jumbo like "gravity" and "centrifugal force" to explain away their theories. So, the scientists want you to think that because the earth is so much more massive than people or things, that people will naturally "stick" to the bottom of the earth because of gravity.

This can be disproved very simply. Get a balloon and inflate it as big as possible. It will be a spherical shape. Now, take a piece of paper and try to rip, tear, or cut the tiniest speck of paper possible. This paper represents a human b
Posted by MasterOfTheUniverse 2 years ago
Whoa, Philosurfer just gave LifeMeans an intellectual tong lashing from hell.. .. Damn!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture