The post below this one on the Spiritual Ministry Department caused me to start thinking about the word "spiritual" and what it means. If we are to have this department, then we ought to know what we (collective "we") mean by this word "spiritual" shouldn't we?
So, where to start? How about Webster's Universal College Dictionary. The first four definitions found in the 1997 Random House edition I own read as follows:
spiritual adj. 1. pertaining to the spirit or soul, as distinguished from the physical nature 2. of or pertaining to the spirit as the seat of the moral or religious nature 3. of or pertaining to sacred things or matters; religious 4. pertaining to or consisting of spirit; incorporeal
So, then, spiritual matters are not physical. And they are usually religious. What about the definition of spirit? Same source, first three definitions:
spirit n. adj., v. 1. the animating principle of life, esp. humans; vital essence 2. the incorporeal part of humans or an aspect of this, as the mind or soul 3. conscious, incorporeal being, as opposed to matter
It seems to me that we have a word here that is attempting to describe something that is indescribable, at least in its intended meaning for the Spiritual Ministry Department. It is a word that I find no use for, at least in this meaning. If something is incorporeal then we cannot know anything about it unless it chooses to manifest itself somehow in our world - - that is, becomes corporeal. And then it is no longer spiritual, by definition.
So spending tax dollars on the spiritual would be a big fat fucking waste of money even if it were constitutional, which I still contend it is not. Of course, there is no hope of getting the current Supreme Court to agree with me, hell, they don't think tax payers have standing to contest how tax dollars are spent (fucking right wing shitheads). But that is another issue altogether.
So spiritual is another in a list of words that I have discarded from my vocabulary as useless. What are some of the others?
How about sin... as an atheist I cannot sin. Sin is a concept that makes no sense to me because one cannot sin unless there is a god that one is sinning against. So there goes "sin" into my vocabulary waste bin.
Another useless word for me is believe. I don't believe anything. I make reasoned decisions based on evidence, research, and the best knowledge that humans have accumulated over time. I therefore know facts as much as anyone can know anything. I have no need to believe or believe in anything outside of this scope. As such, I avoid the words believe and belief.
Faith is another useless word. Basically, one relies on faith when one has no evidence or facts to back up his beliefs. There is nothing that you can know by faith, it is only a crutch word used by religious believers to attempt to give credibility to their choice to believe in the unbelieveable.
What do you think? Are there any words that my fellow atheists out there have ejected from use after finding them to be devoid of meaning and worthless?