RE: Debunk All Religiosity Equally (D.A.R.E.) ---> inloading

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Sun Jul 08 2001 - 21:39:36 MDT

Samantha writes

> > Two claims are implicit here; one is that whatever
> > these terms refer to, they ought to be replaced by
> > terms that do not derive from traditional religious
> > beliefs. I find this very persuasive for a variety
> > of reasons, chief among them that it would prevent
> > simple miscommunication.
> What for? Why should they be replaced unless there is
> a tacit assumption that religiosity (is this a word and
> what precisely is its meaning?) is utterly false. I do
> not grant this assumption.

Like I say, because they mean so many things to so many
different people; communication is impeded.

> > The second claim is that traditional religious beliefs
> > are false, and therefore need to be debunked. Few on
> > this list with argue with that.
> What exactly is meant? The statement is too broad.

I meant belief in gods and spirits (of a more literal
bent). (Sure, when used metaphorically, like "there
was a spirit of happiness at Extro-5", no claim of
the existence of any kind of literal spirit is implied,
but many traditional religions do believe in spirits.)

> Then why throw this one out? Pandering? Do you not
> see that we "pander" here all the time to opposite beliefs?

Um, no. Can you describe what we do to opposing beliefs
here all the time? ("Pander" literally means to gratify
someone's weakness or vulgar tastes. I meant to make an
appearance of agreeing with something we really think to
be wrong---I'm not sure; I may have used the word incorrectly.)

> > That's one of the reasons that the term is inherently confusing.
> > Now among people whose beliefs are very similar, and so where
> > little or no confusion is liable to occur, use of the term is
> > quite warranted, of course. But here, where we would like to
> > determine (I hope) just what substance lies behind use of the
> > term, I for one want to understand what drives atheists and
> > materialists to ever use it.
> I am neiter an atheist (although I don't believe in a God
> remotely like many theists do) or a materialist (in the
> dictionary meaning of the word) so I can't help you. But
> why the tacit assumption that only atheists and materialists
> need be consulted to understand if spirituality has value?

Sorry---I thought that you were an atheist and a materialist.
Perhaps even those words are now suspect. Still, despite all
the foregoing discussion, you haven't indicated what you mean
by "spirituality" or "religiosity". Now I *am not* asking for
strict definitions---well have I known since a small child the
futility of that---I merely would like a couple of examples of
how you might use some phrases (instead of those words) to get
the idea across.

> I do not think atheists or materialists are impoverished. After
> all I spent more than a little time in that position myself. I
> fully understand it. It is not my home, not where I find my
> life most rich and fulfilling, but I certainly don't denigrate
> that position at all.

Neat. But I still have very little sense at all of what
you're trying to convey when "spirituality" or "religiousity"
pops up in your sentences.


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