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Quotes :   Spirituality

"Christian, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbors."
(Ambrose Gwinett Bierce / 1842-1914 / The Devil's Dictionary)

"Reverence: the spiritual attitude of a man to a god and a dog to a man."
(Ambrose Gwinett Bierce / 1842-1914)

"Religions, of course, have their own demanding intellectual traditions, as Jesuits and Talmudic scholars might attest.... But, in its less rigorous, popular forms, religion is about as intellectually challenging as the average self-help book. (Like personal development literature, mass market books about spirituality and religion celebrate emotionalism and denigrate reason. They elevate the "truths" of myths and parables over empiricism.) In its more authoritarian forms, religion punishes questioning and rewards gullibility. Faith is not a function of stupidity but a frequent cause of it."
(Wendy Kaminer / The Last Taboo /1996)

""Spirituality," a term frequently used to describe the vaguest intimations of supernatural realities, is popularly considered a mark of virtue and is as hostile to atheism as religious belief. Spirituality, after all, is simply religion deinstitutionalized and shorn of any exclusionary doctrines. In a pluralistic marketplace, it has considerable appeal....
You can claim to be a spiritual person without professing loyalty to a particular dogma or even understanding it. Spirituality makes no intellectual demands; all that it requires is a general belief in immaterialism (which can be used to increase your material possessions).

(Wendy Kaminer / The Last Taboo /1996)

"An op-ed piece on popular spirituality that I wrote for The New York Times this past summer was carefully cleansed by my editors of any irreverence toward established religion (although I was invited to mock New Age). I was not allowed to observe that, while Hillary Clinton was criticized for conversing with Eleanor Roosevelt, millions of Americans regularly talk to Jesus, long deceased.... Nor was I permitted to point out that, to an atheist, the sacraments are as silly as a seance. These remarks and others were excised because they were deemed "offensive"."
(Wendy Kaminer / The Last Taboo / 1996)

"What makes fantastic declarations believable is, in part, the vehemence with which they're proffered. Again, in the world of spirituality as well as of pop psychology, intensity of personal belief is evidence of truth. It is considered very bad form -- even abuse -- to challenge the veracity of any personal testimony that might be offered in a twelve-step group or on a talk show, unless the testimony itself is equivocal.... Whatever sells, whatever many people believe strongly, must be true."
(Wendy Kaminer / in The Atlantic Monthly / July, 1996)

"The spiritualization of sensuality is called love: it is a great triumph over Christianity."
(Friedrich Nietzsche / 1844-1900 / Twilight of the Idols / 1888)

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