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Spirituality vs. Religion: The Difference is Bigger Than You Think

February 11, 2013

I criticize religion in general, because it is a system of servitude, either willful (conversion), through family upbringing (indoctrination), or cultural (brainwashing). Moral values and spiritual pathways/beliefs are a wonderful thing, religion is a hateful system that turns wonderful truths into terrible perversions of those truths, exploited by those in power to control the masses.

That being said, even though I might find religion to be an awful, disgusting thing, I respect the opinions of those that adhere to it, and seek to achieve an understanding with them despite any barriers of belief there might be between us.

I think it is good for one to be convicted in their spiritual beliefs/values/etc., what I am against (and thus criticize) is the forced consolidation of beliefs in the form of religion, which is at the core the statism of spirituality. Those who are supportive of libertarian values should understand my disgust of religious institutions on that basis alone.

I understand peoples’ choice to consolidate their beliefs into a larger body of like-minded individuals; so long as they don’t mind the dogma, doctrine, and patriarchy it comes with. But I believe that one should not have to conform to a religion to benefit from the spirituality/relationships/etc. it entails, not any more than one should have to go to college to gain the recognition of being well-educated.

However, such an idealistic way of thinking isn’t particularly practical in an institution-driven world, so I can understand why conformance to religion is natural for so many people.

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