Claiming “I’m not religious, I’m spiritual” is an admission of being intellectually lazy.
It’s basically wanting all the same non-existent perks that religion offers, but not willing to do any of the work or effort of “earning” them. Or even the effort of learning any particular one in detail.
I have to wonder why the spiritual person, who has already let go of the organizations, the dogma, the rituals and observances, doesn’t also let go of the last bits – the afterlife promises and warm fuzzy of an outside moral authority.
The “spiritual” trust themselves enough to invent their own personal religion – often a cherry picking from several existing ones – that they usually know something vaguely about, but just don’t seem to trust themselves to be their own moral authority without the pretense of a divine or naturist external authority.
If a person is authorizing themself to invent a personal and customized religion – sorry – spirituality – then why not just own being in charge of determining morals, behaviour modification and world view?
Remember, when a person invents their own relig-spirituality – there’s no meetings, dues, special clothes or activities to attend or anyone outranking them in the hierarchy of the spirituality. Everyone is their own pope, basically.
So why do they create an arm’s length veiled in the mystical distance between their values and themself?
Especially when they a’re the one making and hanging that veil in the first place by creating the loosey-goosey cherry picking of what appeals and presents no hassle or imposition from the buffet of religions available through cultural osmosis.
I don’t think you have to make a detailed study of all religions to know what you are rejecting, any more than you should have sex with a person of a gender you aren’t attracted to in order to make sure you’re not attracted to that gender.
After all, sexual attraction is pretty clear too – it’s not difficult for a person to figure out what makes a them hard or wet (gender dependent) – until religious guilt is layered on top of it, anyway.
Tip: You can’t pray away the gay.
Religion in it’s broadest strokes is ridiculous on the face of it – the drilled down details don’t change that. All religions from all of the known human history have exactly the same amount of evidence for them being true: none at all – there is no religion that is better than any other one in terms of believing it and using it as a guide to life.
Certainly some religions have bloodier histories than others and sadly, this continues today with religion as the lubricant that slips racist, sexist, sex-phobic, control freak beliefs into violent actions intended to sow terror and continue that old convert by the word or the sword mentality.
The advantage of people who have rejected organized religion in favour of a personal spirituality is that it still spreads and soon that spiritual person has convinced others, so they get together to discuss and understand better, add their own favorite cherries – and then factions start and it leads right back into cults and religions….
remember: a religion is just a cult that has lost it’s amateur status and gone pro.