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Sam Harris' Otherworldliness Talk Explores Religious Language

By: Misel Saban - Dec 9, 2014
References: youtube
Neuroscientist and author Sam Harris' otherworldliness talk explores the connotations behind words like 'spirituality' and 'mysticism.' Despite Harris' Atheist stand on religion, he believes that colloquially using words with religious etymologies leaves a sense of uncomfortableness in many people that needs to be addressed.

While word 'spirituality' first developed from the Holy Spirit and the Bible, it is often used today to describe a person's link to a larger, and much more broader, power that is often not religious. The problem then lies in the English language not having a word more suited to describe this expansive word's new age meaning. As Harris puts it, "The problem is--and this is a problem you almost never encounter in English--we just don’t have a good word for this domain." He recommends finding an appropriate use and context for words like 'spirituality.'