You don't understand the process of word formation, nor the relationship between dictionaries and communities of speakers.<quoted text>
Do you go by the dictionary or do you make up your own definitions for words?
I am asking seriously
If its the latter then I will know any word you use might mean anything according to you.
But if its the former, than please show me what definition of spiritual would applies to an atheist
What I I decided "scientific" now means "hocus pocus". If i get enough people saying that, do you think the definition should change?
Is there some reason Cather would have for needing to hijack a word that doesn't apply to him? Would he use faith too and just claim that means something else?
Its silly HFY
It would be utter chaos and confusion if people just made up their own definitions to words
From time to time, subsets of people have new concepts that need names. Sometimes they use old words. All that matters for effective communication to occur is for the people using that language to know the definition of any new word, or the new definition for any old word.
If the usage grows in popularity, lexicographers will eventually become aware of the addition, and add it to their dictionaries. Dictionaries lag the culture by about a decade, and won't contain these additions at first. If the usage is specialized enough and limited to a small enough group, it may never end up in a dictionary
Although people try at times, they are unsuccessful at impeding this process or limiting the way other people use language by pointing to a dictionary and declaring that a word cannot be used the way it is being used.
That is because dictionaries are what are called descriptive, nor prescriptive, that is, they describe how people are using the word, not how they are allowed to.
Atheists have had no voice until recently. The dominant Christian culture had determined what words like atheist and spiritual mean for most people. We have have frequently given our perspective on the matter in the form of definitions that work for us, and we use the words that way.
I haven't bothered to check if my usage of the word "spiritual appears in any dictionaries or not. It is irrelevant. I use the word anyway, and people like me generally know what I mean, and when they don't, I give them my definition. I would be happy to tell you or anybody that asks just what I mean by atheist, Christian, religion, faith, belief, and spiritual in the context of these discussions.
It's unimportant that you approve.