Originally Posted by Wonderment
I would define religious as ascribing more meaning to the life of a person than to the life of a gnat or a microbe.
Actually, that's not "religion" so much as just another form of species in-group self-cherishing.
On the contrary, from the standpoint of deeply reflective mystical gnosis one could just as easily make the case that genuine spirituality involves a realization of the inherently equal meaning between the life of a person and the life of a gnat or a microbe.
(But don't expect this mind-state to arise as a genuinely constant spiritual experience outside of a life steeped in deep meditation.)
We're forever hearing about scientific ignorance and illiteracy among the drone-like masses of the religious. (Actually, I tend to concur that this is a huge problem.)
But we never hear too much about "metaphysical illiteracy"
wherein seriously plausible evidence for reincarnation for instance is presented in a manner most difficult to definitively refute, but is nonetheless derisively "waved off" with no real attempt to explore the evidence, sometimes merely anecdotal, true, but sometimes replete with undismissable facts explainable in no other way. This is reflexively cast aside, not based on clear-eyed refutation, but, frankly, on the basis of out-and-out bias that one will not, under any circumstances, allow oneself to entertain the possibility that such a phenomenon could represent the facts of what transpires after death.
This is itself a form of intellectual laziness and ignorance and, frankly, dishonesty. For just one instance of a piece, which if read in an unbiased fashion, should give one serious cause for pause, see Tucker's Life Before Life
His work is probably one of the most responsible treatments of the topic taken up and explored without bias and constantly referencing every possible counter-argument.
(The paperback edition is around $10 with free shipping. There's a Kindle edition as well.)