Unitarian Universalists

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Homergreg's picture
Unitarian Universalists

Is anyone here familiar with Unitarian Universalists and maybe even attended a service? I'm pretty interested in attending one of their services, but for now none are being held due to Covid, and the online service doesn't give me much a feel for the experience. It seems like an interesting type of gathering, but was wondering what someone without belief might have gained from attending if they had went, and it seems like some here had mentioned they tried different approaches to their spirituality.


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CyberLN's picture
Try asking them....
Homergreg's picture
I tried there, a bunch of

I tried there, a bunch of dead boards. I did find some on Facebook, and have conversed there. I just knew some here had discussed their search through several paths before disbelief, and was wondering if this was part of the path, and what it was like for them. And for that matter if it has been part of the path after disbelief.

David Killens's picture
@ Homer

@ Homer

If you want to follow the path of disbelief, just be more critical of your own religion and challenge every assertion.

Personally, I have turned my back on organized religion (at the age of 18) and have zero desire to participate in sermons and songs that are also practiced by the Unitarians. I was very religious back then, and I considered such actions as distractions from my ability to have direct contact with my creator.

Big question: what benefits do I gain compared to any other social activity? Such as Ribfest, a chess tournament, or a night out with the boys?

dogalmighty's picture



May I lick your king...Checkmate!

dogalmighty's picture
Dude, what part of...Zero


Dude, what part of...Zero objective evidence for a god...do you not understand?

You have been programmed to believe in someone else's unsubstantiated beliefs...now you are looking for religions that may fit your narrative? That's just a sad failure in reason. Cripes man, get over yourself.

CyberLN's picture
Homer, my initial response to

Homer, my initial response to you was a gentle (obviously too gentle) hint that if you want information about a particular religion and it’s practices, you would be better served asking the adherents of it. Why on earth pop onto an atheist debate forum for that sort of information?

Homergreg's picture
There are a good number of

There are a good number of Unitarian Universalists.who are atheists. I was just wondering if anyone here had went to one of their services and if so, their thoughts on the experience. I know many here have tried different types of services and thought maybe someone here had. If not, it's ok.

dogalmighty's picture
They are a sect of


They are a sect of christianity, of who's foundations, they still adhere to, to this day. They assert a unitary notion of God. They, do not however discriminate against any people with different beliefs than their's...that is why they allow atheists, among others, within their flock.

Homergreg's picture
@doG, and that's what I

@doG, and that's what I understood them to be, but in reading on that group and communicating with some of them, I'm understanding that was their roots, but now it is not, and hadn't been for many years.

I was wondering if someone who had actually been to a service and was an atheist that wasn't on an Unitarian Universalist board had thoughts on the current experience. People here seem to be the types, to me, who have tried a few different things and this may be among someone here's experiences. If nobody has, it is ok.

Sheldon's picture
What do they believe?


What do they believe?

What objective evidence can they demonstrate for that belief?

Why would I attend a "service" worshipping a belief that is not real?

What objective evidence can you demonstrate this belief is real?

Homer "It seems like an interesting type of gathering, "

Please explain why it is any more interesting than any other superstition?

Homer "was wondering what someone without belief might have gained from attending if they had went"

Me too, though given you share this belief, it's a rather puzzling you don't have an objective answer.

Homergreg's picture


In what I'm understanding, and why I'm asking to see if anyone has any direct experience with this group to provide their observation is that there really isn't much of any belief asserted, one brings their own (dis)belief, and the focus is more on seven principles to follow, being (Copied from their website):

As Rev. Barbara Wells ten Hove explains, “The Principles are not dogma or doctrine, but rather a guide for those of us who choose to join and participate in Unitarian Universalist religious communities.”

1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.


I'm just asking if anyone here has experience with this group's services and opinions from said experience. I have none, so it's hard for me to assert much more than I am interested in experiences with them. I'm not trying to get anyone to go or to have any desire to, I just am asking if anyone has gone.

David Killens's picture
@ Homer

@ Homer

"3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations"

This item gets in the way. Can you define "spiritual growth" without resorting to the supernatural?

Homergreg's picture
I guess it comes down to what

I guess it comes down to what one considers the human spirit to be. If someone sees the extent of human spirit to be their "intellect, emotions, fears, passions, and creativity", then I could absolutely see growth in that area to be compatible regardless of belief. If someone includes "immortal soul" in there, then I would understand someone taking issue.

Whitefire13's picture
It’s not described as the

It’s not described as the “human spirit” (as in the use you’ve described or can be said of other ideas “spirit of the law” meaning growth, principles, flexibility, application, etc)

They say “spiritual growth within their congregations” - and they will be sharing/confirming one another’s “personal experiences of Jesus in their lives” (without ‘judgement’ - no critical thinking heaped upon them from one another)

Go and let them know how your fruits increase through prayer and I betcha not one will question it - I bet many will nod their heads and happily lap up how “gods spirit” works ...

If this is what you really want in your life - go for it. No further consideration that “your human qualities” are from you and your mindset (thinking patterns, attitude, chemical makeup, etc) will be required.

Edited to add: why don’t they just call it “personal growth”? PERSON being the keyword...why “spiritual” SPIRIT, being the keyword? ‘cause their use isn’t limited to “breath” for spirit, but veers off into the unseen supernatural (you know, to answer all the questions that science can’t)

Cognostic's picture
@Homer: Where in the fuck

@Homer: Where in the fuck did you see the words "Human Spirit." Your fucking dishonesty is above and beyond stupidity.

Homergreg's picture
What other kind of spiritual

What other kind of spiritual growth are we talking about? Nonhuman?

Here is the first definition I find for spiritual:

relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.

I try to comment if someone talks about the human spirit, it wouldn't probably issue, but if one throws soul in there, one could have issue.
How is this being dishonest?

Nyarlathotep's picture
Growing non-physical things?

Growing non-physical things? Skeptic alarm at 9.

Homergreg's picture
If you want to get into

If you want to get into debate whether the human spirit is physical or non physical, you'll have to take that up with whoever wrote that definition. Many people talk about "spiritual" in a non supernatural context, but many do indeed include supernatural when using the word. I'm just trying to point out that the word doesn't have to mean "supernatural".

Nyarlathotep's picture
Information is stored

Information is stored physically. So when someone tells you that X is non-physical; they are telling you (perhaps inadvertently) that X contains no information.

When they then tell you that X (which contains no information) grew; they are just spouting gibberish.

Homergreg's picture
Gotcha. Someone can have

Gotcha. Someone can have spiritual growth and it is a physically stored thing.

Whitefire13's picture
@Homer - what part of Nyar

@Homer - what part of Nyar comment did you not get?

“Spiritual” -
Non physical

Nothing - no thing to “store” physically

There is no such thing as “spiritual growth”.

The word “spirit” can encompass HUMAN QUALITIES ie my example of the “spirit of the law” or “the human spirit” and I can accept these uses when framed poetically or symbolically because I understand the human qualities we’ve (humanity) deemed beneficial for our society, well being and survival.

“Flexibility” may be a quality encompassed in the “spirit of the law” - based on historical application and evolution of laws, current case law, evidence interpretation/technology - etc AND I could draw a visual analogy of a “well rooted willow withstanding the wind...” to further my point. BUT do I just say:

Practice law for “spiritual growth”?

David Killens's picture
@ Homer

@ Homer

" it is a physically stored thing."

Please describe what is stored, and where in the body?

Sheldon's picture
Homer " Someone can have

Homer " Someone can have spiritual growth and it is a physically stored thing."

Please define spiritual, and then demonstrate some objective evidence it is real, and as you define it. Then please demonstrate some objective evidence that "it" is stored physically, where it is stored, and of course how it is stored?

You simply don't get to make a claim like that especially here and offer nothing but the bare claim, and I think by now you must know this as well.

Homergreg's picture
I already defined spiritual

I already defined spiritual from Google dictionary, first entry:

relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.

And I said soul would get into the supernatural, but as far as the first, human spirit, I'll just go with Wikipedia:

The human spirit is a component of human philosophy, psychology, art, and knowledge - the spiritual or mental part of humanity. While the term can be used with the same meaning as "human soul", human spirit is sometimes used to refer to the impersonal, universal or higher component of human nature in contrast to soul or psyche which can refer to the ego or lower element. The human spirit includes our intellect, emotions, fears, passions, and creativity.

In the models of Daniel A. Helminiak and Bernard Lonergan, human spirit is considered to be the mental functions of awareness, insight, understanding, judgement and other reasoning powers. It is distinguished from the separate component of psyche which comprises the entities of emotion, images, memory and personality.[1]

John Teske views human spirit as a social construct representing the qualities of purpose and meaning which transcend the individual human.[2]

Nyar was saying it was all information and stored physically, so I'm good with that.

You want to say that all isn't stored physically, then go for it. I'm flexible.

David Killens's picture
@ Homer

@ Homer

"You want to say that all isn't stored physically, then go for it. I'm flexible."

I have a better idea, please offer your personal definition of "spiritual" and give a real world example.

dogalmighty's picture


Well, if Homer-doh, is talking about a physical or emotional feeling he encounters, and admits that the feeling of spirituality he is feeling can only be a product of his wet noodle(brain), then he would be right, it would be physical...Do you think he is up for that admission at this point? LOL.

Homergreg's picture
I'm not sure about the "only"

I'm not sure about the "only" the product of my brain for everything I experience, but for the sake of argument, let's go with "only", and make everything that makes up me physical. When you get to something that's going to generate disbelief, please point it out, because personally, I've been over this in my wet noodle many times, and the more I do, the stronger belief becomes.

I was really only looking for opinions of those that had attended a UU gathering, and I got those.

dogalmighty's picture


So, if not from your brain, where do your feelings come from?

Homergreg's picture
Nothing that I have objective

Nothing that I have objective evidence for you are going to want, so I'll let it all come from my brain and we can go from there.

dogalmighty's picture
@homer Sounds about right.


Sounds about right.


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