What is sancity?

That is, the quality of being sacred. I’d like a specific definition. Is it purely relativistic? Is a thing, locale, or idea sacred only to those members of a culture which designates it as having that status? Most cultures, other than purely atheistic ones, have some things they regard as sacred, but other cultures have their own list and thus disagree. Are they all right, or are some wrong in the same way that there is a right and wrong answer to the question of whether God exists? Is sanctity simply synonymous with “sentimental value” in the eyes of certain people? Does the thing stop being sacred once there is no longer anyone with us who considers it as such? Is there any way to test for sanctity like we can test for radioactivity, or do people always simply rely on hearsay?


It has alot to do with secrets, walls, esotericism, from its word origin. It simply implies elitism, and the fact that someone is being lied to.

sanc-TIT-tee! @#$%*&!!

sqweels – I think your definition is much better than your spelling, but I did want to take issue with:

I don’t think most atheists would be OK with burning down the Smithsonian, recycling the Constitution, or tearing down their local MLK, Jr. statue, and some even were rather sypathetic about some old carved rocks the Taliban decided to blow up. They still might hold some things sacred, though who knows why.

I see your point, jmullaney, but most people would maintain that there is a “spiritual” element to the condition of being sacred.

I did not define sanctity, I asked several questions which beg for a strict definition of the term, which I would like to get from members of some traditional religious cultures along with some examples.

What, you think atheists can’t be spiritual? To me, and to many other humanists, to be spiritual is to try to live more truly in accordance with your morals and values. I strive to be more loving, more patient, more honest, and more in step with my own expectations of myself.

Let’s leave the definition of “spiritual” and how that issue–and this one–applies to atheists for another time, okay?

Moderator: Is it possible to correct the spelling error in the title of this thread?

Geez, I’m constantly hearing people go on and on about how this ior that is “sacred”, including on this board. Yopu’d think a few more people would weigh in with opinions on the subject.