Debate and Discussion

Scientology - Should it be considered a Religion or a cult?
Commander_Chaos at 12:59PM, May 15, 2007
(offline)
posts: 78
joined: 1-3-2006
The Church of Scientology is campaigning to be recognised as an official religion in the UK, having gained that status already in the US. As a resident of the UK I decided to see what the fuss was about. I watched the now renowned Panorama epidsode in which the Scientologist spokesperson annoyed the BBC journalist almost to the point of madness, and have not seen in any circumstance, a case in which Scientology was able to take criticism without resorting to a smear campaign, or what they call “fair play”.

The definition of cult as it stands, is:
Cult
Noun
1.a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
2.an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
3.the object of such devotion.
4. group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
5.Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.
6.a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.
7.the members of such a religion or sect.
8.any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.

and the definition of religion?
Religion
Noun
1.a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2.a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3.the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
4.the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5.the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
6.something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.
7.religions, Archaic. religious rites.
8.Archaic. strict faithfulness; devotion: a religion to one's vow.
Idiom
9.get religion, Informal.
a.to acquire a deep conviction of the validity of religious beliefs and practices.
b.to resolve to mend one's errant ways: The company got religion and stopped making dangerous products.

I personally feel that, whether or not Scientology is based on truth or lies, and whatever they and their critics say - as a democracy it is up to the public to decide, and should be put to vote in the next national referendum. What do you guys think?
Religion or Cult?
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:44AM
nighthawk41 at 1:28PM, May 15, 2007
(online)
posts: 110
joined: 1-13-2006
I'm the kind of person who doesn't give a rats ass what you believe in as long as you don't shove it down other people's throats, but even I think scientology is pure bullshit. Any “religion” where you have to pay money in order to get everlasting peace after you die is pure bullshit to me.
http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q258/nighthawk41/BodomBeachTerrorsig.png Edited by Admin.
Please make your sig either 250 x 100 or 468 x 60 pixels. Thankyou.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:16PM
Cthulhu at 1:58PM, May 15, 2007
(online)
posts: 5,095
joined: 4-18-2006
The only thing I know about Scientology is from that episode in “South Park”.

Is that what it's really like?

(Of course not)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:55AM
Phantom Penguin at 3:45PM, May 15, 2007
(offline)
posts: 1,075
joined: 1-6-2006
The explanation South Park gave is right.
I don't think its either a religion or a cult. Because that implies the leadership believes what its preaching.

The leaders of Scientology just want money. I mean, why does giving money to the church get you a higher rank?

GOD NEEDS BOOZE!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
Mister Spook at 5:07PM, May 15, 2007
(offline)
posts: 58
joined: 1-11-2006
No, South Park was fairly accurate as far as I understand it - except for Stan being the reincarnated soul of their founder, that of course is just fiction.

But that's just the problem, you couldn't be sure that South Park didn't just make all that stuff up. They do on so many other occasions, what would set this one apart? Scientology as an opinionated group go to extreme lengths to make sure that their dogma and beliefs remain secret - that very little of it gets out into the public sphere, using the argument that it is intellectual property. Try to publish about their “religion” and you're in for some very nasty court battles assisted by some very serious financial backing. Comedy Central even bowed out before the episode was praised by critics.

My personal opinion is as follows: Ask a Rabbi and he'll tell you about his beliefs and their history, ask a Catholic Priest and he'll tell you some of the major tenants of his faith and perhaps give you a brief synopsis of Christianity, ask a Buddhist Monk and he will probably tell you as much as you want to know. But Scientology is always dodging that kind of spotlight. They'll never give it to you straight out - you have to go to some retreat, THEN you'll know, or only by participating can you truly understand their ways… I've heard of other things too but I won't get it to it. To be frank, they seem more like a cult in that regard than anything else.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:04PM
Vagabond at 5:27PM, May 15, 2007
(online)
posts: 93
joined: 1-30-2006
What's just interesting that, while everyone always jokes about Xenu and thetans and that entire “space opera” jazz, is that it was only about the early 1980's where people actually found out about those things. Before that, it was just a somewhat mysterious organization that only after paying enough money into it did you find out anything about what it's “really” about. (I wanna say the first mention of Xenu isn't until around the OT III level, and it's OT V when you get the whole story) It was old Usenet boards that started showing all of its secrets, and just how ridiculous it all sounds.

I'm not sure how I feel about the cult/religion nominal system, because realistically, they're both pretty blanket terms. Since cult is the term that has the most negative connotation I'd go with that, but… I'd rather call it a “corrupt corporation.”

I really see it as a manipulative business more than anything else.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:38PM
Phantom Penguin at 5:32PM, May 15, 2007
(offline)
posts: 1,075
joined: 1-6-2006
I also learned that at its highest levels church members are supposed to be granted powers of some kind.

I would like to see that.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
worstcase at 5:48PM, May 15, 2007
(online)
posts: 224
joined: 1-15-2007
i really don't know much about it, but it sounds insane. None of it really makes any logical sense…or it just sounds crazy. I suppose religion of any sort sounds crazy, but scientology just seems a little over the edge. I think its more of a cult type thing.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:51PM
Vagabond at 6:24PM, May 15, 2007
(online)
posts: 93
joined: 1-30-2006
Phantom Penguin
I also learned that at its highest levels church members are supposed to be granted powers of some kind.

I would like to see that.

I believe it's something to do with that they have “so much control over their own thetans” that they can begin to exert power over other people's.

That means that Tom Cruise (who is OT VII, I think?) can DESTROY YOU WITH HIS MIND.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:38PM
ozoneocean at 4:49AM, May 16, 2007
(online)
posts: 25,067
joined: 1-2-2004
This is the serious forum. Try and remember…
You can joke around but at least TRY and join in the discussion. This is aimed at PP and Cthulu.

Anyway, we've talked about this before. Scientology doesn't have the legitimacy of a real religion -it's had no major historical cultural influence like the majors and their derivatives. It was a fake religion devised as a tax dodge by a corrupt, deranged old man. Whether the other major religions started out that way too is nothing more than a childish irrelevance that blithely ignores two to four thousand years of various human civilisation…

But if you do want to play the game that history means nothing and the existence of the world before you birth doesn't matter and you want to imagine that all “religions” are equal and disconnected from any socio-cultural or political significance: then yes, Scientology despite its origins and weirdness would be basically like any other crazy system of beliefs that someone decided to subscribe to; they could all be called “cults” or whatever you want from that perspective, -Scientology, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, whatever. ;)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Phantom Penguin at 5:09AM, May 16, 2007
(offline)
posts: 1,075
joined: 1-6-2006
Sorry for the off topic video.

I'm not really a religious guy, but at least other religions have some base in history. The facts given about the begining of mankind in Scientology is so off from any scientific explanation its insane.

I mean when your founder is quoted to have said “If you want to make money, create a religion” he's probably bullshiting you.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
ZeroVX at 7:21AM, May 16, 2007
(online)
posts: 4,109
joined: 5-28-2006
I know next to squat about scientology, but from what I've heard, its not really a religion.

Do you seriously have to pay to get in? That's not religion. That's greed(which, according to some people, is a sin).

Also, I know this is off topic, but I have to know: Why is it when South Park makes fun of Jewish religion daily, it's OK, but one episode about scientology, and BOOM! Controversy! Seriously. Why?

“If our own government was responsible for the deaths of almost 100,000 people…..would you really wanna know?”

V for Vendetta, V.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:57PM
nighthawk41 at 8:22AM, May 16, 2007
(online)
posts: 110
joined: 1-13-2006
Because Tom Cruise is famous, and as we all know:
The feelings of famous people > the feelings of not-assholes.
http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q258/nighthawk41/BodomBeachTerrorsig.png Edited by Admin.
Please make your sig either 250 x 100 or 468 x 60 pixels. Thankyou.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:16PM
ccs1989 at 12:51PM, May 16, 2007
(online)
posts: 2,656
joined: 1-2-2006
Scientology is BS, plain and simple. I wish the US would start taxing the heck out of it.

The main difference between Scientology and religion is that religions came about to help people first, and THEN hierarchy was built up. Scientology came about to profit first, help second.
http://ccs1989.deviantart.com

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:38AM
Cthulhu at 1:29PM, May 16, 2007
(online)
posts: 5,095
joined: 4-18-2006
See ya guys, I'm off to wikipedia!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:55AM
Cthulhu at 1:31PM, May 16, 2007
(online)
posts: 5,095
joined: 4-18-2006
I'm back!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:55AM
ozoneocean at 1:47PM, May 16, 2007
(online)
posts: 25,067
joined: 1-2-2004
Cthulhu, Try and add something to the discussion besides a link.

Ccs, It'd be nice to see more than that.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
maritalbliss at 1:47PM, May 16, 2007
(online)
posts: 1,045
joined: 4-15-2007
Isn't it really just an intense Fandom?

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:53PM
Cthulhu at 5:08PM, May 16, 2007
(online)
posts: 5,095
joined: 4-18-2006
ozoneocean
Cthulhu, Try and add something to the discussion besides a link.

Ccs, It'd be nice to see more than that.

But it helps everyone who doesn't know what scientology is…
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:55AM
7384395948urhfdjfrueruieieueue at 6:25PM, May 16, 2007
(offline)
posts: 6,921
joined: 8-5-2006
nighthawk41
Any “religion” where you have to pay money in order to get everlasting peace after you die is pure bullshit to me.
You have little options then.
i will also like to know you the more
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:03AM
Vagabond at 7:39PM, May 16, 2007
(online)
posts: 93
joined: 1-30-2006
Um, could you back that statement up please? Because most religions that I can think put an emphasis on a moral code rather than the size of your wallet.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:38PM
HybridLemonade at 8:38AM, May 17, 2007
(offline)
posts: 72
joined: 2-5-2007
Im not really a religious person
more or less
I'm agnostic if anything.I feel religion is kinda illogical, but at the same time, I can't really stop believeing ya know?
but more or less, I feel scientology is silly, just as silly as FSM.(if you don't know what that is I think I will cry)
when you think about it, cults and religion aren't that diffrent, at times, I even feel christianity is a cult.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:52PM
ozoneocean at 10:50AM, May 17, 2007
(online)
posts: 25,067
joined: 1-2-2004
Ok, last warning. Nighthawk this isn't the Top Drawer, I'm deleting your joke post. Anyone else that can't be buggered contributing properly and just wants to joke will have their post removed. Sorry, but I'm tired of this and I have warned numerous times..
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Ludus Pragma at 3:22PM, May 18, 2007
(offline)
posts: 33
joined: 11-9-2006
A religion is just a cult with power.

Scientology has power. So there you go.

Every major religion started as a cult usually based around the synthesis of local mythologies + a charasmatic or powerful leader. It is a pattern that repeates itself over and over again through history.

The ideas of Scientology are not anymore “crazy” then those of other religions we just give those ideas a free pass because they have been ingrained in us since childhood. Also where Scientology has arisen in recent history we have very good record of its prophet's failiures.

Yes Scientology is out to make money…so what.

That being said the Church of Scientology has allegedly been involved in a number of very questionable/highly illegal/morally bankrupt activities and is just plain creepy.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:48PM
SpANG at 7:58AM, May 21, 2007
(online)
posts: 3,105
joined: 1-1-2006
I agree with Ludus Pragma.

Further, Scientology has done what so many other ‘faiths’ before it has done- Base a religion around a person's convienience. Do you think people wen't saying the same thing about Christianity around its inception? Heck, even Christianity stemmed off to Anglicanism, Catholicism, and Protestantism.

“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:52PM
ozoneocean at 8:52AM, May 21, 2007
(online)
posts: 25,067
joined: 1-2-2004
Ha! I'd think those might be interesting points if I hadn't effectively addressed and refuted them in my first post on this subject :P

(wow, I can debate stuff that isn't even posted yet! Either I'm a debate genius or I've been doing this so much that I already know what people are going to say. :))
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
SpANG at 11:35AM, May 21, 2007
(online)
posts: 3,105
joined: 1-1-2006
ozoneocean
Ha! I'd think those might be interesting points if I hadn't effectively addressed and refuted them in my first post on this subject :P

(wow, I can debate stuff that isn't even posted yet! Either I'm a debate genius or I've been doing this so much that I already know what people are going to say. :))

ozoneocean
But if you do want to play the game that history means nothing and the existence of the world before you birth doesn't matter and you want to imagine that all “religions” are equal and disconnected from any socio-cultural or political significance: then yes, Scientology despite its origins and weirdness would be basically like any other crazy system of beliefs that someone decided to subscribe to; they could all be called “cults” or whatever you want from that perspective, -Scientology, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, whatever. ;)
I was actually choosing not to debate it with you, since you weren't taking the argument seriously to begin with. When you choose words like “play the game” you are already setting another POV up as an absurd one (in your opinion).

It's a lot like a pundit saying that you hate the troops. No matter how you respond, you are addressing the fact that it was said that you “hate the troops” ;)
“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:52PM
ozoneocean at 12:24PM, May 21, 2007
(online)
posts: 25,067
joined: 1-2-2004
That's because I'm the debate genius, also the champion of the winky face (I need a medal with a pic of that on it). SO I win :P
But I'm pretty sure we HAVE had this thing about Scientology come up before… Yep, here.

BTW though, it's not so much that I wasn't being serious or setting the other position in a bad light, it was just another way of putting the original position (i.e. not all “religions” are equal) as well as confirming the superficial truth of the assertion that technically they are all equal.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Priest_Revan at 7:15PM, May 21, 2007
(offline)
posts: 2,339
joined: 12-31-2006
We let Star Wars freaks and Trekkies create their own religions, so I honestly think that scientology can be considered a religion.
Updates Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday's (depends).

7/0

Offering Project Wonderful Ad space on my website.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:48PM
snark at 3:37AM, May 22, 2007
(offline)
posts: 183
joined: 3-29-2007
Eh, most religions were considered cults at some point or another
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:49PM

Forgot Password
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved