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cult and religion

Discussion in 'Serious' started by dead_man, 5 Apr 2005.

  1. Monkeyboy

    Monkeyboy Minimodder

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    a religion is a cult with a veneer of legitimacy.
    cults tend to be smaller, seem less legitimate, and may have practices that seem "odd" to non-members.
    religions tend to be larger, seem more legitimate, and may have pracitices that seem "odd" to non-members.
    the term "cult" has quite a negative tone to it....
     
  2. kickarse

    kickarse What's a Dremel?

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    That's why I said that today's world has destroyed the real meaning to the world Cult. And yes Occult is associated with it. The occult are any with dealing of a spiritistic nature, pagan or associated in any way with Satan. As you said many religions started out as cult's (and still can be considered that way). We must remember that religions that still bear the customs and traditions of their long dead pagan conterparts, even though called religion, can still considered cultist.

    Just becuase something is tested and found to be true doesn't mean everyone is going to believe it to be true. Proof is only proof to those that accept it as proof, no matter how widely believed it is or how much tangible truth to it there is.

    The dictionary certainly coincides with what I suspected, a belief is "a mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something." Remember just becuase belief is a feeling doesn't mean it can't be logical or true. Science could be classified as the study of any subject (usually of a natural topic). The dictionary again brought some light to the matter, it says "observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of." I must be slow or fail to comprehend how science and belief are supposedly enemies.

    I think the problem is that belief conjures too much association with the fallible worldly religions. That science and the bible are to be seperate when in fact they conclude the same things.

    But I have a question, since when did philosophical (conclusions based on no tangible evidence) ideas come to explain scienctific beliefs, theory, and even come to dignify and support science?
     
  3. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Yes, but that suggests (if I understand you correctly) that what the movement believes in determines whether they are a cult or a religion. I would not say that is so.

    If the plane flies, it flies. To believe it does not while it zooms over your head would be delusional. But you are right that there will always be those who will not acknowledge reality.

    I never suggested they were. I was just saying that science is a different process. It is an ongoing process in which hypotheses are formed and then tested by exhaustively challenging them, whereas beliefs are formed and then maintained by looking for confirmation.

    I'm not following you here, I'm afraid. Could you rephrase?
     
  4. jc.com

    jc.com What's a Dremel?

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    Careful, you know what happened last time...... :D
     
  5. kickarse

    kickarse What's a Dremel?

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    Yeah I do... some kid, well acted that way, decided to get all pissy and asked his mod friend to close the discussion even though he was the one that started calling people names and such.

    Just stating what I think. And not here to start arguements.

    You just showed that scienctific theory and a religious belief system to be linked. In science it's a hypotheses (a conlusional idea based upon a subject matter) in "non-science' its beliefs (an conclusional idea based upon a subject). Both need to be ongoing in order not to be stagnant but also to prove it to yourself of the answer. If your wrong you change your idea's. But the point is that you study and study untill the conclusion is clear and concise. I think the problem is that as a majority humans that are religious don't continue or even try to do research and challenge their beliefs and make sure of the answers they already have. This is only where the difference comes into play is individually, but then again in science you can have someone who does the same thing.

    Oh, about the philosophical stuff, I just forgot that this discussion was basically an opinionated discussion based on experience. :)
     
  6. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    They are, but I'm pointing out that they go about testing their hypotheses in a fundamental (and rather important) different way.
     
  7. kickarse

    kickarse What's a Dremel?

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    Of course they'd be a bit different in the testing but simplistically they are the same.
     
  8. GMan

    GMan Minimodder

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    Regardless of how the rest of the world defines a cult or a religion, I've always looked at this way: A cult is a religion that has not gained acceptance or recognition by society in general. If it gains wider acceptance/recognition then it may become a religion. The members of a cult will usually see it as a religion from the beginning.

    Not all cults aim to grow in membership and instead will focus on the quality of the experience. Others may want to spread the word.
    It's really about belonging and feeling accepted. Some people will feel comforted by a spiritual environment and others simply by being with people with whom they have something in common. You may also be surprised at how easily a group of people can become a cult. Have you ever heard a person that is a really good public speaker? A motivational speaker, perhaps? When one of these types gets involved in spritual meetings and has ideas of their own to pass on, cult status may not be far away.

    That's my impression at least, having had some dealings (on the fringes) with a few cults through the years and contact with people of many different religions. I've personally never really felt a strong urge to belong and prefer to sit in the shadows, watch and see what happens. I even lurked here for almost a year before joining. Although the fact that I did join is indicative of the need to belong to something, even if it is a modding cul...errr...forum. :hehe:
     
  9. jc.com

    jc.com What's a Dremel?

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    I didn't really want to drag this in this direction, but I have to disagree with you here. I have seen little evidence of religions changing fundamentally as a result of testing their hypotheses against the facts. Science is continually modifying its position based on how the theory and facts compare.
     
  10. yodasarmpit

    yodasarmpit Modder

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    And thats the whole point, science changes as new evidence is introduced.
    Religion doesn't it tends to stick by what was written in some book a couple of thousand years ago, whether that be the bible, koran, other holy scriptures.

    Science is based on evidence, not blind faith...
     
  11. Astrum

    Astrum Dare to dream.

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    Doesn't religion also have a blind following? Religion is just faith in a belief.

    What about people who grow up in a religious family and that's the only reason why they believe in that religion? If they grew up with some other religion they would have believed in that religion instead. I think that constitutes not understanding why they're doing what they're doing.

    I don't think it's fair to define something to be a cult if it breaks the law or has a racist overtone to it. Don't forget that most of the laws of today are based on the moral and ethical foundation set forth by the major religions. Not to mention there were and still are many many religious sects that were/are racist.

    Not every religion has a "bible" but every religion has a different view on morals and ethics. You simply can't define what constitutes a cult and what constitutes a religion by what they believe to be morally and ethically correct compared to what is considered to be morally and ethically good by todays standards.

    I looked up the etymology of the word "cult" and here's what I got:

    Apparently up until about the mid 1900's the world "cult" didn't have any negative connotation. In fact the 1913 edition of Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary defined it as this:

    Of course today's definition has been substantially changed. Quite interesting stuff really.
     
  12. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    But it is in the testing where lies the essential difference! As jc.com points out, science challenges its own theories, which leads to it continuously modifying its position, whereas a belief system looks for confirmation of its beliefs to maintain its position.

    They are fundamentally different processes. In fact, the discipline of science was deliberately designed so that we do not simply end up finding what we expect to find (i.e. confirm our beliefs rather than challenge them).
     
  13. kickarse

    kickarse What's a Dremel?

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    Are you trying to say that most people in religion have an already concluded idea and that they don't test them but only find things that confirm what they believe, while scientists have an idea but have set no conclusions but continuously challenge their hypotheses and change their idea's to coincide with the results?

    I understand where you are coming from. Scientists will usually take both sides of a subject matter to come to a conclusion. While most Religionists will only take one side, of the most, that support their claims.

    I guess what's hard for me is that I don't do what most people do. Probably why it's hard for me to understand how someone can come to a conclusion about a belief without testing it first, by making light upon both sides (2 or many).

    The reason behind most religion not changing based on facts is the lack or absence of humility to change even though you feel you've been right for sooo long. But I find the same goes for many scientists as well.

    I think there is a three fold problem here. We have you (science buffs) saying that religion as a whole does not change and sticks to whats in the book despite evidence they've made is showing. While this basis is on most religions, but these religions contradict most of the bible. These don't test their hypotheses and challenge them to see if it's true and then respond back with "but the bible says..." Here in the other one, we have those that actually follow the bible and see the stupidity and irresponsibleness of the worlds religions in arrogantly disregarding bible standards. These test their beliefs and challenge them to make sure of what they know is true. They take both sides scientific and biblical to make reputes. Basically, it's a three way battle.

    What I was talking about is that as a whole that people seem to go just to go or don't really understand why they are going or aren't told or aren't shown or are told that it's a secret. I would consider that a cultist overtone. It seems to me that a lot of cult's do such things, breaks laws and are racially divided. Guess it just depends on how you want to look at it.

    But yeah like you said it's interesting. Religion and cult seem to have just about the same vein. Religion obviously doesn't want the fanatical and overly negative tone of cult in relation to them. I guess tt's finding the difference that is challenging.

    What do you think of the omish? Cult or religion or both?
     
  14. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Thing is, you're not the garden-variety religious person. You're not the ordinary Joe who has as superficial an understanding of religion as he has of science, really. But just as there are some religious people who do examine their faith critically (scientifically), so are there scientists who fall into the trap of looking for what confirms their a priori beliefs. There is a lot of ego invested in scientific theories --not to mention research grants, book deals, lecturer positions etc. --and some have built their entire career, income/pension fund and mortgage on one particular notion. You do not want to see that threatened by some upstart debunking your entire theory. Science, unfortunately, like religion started off with the best intentions, with enlightenment and the benefit of mankind in mind, but ends up in many cases with being just another system for power and control... So when I talk about "science" I talk about the discipline in its purest form, similar to you talking about true faith, not the puppet parade we sometimes accuse the church of being.

    I guess that brings us back to your earlier notion, that perhaps the difference between cults and religion is what they believe. But perhaps the difference is in how they believe. True faith questions, tries to understand; cults just follow blindly. In that respect, true science and true religion are not that far apart. :)
     
  15. kickarse

    kickarse What's a Dremel?

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    Exactly... :D
     
  16. jc.com

    jc.com What's a Dremel?

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    I think you may have just defined the majority of followers of organised religion as cult members....
     
  17. yodasarmpit

    yodasarmpit Modder

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    Bingo !!!! :D
     
  18. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Give that man a cigar! :D

    Any similarity drawn between cult members and most followers of organised religion is strictly intentional. ;)
     
  19. kickarse

    kickarse What's a Dremel?

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    This is called drawing a person out through deductive reasoning to make his own conclusions...

    heh...
     
  20. padrejones2001

    padrejones2001 Puppy Love

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    A cult is a religion, but there's a spaceship involved somwhere.
     

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