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Xianity is a cult.
Posted: 13 June 2007 05:16 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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Try as I might, I cannot find a reason to differentiate between those groups that we we call cults and any larger organised religion.  I find them to be identical in almost all features save one: numbers.  At what point does a cult become a recognised religion?  How many members does it need to have?  100? 500? 1,000?  I cannot distill anything from the beliefs of, say, the Catholic Church that, in my mind, make it qualitatively different from any so-called cult.  It's beliefs are just as banal, it's practices just as immoral and intellectually shabby.  I don't see any real basis for having a category like "cult" at all.  All religions are cults, some are just bigger than others.


Dan Rowden

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Posted: 13 June 2007 05:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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[quote author=“Dan Rowden”]Try as I might, I cannot find a reason to differentiate between those groups that we we call cults and any larger organised religion.  I find them to be identical in almost all features save one: numbers.  At what point does a cult become a recognised religion?  How many members does it need to have?  100? 500? 1,000?  I cannot distill anything from the beliefs of, say, the Catholic Church that, in my mind, make it qualitatively different from any so-called cult.  It’s beliefs are just as banal, it’s practices just as immoral and intellectually shabby.  I don’t see any real basis for having a category like “cult” at all.  All religions are cults, some are just bigger than others.


Dan Rowden

So you are saying all religions are cults because you are not able to distinguish between religions? Can you distinguish between different vegetables because if you cannot we should just change the names to keep it simple for you. We don’t want you getting confused. I’d stop trying to make distinctions if I were you, you might hurt yourself.

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Posted: 13 June 2007 06:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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[quote author=“frankr”][quote author=“Dan Rowden”]Try as I might, I cannot find a reason to differentiate between those groups that we we call cults and any larger organised religion.  I find them to be identical in almost all features save one: numbers.  At what point does a cult become a recognised religion?  How many members does it need to have?  100? 500? 1,000?  I cannot distill anything from the beliefs of, say, the Catholic Church that, in my mind, make it qualitatively different from any so-called cult.  It’s beliefs are just as banal, it’s practices just as immoral and intellectually shabby.  I don’t see any real basis for having a category like “cult” at all.  All religions are cults, some are just bigger than others.


Dan Rowden

So you are saying all religions are cults because you are not able to distinguish between religions?

What I think he’s saying is that the differences aren’t great enough to distinguish a religion from a cult, not that he’s unable to distinguish between religions.

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Posted: 13 June 2007 07:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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[quote author=“frankr”]So you are saying all religions are cults because you are not able to distinguish between religions? Can you distinguish between different vegetables because if you cannot we should just change the names to keep it simple for you. We don’t want you getting confused. I’d stop trying to make distinctions if I were you, you might hurt yourself.

Can you give me an example if a religion that isn’t cult-like?  If you can I will amend my statement to “most religions”.

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Posted: 14 June 2007 07:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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What is a cult?  Is it an organization dedicated to the cultivation of certain beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, etc., or is there more too it?  Is there also a requirement of unquestioning belief, follow the leader, exclude outsiders, and so on?  Or, is it even possible to separate these two aspects of things?

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Posted: 24 June 2007 10:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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I would agree with burt on this.
Cultishness has some aspects that are not present in today’s mainstream religion (he’s mentioned those).

That Christianity BEGAN as a cult, is of course evident.
Just read Paul, Justin and Tertullian to see the cultish mindset at work.

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Posted: 13 July 2007 06:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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[quote author=“frankr”][quote author=“Dan Rowden”]All religions are cults, some are just bigger than others.


Dan Rowden

Religion=Cult by definition all religions are cults but no all cults are religions.  The limiting factor is the complexity of the organization and the number of followers. The less organized and the smaller number of followers the most likely will be called cult rather than religions

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Posted: 01 August 2007 11:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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[quote author=“mammooth”]The limiting factor is the complexity of the organization and the number of followers. The less organized and the smaller number of followers the most likely will be called cult rather than religions

Exactly. The reason Christianity isn’t labeled a “cult” is because it has a vast amount of followers. So they feel since so many people believe in it, it makes it true, this many people cannot be duped. Being a member of a cult is bad recognition, as in the US, Christianity is the main religion, almost every person you meet is a christian, they will never conform to label themselves as “cult-ists”. Almost everywhere you turn is a follower of Christianity, like I said before there is safety in numbers. If only a handful of people adhered to Christianity, then you can call them cult members, and the government would officially recognize Christianity as a cult.

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Posted: 21 August 2007 02:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Jon Krakauer makes a similar, excellent argument in Under the Banner of Heaven that the kooky/cultish features of LDS can indeed be ascribed to all religions—LDS simply has soooo much recent documentation to demonstrate its inanity that is an easy target, if you will.  If we had the same documentation on the origin of Judaism, Christianity and Islam we could demonstrate the inanity of those beliefs as easily.

[quote author=“burt”]What is a cult?  <snip> ...Is there also a requirement of unquestioning belief, follow the leader, exclude outsiders, and so on?

I would argue that those are hallmarks of cults.  I would also add: cults do not “allow” their members get information from outside the “group” (i.e., approved channels).  You can see this behavior outside of religion: Amway/Quixtar/ other MLM groups tend to bend this way, political groups do, etc. 

It’s pretty fascinating actually to examine cult behavior….from a distance.

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Posted: 21 August 2007 03:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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I certainly agree that cults and larger organized religions have the same traits. However, I suspect that the large religions may not have those traits to the same degree. Over time, the traits may have been ameliorated by other influences. Plus, the size and complexity of the organization present challenges for maintaining the leader-worship and the information control. But those challenges can certainly be overcome in the short term, as Maoism and Stalinism and Nazism demonstrated.

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Posted: 09 December 2007 09:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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A voluntaristic association between individuals all holding the same irrational beliefs does not constitute a cult.

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Posted: 09 January 2008 06:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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...a requirement of unquestioning belief, follow the leader, exclude outsiders, and so on?

Well, as Christianity “follows the leader” - Christ - or sometimes a charismatic preacher - asks for unquestioning belief (faith), excludes outsiders (intolerance of other beliefs), disallows its members from obtaining outside information (Christian society in America is so pervasive, and most Christians are urged at church to read Chrsitian literature - especially the right wing variety)...

Gee, sounds like a cult to me!

As a matter of fact, I’d say that Islam is worse times two!

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Posted: 09 January 2008 01:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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[quote author=“frankr” date=“1181796753]

So you are saying all religions are cults because you are not able to distinguish between religions? Can you distinguish between different vegetables because if you cannot we should just change the names to keep it simple for you. We don’t want you getting confused. I’d stop trying to make distinctions if I were you, you might hurt yourself.

Hey Dan,

If one of these enlightened beings such as Frank, who are just brimming with Christ’s love and compassion, comes at you with claws drawn in a sarcastic post such as this one you can be sure that you have hit a nerve.
The truth is painful to them.

Of course Xianity is exactly like a cult and at some level Frank knows this. He is not as stupid as most of his posts would suggest.
Many fine and well-meaning people just prefer to live out their lives with their heads firmly lodged up their ass.

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Posted: 09 January 2008 11:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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The difference between religions and cults is this:

A cult is created by a person to gain followers.
A religion is established by followers of a person after that person has died.

[ Edited: 09 January 2008 11:16 PM by Yahsene]
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Posted: 10 January 2008 08:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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Dan Rowden - 13 June 2007 09:16 PM

Try as I might, I cannot find a reason to differentiate between those groups that we we call cults and any larger organised religion.  I find them to be identical in almost all features save one: numbers.  At what point does a cult become a recognised religion?  How many members does it need to have?  100? 500? 1,000?  I cannot distill anything from the beliefs of, say, the Catholic Church that, in my mind, make it qualitatively different from any so-called cult.  It's beliefs are just as banal, it's practices just as immoral and intellectually shabby.  I don't see any real basis for having a category like "cult" at all.  All religions are cults, some are just bigger than others.


Dan Rowden

What do you know, you’re just a ‘junior’ member. No clout. You’re still wet behind the ears (i.e., you’re about about 2000 messages behind). How can I believe anything you say. You only got 42 messages to your credit.

Ugh, what was the post about?

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Posted: 13 January 2008 03:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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The Champion

What do you know; you’re just a ‘junior’ member. No clout. You’re still wet behind the ears (i.e., you’re about 2000 messages behind). How can I believe anything you say? You only got 42 messages to your credit.

Ugh, what was the post about?

The Champion only the Champion will post so as stupid statement. The more you post the more believable are the postings. You are right

Ugh, what was the post about?


You most likely don’t even read the posted opinion; you just post your limited opinion repeating yourself 2000 times.

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