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Old 12-31-2016, 01:21 AM   #151
Dr. Meh
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Re: Scientology

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Originally Posted by Inzaghi View Post
The KKK don't meet your 8 distinguishing points (below) brah. So they can't be a cult.



The KKK's particular leap of faith is that the White race is superior. This is not a political stance. It's a belief without evidence.

So now, dear pastor, you need to suck it up and embrace the KKK into your definition of religion.
Your posts are desperate and nonsensical. Why do you insist the KKK is either a religion or a cult? It's neither. It's a hate group. They have nothing to do with Christianity or Scientology. Everyone is trying to figure out why you brought up the KKK in the first place. The only possible reason is to make religion seem like a hate group. But bringing up the KKK is so far out of left field, it just doesn't make sense.
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Old 12-31-2016, 02:40 AM   #152
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Re: Scientology

Here is a photo of a Muslim slaughtering a sheep as part of an Islamic ritual known as Dhabihah.



Are you prepared to classify Islam as a hate group due to their lack of respect for sheep? Are you prepared to classify all meat-eaters in the same way?

In a similar vein, I can pull up a photo from the 20s of KKK members hanging a black guy.

Do you notice the absurdity of categorising the KKK as a hate group? You could easily classify Islam in the same way due to it's treatment of sheep. A mere difference in species- from sheep to hom0-sapiens bears no weight on your classification.
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Old 12-31-2016, 05:56 AM   #153
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Re: Scientology

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see post 128

KKK is not a religion nor is it part of a religion. According to wiki, KKK advocated white supremacy, white nationalism, anti-immigration. Nothing to do with religion. No Christian church has declared the KKK a subset of it. "Virtually every Christian denomination has officially denounced the KKK. (wiki)" Just because a high proportion of some group tend to claim to religious doesn't make that group a religion. If not then you must consider that a group like the Republican party is a religion and other similar goofball ideas. gl
I'm not even following you at this point. A group or movement can certainly be religiously motivated without being "a religion". IS, for example, is not "a religion", but you'd have to be completely daft to claim it has nothing to do with religion. That you, me or anyone else might think it has perverted a religious ideal or interpreted in some absurd manner is irrelevant, the term "religion" is not limited to specific theological interpretations of holy works, just like "politics" isn't limited to be referring to specific political ideals.

Not that you are correct about your claims either. The 2nd KKK (and I have always been talking specifically about the 2nd KKK in this context) was (or at least claimed to be) a religious movement.

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Old 12-31-2016, 08:37 AM   #154
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Re: Scientology

I see we are no loner talking about Scientology but have moved to KKK and Islam. Might I suggest we stick to the topic?!?!
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Old 12-31-2016, 09:37 AM   #155
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Re: Scientology

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I see we are no loner talking about Scientology but have moved to KKK and Islam. Might I suggest we stick to the topic?!?!
First of all, if you had followed the conversion you would have understood that these debates followed from central points regarding the topic at hand.

Secondly, what more is there to debate on the main issue?

1. Scientology obviously qualifies to be a religion per any typical academic definition of religion, which usually entails an organized cultural system of beliefs and practices regarding supernatural phenomena or salvation / transcendence. Scientology has all of these.
2. Its claims are outlandish, but not more so than what can be found in mainstream religions. Their weirdness stems more from us being unaccustomed to them rather than being somehow more unreasonable than many common religious claims.
3. Its practices of peer pressure, blackmail, donations and isolation are often unethical, but hardly unique. You can find similar practices in many other religious sects (and non-religious movements for that matter).
4. Someone threw the cult term around, but cult is an imprecise term for which there is little in the form of widely acknowledged definitions. It has also become so negatively loaded that its usage is rarely useful.

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Old 12-31-2016, 06:44 PM   #156
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Re: Scientology

There is no "debate". Scientology's claim to be a legitimate religion is clearly false. Scientology regularly uses horrid techniques that no mainstream religion does. Any person who has studied recent Scientology revelations by HBO and Leah Remini would know this. Cults actually do exist despite some people's incredible idea that there is no such thing. Scientology is one of those cults. Even back in 1991 see TIME magazine's article on Scientology: The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power. "Ruined lives. Lost fortunes. Federal crimes. Scientology poses as a religion but really is a ruthless global scam -- and aiming for the mainstream"

It is possible that member of the Scientology cult is posting on this board in order to defend them as a legitimate religion. Don't be duped.
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Old 12-31-2016, 08:03 PM   #157
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Re: Scientology

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Originally Posted by Pokerlogist View Post
There is no "debate". Scientology's claim to be a legitimate religion is clearly false. Scientology regularly uses horrid techniques that no mainstream religion does. Any person who has studied recent Scientology revelations by HBO and Leah Remini would know this. Cults actually do exist despite some people's incredible idea that there is no such thing. Scientology is one of those cults. Even back in 1991 see TIME magazine's article on Scientology: The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power. "Ruined lives. Lost fortunes. Federal crimes. Scientology poses as a religion but really is a ruthless global scam -- and aiming for the mainstream"

It is possible that member of the Scientology cult is posting on this board in order to defend them as a legitimate religion. Don't be duped.

I have no idea what the term "legitimate" is supposed to mean, except perhaps serve as a cheap rhetoric device to avoid debate. The term religion denotes some typical traits, which Scientology possesses. "Nice", "fair", "honest" or "ethical" are not necessary traits for the term "religion" to fit. Aztec religion was most certainly a religion, but adopted practices so horrendous it makes Scientology pale in comparison.

"Cults exists" have nothing to do with the term being ill-defined, the term being ill-defined would mean disagreement on what constitutes those cults. You seem to have found a definition that fits your purpose, good for you. Stop acting like it is some kind of rhetorical trump-card that excuses bad arguments.

Your conspiracy accusations are completely laughable since not a single person in this thread has actually defended Scientology.

Perhaps you should try reading the debates you pretend to engage in.
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Old 01-01-2017, 04:59 AM   #158
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Re: Scientology

^Hear hear. And reverand Pokerologist, you can't just throw some arbitarily defined terms into the mix and expect us to know what you mean.
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:14 PM   #159
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Re: Scientology

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I have no idea what the term "legitimate" is supposed to mean, .....
Agreed.

Scientology is a dangerous cancer on society. They torture and beat people, scam them out of money, and break up family bonds. They are a cult of evil. They have an active presence on the Web and people should be dissuaded from joining them.

Have you seen the HBO special Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief which is critical of Scientology? Have you seen the acclaimed and current AETV Leah Remini series critical of Scientology? Have you read much about the senior Miscavige who recently published a damning tell-all memoir, Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me, about his sociopathic seed and the false religion of which he is the “ecclesiastical leader? I assume no to all of these.

You have made several posts in this thread but for some reason you have never criticized Scientology in any of them.

In fact you posted that "I'm sure Scientology has plenty of evidence..." [to support it].

Then you say you can't say that Scientology is a exploitative cult since the term is just too "ill-defined" for you. Interestingly, the idea to that the word "cult" is a "meaningless" word is a tactic straight out of the Scientology website propoganda FAQ. For those who make the effort, a simple web search will give anybody the specific indicators of a cult.

For some reason, the word "legitimate" is too tough for you. Maybe its because Scientology is illegitimate? Isn't this something a defender of Scientology would say to avoid the subject?

Finally, in your posts don't you imply that Scientology is just like any mainstream religion? Isn't that something someone who is recruiting people to join them would say?

These are several indicators here of your support of the Scientology cult. You are either a cult member or a sympathizer of that scumbag cult. Will you finally explicitly denounce this heinous cult here? Will you definitively state that you have no affiliation with them?
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:04 AM   #160
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Re: Scientology

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Agreed.

Scientology is a dangerous cancer on society. They torture and beat people, scam them out of money, and break up family bonds. They are a cult of evil. They have an active presence on the Web and people should be dissuaded from joining them.

Have you seen the HBO special Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief which is critical of Scientology? Have you seen the acclaimed and current AETV Leah Remini series critical of Scientology? Have you read much about the senior Miscavige who recently published a damning tell-all memoir, Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me, about his sociopathic seed and the false religion of which he is the “ecclesiastical leader? I assume no to all of these.

You have made several posts in this thread but for some reason you have never criticized Scientology in any of them.

In fact you posted that "I'm sure Scientology has plenty of evidence..." [to support it].

Then you say you can't say that Scientology is a exploitative cult since the term is just too "ill-defined" for you. Interestingly, the idea to that the word "cult" is a "meaningless" word is a tactic straight out of the Scientology website propoganda FAQ. For those who make the effort, a simple web search will give anybody the specific indicators of a cult.

For some reason, the word "legitimate" is too tough for you. Maybe its because Scientology is illegitimate? Isn't this something a defender of Scientology would say to avoid the subject?

Finally, in your posts don't you imply that Scientology is just like any mainstream religion? Isn't that something someone who is recruiting people to join them would say?

These are several indicators here of your support of the Scientology cult. You are either a cult member or a sympathizer of that scumbag cult. Will you finally explicitly denounce this heinous cult here? Will you definitively state that you have no affiliation with them?
The term "religion" confers no legitimacy on its own. Aztec religion embraced slavery, segregation, human sacrifice and despotism. Nor is it a term that confers condemnation, there are religions that espouse charity, caring for your fellow man, humility and personal sacrifice. Religion is is a neutral term that describes a certain cultural phenomena of rituals, worship and communal belief in something transcendent. They can be good and they can be bad.

And drop the McCarthy-ism and start reading the debates you engage in. This isn't your blog.
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:00 AM   #161
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Re: Scientology

A debate on the topic: is a cult really just a religion?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Spe9...s#t=786.392553
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:31 AM   #162
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Re: Scientology

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Originally Posted by Inzaghi View Post
A debate on the topic: is a cult really just a religion?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Spe9...s#t=786.392553
Like I said earlier, I personally see no dichotomy between the terms. Some movements are both, some only fall under one category and some the other. You might also define "cult" so loosely that it becomes synonymous with religion, which many dictionaries actually do. Like in this example: http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/cult

The only problem is that "cult" is a contested term, while "religion" is not - so it isn't necessarily a very useful discussion. To use an analogy it's a bit like debating what is Palestine and what is Israel... sure, you can have a fruitful intellectual conversation, but you might also just end up quarreling about borders, history and throwing encyclopedias at each-other.

You might also end up where Pokerlogist is at, branding "cult" as something bad and "religion" as something "good", and then trying claim that someone who does not agree with his definition of cult as sympathizers. Which of course is rather absurd, Scientology's unethical practices exist completely independently of whatever taxonomy we use.
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Old 01-02-2017, 04:59 AM   #163
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Re: Scientology

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I know a lot of atheists take the position of "nothing was written down until decades after the event" but by the time much of this was written down, Christianity had already spread quite a bit. You can think of it a bit like people who write memoirs. Do you reject those simply because they were written much later after the events?
Decades after the events described and without named witnesses or sources named.

I don't automatically reject memoirs, but I do not assume they contain unvarnished truth. Do you? Furthermore, if a memoir has the dead rising from their graves and walking in the streets of a nearby city within my lifetime or the lifetime of my parents, I assume it is totally untrustworthy because it clearly contains fantasy. Not because I decided long ago that those things can never happen and therefore I refuse to consider them, but because everything about the world I have ever experienced builds a worldview in which it does not seem that those things happen. Including contradictory religious accounts, each with their own miracles, their own unaccountably quick spread, their own adherents with personally meaningful experiences, etc.

In what other realm except Christianity as you believe/interpret it, do you accept ancient accounts of miracles? Don't get me wrong, I don't expect you to seriously grapple with any other pre-Christian (or post-Christian) religion's miracles; I'm sure they seem as lame and unbelievable to you as the Christian dogma seems to non-Christians. But when it comes to your personal religion, you see some kind of failure on the part of atheists to properly grapple with the reports of miracles.


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The most reasonable base hypothesis is that Christians actually believed what they said they believed. Of course, this doesn't mean that they necessarily witnessed the resurrection, but in the absence of that one must come up with a reasonable historical hypothesis to explain all that followed in the absence of the resurrection.
The most reasonable hypothesis is that some people believed what they said they believed, and others did not. Just like today. Just like alternative medicines that do not work, but have many people who will swear it does. Just like urban legends get repeated with the introduction "someone I know" instead of "someone I know said that someone they know." Just like an innocent person can be tried and convicted in an erstwhile just legal system an convicted by a jury of 12 of their peers. All of these things happen, we all know they do, so why should anyone seriously consider a miraculous story from 1900 years ago as probably true and mostly accurate, when all of these alternatives exist?

Christianity spread quickly and there must be some basis for it? Relatively speaking, it spread about as quickly as Mormonism. Does it demand explanation? Does the fact that it had adherents very early on imply that they were right and true in what they believed? The American West was not ancient Israel, so we find the best comparisons we can, and this one goes only to show that religions can start and spread quickly; that in and of itself requires an answer, and answers besides "its all true as written" are plausible, even if we don't know for sure what the reasons actually were.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:08 PM   #164
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Re: Scientology

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Decades after the events described and without named witnesses or sources named.
Except that there are named witnesses throughout the gospel accounts. You need to at least have your facts straight first if we're going to have this conversation.

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I don't automatically reject memoirs, but I do not assume they contain unvarnished truth. Do you?
Nope. But the standard you're erecting is quite different from the idea that people made this up completely.

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Furthermore, if a memoir has the dead rising from their graves and walking in the streets of a nearby city within my lifetime or the lifetime of my parents, I assume it is totally untrustworthy because it clearly contains fantasy.
Translation: It's untrustworthy because you don't believe it. That's totally how you convince someone that your position is solid.

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Not because I decided long ago that those things can never happen and therefore I refuse to consider them, but because everything about the world I have ever experienced builds a worldview in which it does not seem that those things happen.
Nobody said that this are *your* memories or *your* experiences. If they were, you wouldn't be the one who needs convincing. But you're right that those events didn't happen to you and hence are outside of your worldview.

So of course it's true that these things are outside of your worldview. But then how is it that you would ever come to believe something that's outside of your worldview? See my conversation with Dynamite. I have an example of something where he admits that there could be events in which the writers were trying to convince him personally of something that literally happened, but he would refuse to accept it. This is the type of intellectual obstacle that arises.

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Including contradictory religious accounts, each with their own miracles, their own unaccountably quick spread, their own adherents with personally meaningful experiences, etc.
Yes, these are exactly the things that require historical explanation. If people were just making up a whole bunch of stories, how do they spread as quickly as they did in the cultural context in which they did? There's no reasonable comparison to other things happening like that in a similar type of historical setting.

At this point, I'll also point out that your defenses are mostly just rambling. You're not really on point with your statements and argumentation. This is the sort of reaction that is common when you're not as grounded as you think you are, but you're trying to assert things forcefully.

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In what other realm except Christianity as you believe/interpret it, do you accept ancient accounts of miracles? Don't get me wrong, I don't expect you to seriously grapple with any other pre-Christian (or post-Christian) religion's miracles; I'm sure they seem as lame and unbelievable to you as the Christian dogma seems to non-Christians.
First, what do you define a miracle to be? There's a whole lot of assumptions rolled into your usage of this term as well. But basically, I don't reject them out of hand and I consider the context of the miracle to be more revealing than the claim of the miracle itself.

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But when it comes to your personal religion, you see some kind of failure on the part of atheists to properly grapple with the reports of miracles.
Yes. I see exactly the things you put forth here, which is precisely a failure to intellectually grapple with ideas.

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The most reasonable hypothesis is that some people believed what they said they believed, and others did not. Just like today. Just like alternative medicines that do not work, but have many people who will swear it does. Just like urban legends get repeated with the introduction "someone I know" instead of "someone I know said that someone they know."
What you describe here is nothing like the gospel account. Your analysis sucks because it's not grounded in the facts of the discussion. It's almost as if you're literally making up stuff off the top of your head.

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Just like an innocent person can be tried and convicted in an erstwhile just legal system an convicted by a jury of 12 of their peers.
This is a terrible analogy for a historical analysis. If you can't see why, I can't help you.

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All of these things happen, we all know they do, so why should anyone seriously consider a miraculous story from 1900 years ago as probably true and mostly accurate, when all of these alternatives exist?
Because you haven't actually explained the situation in a meaningful way.

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Christianity spread quickly and there must be some basis for it? Relatively speaking, it spread about as quickly as Mormonism. Does it demand explanation? Does the fact that it had adherents very early on imply that they were right and true in what they believed? The American West was not ancient Israel, so we find the best comparisons we can, and this one goes only to show that religions can start and spread quickly; that in and of itself requires an answer, and answers besides "its all true as written" are plausible, even if we don't know for sure what the reasons actually were.
So by making a terrible comparison in which there's not a good analogy, you think you've made some sort of point? This is just poor reasoning and an excellent example of failing to grapple with ideas.

I do not reject that religions can start and spread. That's a gross misrepresentation of my claim. But let's do a comparison of how unlike the other two religions are:

1) Mormonism spread by isolating itself, Christianity spread within the existing population -- One of the major reasons for the success of Mormonism as a religion is that they were able to move westward and put themselves into isolation. Once in isolation, they lose interaction with other religions, religious ideas, cultures, and so forth, and the lack of a competition of ideas creates an environment in which ideas can be expanded unchecked. Christianity spread into places where there was a strong competition of ideas. If you look at the accounts of Paul's missionary journeys, he's not running off to completely isolated areas and making little communes, but he's going right into the heart of population centers in which there's plenty of exposure to contrary ideas and beliefs.

2) The branching of religious thought -- Mormonism is an offshoot of Christianity and Christianity is an offshoot of Judaism. However, the level to which Christianity broke from Judaism is completely different from that of Mormonism. Mormonism is Christianity with more ideas thrown on top of it. This makes it easier to get people to adopt it because of the level of shared belief to begin with. However, Christianity takes a hard turn from Judaism by reconceptualizing many of the religious symbols and redefining the value systems. It also moved into a strongly pluralistic culture and remained in sharp contrast to those other ideas despite its geographic proximity to them (see 1).

3) The use of force -- Early Mormon history falls in line with a lot of early American pioneers in that there was a lot of use of force. While Mormons themselves will claim victimhood, I think a more fair reading of history is that it was a two-sided conflict. Mormon voting blocs tended to overrun local communities, which led to tension and conflict, which led to violence. But these types of encounters are absent from early Christianity. Christianity was non-coercive in the sense of there was no threat of violence (implicit or explicit) on those who didn't want to join. Indeed, the true threat of violence was if you became Christian.

So yes. They're not the same and your attempt at comparison doesn't address any of the historical challenges that were actually raised about the spread of early Christianity.
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Old 01-02-2017, 05:52 PM   #165
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Re: Scientology

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Originally Posted by Aaron W. View Post
I know a lot of atheists take the position of "nothing was written down until decades after the event" but by the time much of this was written down, Christianity had already spread quite a bit. You can think of it a bit like people who write memoirs. Do you reject those simply because they were written much later after the events?
Should I write several paragraphs about how the gospels are NOT similar to memoirs? Or should I accept your comparison, imperfect as it is, for the point you were making? (In other words, should I treat you as you treat others, or should I engage the conversation with intellectual honesty?)

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Originally Posted by turd dust View Post
I don't automatically reject memoirs, but I do not assume they contain unvarnished truth. Do you? Furthermore, if a memoir has the dead rising from their graves and walking in the streets of a nearby city within my lifetime or the lifetime of my parents, I assume it is totally untrustworthy because it clearly contains fantasy. Not because I decided long ago that those things can never happen and therefore I refuse to consider them, but because everything about the world I have ever experienced builds a worldview in which it does not seem that those things happen. Including contradictory religious accounts, each with their own miracles, their own unaccountably quick spread, their own adherents with personally meaningful experiences, etc.
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Translation: It's untrustworthy because you don't believe it. That's totally how you convince someone that your position is solid.
You are not arguing honestly. You can't expect anyone to believe that you read memoirs and assume everything written in them is true, or that you research each event before coming to a conclusion. You do what everyone else does, which is informally assess a story/claim based on how fantastical it is, how much accepting its truth would overturn other things you thought to be true, and weight those kinds of things with how well attested it is.

The fact that you would be sarcastic and dismissive when I point out that a memoir that talks about the dead rising is fantasy, is your own admission that you will not grapple with the issues.
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Old 01-02-2017, 05:59 PM   #166
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Re: Scientology

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So by making a terrible comparison in which there's not a good analogy, you think you've made some sort of point? This is just poor reasoning and an excellent example of failing to grapple with ideas.
Yes. There is ample evidence that religions can start and spread quickly. That is the point.

Quote:
I do not reject that religions can start and spread. That's a gross misrepresentation of my claim. But let's do a comparison of how unlike the other two religions are:
Ok. What about Cargo cults? Also not identical, but similar in some ways. What about Islam?

Most religions will have variations in how they formed and spread, but that does not mean we cannot consider any of them as a general background on how religions form and spread.

Quote:
So yes. They're not the same and your attempt at comparison doesn't address any of the historical challenges that were actually raised about the spread of early Christianity.
They aren't the same, but that is not evidence that Christianity is true or historical. It just makes it easy to dismiss uncomfortable evidence when it suites you.
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Old 01-02-2017, 06:00 PM   #167
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Re: Scientology

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Should I write several paragraphs about how the gospels are NOT similar to memoirs?
Please do. I'm looking forward to reading it.

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Or should I accept your comparison, imperfect as it is, for the point you were making? (In other words, should I treat you as you treat others, or should I engage the conversation with intellectual honesty?)
You can choose to accept or reject it. But I'd expect you to have reasons to do one or the other. Intellectual honesty is about being truthful with the statements you're working with. My claim is that your comparisons do not do that.

Would you care to elaborate on your comparison between history and jury trials as well? Because I believe that that is an incredibly intellectual dishonest comparison, by a pretty significant margin.

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You are not arguing honestly. You can't expect anyone to believe that you read memoirs and assume everything written in them is true, or that you research each event before coming to a conclusion.
Please show me where I assumed that.

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You do what everyone else does, which is informally assess a story/claim based on how fantastical it is, how much accepting its truth would overturn other things you thought to be true, and weight those kinds of things with how well attested it is.
Please show me where I didn't do that.

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The fact that you would be sarcastic and dismissive when I point out that a memoir that talks about the dead rising is fantasy, is your own admission that you will not grapple with the issues.
The fact is that you're now accusing me of doing things I haven't done. And I await you quoting me to show me where I've done these things.

Calling it a "fantasy" is merely a biased expression of disbelief. I'm fine with your disbelief. I never tried to convince you of the truth of it. You can choose to believe or not believe whatever you want.

But my challenge still stands that the historicity of Christianity does require a historical explanation. Saying "religions happen" is about as intellectual empty as you can get from your side. Do you offer anything better than failed analogies in your historical analysis?
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:09 PM   #168
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Re: Scientology

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These are several indicators here of your support of the Scientology cult. You are either a cult member or a sympathizer of that scumbag cult. Will you finally explicitly denounce this heinous cult here? Will you definitively state that you have no affiliation with them?
By your criteria I must also be either a Scientologist or a sympathizer since I agree with pretty much everything tame_deuces has said IIT.
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:21 PM   #169
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Re: Scientology

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Originally Posted by Aaron W. View Post
Right. In my view, there are many atheists who hold their views not exactly on the basis of "lack of evidence." I will admit that there's certainly no sense in which there is incontrovertible evidence in favor of God and can accept that some people might reasonably conclude the non-existence of God.

However, the debates about "evidence" itself tend not to be so interesting as actual discussion of evidence. There's a higher level of conversation in which I think that the atheist is likely viewing "evidence" in a manner that precludes acts of God, perhaps not to the level of automatic exclusion of the conclusion, but really, really, really close to it.

And it comes down to a hypothetical that I've set up many times. Suppose for a moment there's a ball on a table and God caused the ball to levitate, and that this levitation was confirmed by any amount of empirical measurements you wanted.

There's no sense in which it would be possible from that observation to conclude God's existence. There are a number of issues that such evidence would face:
* It's non-repeatable. If this were a strictly natural mechanism, it would be theoretically possible to make it happen on command by recreating the relevant conditions. But God isn't subject to this, and any normal conception of God would prevent us from being able to force him to do it.
* It can always be hypothesized that there was a natural mechanism for it. Even if we can't explain it scientifically, that doesn't prevent us from positing that there is a yet to be discovered natural mechanism for it.
* Or aliens. Because Tsoukalos said so.

It's just hard to conclude God's existence by direct empirical observations. I don't think this makes empirical observations a bad thing, but it is a limitation of the intellectual form.
The bolded conclusion doesn't follow from your example. It might be hard to conclude God's existence from your ball example, but that is only one possible bit of evidence, there are lots of other potential ways that God could make himself directly observable. For instance, God could become incarnate as a human, but with miraculous powers. God could have inscribed John 3:16 in DNA. God could appear in the sky and tell everyone he is real, etc. You are using your standard argument against scientism for a related but different conclusion, that science can't (or can't easily) posit supernatural explanations.
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:49 PM   #170
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Re: Scientology

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By your criteria I must also be either a Scientologist or a sympathizer since I agree with pretty much everything tame_deuces has said IIT.
He is ill informed about Scientology and has posted little of any substance except that he doesn't know what "legitimate" and "cult" means. That is intellectual apathy and cowardice. So agreement with his posts isn't saying much.

When a malevolent organization is discussed on a web forum like twoplustwo, I think it needs to be denounced or it will only gain credibility. Scientology would be thrilled with the muddles in this thread. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke
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Old 01-02-2017, 08:49 PM   #171
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Re: Scientology

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Originally Posted by Pokerlogist View Post
He is ill informed about Scientology and has posted little of any substance except that he doesn't know what "legitimate" and "cult" means. That is intellectual apathy and cowardice. So agreement with his posts isn't saying much.

When a malevolent organization is discussed on a web forum like twoplustwo, I think it needs to be denounced or it will only gain credibility. Scientology would be thrilled with the muddles in this thread. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke
Legitimate was a moniker you used for religion, and you have still to clarify what it means and why it is important. Cult being ill-defined and contested has nothing to do with moral judgments regarding Scientology.

And for the record, slapping a term that be interpreted loosely onto Scientology is not something that will make it harder for them to defend themselves. It will make it easier, as you yourself has shown by example. This is not unique, it is the exact same thing that happens when you use such branding in politics. It allows the discussion to be moved to semantics, instead of focusing on actions and expressed statements.

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Old 01-02-2017, 08:50 PM   #172
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Re: Scientology

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Originally Posted by Pokerlogist View Post
He is ill informed about Scientology and has posted little of any substance except that he doesn't know what "legitimate" and "cult" means. That is intellectual apathy and cowardice. So agreement with his posts isn't saying much.
Tame_deuces said that there is no consensus definition of "cult." He also said that cults can be religious or non-religious. Here's wiki:

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The term cult usually refers to a social group defined by their religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or common interest in a particular personality, object or goal. The term itself is controversial and has divergent definitions in popular culture and in academia and has been an ongoing source of contention among scholars across several fields of study.
Looks like wiki agrees with us as well.

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When a malevolent organization is discussed on a web forum like twoplustwo, I think it needs to be denounced or it will only gain credibility. Scientology would be thrilled with the muddles in this thread. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke
Fine, I have no problem if you want to condemn Scientology. It certainly has many immoral aspects to it. But I have a different attitude towards discussion than you do. My primary goal in posting here is intellectual - I want to clarify my own ideas and teach and learn from others. Starting out from a strongly judgmental attitude towards other people's religious/cultish/whatever beliefs, even if I think they are sharply immoral, is usually counterproductive to this goal as it makes people defensive and unwilling to be open about their beliefs.

Perhaps you regard that as cowardice. But my guess is that my approach is more successful in getting Scientologists to re-examine their own views than the one you seem to be suggesting here. Telling Scientologists that their religion is a cult is fine, but they've already heard that many times and have standard responses available to them (as you say - this is addressed on their website). The conversation doesn't really get going until you get past these standard, typically automatic responses.
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Old 01-03-2017, 03:49 AM   #173
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Re: Scientology

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For instance, God could become incarnate as a human, but with miraculous powers.
I would say that it would still be hard to believe this. If we accept the Biblical accounts, there are people who witnessed and didn't believe.

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God could have inscribed John 3:16 in DNA.
Given any set of random characters, with enough work one can create a cipher in which the characters say something akin to what we want them to say (given that there's flexibility in defining the language and so forth as well).

Quote:
God could appear in the sky and tell everyone he is real, etc.
It's probably already written in the stars, and it's just that either nobody has connected quite the right ones or that when someone does manage that, their claim will still be rejected.

But I accept your point that what I have demonstrated isn't sufficiently robust to account for all possibilities of all events that can happen.

Quote:
You are using your standard argument against scientism for a related but different conclusion, that science can't (or can't easily) posit supernatural explanations.
At this point, we begin quibbling over what "supernatural" means. But that's a different conversation.
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Old 01-03-2017, 01:29 PM   #174
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Re: Scientology

l ron hubbard is a visionary and the reports of his bizarre sexual habits on his boat with his sailor insider network explain cruise and travolta dont it?

isnt it obvious that all these babylon based money demon cults are just a meet the new boss kind of thing?
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:09 PM   #175
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Re: Scientology

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Here is a photo of a Muslim slaughtering a sheep as part of an Islamic ritual known as Dhabihah.

Are you prepared to classify Islam as a hate group due to their lack of respect for sheep? Are you prepared to classify all meat-eaters in the same way?

In a similar vein, I can pull up a photo from the 20s of KKK members hanging a black guy.

Do you notice the absurdity of categorising the KKK as a hate group? You could easily classify Islam in the same way due to it's treatment of sheep. A mere difference in species- from sheep to hom0-sapiens bears no weight on your classification.
While I am sympathetic to your point more generally, your analogy here makes no sense. Many religions have or had an element of animal sacrifice to them (Judaism among them). While some people in the US today find this disgusting, it is pretty difficult to justify this disgust on moral grounds. Killing an animal as part of a religious ritual and then eating it is more respectful towards that animal than normal methods of animal butchery in the US. So what does this have to do with Islam? Instead, you should use an uncontroversial example like the Westboro Baptist Church, which is clearly religious and whose members hold up signs literally advocating hatred of particular groups of people (or ISIS, etc).
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