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InvisibleSclorch
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Cults and Religions- what's the difference, really?
    #1349291 - 03/04/03 09:53 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

cult
n 1: adherents of an exclusive system of religious beliefs and practices 2: an interest followed with exaggerated zeal: "he always follows the latest fads"; "it was all the rage that season" [syn: fad, craze, furor, furore, rage] 3: a system of religious beliefs and rituals [syn: religious cult]
Source: WordNet ? 1.6, ? 1997 Princeton University


religion
1. a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion
Source: The American Heritage? Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright ? 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.


I think the key differences are (in no particular order):
1. Power.
2. Money.
3. Establishment date.
4. Number of members.

That's enough to get the ball rolling.


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Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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InvisibleEvolving
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Registered: 10/01/02
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Re: Cults and Religions- what's the difference, really? [Re: Sclorch]
    #1349910 - 03/04/03 01:22 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

You'll get no argument from me.


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To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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OfflineTheEggman
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Re: Cults and Religions- what's the difference, really? [Re: Sclorch]
    #1349944 - 03/04/03 01:31 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I see a cult as much more grounded in this world than religion is. Cults concern a certain central figure (who is usually still alive) that the people follow, revere, and believe. It's almost like a brainwashing by a single "enlightened" individual.

Some religions follow this same type of philosophy. Their prophets can still communicate with God/Christ/Allah/whoever, hence enabling them to prophesy to their followers what the "truth" is. In this sense, some religions are remarkably similar to cults in the modern day (i.e. Mormonism and Joseph Smith).

A religion is simply a belief in a greater system of beliefs. You can pin these beliefs to their creator(s) (the prophets of the Bible, Mohammed, etc.), and in that manner, a religion is simply a lot of people following the beliefs of one man (or a small group of men). However, these men are usually dead and simply attempting to pass on their knowledge; I think this makes religion a lot more grounded in the supernatural and the intangible. Words, knowledge, prayer... all intangibilities.

The bottom line is that religions and cults are both used by people who are afraid of freethinking. Instead of investigating their own take on spirituality and philosophy, they subscribe to a set of beliefs developed by someone else. In the case of cults, there is usually a quicker payoff (i.e. jump over this cliff as the spaceship drifts behind Haley's Comet to be saved or whatnot), whereas religions have a slower payoff (i.e. have faith to the end of this life and you will be rewarded).

Peace and love,
Tim.


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Peace and love,
Tim.


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: Cults and Religions- what's the difference, really? [Re: Sclorch]
    #1349960 - 03/04/03 01:41 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Do you want the difference before or after the $cientologist bought the rights to those two words (cult and religion)?



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InvisibleRevelation

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Re: Cults and Religions- what's the difference, really? [Re: Sclorch]
    #1349988 - 03/04/03 01:53 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I'll just agree.


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Offlinethe universe
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Re: Cults and Religions- what's the difference, really? [Re: Revelation]
    #1350123 - 03/04/03 02:54 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I think cults are underground and religions are pop. Religions are just popular cults.


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"If you had a million years to do it in, you couldn't rub out even half the 'Fuck you' signs in the world."- J. D. Salinger


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Offlinemr freedom
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Re: Cults and Religions- what's the difference, really? [Re: TheEggman]
    #1350326 - 03/04/03 04:08 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

"I see a cult as much more grounded in this world than religion is. Cults concern a certain central figure (who is usually still alive) that the people follow, revere, and believe. It's almost like a brainwashing by a single "enlightened" individual."

Can you say JESUS????
I think this fit's Schlorch's number 3 quite well.

"Some religions follow this same type of philosophy. Their prophets can still communicate with God/Christ/Allah/whoever, hence enabling them to prophesy to their followers what the "truth" is. "

Again, JESUS, "I am the TRUTH and the WAY".

"The bottom line is that religions and cults are both used by people who are afraid of freethinking. Instead of investigating their own take on spirituality and philosophy, they subscribe to a set of beliefs developed by someone else. In the case of cults, there is usually a quicker payoff (i.e. jump over this cliff as the spaceship drifts behind Haley's Comet to be saved or whatnot), whereas religions have a slower payoff (i.e. have faith to the end of this life and you will be rewarded)."

Let's seeeeee, Jesus, perporting to be the son of "the invisible man" was deemed, by the Jews to have established a cult; death by crusafiction was his sentence.
Jesus promised EVERLASTING LIFE, for the simple act of beleiveing what he said; certainly not the "cliff jumping" type of promise.

CONCLUSION:

Christianity IS A CULT.
It meets all of the critera and lets compare it to Schlorch's numbers; again.
"I think the key differences are (in no particular order):
1. Power.
2. Money.
3. Establishment date.
4. Number of members."

One must certainly acknowledge the POWER of christian's; they were able to get alcohol prohibition written into the CONSTITUTION.

Christian organizations are VERY RICH; that's what comes from haveing the POWER to make sure all the money you coerced from your members is embezzeled properly.

Hummm, "establishement date", certainly there are OLDER cults than the christians but they are over 2000 years old so maybe that's significant.

Now, number of members? I don't know how many people perport to believe in a supernatural monoistc diety but I'm pretty sure that christians have to be in the top three.

There you have it. Christianity is NOT a religion they are a cult. They just happen to have gotten away with pulling the wool over everyone's eyes for several hundred years; speaking in modern terms.

Just some thoughts from a freethinking, terrorist. That's right people. Thinking for one's self is NOW an act of terrorism. Don't take my word for it; just read article 4(or 3; I forget) of the PATRIOT ACT II.


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Offlinenubious
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Re: Cults and Religions- what's the difference, really? [Re: Sclorch]
    #1350364 - 03/04/03 04:31 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I'm a believer that all religons are cults, but the prime difference from the media's perspective I think is distiguished by whether or not the set of beliefs is going to be harmful to those who follow, ie. Drinking the coolaid which killed everyone in Jonestown or wherever it was - a cult like christianity doesn't have beliefs that harm an individual (physicially), as opposed to if you are told to do harm to yourself to achieve something greater.



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No one knows the worth of innocence till he knows it is gone forever, and that money can't buy it back. Not the saint, but the sinner that repenteth, is he to whom the full length and breadth, and height and depth, of life's meaning is revealed. Good and evil loose all objective meaning and are seen as equally necessary and contrasting elements in the masterpiece that is the universe.


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OfflineGrav
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Re: Cults and Religions- what's the difference, really? [Re: mr freedom]
    #1350371 - 03/04/03 04:35 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

don't forget the costumes!


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Anonymous

Re: Cults and Religions- what's the difference, really? [Re: Sclorch]
    #1350398 - 03/04/03 04:47 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I think the only difference is the date of establishment. All the rest follow... an older cult recieves more money, people and power.


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Offlinemachineelf368
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Re: Cults and Religions- what's the difference, really? [Re: Sclorch]
    #1350648 - 03/04/03 07:02 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Sociologically speaking (which it seems is all I'm good at sometimes) the difference between cults and religions is contextual. A 'cult' is a religious/philosophical system which is new in the area. For example, in the 1920s America was getting it's first real taste of swamis and Hinduism and yoga and all that, and for America it was a cult because it was new and ususual while in India it was a religion because it was old and standard. John Smith started a cult a while back, but now it's a religion by the mere fact that it has survived long enough and well enough so that's it not considered new and unusual in the surrounding culture. That's the only difference between the two. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism- all cults at one time.

So yeah, your numbers 1, 2 and 4 are pretty much it. Good for you.
-m


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(the above was deciphered from phi (~1.62) using an advanced alphanumeric conversion algorhythm and should not be perceived as meaningful.)


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InvisibleZero7a1
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Re: Cults and Religions- what's the difference, really? [Re: Sclorch]
    #1350650 - 03/04/03 07:03 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

i dont know what you wanted out of your post, or what you were wanting to convey but i will post some thought...

what about a Brave New World like scenario? where all the people are sterile scientific by products. dull and lifeless, following Ford, a huge mechanism aimed at controlling people and society. The idea of god or a supernatural power, something outside of the State would obliterate the control of that system. so whats worse, and what is really is a cult if you look at that book? Would you rather live in a world where "logical" thought dominates the precession of human beings?

sure you can argue that this has somewhat dictated in the "religous" sense the people before the industrial revolution... but what about after? much like the times when Brave New World was written. A cult could describe Brave New World,or a govt. the characters in Brave New World follow an interest with an exagerated zeal. They thought ford was god, and they TRIPPED to communicate with him... religion is just a word and what you fill it up with is your own doing. what involves "religion" as we know it stands alone, you draw the distinction, you make the comparisson. but the way i look at it, its pointless to try. what is there is there, and the language used to describe it is always changing.


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What?


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InvisibleJoshua
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Re: Cults and Religions- what's the difference, really? [Re: Sclorch]
    #1350752 - 03/04/03 08:03 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

A cult is a baby religion.

Joshua


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Cults and Religions- what's the difference, really? [Re: Zero7a1]
    #1350857 - 03/04/03 08:52 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Please note the difference between science and scientism.
Scientism is a cult, too... I'm not arguing that.

Cults/religions don't have to be centered on metaphysics or whatever... at least in my book.


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Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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Offlinegnrm23
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Re: Cults and Religions- what's the difference, really? [Re: Sclorch]
    #1351259 - 03/05/03 02:10 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

my belief system is religion...
your belief system is cult...
:wink:
~
~


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old enough to know better
not old enough to care


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OfflineTheEggman
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Re: Cults and Religions- what's the difference, really? [Re: gnrm23]
    #1351843 - 03/05/03 08:10 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

My difference in classifying religionn and cult was that religion can be centered on an individual but this individual is usually no longer alive (Jesus Christ, Mohammed, etc.). You can't go and hear the Sermon on the Mount or any such thing. And you have to trust a book to tell you his life biography; I don't know what happened in his life because I never saw him! Hell, I don't even know if he was ever alive. With cults, you listen to the prophet speak and so on, and this prophet is alive and preaching. And many religions are cult-like in that they still have prophets that live on this Earth and speak with God (Seventh-Day Adventism, Mormonism, etc.). That was my point.

Peace and love,
Tim.


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Peace and love,
Tim.


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OfflineZahid
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Re: Cults and Religions- what's the difference, really? [Re: Sclorch]
    #1352646 - 03/05/03 02:33 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Cults are derived from religions.


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InvisibleSclorch
Clyster

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Re: Cults and Religions- what's the difference, really? [Re: gnrm23]
    #1353746 - 03/06/03 04:50 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

my belief system is religion...
your belief system is cult...


LOL!!!  :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :grin: 


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Cults and Religions- what's the difference, really? [Re: Zahid]
    #1353811 - 03/06/03 05:36 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Religions are cults with political power.


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"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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OfflineFunGuyFan
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Re: Cults and Religions- what's the difference, really? [Re: Phluck]
    #1353927 - 03/06/03 06:40 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

I come from a family with a wide variety of beliefs, all on my mom's side. Her two sisters have chosen to become Jehovah Witnesses (definitely a cult, without a doubt) While two of her brothers became Buddhists. They were all raised as United Methodist. I was raised in the Methodist church but, my mother never took me too church too follow the so called rules of the religion, she took me to give me an honest foundation and a good community as a child. My church had its faults as any does, but for the most part everyone there was pretty open minded. I do not claim to be a Christian but I still go to my childhood church every once in a while and it is fun to me. Hell it is in a small mtn town and there are only 5 or 6 of us so we talk about whatever we like and no one passes judgement on you for your views. As for cults, I do think it depends on the family and how they interpret the "written word" and practice it. My spouse was raised Baptist and their family I would consider to be cult like. They think that if you don't believe the way they do then you are going to hell, and they like to tell you that too. The Jehovah in my family are the scariest, they are all about shutting everyone out for any reason. I know they are constantly disowning their children because they did not marry one of their kind or they did some small thing any normal family would forgive. They also Like to home school their children so they are really fucked up when they get into the real world. I think it is wrong to call all christians beliefs cults, but many of them are. I really feel for all the jesus crispies out there, they obviously don't know how to think for themselves or are too afraid to. My definition of a cult would be. A religion that is based on separation of all beliefs and ways of life. That is very hurtful to all parties involved, mentally and spiritually. Hope I did not ramble to much but I do have a nutty family when it comes to relgious background.


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"Don't touch me while your laughing maniacally"


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