Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:12 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:as setzer stated, your criteria still has a MASSIVE swath of people inside of it.

Setzer was commenting on my point that 'belief in heaven' would include a number of people. Look at my post just prior to yours, wherein I state that belief in heaven does not mark you as crazy, in my opinion.
DSenette wrote:and no, i'm not conflating anything. there are some PRETTY major inclusions in the base dogma of MOST of christianity, and those tend to predicate on the concepts that god created all of existence (how long it took him/her/it and how he/she/it did it are up for debate, but that's a pretttttty big deal for all christians), and when you die, if you were a good christian (whatever that means) you get to go to heaven.

so, almost all of christianity believes in SOME form of creation myth, and damn near all of christianity believes in some kind of afterlife.

and that's just christianity. islam has a creation myth, and an afterlife. judaism does, buddhism has forms of both. etc... etc... etc..

you don't have to be a strict literalist for this stuff to apply.

Yeah, you're still conflating the two. There are, as I am trying to point out, a number of people whose faith IS NOT predicated upon literal belief in the creation myths found in their faith. I think I even mentioned this a page ago, when I mentioned I could always get my dad to acknowledge that the world was not created in 6 days, as stated in the Torah, but I would never be able to get my dad to acknowledge that God doesn't exist; this isn't crazy, because belief that the world was created, as stated, according to the creation myth requires cherry picking of reality, whereas belief in God as an abstract, does not.

So, yes, I know that many/all religions have creation myths. But no, that doesn't mean one has to literally accept them to consider yourself a member of that faith.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby setzer777 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:23 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:If someone holds that God allows entry to heaven (which is a magical kingdom in the sky) due to acceptance of Christ and all the miracles in the Bible, I think they're crazy.


I was commenting on this when I said you're classifying a huge number of people as crazy. I missed this edit at first:

Izawwlgood wrote:EDIT: To be fair, that's not a great example. A better example would be a Young Earth Creationist vs someone who thinks living like Jesus is the way to God.


Edit: Though even by this standard you're still calling roughly half of Americans crazy. I think in this case "ignorant of the evidence" might be more accurate.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:31 pm UTC

Yeah, it was a bad example. I was trying to imply that literal acceptance of 'all the miracles in the Bible' was the pivotal disconnect, but saw how poorly worded that was and tried to clarify with the edit.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby setzer777 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:40 pm UTC

Yeah, but suppose we only stick to people who think that the entire Bible is literally true, all the miracles happened, humans were created in present form 10,000 years ago, demon possession happens today, and faith healers can cure medically incurable afflictions. This group is certainly a minority, but it's still way larger than the group of people we'd traditionally classify as "delusional".
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:43 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:Yeah, but suppose we only stick to people who think that the entire Bible is literally true, all the miracles happened, humans were created in present form 10,000 years ago, demon possession happens today, and faith healers can cure medically incurable afflictions. This group is certainly a minority, but it's still way larger than the group of people we'd traditionally classify as "delusional".

Can you clarify what group you're traditionally defining as delusional? I would certainly say that the above literalists are crazy.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:46 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:as setzer stated, your criteria still has a MASSIVE swath of people inside of it.

Setzer was commenting on my point that 'belief in heaven' would include a number of people. Look at my post just prior to yours, wherein I state that belief in heaven does not mark you as crazy, in my opinion.
DSenette wrote:and no, i'm not conflating anything. there are some PRETTY major inclusions in the base dogma of MOST of christianity, and those tend to predicate on the concepts that god created all of existence (how long it took him/her/it and how he/she/it did it are up for debate, but that's a pretttttty big deal for all christians), and when you die, if you were a good christian (whatever that means) you get to go to heaven.

so, almost all of christianity believes in SOME form of creation myth, and damn near all of christianity believes in some kind of afterlife.

and that's just christianity. islam has a creation myth, and an afterlife. judaism does, buddhism has forms of both. etc... etc... etc..

you don't have to be a strict literalist for this stuff to apply.

Yeah, you're still conflating the two. There are, as I am trying to point out, a number of people whose faith IS NOT predicated upon literal belief in the creation myths found in their faith. I think I even mentioned this a page ago, when I mentioned I could always get my dad to acknowledge that the world was not created in 6 days, as stated in the Torah, but I would never be able to get my dad to acknowledge that God doesn't exist; this isn't crazy, because belief that the world was created, as stated, according to the creation myth requires cherry picking of reality, whereas belief in God as an abstract, does not.

So, yes, I know that many/all religions have creation myths. But no, that doesn't mean one has to literally accept them to consider yourself a member of that faith.

and i'm still not conflating "all of christianity" and some of christianity.

if the criteria for the argument is "people who believe X" and the statement is "Z quantity of Y total believe in X" then those that don't believe X are automatically excluded from the total. i don't have to include a caveat of "not all of Y believe in X".

as you'll note, i've not once said "all christians" or just left "christians" all by it's onesies.

there stands a large quantity of christianity that does believe in creation by God. you stated that a belief in creation by God could be constituted as crazy. so, a large quantity of christians are crazy.


setzer777 wrote:Yeah, but suppose we only stick to people who think that the entire Bible is literally true, all the miracles happened, humans were created in present form 10,000 years ago, demon possession happens today, and faith healers can cure medically incurable afflictions. This group is certainly a minority, but it's still way larger than the group of people we'd traditionally classify as "delusional".
exactly that list? or any single criteria that you've listed?

what about people who believe in intercessory prayer but not faith healers specifically?
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:54 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:there stands a large quantity of christianity that does believe in creation by God. you stated that a belief in creation by God could be constituted as crazy. so, a large quantity of christians are crazy.

You need to pay attention to what I've actually said because I did not say that belief in God constitutes being crazy.
You are also for some reason having a hard time divorcing your absolute statements from statements that actually require clarification. "All Christians are crazy" is not the same as "Christians who literally interpret the bible are crazy"
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby setzer777 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:01 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
setzer777 wrote:Yeah, but suppose we only stick to people who think that the entire Bible is literally true, all the miracles happened, humans were created in present form 10,000 years ago, demon possession happens today, and faith healers can cure medically incurable afflictions. This group is certainly a minority, but it's still way larger than the group of people we'd traditionally classify as "delusional".

Can you clarify what group you're traditionally defining as delusional? I would certainly say that the above literalists are crazy.


Hm, actually I guess I'm proving the above posters right about social context - the only definitions I can think of have to do with how the population in general regards and treats those who profess the belief.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:28 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:there stands a large quantity of christianity that does believe in creation by God. you stated that a belief in creation by God could be constituted as crazy. so, a large quantity of christians are crazy.

You need to pay attention to what I've actually said because I did not say that belief in God constitutes being crazy.
You are also for some reason having a hard time divorcing your absolute statements from statements that actually require clarification. "All Christians are crazy" is not the same as "Christians who literally interpret the bible are crazy"

please don't tell me to pay attention when you're not reading.


point to me where i said "a belief in god constitutes being crazy".
point to a sentence where i said all christians. anywhere.


i said there are a lot of christians who believe in a universe that was created by God. like, literally spat into existence by god. they may/may not believe in other parts of the bible as literal truth. they may/may not believe in any other number of religious claims about the physical world that are demonstrably false.

the point is that you included a belief in creation myths as one of your criteria for it being ok to call an idea/belief crazy. the fact of the matter is that there are A SHIT TON of people, from a SHIT TON of religions that believe in a SHIT TON of creation myths, to a SHIT TON of differing degrees. where does a belief in any creation myth switch from being nutty, to not nutty?
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:35 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:i said there are a lot of christians who believe in a universe that was created by God. like, literally spat into existence by god. they may/may not believe in other parts of the bible as literal truth. they may/may not believe in any other number of religious claims about the physical world that are demonstrably false.

the point is that you included a belief in creation myths as one of your criteria for it being ok to call an idea/belief crazy. the fact of the matter is that there are A SHIT TON of people, from a SHIT TON of religions that believe in a SHIT TON of creation myths, to a SHIT TON of differing degrees. where does a belief in any creation myth switch from being nutty, to not nutty?

And I have now four times told you that there are also a not insignificant number of faithful individuals for whom their faith is NOT predicated upon believing in the literal acceptance of their creation myths. So while yes, belief in a creation myth is a criteria I would use to call someone crazy, and yes, there are a 'shit ton of people' who fall into that category for that reason, which is perhaps why I wrote:
"The point is that cherry picking reality is crazy. Believing in God doesn't require cherry picking reality."
Frankly, continuing to point to Young Earth Creationists as proof that Christianity is full of idiots is about as convincing as pointing to the atom bomb and claiming that science is evil.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby setzer777 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:28 pm UTC

http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_public.htm

I think even your limited categorization is too strong. Saying that roughly 40% of the American population* is "crazy" seems to dilute the meaning of the term. Perhaps "cherry-picking from reality" is the human norm and something's only "crazy" if it goes against the mainstream sufficiently.

*Those that believe in the supernatural creation of humanity as-is 10,000 years ago. Granted the poll bundled the 10,000 years part into it, so I wouldn't put too much weight into that part. They did still allow people to explicitly choose "evolution happened and God directed it", but the plurality of respondents rejected evolution.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Griffin » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:47 pm UTC

Saying 40% of the population is crazy, or at least believes "crazy things", sounds like an incredible underestimate. Most people, in my experience, have their areas of crazy.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:18 pm UTC

Yeah, setzer, the statistic that 'approximately half of America' feels that humans did not evolve, or that God created the world as stated in the Bible, etc, does not diminish or change my criteria for craziness; it just depresses me that 'a significant portion' of America is fucking crazy.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby curtis95112 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:47 am UTC

So what's the difference between craziness and ignorance?
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:43 am UTC

Similar to the difference between stupidity and ignorance; in respect to choosing to cherry pick reality, believing in creation myths despite evidence to the contrary is, I would say, equally crazy and stupid. Not knowing any better, or not being aware of information marks them ignorant. I also see nothing wrong with formulating or believing in a creation myth in the face of not having better information.

Personally, I find a lot of mythologies to be surprisingly complex and rich. Mythologies aren't necessarily shallow and childish.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby curtis95112 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:19 am UTC

Then we're in agreement.

But is 40% of America really cherry-picking? Please tell me that they've just never been exposed to the facts. I don't really know how it is there, being on the other side of the Pacific and all that, but this is depressing.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby induction » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:54 pm UTC

Just exposing people to the facts doesn't convert them into critical thinkers. It's not obvious to everyone that empirical analysis is the best way to determine truth. Even philosophers argue about this (and drive me crazy in the process). Google 'coherence theory of truth' to see what I mean.

Lots of (maybe even most?) people rely on authority to tell them what's true. This is tough to escape when questioning this authority brings punishment, including but not limited to eternal damnation. I was raised this way myself, and didn't have my empirical epiphany until my mid-20's.

The funny thing is that some religious groups think you'll go to hell for not believing in Jesus even if you've never heard of him (hence missionary missions to New Guinea), while others think you have to have heard of him at least once and rejected him to go to hell, because that way at least you've been 'exposed to the facts'.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Griffin » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:00 pm UTC

Hey, Izz - if you're interested in finding out more about Discordianism, here is the wiki page
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discordianism

It manages, I think, to outline why being a Discordian despite knowing that the religion was founded as a parody isn't, inherently, crazy. Well, okay, you may see at as crazy anyways, but still.

I read an article that, I think, summarized the difference between parodies that can become legitimate in their own right, and parodies (like the FSM) which aren't. In essence - flippancy. The FSM is given lip service, and isn't even a proper parody - it's simply a rhetorical device and a joke. While Discordianism is a proper parody all the way down to the roots, so much so that it is, in its form, a legitimate (if distorted) religion in its own right - for the satire to be properly successful, it had to become so.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:11 pm UTC

Ah. That's kind of curious. Unless I'm looking into it incorrectly, it seems like it's the worship of the concept of chaos, and choosing a symbol and generating an ethos around that. Just a cursory perusal of the wiki seems to indicate that a lot of the practices are highly tongue in cheek (The Popes rights include [but are not limited to!]: To excommunicate, de-excommunicate, re-excommunicate, and de-re-excommunicate (no backsies!) both him-/her-/it-/them-/your-/our-/Him-/Her-/It-/Them-/Your-/Our-self/selves and others (if any). To perform all rites and functions deemed inappropriate for a Pope of Discordia.)

So, yeah. I'd say calling yourself a Discordian, and holding the position that chaos is an aspect of reality to be respected is fine; the adherence to the Church itself as a form of worship seems crazy to me. Especially as a living entity; worship and reverence of chaos as a facet of a pantheon is fine in my eyes, but placing it above all else seems rather hypocritical.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby induction » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:49 pm UTC

I wouldn't say they place chaos above all else:
The point is that (little-t) truth is a matter of definition relative to the grid one is using at the moment, and that (capital-T) Truth, metaphysical reality, is irrelevant to grids entirely. Pick a grid, and through it some chaos appears ordered and some appears disordered. Pick another grid, and the same chaos will appear differently ordered and disordered.


I think they (sometimes) take the side of chaos just to balance things out. I definitely wouldn't say they worship anything in particular, except when they feel like it. At first glance it seems crazy, I agree, but I've read a lot of Robert Anton Wilson (who is one of the principal writers on Discordianism), and I found him to be possibly one of the sanest 'philosophers' I've ever read. He had a lot to do with my embrace of science, and my acceptance that our current best guess doesn't equal 'True Reality',

The main principle, I think, is super-agnosticism. The map is not the territory, but all we ever get are maps.

edit: I guess you could say they do place chaos above all else, but only in the sense chaos is all there is, and how it gets grouped into order and disorder depends on your reality-filter. Chaos and disorder are sometimes used as synonyms, but not always. Worshiping stuff is entirely optional, though.

edit again: Now that I think about it, I don't know if Discordianism can be considered a 'wacky cult' for the purposes of this discussion. It's essentially an anti-religion since its core tenet is recognition of fallibility of all belief systems, and it mainly aims to discourage people from buying into any of them (including Discordianism) completely. As an organized religion, it's definitely a parody, but the philosophical approach behind it is dead serious (although definitely not grave or somber).
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby TranquilFury » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:53 pm UTC

I think we're using about 50 different definitions of the word respect here, the only kind of respect I have for religious organizations is the understanding that they have power over their flock, and that if I confront them or act in a manner detrimental to their interests, I had better damn well account for that power in my plans.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Jave D » Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:20 am UTC

DSenette wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:there stands a large quantity of christianity that does believe in creation by God. you stated that a belief in creation by God could be constituted as crazy. so, a large quantity of christians are crazy.

You need to pay attention to what I've actually said because I did not say that belief in God constitutes being crazy.
You are also for some reason having a hard time divorcing your absolute statements from statements that actually require clarification. "All Christians are crazy" is not the same as "Christians who literally interpret the bible are crazy"

please don't tell me to pay attention when you're not reading.


point to me where i said "a belief in god constitutes being crazy".


Alright.

Now, true, you did not write the exact string, "a belief in god constitutes being crazy," however you did say that there is no difference other than "longevity and general acceptance" between "ANY spiritual/deistic claims of any religion" and "the nutball down on the corner talking about the gubment putting arsenic in the water supply" and a belief in God certainly constitutes a spiritual and deistic claim.

DSenette wrote:the only difference between ANY spiritual/deistic claims of any religion, and the nutball down on the corner talking about the gubment putting arsenic in the water supply is the longevity and general acceptance of the claims.


And really, that's the only difference? You can't think of any others? Why don't you try and get back to me.

Anyway. All this talk of what is or isn't crazy is very well and good, and it's certainly good for jollies from those who enjoy dismissing religious belief in a negative way that is perhaps one step removed from saying they're "totally lame, dude." But psychologically, there is no such thing as "crazy." People do have mental illnesses, yes, but that doesn't make them "crazy." In legal terms, insanity is defined as being non-competent mentally in such a way that one cannot be held responsible for one's own behaviors and actions. But whether dismissing the authors of religious texts, founders of religions, prophets, priests and followers as either insane or mentally ill, there is simply no basis in medical science for doing so. Perhaps if we could get, say, Ezekiel on a couch and had a few meetings with him in person - and were, you know, psychologists - then we might have a leg to stand on. To suggest we have such knowledge of these peoples' lives that we can, with a sweeping magic hand (unfettered by bias, of course!) declare that their lives are dysfunctional and they are non compos mentis or afflicted with (__insert your own psychological disorder here__) is at best arrogant, ignorant presumption. And more likely it's just bashing what one doesn't agree with or personally like. Not that anyone on the internet ever does that, of course.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:34 pm UTC

Jave D wrote:
DSenette wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:there stands a large quantity of christianity that does believe in creation by God. you stated that a belief in creation by God could be constituted as crazy. so, a large quantity of christians are crazy.

You need to pay attention to what I've actually said because I did not say that belief in God constitutes being crazy.
You are also for some reason having a hard time divorcing your absolute statements from statements that actually require clarification. "All Christians are crazy" is not the same as "Christians who literally interpret the bible are crazy"

please don't tell me to pay attention when you're not reading.


point to me where i said "a belief in god constitutes being crazy".


Alright.

Now, true, you did not write the exact string, "a belief in god constitutes being crazy," however you did say that there is no difference other than "longevity and general acceptance" between "ANY spiritual/deistic claims of any religion" and "the nutball down on the corner talking about the gubment putting arsenic in the water supply" and a belief in God certainly constitutes a spiritual and deistic claim.

oh come off it. the entire point of that sentence is to show the irony of the entire concept.

that guy on the corner has exactly the same amount of verifiability in his claims as anyone who claims the existence of a god. yet, pretty much everyone on the planet will call that guy a nut, where virtually no one will call a Christian standing on a corner talking quietly about god a nut( unless they're screaming about the end times).

they're both believing what they're saying at the same level. and they both have the exact same amount of supporting evidence. there are just a LOT more people like the second person, and they've been around longer.

Jave D wrote:
DSenette wrote:the only difference between ANY spiritual/deistic claims of any religion, and the nutball down on the corner talking about the gubment putting arsenic in the water supply is the longevity and general acceptance of the claims.


And really, that's the only difference? You can't think of any others? Why don't you try and get back to me.
the only difference that matters with reference to why one guy is considered a nut and one isn't.

can you point to any other reasons why a belief in god is more rational than a belief in the government trying to poison us? technically, the arsenic guy has more physical proof, there's actually measurable amounts of arsenic in the water supply.

Jave D wrote:Anyway. All this talk of what is or isn't crazy is very well and good, and it's certainly good for jollies from those who enjoy dismissing religious belief in a negative way that is perhaps one step removed from saying they're "totally lame, dude." But psychologically, there is no such thing as "crazy." People do have mental illnesses, yes, but that doesn't make them "crazy." In legal terms, insanity is defined as being non-competent mentally in such a way that one cannot be held responsible for one's own behaviors and actions. But whether dismissing the authors of religious texts, founders of religions, prophets, priests and followers as either insane or mentally ill, there is simply no basis in medical science for doing so. Perhaps if we could get, say, Ezekiel on a couch and had a few meetings with him in person - and were, you know, psychologists - then we might have a leg to stand on. To suggest we have such knowledge of these peoples' lives that we can, with a sweeping magic hand (unfettered by bias, of course!) declare that their lives are dysfunctional and they are non compos mentis or afflicted with (__insert your own psychological disorder here__) is at best arrogant, ignorant presumption. And more likely it's just bashing what one doesn't agree with or personally like. Not that anyone on the internet ever does that, of course.

who said anything about the people who wrote the bible being crazy? and who said anything about the legal definition of mentally incompetent?

i'm quite sure that everyone so far has been using the colloquial usage of the word "nutty"
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:29 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:oh come off it. the entire point of that sentence is to show the irony of the entire concept.

"That time I said that thing I said I never said... I was being ironic!"
DSenette wrote:that guy on the corner has exactly the same amount of verifiability in his claims as anyone who claims the existence of a god. yet, pretty much everyone on the planet will call that guy a nut, where virtually no one will call a Christian standing on a corner talking quietly about god a nut( unless they're screaming about the end times).

they're both believing what they're saying at the same level. and they both have the exact same amount of supporting evidence. there are just a LOT more people like the second person, and they've been around longer.

Yes, a point that has been made already; there is a difference between the validity of a belief and the motives of a beliefs creation. Guy on the corner babbling that sky monsters are stealing his sperm; crazy. Guy who feels moral action will get him closer to God, not crazy.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:52 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:oh come off it. the entire point of that sentence is to show the irony of the entire concept.

"That time I said that thing I said I never said... I was being ironic!"
oh shut up


Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:that guy on the corner has exactly the same amount of verifiability in his claims as anyone who claims the existence of a god. yet, pretty much everyone on the planet will call that guy a nut, where virtually no one will call a Christian standing on a corner talking quietly about god a nut( unless they're screaming about the end times).

they're both believing what they're saying at the same level. and they both have the exact same amount of supporting evidence. there are just a LOT more people like the second person, and they've been around longer.

Yes, a point that has been made already; there is a difference between the validity of a belief and the motives of a beliefs creation. Guy on the corner babbling that sky monsters are stealing his sperm; crazy. Guy who feels moral action will get him closer to God, not crazy.

you can't say anything about the motives of the creation of christianity, AT ALL. the motives weren't written down. you can just guess as to what the original motives are.

how do you know that the guy on the corner babbling about the sky monsters and his sperm doesn't ALSO believe that because of his sperm monsters, he must now do good in the world, and that him telling everyone about the sperm monsters will be the root of salvation for everyone that hears his message?

so again, there's no difference between the validity of the beliefs, so validity of the belief in question has FUCK ALL to do with whether or not it's a cult or wacky or not a cult or not wacky right?

so then you come up with the nebulous argument of "motive". which you can't verify for any of the religions that modern society doesn't claim are wacky or cultish. you can attempt to extrapolate what those motives "might have been", but that's kind of silly, especially given the sheer amount of variance in practice of things claiming to be the same religion. and the variance of rules that are applied and not applied between them. (you know, that the motives of christianity are to teach everyone to love one another as jesus loved everyone, but at the same time...."fuck those fags! god hates queers"). so, yeah if you can TOTALLY get a good list of "motives" that will allow everyone to decide really quickly whether or not something is wacky or a cult or not that would be great.

and of course then you have to account for beliefs that you MIGHT have a good clue as to the motives NOW (FSM, church of bob, scientology) but you can't account for the motives LATER (if in 2,000 years or more someone is practicing the literal belief in the FSM because the original "motive" was lost in translation), so are the original motives still in play? or should you take into account the motives of the current (future) iteration?

so, since you can't actually apply any of that stuff, the only possible separation between "is this nutty?" and "that's not nutty!" is the amount of people who agree with you and how long they've been agreeing with you.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:14 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:you can't say anything about the motives of the creation of christianity, AT ALL. the motives weren't written down. you can just guess as to what the original motives are.

You can in fact, say many things about the motives and spread of Christianity; I'm really not sure why you continue to ignore this point. There's ample (Or rather, because I'm not a historian so cannot make the claim 'ample', I should say 'there's totally more than zero') historical evidence as to what motivated the rise and spread of Christianity. Surprise! It wasn't due to irony. The SPREAD of the belief system was largely political.

Perhaps you should read up a bit on Constantine?
DSenette wrote:so, since you can't actually apply any of that stuff, the only possible separation between "is this nutty?" and "that's not nutty!" is the amount of people who agree with you and how long they've been agreeing with you.

Yeah, no.
Here, two hypotheticals:
1 ) I walk up to you and say "I'm going to make up a myth, and say that there are sentient trees living in the Moons core" and you adopt it as your central faith.
vs.
2 ) If I say to you, "I have been told by a prophet that there are sentient trees living in the Moons core" (or am a prophet, or am a sentient tree, or whatever).

Do you see why accepting this fabricated belief system in situation one is quite different from accepting this fabricated belief system in situation two? Notice, acceptance of this belief in either case is obviously predicated on a fair amount of gullibility or idiocy, and the belief itself is obviously invalid.

And DSenette: don't tell me to shut up when you can't keep your own statements or arguments straight. It's not the first time in this very thread that you've been called on that.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:58 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:you can't say anything about the motives of the creation of christianity, AT ALL. the motives weren't written down. you can just guess as to what the original motives are.

You can in fact, say many things about the motives and spread of Christianity; I'm really not sure why you continue to ignore this point. There's ample (Or rather, because I'm not a historian so cannot make the claim 'ample', I should say 'there's totally more than zero') historical evidence as to what motivated the rise and spread of Christianity. Surprise! It wasn't due to irony. The SPREAD of the belief system was largely political.

Perhaps you should read up a bit on Constantine?

AH, so if there were a religion that were started today, who's core motives were to fuck over the poor but it's core beliefs were that there are sentient trees on the moon, and a large enough group thought that was a good idea, so they went ahead and spread that belief system across the globe and a SHIT ton of people started believing it, then it wouldn't be nutty? that would be a totally legit faith.

you can TOTALLY track the spread of christianity. but you cannot tell me the motives of the people who first started it. you can track the motives of each person down the line, and they all change depending on what they were trying to achieve. but that has FUCK ALL to do with christianity's foundation.

if i were to have the power to move the church of bob through the same machinations as christianity has done, then would you agree that the church of bob is a legitimate faith? assuming i were able to sufficiently obfuscate it's "true" origins from you in 2,000 years?

Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:so, since you can't actually apply any of that stuff, the only possible separation between "is this nutty?" and "that's not nutty!" is the amount of people who agree with you and how long they've been agreeing with you.

Yeah, no.
Here, two hypotheticals:
1 ) I walk up to you and say "I'm going to make up a myth, and say that there are sentient trees living in the Moons core" and you adopt it as your central faith.
vs.
2 ) If I say to you, "I have been told by a prophet that there are sentient trees living in the Moons core" (or am a prophet, or am a sentient tree, or whatever).

Do you see why accepting this fabricated belief system in situation one is quite different from accepting this fabricated belief system in situation two? Notice, acceptance of this belief in either case is obviously predicated on a fair amount of gullibility or idiocy, and the belief itself is obviously invalid.
i do see where accepting a fabricated belief system is quite different in the two scenarios. HOWEVER the only difference between the two is how far away from the fabrication you are.

take your two hypotheticals again:

1) 2,000 years ago someone walked up to someone and said " "I'm going to make up a myth, and say that there are sentient trees living in the Moons core" and a bunch of people started spreading that tale, then about 500 years down the line, someone forgot to include the "dude we totally made that shit up" line from the dogma. now today, 2,000 years later, a fuck load of people believe in this thing that was fabricated 2,000 years ago.

2 ) 2,000 years ago someone walked up to someone and said "I have been told by a prophet that there are sentient trees living in the Moons core" (or am a prophet, or am a sentient tree, or whatever), then 2,000 years later people still believe that thing.


do you see how those two things, from the point of view of today are exactly the same?


Izawwlgood wrote:And DSenette: don't tell me to shut up when you can't keep your own statements or arguments straight. It's not the first time in this very thread that you've been called on that.

except that when pressed no one's actually shown that i haven't been consistent, just that you're all having reading comprehension fails.

me stating that IF you're going to use CONTENT of belief and the viability/verifiability of that belief, then ALL unsubstantiated beliefs must be viewed the same. so, someone claiming that there are moon pirates is on the same playing field as someone claiming there was a jew 2,000 years ago that was the son of god and that he rose from the dead, is NOT the same as saying all people with faith are wacky or crazy. it's saying that if that is your metric for what is/isn't wacky/crazy then you have to apply it equally.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:28 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:AH, so if there were a religion that were started today, who's core motives were to fuck over the poor but it's core beliefs were that there are sentient trees on the moon, and a large enough group thought that was a good idea, so they went ahead and spread that belief system across the globe and a SHIT ton of people started believing it, then it wouldn't be nutty? that would be a totally legit faith.

Your presupposition is that you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that the original Jewish sect of Jesus worshippers were doing it as a prank, an ironic commentary on religion, a means to fuck with other people. My assumption that they weren't, given the corroboration of religious and historical documentation, is at least based on something more than blind hatred of faith in general. Because you lack any evidence shy of a hunch, and I at least have SOME evidence backing this position, it seems you're the one accepting axioms sans evidence, which, in a thread about the legitimacy of faith vs cults, is... frankly, again, ironic.
DSenette wrote:do you see how those two things, from the point of view of today are exactly the same?

Very much so. What renders that point irrelevant to the conversation at hand is by placing the creation in the past, and obfuscating the context of it's intent/inception, you are once again making an argument to the VALIDITY of the faith. Again, I'm not interested in arguing validity here; God, space wizards, pantheons, souls that are facets of the one true SameSoul, elephants riding turtles... None of these are any more or less VALID than either of the others, and you won't hear me argue otherwise.
DSenette wrote:me stating that IF you're going to use CONTENT of belief and the viability/verifiability of that belief, then ALL unsubstantiated beliefs must be viewed the same. so, someone claiming that there are moon pirates is on the same playing field as someone claiming there was a jew 2,000 years ago that was the son of god and that he rose from the dead, is NOT the same as saying all people with faith are wacky or crazy. it's saying that if that is your metric for what is/isn't wacky/crazy then you have to apply it equally.

Cool; show me again where we said that content was the basis for deciding if something was a faith vs a cult?
DSenette wrote:except that when pressed no one's actually shown that i haven't been consistent, just that you're all having reading comprehension fails.

I've actually pointed out two separate examples of your argument fumbles, and Jave D just called you on another. I'm sure if we looked, we could find at least one more.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:54 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:AH, so if there were a religion that were started today, who's core motives were to fuck over the poor but it's core beliefs were that there are sentient trees on the moon, and a large enough group thought that was a good idea, so they went ahead and spread that belief system across the globe and a SHIT ton of people started believing it, then it wouldn't be nutty? that would be a totally legit faith.

Your presupposition is that you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that the original Jewish sect of Jesus worshippers were doing it as a prank, an ironic commentary on religion, a means to fuck with other people. My assumption that they weren't, given the corroboration of religious and historical documentation, is at least based on something more than blind hatred of faith in general. Because you lack any evidence shy of a hunch, and I at least have SOME evidence backing this position, it seems you're the one accepting axioms sans evidence, which, in a thread about the legitimacy of faith vs cults, is... frankly, again, ironic.


i'm not presuming a fucking thing. i'm giving you an example. i haven't actually stated "man christianity is a fucking joke", you're reading into that. i'm asking you to entertain the hypothetical that christianity WAS started as a joke, because you have ZERO evidence that it wasn't started as a joke. none. nothing past day 1 of christianity has FUCK ALL to do with day one and before. FUCK ALL to do with it.

i'm not accepting axioms of anything. i'm not making commentary about the way ANYTHING is, or how it started. YOU ARE.

Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:do you see how those two things, from the point of view of today are exactly the same?

Very much so. What renders that point irrelevant to the conversation at hand is by placing the creation in the past, and obfuscating the context of it's intent/inception, you are once again making an argument to the VALIDITY of the faith. Again, I'm not interested in arguing validity here; God, space wizards, pantheons, souls that are facets of the one true SameSoul, elephants riding turtles... None of these are any more or less VALID than either of the others, and you won't hear me argue otherwise.
my counter examples had nothing to do with the validity of the item that's being accepted on faith.

so, to the "content" argument, we are (contrary to your blathering) are on the same page. CONTENT OF THE BELIEF has no direct bearing on whether or not the belief is "wacky". so if you believe in yaweh, God, Allah, the tooth fairy, or otherwise, your level of evidence and proof are exactly the same, so all UNSUBSTANTIATED FAITHS should be treated exactly the same. a christian can't call a hindu "wacky" for their beliefs because the christian has no more proof than the hindu.

what you're not getting is the point that you keep trying to stick on, that a faith that was set out as a jest, couldn't somehow, at some point could be viewed as NOT in jest some time in the future.

your main point about the FSM is taht someone who believes in the FSM literally because they didn't get the memo about it being fake, is a nutter or a cultist. the ONLY difference between a modern FSM literalist and a FUTURE literalist (in a world where the punchline got lost in translation) is the time scale and the distance from the source. so a hypothetical christianity that was started by a jocular jew with a group of conspirators would be exactly the same as the christianity you assume we have now, that "wasn't started as a joke". the only difference between the two is that one was started as a joke (but we forgot that it was a joke) and the other was started for seriouses.

so, at that point, you can't use "it was started as a joke" to call someone wacky for believing in something really, because they may not have gotten the "this shit is a joke" memo.


Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:me stating that IF you're going to use CONTENT of belief and the viability/verifiability of that belief, then ALL unsubstantiated beliefs must be viewed the same. so, someone claiming that there are moon pirates is on the same playing field as someone claiming there was a jew 2,000 years ago that was the son of god and that he rose from the dead, is NOT the same as saying all people with faith are wacky or crazy. it's saying that if that is your metric for what is/isn't wacky/crazy then you have to apply it equally.

Cool; show me again where we said that content was the basis for deciding if something was a faith vs a cult?
it's called listing options dick. read em. if you agree with what was said in the quote (i.e. that you can't use content as a basis for deciding whether it's wacky or not) then move along.
Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:except that when pressed no one's actually shown that i haven't been consistent, just that you're all having reading comprehension fails.

I've actually pointed out two separate examples of your argument fumbles, and Jave D just called you on another. I'm sure if we looked, we could find at least one more.
except no? no where in this thread (and again, point to a fucking quote) have i said that all believers are wacky.

i stated (and clarified ONCE AGAIN) that all believers in the unsubstantiated are believing with the EXACT SAME level of proof. so someone believing in God has the EXACT SAME level of proof as someone believing in the tooth fairy, so calling one wacky (based on content of belief) and one not wacky is disingenuous at best.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:22 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:i'm not accepting axioms of anything. i'm not making commentary about the way ANYTHING is, or how it started. YOU ARE.

Buh? You kick started this whole thing with saying that Christianity could have may have probably did start as a practical joke.
DSenette wrote:so, to the "content" argument, we are (contrary to your blathering) are on the same page. CONTENT OF THE BELIEF has no direct bearing on whether or not the belief is "wacky". so if you believe in yaweh, God, Allah, the tooth fairy, or otherwise, your level of evidence and proof are exactly the same, so all UNSUBSTANTIATED FAITHS should be treated exactly the same. a christian can't call a hindu "wacky" for their beliefs because the christian has no more proof than the hindu.

Yes, which is why I've never argued the content of a faith having any connection to it's legitimacy as a religion vs a cult. YOU did.
DSenette wrote:what you're not getting is the point that you keep trying to stick on, that a faith that was set out as a jest, couldn't somehow, at some point could be viewed as NOT in jest some time in the future.

I understood your point perfectly, which is why I responded, in my last post, with:
Izawwlgood wrote:Very much so. What renders that point irrelevant to the conversation at hand is by placing the creation in the past, and obfuscating the context of it's intent/inception, you are once again making an argument to the VALIDITY of the faith. Again, I'm not interested in arguing validity here; God, space wizards, pantheons, souls that are facets of the one true SameSoul, elephants riding turtles... None of these are any more or less VALID than either of the others, and you won't hear me argue otherwise.

Because again, the thing you don't seem to get is that when talking about our hypothetical crazy guy who accepts the FSM as a religion, the thing that makes him crazy is that he KNOWS the religion is created as a parody, as ironic, as a jest. If you remove that knowledge, that is, place the faith 2,000 years in the past, then that same guy is (at least a little bit) less crazy, because he isn't following a faith with the knowledge that it is actually one big joke.
DSenette wrote:so, at that point, you can't use "it was started as a joke" to call someone wacky for believing in something really, because they may not have gotten the "this shit is a joke" memo.

This hypothetical person you are talking about now, who simply 'didn't get the memo' is a shifted goal post. I agree with you on this point; it's just not particularly relevant in a conversation about someone who did 'get the memo'.
DSenette wrote:it's called listing options dick. read em. if you agree with what was said in the quote (i.e. that you can't use content as a basis for deciding whether it's wacky or not) then move along.

Gladly; I'm addressing the argument at hand, not a bunch of tangential vaguely related hypotheticals.
Watch your fucking tone with me, I'm getting awfully sick of your attitude.
DSenette wrote:except no? no where in this thread (and again, point to a fucking quote) have i said that all believers are wacky.

I said argument fumbles. One example was when you stated that the FSM wasn't a parody religion, it was just a religion created ironically to make a joke about religions.
DSenette wrote:i stated (and clarified ONCE AGAIN) that all believers in the unsubstantiated are believing with the EXACT SAME level of proof. so someone believing in God has the EXACT SAME level of proof as someone believing in the tooth fairy, so calling one wacky (based on content of belief) and one not wacky is disingenuous at best.

Yes, I'm really not sure why you keep bringing this up; I am not arguing that the content of any given belief is more or less valid than the content of another.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Azrael » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:41 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:it's called listing options dick. read em. if you agree with what was said in the quote (i.e. that you can't use content as a basis for deciding whether it's wacky or not) then move along.

Gladly; I'm addressing the argument at hand, not a bunch of tangential vaguely related hypotheticals.
Watch your fucking tone with me, I'm getting awfully sick of your attitude.


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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby SalsaSnake » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:03 am UTC

1. Spirituality and faith are not universally bad things. In general we should respect people's beliefs (when they do not attempt to impose them on other people).

2. When it comes to spiritual beliefs, there's no solid basis for saying that any one of them is more likely to be true than any other (except when they blatantly contradict observable facts).

3. However, there are some beliefs so patently absurd that we want to dismiss them out of hand and show them no respect (for example, suppose a genuine believer in the flying spaghetti monster).


In general, I disagree with 1. I do not think that beliefs are something that can be respected. Do not confuse this with me saying that I don't think you should respect any beliefs, what I am saying is that I don't think you can talk about beliefs as something that can be respected. Insofar as I understand the notion of respect, only agents meet the qualifications necessary to be respected. Now with that said, it seems to follow that your entire paradigm presents a somewhat strange way of approaching the issue of faith.

My approach is simple, really. Do not care about people's beliefs, just care about their actions. No one's beliefs have any effect on me at all. Only their actions do. As such, when it comes to acting on matters of faith, use the same (likely subjective) criteria for whether or not to show the person respect or disrespect as you would in any other case. I do not feel there is anything unique enough about faith that it deserves it's own special category when determining how you ought to act towards others.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Brickmack » Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:51 am UTC

In general, if the person is simply believing in something ("I believe jesus is the son of god") it's ok, but if they start forcing it on others ("BELIEVE THIS OR YOU WILL BURN IN *HELL*!!!") or giving all of their money to it ("I have to give all of my money and possessions and stuff to this guy who said to do it so I can go to heaven") or aren't allowed to talk to non-believers ("Sorry, I can't talk to you because you don't believe in [insert crazy babble here] and you're going to hell", then it is classified as cultish. That's my standard at least.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby curtis95112 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:16 am UTC

So people who take a stance on political issues based on their religious beliefs are cultish? I'm not sure if you're comfortable writing off such a large set of people as cultists.
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Роберт wrote:Sure, but at least they hit the intended target that time.

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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby TranquilFury » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:40 am UTC

curtis95112 wrote:So people who take a stance on political issues based on their religious beliefs are cultish? I'm not sure if you're comfortable writing off such a large set of people as cultists.

Does it matter what you call them? They are still going to replace their own identities/priorities with the identity of the group, an act equivalent to intellectual suicide.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby curtis95112 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:08 am UTC

I agree. But the word "cult" carries too many negative connotations to accurately describe these people.
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
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Роберт wrote:Sure, but at least they hit the intended target that time.

Well, if you shoot enough people, you're bound to get the right one eventually.

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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby brenok » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:58 am UTC

curtis95112 wrote:I agree. But the word "cult" carries too many negative connotations to accurately describe these people.


cult

Pronunciation: /kʌlt/
noun
1a system of religious veneration and devotion directed towards a particular figure or object

Origin:
early 17th century (originally denoting homage paid to a divinity): from French culte or Latin cultus 'worship', from cult- 'inhabited, cultivated, worshipped', from the verb colere


So, what's a more accurate description of someone who resigns his own capacity of think?
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Azrael » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:51 pm UTC

Did you just quote the dictionary into a Serious Business thread?

Seriously, take a break for a while. Come back when you're willing to acknowledge that there can be a lot more to a word's connotations and usage.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Denebola » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:06 pm UTC

SalsaSnake wrote:My approach is simple, really. Do not care about people's beliefs, just care about their actions. No one's beliefs have any effect on me at all. Only their actions do. As such, when it comes to acting on matters of faith, use the same (likely subjective) criteria for whether or not to show the person respect or disrespect as you would in any other case. I do not feel there is anything unique enough about faith that it deserves it's own special category when determining how you ought to act towards others.


I don't really think only caring about people's actions is a very sensible way of living. Every single action comes from a context, and understanding the context is surely the way to begin understanding the action, right? If you refuse to think about where the action came from and why, then what's even the point of considering it in the first place?

As for the original question, I generally take a strict policy of being politely and quietly respectful about faith. I only judge when someone's faith leads to actions that seriously affect another person in a questionable way.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby The Fool » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:02 am UTC

Here's a fun way to look at this discussion. Jesus addressed this very topic in the Bible at Matthew 7:15-19. Here's a quote.

15 “Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to YOU in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. 16 By their fruits YOU will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they? 17 Likewise every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit; 18 a good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, neither can a rotten tree produce fine fruit. 19 Every tree not producing fine fruit gets cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Really, then, by their fruits YOU will recognize those [men]."

So sum it up, you can tell a legitimate faith vs a wacky Cult in that a legitimate faith will produce good things. It's teachings would have to be good, it's adherents would have to be good, etc etc. If a religion's teachings OR if it's members are harmful than it's a rotten "tree"/wacky cult. Which is basically what many of you have already said, I guess I just wanted to include the fact that Jesus had a similar thought to contribute.
The Fool
 
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