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Debate Info

53
21
Cult or Not
Debate Score:74
Arguments:35
Total Votes:109
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 Cult (22)
 
 or Not (13)

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Is Scientology a cult?

Cult

Side Score: 53
VS.

or Not

Side Score: 21
4 points

Yes, Scientology is a cult that is primarily intended to extract large sums of money from their celebrity cult members.

Although they are a cult, I still think they should be free to worship as they choose and as they'd like to, I don't think the government should try to shut them down or anything.

Side: Cult
3 points

Scientology is a personality cult, a mind control cult, a pyramid scheme (with all the money funneled up to it's current leader), a organized crime syndicate, a real estate investment scheme, and many more unsavory things. One thing that it isnt, is a legitimate religion. Scientology was conceived to be a religion so that L. Ron Hubbard could evade paying taxes on the profits he was making from Dianetics. It is simply a cult and a scam.

Side: Cult
2 points

Scientology does involve a set of beliefs, but it's not what we typically think of as a religion. For one, it's been established by one man, L Ron Hubbard, whereas religions through the ages have taken doctrines and myths from their predecessors. Look at how the Judeo-Christian religions are rooted in the same events; look at how Roman and Greek mythologies are related. Scientology, on the other hand, is based on an entirely original creation myth, with none of the historical credibility that religions need. It proclaims as truth things that the rest of the world see as fiction, and that in itself is a good enough reason to call it a cult rather than a religion.

But the main argument against it is this: religions shouldn't be secret. Anyone and everyone has the right to buy a bible, anyone can go to mass. Scientology, on the other hand, is copyrighted by Hubbard, and the 'church' snatches their videos off the internet with threats. It's a secretive cult.

Side: Cult
2 points

Those are both great points! I agree completely with the originality and secretive arguments against Scientology being a religion! It is a secret if you have to pay lots of money to find it out... what about those people who would like to join this "religion" but cannot afford the fees?

Side: Cult
louanne(3) Disputed
1 point

Scientology is not secretive. It's core beliefs are not and even most of its administration is not. The Church also runs somewhat around 800 websites. Did you bother to look at one of them?

Side: or Not
Nikobelia(157) Disputed
1 point

I have, actually. They're universally less informative than any neutral investigations into their 'Church' or any of the sites that aim to expose them. I've heard countless reports of them responding to media statements either with suspicion or by ignoring the questions; here's just one. Their responses to Anonymous misrepresent the group, claim - patently untruthfully - that Anonymous has a sinister leader and destructive motives. They make that kind of claim about anyone who dares upset them. Find and give me a Scientologist-posted link that's upfront about Scientology, and your claim will be credible.

Side: Cult
2 points

Scientology is the result of a social experiment by a scifi author. Think about it. Real hard. If JK Rollins wrote a book on the religion of Hogwarts, wouldn't you consider that a cult?

Side: Cult
2 points

The religious aspect of Scientology is nothing more than a facade put up to keep it tax-exempt. It destroys families and lives. This organization needs to be stopped.

Side: Cult
1 point

www.xenu.net

Next!

Side: Cult
1 point

Two words - Tom Cruise!

Wierdo!
Side: Cult
1 point

Do I have to type an argument..cannot I simply choose a side? There is no question that even in Ron L was alive he would laugh at the ridiculousness of this 'system'

Side: Cult
2 points

I think Mr L Ron Hubbard would be very proud of himself, personally. He's created a massive real-life social experiment, and made a not insignificant number of the rich and famous look ridiculous.

Side: Cult
grillo(44) Disputed
0 points

He created the system. Have you had a chance to read the manuals? They were written by him.

Side: or Not
1 point

Most religions are cults on a grander scale. Having everyone do the same thing, following the same rules or face punishment. Scientology isn't as much a religion as it is a money pit. Other groups don't require your life savings to be saved.

Side: Cult
1 point

All religions are cults...some are worse than others. Scientology is nothing more than a science fiction tale by L. Ron Hubbard taken way too seriously and too literally.

"An idea does not gain truth as it gains followers."

Side: Cult
1 point

Any cult can try to be recognized as a church and religion, but how do you determine what a cult is. Not every cult is secretive some openly try to convince you to join. My definition of a cult is a religion created by someone for other reasons than getting to an afterlife.

Side: Cult

I do believe Scientology is a cult and some of its ex-members have come out and expressed that it is a cult.

Side: Cult
-1 points

Certainly. Scientology has rituals, which makes it a cult. Scientology is the Beautiful People's religion, and like almost all other things that pertain to that crowd, it's a joke.

Side: Cult
Nikobelia(157) Disputed
1 point

How does Scientology having rituals make it a cult by definition? The Catholic church has Mass, a ritual, but that doesn't make it a cult.

Side: Cult
2 points

1. a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies.

2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.

3. the object of such devotion.

4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.

5. Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.

6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.

7. the members of such a religion or sect.

8. any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.

Since Scientology is a scam, no... since a scam cannot be a cult either.

Side: Scientology is a scam
1 point

Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices initially created by American speculative fiction author L. Ron Hubbard. Is every "body of beliefs" a cult? Definitely not.

I'm not a Scientologist, though, so I think what somebody needs to do is email this debate to the Scientologists so that they can properly defend themselves. Here is the link

Supporting Evidence: Wikipedia's take on Scientology (en.wikipedia.org)
Side: or Not
2 points

I don't think "the Scientologists" will answer here. But I do. What makes a "cult". Well, aside from the formal decision a "cult" would be a group which is secretive and closed from view. Scientology is the exact opposite. The main Scientology beliefs are not only open available for everyone but also made available in dozens of languages and thousands of Scientology organizations all over the world. Most buildings have a library and and increasing number of Churches of Scientology host their own exhibition. Scientologists are usually open to all kinds of questions (except of those "questions" are rather personal attacks) and love to communicate. After all open communication is one of the core principles of Scientology. Here is more about that: http://scientologymyths.info

Side: or Not
ghebert(30) Disputed
1 point

"The main Scientology beliefs are not only open available for everyone"

Not true, secret documents have been leaked online. Scientologists will deny anything pertaining to Xenu and the story that we all have the souls of dead aliens in us. They deny it because only the highest level scientologists are allowed to know that secret information.

Side: Cult
kirstie1126(478) Disputed
0 points

They are only openly available if you are willing to pay for it! Have you not seen the South Park episode?! =)

Side: Cult
2 points

Cult is used as a curse word here, to denigrating and ridicule people who chose a minority religion and helping others as their way of life. Scientifically, Scientology has been tested and investigated for years b y a variety of scholars. All of them came to the conclusion that Scientology is a bona-fide religion by sociological standards of the 21st Century.

Side: or Not
1 point

Not a cult, just a bunch of followers that hink if the celebrities are doing it so shouls I. Just look at the Cruises.

Side: or Not
0 points

It is no more of a cult than ANY other religion. It's a group of people with similar beliefs.

Side: or Not
-2 points
Nikobelia(157) Disputed
4 points

It is different - it charges extortionately for membership, rather than asking for donations; it keeps its beliefs secret from many of its own members, and while threatening legal action against anyone who publicises them to the general public. Why's that - because they're obviously ridiculous if you're not hypnotised?

In the past, religions have controlled people, but they've almost always done it during a time when they were the dominant force in a country - people paying a tithe to the church, for example. Scientologists, on the other hand, are a minority, which makes them in many ways more vulnerable to the organisation they're a part of. Look at the case of Noah Lottick: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,972865,00.html

Side: Cult
zekemorgan(6) Disputed
1 point

The story I heard behind Scientology is that it was created for whatever reason with no belief that it would work. When it started taking hold bc maybe people were looking for a different outlet, the creator realized he could make money by doing so. What started up as a religion that was just thrown together became a business. And a dirty one at that.

Side: Cult
1 point

So true!

Side: or Not