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Really what is the difference between a religion and a cult?

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posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 10:36 PM
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I have been really been thinking about this question alot latey, Really what is the difference between a religion and a cult ?. Honesty the only difference is:

1. Mainstream religions are older and have more followers. They also tend to be less controversial for the main part.

Sadly thats it, id like to say theres more difference but theres not. Its as simple as religion is just a euphemistic term for cult




posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 10:41 PM
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A cult is a religion at its early stages. Weather it becomes a religion or not depends on how successful its belief will spread to other people or it can just fade away and remain a cult.

Every religion started as a cult. That's all there is to it.


Cug

posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 11:17 PM
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It's easy

Religion = What we do

Cult = What they do



posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 11:25 PM
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Originally posted by Cug
It's easy

Religion = What we do

Cult = What they do


Simple yet effective, i like it !!

But what about people that do either ?



posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 11:42 PM
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Cult is a bad word to use because of its pejorative nature. There are about eight different definitions for "cult" that I can think of (taken from Wiki):

1. A particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies ex: "the Jesus Cult", "the Krishna Cult", "the Apollo Cult";

2. An instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers ex: the Catholic Cult of "Marianism";

3. The object of such devotion, e.g., the viurgin Mary;

4. A group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc ex: just about everyone who is in a religion;

5. Group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols: Masons, perhaps;

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 , ex: Jim Jones' temple;

7. The members of such a religion or sect, ex: Jim Jones' kool-aid drinkers;

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. "Vitamin B17" "cures" for Cancer.

My wife was raised in a cult where, as part of their rites, they ritualistically committed cannibalism on their god. They termed this symbolic cannibalism "communion" and called themselves "christians"

Most of my friends follow the same cult behavior, the only thing is that they have additional "holy books" and refer to themselves as "mormons"

Yet another group has no formal rites at all, but engage in ritual suicide every four years. they call themselves "democrats".

The bottom line is that calling a religion that is different from one's own as a "cult" is like calling an Italian-American a "wop" or an African-American a "'n-word'"; it really reflects more on the lack of breeding of the person who uses the term than it does on the object of that person's vitriol.



posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 12:35 AM
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OK, lets see. I belong to a group of people that weekly, believe that they are drinking blood and eating the body of the person that symbolizes their belief system. The weekly services are lead by men, that have taken a vow of celibacy, poverty, and yet more than a few have molested, raped, and sodomized young men put in their care. Women in this group are treated like second class citizens and can be forced into retirement and sent away from their home of 23 years without any recource. Money is collected at these weekly meeting to help pay for anything the leaders of this group chooses. Including paying off lawsuits resulting in molestations etc. The home office of this group, located in its own soveriegn state overseas is one of the richest oranizations in the world. Yet the leaders of this group inforce the rules that forbid the use of birthcontrol that might help eliminate the poverty that results when people have more children than they can support. As a matter of fact, the most recent person of this group to be elevated to a superior level being, one more special than us regular humans, made a lifetime carreer of making sure the poorest of poor, the most sickly and hungry have as many children they could push out. Ensuring herself a lifetime job as a result of their misery. Oh yeah, kill someone, rape, lie, steal, or any evil they choose, then go to one of the leaders of this group and ask for absolution(forgiveness) and get it. Off scott free. spiritually speaking. And the next week comes by and its time for some more blood and body. Sounds like a cult to me.....................................

And I was raised in this group and have 11 years of their segregated education. If it were any other group there would be NO hesitation to call this group a cult.

And how many millions of people have died in this world all in the name of this group?



posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 07:06 AM
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Originally posted by helium3
Its as simple as religion is just a euphemistic term for cult


YES. That is 100% correct.


The truth is ALL religions are a cult. ALL OF THEM. Seriously. That is the scholarly truth. Any and all religion is a cult.

Oh .. and Off_The_Street ... your source ... no offense but that was pretty bad. It seriously sounds like someone focusing in Catholicism as a cult without really understanding that ALL religions are cults. (I smell anti-catholicism)

CULT - from the RandomHouse dictionary (sociologists see it the same as this)

1 - A particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to it's rites and ceremonies.

2 - An instance of great venerations of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers.

3 - The object of such devotion.

4 - A group or sect bound together by devotion to or veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.

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

6 - a religion that is consdiered or held to be false, or unorthodox.

That covers all religions. ALL. Any educated sociologist will tell you that all religions are cults, no matter if they be Baptist, Muslim, Hindu, Catholic, Wiccan, free standing bible churches, etc. etc. etc.



[edit on 10/14/2006 by FlyersFan]



posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 11:26 AM
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Flyers fan says:

"Oh .. and Off_The_Street ... your source ... no offense but that was pretty bad."

Notice it was exactly the same as yours (which isn't surprising, since it's from the same source via Wiki).

The only difference was that I put in examples. And, since I was baptized inito the Catholic church, was an altar boy in my youth (and yes, I can still recite the entire Ordinary in Latin, thank you very much), attended a Maryknoll elementary school (for a couple of years) as well as a Jesuit high school, obviously some of my examples are of one of the two Christian denominations with which I am most familiar.

However, you notice that, in addition to the term "Jesus cult" which has nothing to do with Catholicism per se, I also used the terms "Krishna cult" and "Apollo cult". The term "Marian Cult" is widely used today, even by Catholics, since it has been in the news a lot lately, given that two of its pratitioners, the late John Paul II and Andrés Manuel López Obrador, are known world-wide.

And now, if you'll excuse me, introibo ad altare dei, qui laetificat juventutam meam.

[edit on 14-10-2006 by Off_The_Street]



posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 11:43 AM
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Helium 3 says:

"Abodah Zarah 22a-22b . Gentiles prefer sex with cows."

I have read all the mishnim of Avodah Zara and have not seen that phrase. Where did you come up with that quote?



posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 02:49 PM
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Originally posted by Off_The_Street
The only difference was that I put in examples.


Oh goodness .. I think you took that personally. That's why I said 'no offense'.

So YOU are the perp who added the Catholic examples?
ha! That explains things. It looked like you got the info from a place that was just leaning anti-Catholic.

Seriously .. ALL religions are cults. I'm not saying that to be mean. It's just a fact.



posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 04:07 PM
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Flyers, no offense taken whatsoever. I agree that all religions, including my own, are (at least by one definition) "cults".

My chur5ch of record, after a long hiatus from age 20 to 45 as an atheist, is the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, often described as "Catholic Lite".

Given where I live and the bluegrass band I play in, most of my friends are LDS, and these folks get the "cult" thing thrown at them all the time. This annoys me terribly, because they seem to live quite Christian lives, love the Lord, and it's the pejorative use of the term.

the way I look at it is that the only difference between fhe faiths is that, when we all meet our Maker, the Lutherans will probably get better seats.



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