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What distinguishes a cult from a religion from a philosophy?

By Curt_Anderson
August 14, 2022 5:08 pm
Category: Philosophy

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In a conversation today, I opined that every religion at its genesis started with somebody charismatic enough to attract and convince at least one follower. From there a few more followers joined. At that point outsiders may notice and consider it as a cult. Often times the cult is viewed with hostility.

The essential ingredient of every cult is to have at least one preposterous article of faith lacking any evidence or proof. It could be the claim that a farm boy, directed by an angel found golden plates with divine messages buried in rural upstate New York. Maybe it's a promise of 72 virgins in an afterlife. Maybe it's a story of a man surviving several days inside a great fish. Maybe it's the claim that the man who lost a presidential election by 74 electoral votes and 7,052,770 popular votes was the actual winner. As Mark Twain wrote, "faith is believing what you know ain't so."

If a cult gains enough adherents it may grow up to be a religion. I strongly suspect that every religion since the earliest times has advised adherents on how a person should conduct themselves and relate to others and the world. Usually the advice is in the form of rules or minimally expectations. As I said the essential ingredient of a cult or religion is that article of faith which strains credulity. If it lacks that ingredient it's a philosophy.


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Comments on "What distinguishes a cult from a religion from a philosophy?":

  1. by HatetheSwamp on August 14, 2022 6:47 pm

    Such unrepentant TDS.

    Actually, by your definition, TDS is a cult.


  2. by Curt_Anderson on August 14, 2022 7:21 pm
    What in "TDS" is the essential ingredient that makes it a cult, that is the preposterous article of faith lacking any evidence or proof?


  3. by oldedude on August 14, 2022 7:41 pm
    That's why I've used the term Liberation World Order. This is like Christianity (inclusive), with TDS being a common factor in a couple of the facets. The LWO does not listen to anyone else. There is no "negotiation" or compromise. It accepts that people will die and that's okay. As long as their adherents stay the course and never bend. So, when I say that, know that I am very specific about my language. And yes, it is using Marxist and Guevaran methods to get this done. You don't like to hear the tapes about "re-education" camps, but that is a scary feature of it. People eating out of garbage trucks? Bombing pro-life offices? No problem.

    And they're playing right into the hands of radical Islam and China. I've put out the link to them 5 times now. I'm not putting it out any more. Read it if you're interested. You might be shocked.


  4. by Donna on August 14, 2022 10:06 pm
    Who's feeding you all this, Q?


  5. by oldedude on August 15, 2022 6:08 am
    The LWO site that I've posted three time. You should actually read my posts. I actually posted one time the things they want to do. I asked you to take a look at them, which apparently you didn't bother to.


  6. by islander on August 15, 2022 6:40 am

    Here ya go, Donna.

    Check these out:

    en.wikipedia.org
    world101.cfr.org


  7. by Donna on August 15, 2022 7:29 am
    I've read what you've posted on the LWO od. It strikes me as sonething that someone who was filled with a lot of pain, resentfulness and anger would immerse onesself in. No thanks.


  8. by oldedude on August 15, 2022 12:31 pm
    First, fuck you. I have really tried to get you to read these to get you to expand just a micrometre or so. I know it's really hard in your shallow little hole, but it was not done to mock you or anything else. I find id laughable that you won't even read my posts but serve an "intervention" for some eunuch that won't read them either and is too afraid to tell me anything after I warned him, tied to a guy that lacks any understanding of a larger picture. I pity your all's existence. I think it's a good view of how you see the ideal world. And that is nowhere near a slight or anything else.

    That I get to mock you ruthlessly now is my prerogative that I'll reserve at my will.


  9. by Donna on August 15, 2022 3:06 pm
    That ^^^^^^ is an example of the kind of person who would immerse himself in unhinged conspiratorial nonsense.


  10. by islander on August 15, 2022 4:22 pm

    I think oldude could possibly be suffering from the early stages of dementia. My uncle began to act like that at first. He began to have fits of anger and throw temper tantrums over virtually anything. His thoughts began to become fractured and disconnected so that it was sometimes hard to understand what he was talking about.

    I've raised my three children and now have grandchildren, as toddlers an occasional temper tantrum was something you learn to deal with and the best way to handle one is to simply ignore it.


  11. by oldedude on August 15, 2022 4:45 pm
    "I think oldude could possibly be suffering from the early stages of dementia."

    Actually, It was wholly about you completely not reading my posts and then telling to clarify. OVERANDOVERANDOVERANDOVER without gaining any traction. Your unwillingness to actually listen to me so many times, even when you were/are doing the same thing. You believe that Trump is (present tense, Mar-a-Largo). And yet, you have no solid evidence. You have hearsay evidence. I'm not disputing the veracity of your claims, but you had zero to back it up with. You were using "feelings" regarding what you feel are your facts.

    I actually used facts to back up my claim. I was more than stunned and really disappointed when you "claimed" to know nothing about Crossfire Hurricane." I know you have a computer, and apparently you can use it. When you feigned ignorance, it was a revelation that you wouldn't even bother to know about that. It was brought up by name several times.


    "I've raised my three children and now have grandchildren,"
    I'm sure that you truly believe in your heart that you are the only person to have done that. Three kids and a stepson. We moved in order to support my stepson and my daughter in law. We take care of him 3-5 days a week, depending on their shifts and schedules. In my prior life I was an operator, worked intelligence, and financial crimes (mostly at different times. How do I know about the classified system? I worked in it for 40+ years.

    I know you honestly believe you are a superior being. I believe that you honestly believe that I am a lessor person than you. Okay, I'll just take your narcissism into account when you post. Although I really hate the bully on the block, especially one that hides behind a computer.


  12. by Donna on August 16, 2022 8:34 am
    You sound like a psycho. If you're that way in real life and I knew you personally, I'd avoid you.


  13. by HatetheSwamp on August 16, 2022 8:58 am

    "First, f-ck you." -OD

    OD,

    I don't know if you were around when Curt splained that he gets a nasty note from Google when we drop F-bombs. As I understand it, his income from operating this site may be diminished if our language gets out of hand.

    I always chide pondy for her effin language. So, I'll do the same with you.


  14. by oldedude on August 16, 2022 9:59 am
    I wasn't aware of that. Thanks!
    Curt- My apologies.
    And, does this go for other words, terms, or anything else? I may slip every once in a while, but I'll make a concerted effort avoid that in the future.


  15. by oldedude on August 16, 2022 6:58 pm
    "Here ya go, Donna.

    Check these out:

    en.wikipedia.org
    world101.cfr.org"

    She won't read it anyway, and there is lots better information on other sites.


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