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Discussion: Week One


Forum: Atheist and Agnostic Parenting

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  #1  
August 1st, 2006, 04:23 PM
NaynayPie's Avatar Super Mommy
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Hi!

Welcome to our first of hopefully many weekly discussion topics. To make it fair, I think that whoever answers first can pick the topic for next week's talk. Does that sound okay to everyone participating?

Is there any difference between a long-established religion, such as Xianty or Judaism, and a cult such as People's Temple (more commonly known as Jonestown)?

Are these differences major or minor?

~Nay
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  #2  
August 1st, 2006, 05:03 PM
my_boys_are_my_joy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I've heard it said that a religion is just a cult with more members. I can't say that I agree. When I think of a cult, I think of people who put themselves in danger due to their beliefs. I think people abide by whatever religion gives them comfort. Unlike many nonbelievers, I don't find religion or faith harmful--obviously, there are extreme cases. To me the line between religion and cult is where it gets harmful--like playing with poisonous snakes because God won't let you die.
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  #3  
August 2nd, 2006, 04:00 PM
Number_3's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I would say the big difference is not in the longeveity of any group but the fact that their beliefs and/or practices lay outside of the mainstream of that culture's norm. The term 'cult' has negative connotations in western society, and is often used as derogatory. It seems that the perception of 'cultish' behavior is in the eye of the beholder though. To me, as main stream as Christianity is today, evangelicals and the like seem very cultish to me. Go figure.
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