Religion Black and White

Panda Termint

Cabal Of One
Oh I didn't mean so much that you were misquoting me in this particular case. I was just celebrating misquoting in general.
Selective quoting; Veda does that sometimes. I've learned to live with it, just as I've learned to live with the fact that scientology is considered a religion in some spheres. It's not really important to me, given the miniscule percentage of the population which adheres to "scientology as a religion", but some people seem to have a problem with it. :)
 

Veda

Sponsor
Oh I didn't mean so much that you were misquoting me in this particular case.

-snip-

Thank you for acknowleding that I wasn't misquoting you.

As I'm sure you've noticed, any posts that are shortened - for brevity or for emphasis - are accompanied by the word "snip," which indicates that shortening; and every quoted post has an horizontal arrow at the top that, when clicked, will instantly bring the person to the full original post.

Selective quoting; Veda does that sometimes. I've learned to live with it, just as I've learned to live with the fact that scientology is considered a religion in some spheres. It's not really important to me, given the miniscule percentage of the population which adheres to "scientology as a religion", but some people seem to have a problem with it. :)

Some people might have a problem with it because - protected by its religious cloaking - it's still hurting people, including children.

But, gee, that's only "a miniscule percentage of the population."

So, who cares? Right?

To the point at hand: I have no idea what it is you are trying to stir up, but it's not going to work.

You reached your peak at that on the 'Cheese in the trap' thread, which you pretty well destroyed, although it took a while for your destructive effect to die down. My mistake was in responding to you more than the minimal one time, or even at all.

I'm responding to you this one time to let you know that I don't want to play your weird little game.
 

Anonycat

Crusader
Thank you for acknowleding that I wasn't misquoting you.

As I'm sure you've noticed, any posts that are shortened - for brevity or for emphasis - are accompanied by the word "snip," which indicates that shortening; and every quoted post has an horizontal arrow at the top that, when clicked, will instantly bring the person to the full original post.



Some people might have a problem with it because - protected by its religious cloaking - it's still hurting people, including children.

But, gee, that's only "a miniscule percentage of the population."

So, who cares? Right?

To the point at hand: I have no idea what it is you are trying to stir up, but it's not going to work.

You reached your peak at that on the 'Cheese in the trap' thread, which you pretty well destroyed, although it took a while for your destructive effect to die down. My mistake was in responding to you more than the minimal one time, or even at all.

I'm responding to you this one time to let you know that I don't want to play your weird little game.

The Panda isn't really a stirrer - and to me, he seems like the opposite. Unlike me, he seems to have the will to avoid the wordplay I enjoy. And, I think his way is the high road, and mine is not. I just start shooting from the hip, and Panda is a better one than I. I can see that.

If you want to go at him for 'destroying a thread', please make your case. Please post links and copy and explain. Besides not being a troll, or getting coarse, as I do, I would expect him to be treated with at least the respect that I am. I should have been called out before him.

There are far more Jedi where he is, and culties in the low hundreds, is pretty insignificant. Australian scientology is pretty much over.
 
Selective quoting; Veda does that sometimes. I've learned to live with it, just as I've learned to live with the fact that scientology is considered a religion in some spheres. It's not really important to me, given the miniscule percentage of the population which adheres to "scientology as a religion", but some people seem to have a problem with it. :)
Jesus Christ! you have surpassed yourself this time.
You've learned to live with the fact that scientology is considered a religion in some spheres? Well you must have learned that lesson really well, because you have pushed the religion label as much as you could and resisted the cult label as much as you could. And some people seem to have a problem with it -but not you. Funny how i always got the impression you had as much a problem with the religion label as anyone, it's just that your problem was everyone else wanting to take the religion label away completely. Have you suddenly decompressed a couple of mega levels or are you just keeping your image workable?
 

Claire Swazey

Spokeshole, fence sitter
Selective quoting; Veda does that sometimes. I've learned to live with it, just as I've learned to live with the fact that scientology is considered a religion in some spheres. It's not really important to me, given the miniscule percentage of the population which adheres to "scientology as a religion", but some people seem to have a problem with it. :)

It's nice to be in a position where one can point out being misquoted or misrepresented. Some of us cannot do so. (snickering) :lol:
 

Panda Termint

Cabal Of One
<...snip> I don't want to play your weird little game.
What's weird is your propensity for personal attacks on fellow ESMBers when they disagree with you and your revisionist approach in reconstructing earlier threads where you choose to
eliminate any disagreement or dissenting opinion and quote only those posts which validate/agree with the truth-according-to-Veda. That's just weird! I think you should reconsider this approach, it makes less of the good stuff you post. :)
 

Panda Termint

Cabal Of One
Jesus Christ! you have surpassed yourself this time.
You've learned to live with the fact that scientology is considered a religion in some spheres? Well you must have learned that lesson really well, because you have pushed the religion label as much as you could and resisted the cult label as much as you could. And some people seem to have a problem with it -but not you. Funny how i always got the impression you had as much a problem with the religion label as anyone, it's just that your problem was everyone else wanting to take the religion label away completely. Have you suddenly decompressed a couple of mega levels or are you just keeping your image workable?
:lol: You're imagining things! I think scientology is both a Cult and a Religion. It's not a religion which I endorse but I do support the right of others to consider it a religion if they so choose. I doubt that it will ever be Declared an un-religion in the US or Oz. How would that work? BTW, I like Pastafarians too but refuse to wear a colander. :biggrin:
 

Lermanet_com

Gold Meritorious Patron
So, on the drive home from work yesterday I listened to a series of short clips taken from Hubbard lectures that are posted on Youtube under the title "Hubbard shows us the Matrix" (At least some of these clips are introduced as excerpts taken from the Phoenix Lectures). Hubbard's statements are wildly ridiculous and outlandish. He goes on and on about events on the "time track" that are supposed to have occurred millions of years ago, about space invasions and crazy pseudoscientific theories that are transparently ludicrous. Nevertheless, one can plainly hear in the background the tittering agreement of the audience. These people were utterly smitten with Hubbard, and were apparently willing to take his rambling, barely coherent, preposterous nonsense for indisputable fact. So, what the fuck IS that? It certainly looks like the thrall of religious devotion. If it's not that, then what is it?

 
:lol: You're imagining things! I think scientology is both a Cult and a Religion. It's not a religion which I endorse but I do support the right of others to consider it a religion if they so choose. I doubt that it will ever be Declared an un-religion in the US or Oz. How would that work? BTW, I like Pastafarians too but refuse to wear a colander. :biggrin:

No. I am not imagining things. What's with saying that you think of it as a religion and .......not a religion you endorse......but you support the right of others to consider it a religion.? Where are You hiding in that? This is after telling me i am imagining things for saying you have been pushing the religion label. I hope you finished your last OT level with plenty of BTs still clinging to you because you a need few to maintain the clusterfuck that comes out when you try to push your views and deny them at the same time.
 

Panda Termint

Cabal Of One
No. I am not imagining things. What's with saying that you think of it as a religion and .......not a religion you endorse......but you support the right of others to consider it a religion.? Where are You hiding in that? This is after telling me i am imagining things for saying you have been pushing the religion label. I hope you finished your last OT level with plenty of BTs still clinging to you because you a need few to maintain the clusterfuck that comes out when you try to push your views and deny them at the same time.
WTF are you talking about, db? I've always (as far as I recall) said that I think scientology is a religion here in Oz. That it is also a Cult is obvious. Do you think these two words are mutually exclusive? I don't. Sometimes it's just a matter of perspective; One man's religion is another man's cult.

Why resort to personal commentary? I'm just expressing my point of view. What's so wrong about that? :confused2:
 

ClearedSP

Patron with Honors
Nevertheless, one can plainly hear in the background the tittering agreement of the audience. These people were utterly smitten with Hubbard, and were apparently willing to take his rambling, barely coherent, preposterous nonsense for indisputable fact. So, what the fuck IS that? It certainly looks like the thrall of religious devotion. If it's not that, then what is it?

The leader-follower dynamic in humans can be irrational and overwhelming.

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nazi_salute_crying-500x332.jpg
 

Queenmab321

Patron Meritorious
That's a trait, but not unique to religion, being swept up in a political or social movement, or in science, might do much the same.

Right, this is exactly the criticism subsequent social scientists bring to the Durkheim definition I quoted earlier. For example, I suspect that if one were able to observe first hand the behavior of, let's say, the Symbionese Liberation Army in the early 1970's, one would probably encounter social/psychological patterns very similar to those characteristic of an Al Qaeda cell today. This, despite the SLA members' avowed atheism and the Al Queda members' extreme devotion to a radical version of Islam.

Religion does have some distinctive traits, though. The most obvious being, empirically unverifiable beliefs about one or more deities, spirits, or other immortal forms of consciousness. Causation will usually be attributed to the immortal consciousness(es). There will be teachings about what happens when humans die. Acts will be defined as right or wrong either because the spirits say so, or based on conformity with (alleged) universal laws; Ṛta and karma bind even the gods. There will be rituals, practices, and holidays.

Wouldn't you agree Scientology fits this definition?

This is a beginning, but to take it further, there needs to be a context. Like, if we're talking philosophically, historically, or as social scientists, we might accept a group as religious, even if the IRS wouldn't dream of giving them tax exempt status. The IRS says they can't be heavily political, or funnel piles of cash/benefits to their leadership, and "the organization’s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy." I can't find any sign of FLDS organizations with 501(c)(3) status. No Thuggee Church, or tax-exempt temple prostitution.

I'm not terribly familiar with the restrictions imposed by statue on groups attempting to qualify for 501(c)(3). The law appears to draw a bright line between sincerely held beliefs, on the one hand, and actions, on the other, based on those beliefs, which may violate the specific provisions for qualification under the statute and, more generally, actions that are (as you point out) illegal or violate fundamental public policy. In an earlier post I said I don't believe it's obvious COS deserves its tax exempt status. This isn't because I don't think Scientology is a religion. It's because the actions of COS appear to me to violate the prohibited transactions listed under section 503 of the code, and because COS regularly engages in activities under "fair game" that may reasonably be construed as illegal and/or in violatation of fundamental public policy (Of course, alledged criminal behavior has to be established as such in accordance with the rules of due process).

It's my understanding that definitions of religion employed by social scientists are likely to be narrower rather than broader than those arrived at by the courts. This is because the courts have intentionally refrained from "establishing an exact or a narrow definition of religion because freedom of religion is a dynamic guarantee that was written in a manner to ensure flexibility and responsiveness to the passage of time."

Since I live in the US, where the IRS is nearly the sole arbiter of what constitutes religion, and where there is really no effing chance that churches will be taxed in my lifetime, I have to conclude that scientology is not a religion, and that it was granted 501(c)(3) status due to extortion induced error. The CoS went into court, not once but twice, claiming that fair gaming people was legally untouchable, since it was a core religious belief of scientologists. This is essentially proof, in their own words, that they can never honestly meet the legal criteria for religion in the US. Core beliefs violate fundamental public policy.

Actually, if I'm not mistaken, the IRS relies for its definition of religion on the language of the statutes, which originate in Congress, and on the definition of religion established by the U.S. Supreme Court. This definition is, as I mentioned, intentionally broad. It's largely found in cases dealing with qualification for exemption from compulsory military service, i.e., conscientious objector status, in times of war. The Supreme Court has interpreted religion to mean a sincere and meaningful belief that occupies in the life of its possessor a place parallel to the place held by God in the lives of other persons. The religion or religious concept need not include belief in the existence of God or a supreme being to be within the scope of the First Amendment.

It's important to note that this legal definition of religion, as interpreted in light of the Establishment Clause, goes far beyond mere exemption from taxation. As Veda points out, it provides legal protection for activities that would otherwise be fraudulent or illegal were they not deemed to be the exercise of religious freedom.

United States v. Ballard, 322 U.S. 78 (1944) is an important, relevant case and well worth reading. In his dissent, Chief Justice Stone articulates the possibility of creating just the sort of "religious veil" employed by COS.

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=8081446579805447557&hl=en&as_sdt=80005&sciodt=2,11



So if you're over at your best friend's house, and you're smoking a joint and waxing philosophical, sure, scientology's a religion, just like being a Trotskyite, or attending Landmark Education, or swooning over Ayn Rand. Maybe nationalism's a religion. Maybe my marriage can be a religion. (No thanks, that last hit was plenty.) If it can be, does that mean that all of my descendants can live tax free forever?

And at that point, you've come full circle. In theory, almost anything can be a religion. From a pragmatic, political perspective, very few beliefs (if any) should be singled out for the special privileges that come with that label.

In an earlier post I expressed my opinion that a policy of providing tax exemption for religious organizations that is contingent upon a restriction of political activity on the part of those organizations may be a form of government control of religion. If so, I'm not convinced it's a bad policy.
 

Veda

Sponsor
The Panda isn't really a stirrer - and to me, he seems like the opposite. Unlike me, he seems to have the will to avoid the wordplay I enjoy. And, I think his way is the high road, and mine is not. I just start shooting from the hip, and Panda is a better one than I. I can see that.

-snip-

Such a sycophantic display, as you have just provided, is disturbing to observe. Please get off your knees. I like you better when you're standing.
 

Panda Termint

Cabal Of One
Such a sycophantic display, as you have just provided, is disturbing to observe. Please get off your knees. I like you better when you're standing.
That's very personal of you, Veda.

Let me try that personal approach for a moment;

If what Anonycat stated was being said about you, you would have quoted it 5 times and added it to your sig line by now!

Be careful getting off that high horse when you eventually get around to it.

Nah, I don't like it. Personal attacks and bullying tactics irritate me.
 

Anonycat

Crusader
Jesus Christ! you have surpassed yourself this time.
You've learned to live with the fact that scientology is considered a religion in some spheres? Well you must have learned that lesson really well, because you have pushed the religion label as much as you could and resisted the cult label as much as you could. And some people seem to have a problem with it -but not you. Funny how i always got the impression you had as much a problem with the religion label as anyone, it's just that your problem was everyone else wanting to take the religion label away completely. Have you suddenly decompressed a couple of mega levels or are you just keeping your image workable?

I have this sudden urge to talk to you about the planets we are from ... Panda does not push the cult as religion. Dropping 'workable'? Even he doesn't type workable. Seriously. Please offer links to him pushing scientology in context. Thanks in advance.
 

DoneDeal

Patron Meritorious
Of course it can. It even happens amongst those who really should know better. I sometimes think people leave a cult and sometimes have to find a new one...


I have thought about that. There is absolutely no way I could ever join another religion.

"I'm looking though you" comes to mind. And I ain't even that smart! but the christians and Jdubs that come to the door got the same eyes.

Love, ha. Join or die. k. got it.

beatles cult was a cool one
 

I told you I was trouble

Suspended animation
Of course it can. It even happens amongst those who really should know better. I sometimes think people leave a cult and sometimes have to find a new one...


Don't you be talking about those poor, sad Indies like that Claire, it's terribly disrespectful!

(oh, go on then ... you're absolutely right.).




:hide:



Lol.
 
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