Haruhiism is a legitimate religion
Debate Rounds (3)
An easy argument would be to dismiss it as a mock religion, but that's a poor argument, if a site lists a religion as dangerous as Scientology, then surly it should list something as harmless as Haruhiism.
So does anyone disagree with it being a legitimate religion?
While I personally don't object to Haruhiism out of principle, I find this topic interesting enough to play devil's advocate.
To start off, since you offer no definitions (and that to start defining things in the 2nd of 3 rounds would greatly limit constructive arguments), I would like to define the following:
Legitimate: in accordance with established rules, principles, or standards.
Religion: a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
Both of these definitions were taken from http://dictionary.reference.com..., please state and explain any objections and offer alternative definitions if you have any.
Now, to crack this thing open, I would argue that Haruhiism is indeed a mock religion and to attempt to take it seriously is a refuge in audacity. The reason that it's not recognized as a serious religion is because there is very little to recognize in even a religious standpoint.
The easiest argument, as you said, is to dismiss it entirely, but I don't see how that's a poor argument, nor do I see the relevance of your comparison to Scientology. Compared to the history of some of the "big" religions, Scientology is relatively harmless, yet that doesn't take away from the recognized credibility that the "big" religions (Christianity, Islam, etc.) enjoy. The legitimacy of religion isn't drawn from whether or not it's good for people, it comes from legal or societal recognition. That having been said, I believe that the reason Haruhiism isn't given any serious consideration is because of it's origins and it's lack of any serious substance.
To begin with the origins: Haruhiism, and please do correct me if we're referring to different religions, refers to the belief that Haruhi Suzumiya, the title character and protagonist for the Haruhi Suzumiya series, is in-fact the supreme being. This is the basis for the plot, and some of the fandom seem to have taken the idea of Haruhi being God, and proclaimed it to be truth. This is what I've found as the start of it, and it seems to have spread through the Internet and the fandom from there. Now after reading an article(1) on Haruhiism, I would say that there is certainly nothing wrong with some of the interpretive messages that one can find in Haruhiism, but that being said; to accept it as a serious religion is taking it a bit far. Haruhiism has no central tenants, aside from acknowledging Haruhi as God, nor has it any discernible practices. Haruhiism is as serious as the Jedi Church, in-that some of the values it may represent might be "good", but as a whole entity it ought not to be taken seriously.
Continuing further, I would argue that the largest reason that Haruhiism isn't given any legitimate recognition is because it lacks any sort of standard practices or systematic demonstrations of worship, as I briefly mentioned above. Looking at the religions that are viewed as legitimate, the vast majority, if not the entirety, of them have sets of standard rituals or practices that are carried out. For the sake of argument, I will use the two most predominate example of religion, Christianity and Islam. In Christianity, one can look at the observance of the sacraments, rites performed by members of the clergy, and in Islam, there is the observance of the Pillars of Islam. In both of these examples, there are clear rites or rituals that are observed by the faithful. Haruhiism, to my understanding, has no such practices and to those not familiar with it, no clear message. I think it says a lot that the only information regarding the remote possibility of these practices existing I could find existed on an Uncyclopedia page (Which isn't something I normally consider to be a serious source) that had since been deleted, that I was linked to through Knowyourmeme(2).
Using the definitions I have provided, as you didn't propose any, I would argue that it's simply for a lack of societal recognition, and a system of practices, that Haruhiism isn't viewed as a "legitimate religion". That isn't to say that I disagree with some of the ideas and values that can be drawn from it, it's just a matter of making a distinction between a "mock religion" and true religious belief and practice.
Please forgive me if my sources aren't academic, but the topic seems to necessitate the use of Internet culture.
Point one, you say it can't be taken seriously even from a religious standpoint, yet doesn't the definition state "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency..." and with that, the belief is that Haruhi, a superhuman individual, controls the universe .
Point two, you have a point in terms of history of the "big" religions, which is true but it could be assumed that Scientology would have done those things in the past as well if they existed but as it stands, they still do a lot of serious harm. This is an aside, the reason I brought it up was because it was created because it was created by L. Ron Hubbard and rumoured to have been created to make money , however it remains unproven, the religion is still based of science fiction.
Point three, you mention the Jedi Church, something I was going to bring up at some point to prove that while origins may lay in fiction, they can still develop into a legitimate religion, the Jedi as a religion received quite a following with a British MP claiming to be the first Jedi MP  and as it appeared on a number of censuses around the world, it can be seen as a legitimate religion.
Point four, while I accept you may be right in a sense with the rules and worship, as well as standard practice, you have to understand that Haruhiism is chaotic and that there can be no set rules or practices, the reason for this is because Haruhi celebrates all and any holiday and do different things on different days , so every holiday is open to celebration.
And in this case, there is no order to the chaos, only the belief that Haruhi is God, to call a "mock religion" based on the fact that it doesn't conform with existing religions and standards is a cheap argument to make, the real argument would be to prove that it can't be a legitimate religion.
1) I'll grant the first point in that I can see where you would interpret what I meant in the manner in which you did. That statement was more intended to be a joke along the lines of: "This is crazy, even compared to regular religion." I apologize if that didn't come across.
2) You state that Scientology "would have done those things in the past as well if they existed..." but that's irrelevant, Scientology (and this isn't a defense for the actions of the Church of Scientology) hasn't been around long enough to do the same sort of quantitative or qualitative harms that "big religion" has, however this is still off-topic.
3) While I personally find the idea of a Jedi member of Parliament to be the funniest thing I've heard in some time, that doesn't change the fact that while the origins of Scientology, the Jedi Church, and Haruhiism may be all rooted in fiction, one could make the argument that all religion is based in fiction from certain standpoints. An Atheist would certainly make that argument, but there is a weighted difference in absurdity between the Jedi Church and Haruhiism, much in the same way there is a weighted difference in absurdity between Christianity and Scientology (but that's a separate debate entirely), the issue comes from whether or not Haruhiism fits the standards that society, through language, have set for religion, which I believe I have demonstrated it doesn't. Also, to point out two things, Jamie Reed (the politician in question) also claimed to be a "good Methodist" so I believe that his statement about being a Jedi, while still hilarious, ought to be taken with a grain of salt, and that (While I cringe to use Wikipedia as a source, I must beg forgiveness because I'm still doing it) no country has officially recognized Jediism as an official religion.
4) I, being somewhat familiar with the Haruhi Suzumiya series, certainly see where you come from in arguing that it's chaotic. But with that having been said, with an understanding that Haruhiism is integrally chaotic, and granting that we can assume the actions of Haruhi as God would be similar to the actions of Haruhi in the source material in terms of rearranging states of matter and reality, the belief in Haruhi seems to turn into a matter Ontology as opposed to religious belief. If you grant my point that Haruhiism, as "religion" has no set practices, you seem to depart from the realm of religious belief and practice.
Your point about my classification of Haruhiism as a "mock religion" doesn't hold water because of your statement that it doesn't conform with standards. If we wish to employ language, there must be standards for what does and does not "fit the bill" when referring to a word. Currently, as you've granted, Haruhiism doesn't fit the standards of our current definition of religion, end of story. While that could certainly change with time, the fact of the matter is that currently, Haruhiism can't be classified as true religion. While I certainly see where you're coming from in saying that my having pointed that out is "cheap", it doesn't change the fact that it's true, and thereby a "real argument".
You raise a point in my definition of legitimate but don't say anything substantive so I'll assume you accept it while raising the point you did. With that in mind, you must logically admit that, as per the resolution (I'm assuming it's "Haruhiism is a legitimate religion" because it's never explicitly stated) Haruhiism isn't a legitimate religion after having applied the definition of legitimate and through your own statement that "it doesn't conform with existing religions and standards". I am in no way attempting to dispute the potential value of the ideas of Haruhiism, I personally believe that the world needs a little more chaos to take it's mind off some of the darker problems plaguing it, but even then I would argue that it doesn't meet that which must be met for the status of true religion. I would compare the categorizing of Haruhiism to the attempt to redefine the word Santorum, something done through the attempted popularization of the desired meaning. While many people may certainly associate the word Santorum with it's "new definition", the language hasn't changed to reflect that and until it does, it's not a legitimate change.
I also have a problem with your claim that I need to prove that it isn't a legitimate religion. You're making the case that it's a legitimate religion, therefore, as the affirmative, the burden of proof lays on you. You've certainly attempted to rebut my points, commendably so, but the fact that you've raised no original arguments aside from stating that my argument is "cheap" de-legitimizes your case.
Thank you for a speedy response, and I look forward to (hopefully :D) another one.
1) http://www.publications.parliament.uk... (it's a little above half-way down the page)
Point three, it could be said that in a dominant Christian country, someone at some point may have found the idea of a Muslim member of Parliament to be funny and yes, it could be said all religions are based in fiction but that doesn't have any relevance to the legitimacy of a religion. Recognition is not the same as legitimate, Palestine is not a recognised state by the UN  but this doesn't mean it can't be a legitimate state and besides the question wasn't "Should Haruhiism be a recognised religion" because I believe for that, it would need a decent sized following.
Point four, with regard to ontology, can't the same be said for a number of Gods and such? If I am not mistaken, Jesus turned water into wine, among other miracles, although he did so knowingly, Haruhi changes things without realising it, such as making a cat talk , but really, these changes are no different to the miracles that Jesus preformed.
Addition one, just because something does not conform to standards does not dismiss it, things change and evolve over time, to accept something that is different to the set standards allows for similar ideas of that nature to come through, so if you can believe Haruhiism is a legitimate religion, then there's nothing preventing other religions coming up that are similar in nature.
Addition two, some of this I have answered already but redefining a word, while not recognised by language doesn't subtract from it's legitimacy, if people are willing to concede to a new definition, then in time, it may become recognised.
Addition three, the only argument I dismissed as "cheap" is the one to claim that it is a "mock religion" because that is to say that people would only use it jokingly and not mean it. You said you don't dispute the potential values of Haruhiism, so if that's the case then what is there to prevent it from being a legitimate religion and shake the stigma of a mock religion? The only problem I am seeing put forward is that it doesn't conform to current standards but as mention previous, things change.
In closing, I will say that you have raised a few decent arguments but the mostly revolve around definitions and sticking firmly to those definitions, if people are open to change and new ideas, there is nothing to prevent this from moving from a legitimate religion to a recognised religion.
This is all I have to say and is my final word on this debate, it was enjoyable, so thank you for that and I hope this response came in a reasonable time as with the last.
I completely agree with dropping points 1 and 2.
On your 3rd point: Again, I must apologize for any misconception in the point I was making. In regards to a self-proclaimed (even in jest) Jedi being a member of Parliament, that was intended in a positive manner, I certainly wish my congressional representative was a Jedi, that'd be amazing on so many levels. As for your point of the difference between recognition and legitimacy, your point makes no sense as legal legitimacy requires recognition. Otherwise, I could make the argument that my bedroom could be a legitimate state, even though it's not recognized. It'd have all the parts of a state, a government (a dictatorship), a population (me, myself, and I), and sovereignty (It's my room). For something to be considered legitimate, with the understanding of legitimate we are operating under, recognition is presupposed.
The difference is that while, to use belief in Jesus as an example, certainly has ontological aspects to it, through it's practices and the comprehensiveness of it's message and the manner through which the message is communicated (the Sacraments and other rites), Christianity is more of a "real" religion. Haruhiism isn't (while I'm aware this may sound stuck it, it's not intended to) as "complete" of a religion. As I tried to point out, Haruhiism as it stands lacks some of the integral parts of what defines religion. To quote myself, "I personally believe that the world needs a little more chaos to take it's mind off some of the darker problems plaguing it, but even then I would argue that it doesn't meet that which must be met for the status of true religion." I stand by that statement.
For your additions:
1) Nowhere have I mentioned dismissing the idea of Haruhiism outright, and while I certainly agree that opinions and meaning change over time, what I've been arguing is the point that as it stands, at this point in time, Haruhiism cannot be considered a legitimate religion. Whether or not that can change in the future is irrelevant and immaterial to the resolution being debated. In fact, you can cross apply this point to your 2nd addition.
3) It was never my intention to demean or stigmatize Haruhiism by applying the term "mock religion", it's simply the term I saw you use and then picked up for the debate, I sincerely apologize if that's came across.
You also never addressed my claim to your not taken on the burden of proof, so I'll assume that you recognize that point as valid.
In summary, I think this debate was very interesting and I hope that you took as much away from it as I did, but I think I win on these two points:
1) You never adequately shouldered the burden of proof, what arguments you brought up were nearly in response to arguments I made, and this issue ought to be an 'a priori' voting issue.
2) I believe my point of the resolution having to do with the current state of Haruhiism flows across and that alone grants me the win. I've been arguing that as it stands, Haruhiism isn't a legitimate religion. Talking about it becoming one is extra-topical and ought to be disregarded.
Con wins on either of these points alone, but I can claim both of them, so I believe I've won this one.
My final word will be that I'm very grateful to have debated someone with good logical argumentation, and I certainly look forward to debating with you in the future.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by vmpire321 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Wow.. This debate... Personally, I believe that CON presented better points and PRO didn't fulfill his duty completely.