The Instigator
Teleroboxer
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
Firejack
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Is Scientology a religion?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Teleroboxer
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/25/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,821 times Debate No: 11548
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (3)

 

Teleroboxer

Pro

I affirm that Scientology is a religion.

According to the Church of Scientology, the word Scientology "comes from the Latin scio, which means 'know' and the Greek word logos, meaning 'the word or outward form by which the inward thought is expressed and made known.' Thus, Scientology means knowing about knowing. Scientology is an applied religious philosophy developed by L. Ron Hubbard. It is the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, universes and other life." (1)

Religion is defined as "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith," and "a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices." (2) "Religious" is further defined as "relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity." (3)

I forgo the first round, so that Con may formally accept this debate.

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1. http://www.scientology.org...
2. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
3. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Firejack

Con

"Scientology president Heber Jentszch admitted several years ago that the six million number does not represent current membership but the total amount of people who have ever, since the founding in 1954, taken even a single Scientology course" Tony Ortega, Village Voice, June 24, 2008

"He legalized robbery, called it belief
...invented memories.....
then burned all the books"
Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms Album,

This gem from "Immigration Directorates Instructions" in the U.K. LINK "Please note: Some organisations with the title "church", including the Church of Scientology and the Unification Church ("Moonies") are not accepted as religions for the purposes of the Immigration Rules and their members should not be treated as ministers of religion or missionaries (see ANNEX U "Religious Organisations/Groups")."

"And my philosophy is why not kick a dog when it's down?"
L Ron Hubbard 20 April 1955

"We are not a turn the other cheek religion" Scientologist Lawyer Earle C Cooley on CNN after the copyright raids of activists homes in 1995

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Scientology is not a religious community but an "extremist grouping" that needs to be banned, said Udo Nagel, the interior minister of the northern German state of Hamburg.
"Germany, as well as Belgium, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Israel and Mexico, remain unconvinced that Scientology is a religion." - ( Quoted from official German Embassy Web page HERE )

Sowe think Jesus is a figment of the imagination! So what!- Scientology OSA PR Karin Pouw to Tony Ortega 16 May 2008

"In the "church" it's is a big joke, They joke about it all the time, how they fool the public, etc etc, It is used to give the public an image this is a church, The Scientology "church" is the furthest thing from a Church I've ever seen" Ex-Scientologist Sea Organization member Frank Freedman

Ex-member Edward Walters: It was common knowledge in the "Church" and it was "Church Policy" to use the "religious front" to deal with the Government.

Ex-Scientology Executive Robert Vaughn Young in a 1993 Issue of Quill Magazine Scientology from the Inside Out,

"I trained Scientology Public Relations [staff] .... how to [ make scientology] appear to be a religion."
The first time I heard Scientology referred to as a church was in 1971, after I had been in Scientology for three years. When I asked why Scientology was now being called a church, I was told that it was for tax purposes.

"If scientology is a church, then the mafia is a church too." Wilfried Handl. Ex-Chief Executive of scientology, Austria.

Margery Wakefield, Affidavit, April 13th, 1990
"I certainly don't agree that Scientology is a religion. It's a con game. So if people get sucked into it because they believe the lies, that makes it a "religion"?? " - Dr. Donna Shannon

John McMaster - Scientology's "Clear #1":

"To me the 'Church' was a joke! For me it was never a 'Church.'" John McMaster ("Clear #1) in "Whatever Happened to Number One?" by Tom Joyce in The Saxon-Hamilton Journal, September 1985, page 26

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This is not really a debate, and I apologise. This is simply a collection of quotes that shows what people think of it. I guess in the next round I can post more reliable things

FYI: This is not my argument, exactly. I prefer to post from this link. http://www.lermanet.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Teleroboxer

Pro

The core of my argument consists of the following statement:
Scientology conforms to the conventional definition of a religion.

As stated previously, the dictionary broadly defines a religion as "a personal set or institutionalized system of attitudes, beliefs, and practices ... relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity." (1)(2)

I shall therefore demonstrate that Scientology meets the following criteria:
I. an institutionalized system
II. of attitudes, beliefs, and practices
III. relating to an acknowledged ultimate reality

As follows:

I. The Church of Scientology International is an institution which is the copyright owner of Scientology and its entire body of written material. (3) The hierarchy of the Church is arranged to parallel the Classification, Gradation and Awareness Chart of Scientology. (4) This chart or "Bridge" is a system designed to process and train individual Scientologists. (5)

II. Scientology contains numerous attitudes, beliefs, and practices, as elucidated in the vast body of written materials by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. (6) Scientologists also adhere to a number of written moral codes, including the Auditor's Code, the Code of a Scientologist, the Honor Code, and the Way to Happiness. (7)

III. The core beliefs of Scientology are that man is a spirit, that a Supreme Being exists, and that through Scientology processes one may apprehend ultimate reality. (8)

Because Scientology meets all three of these criteria, Scientology is a religion.

I yield the floor.

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1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
2. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
3. http://www.scientology.org...
4. http://www.scientology.org...
5. http://www.whatisscientology.org...
6. http://www.bridgepub.com...
7. http://www.scientology.org...
8. http://www.scientology.org...
Firejack

Con

Commissioners of the City of Clearwater, Florida, public hearings, May 5-10, 1982. The Commission received documentary and testimonial evidence with respect to the operation, activities and conduct of Scientology. Based upon the sworn testimony of witnesses, affidavits, state and federal court decisions, and miscellaneous documents reviewed and considered, the Commission made the following factual recitation:

"Evidentiary fact:

The Church of Scientology is currently engaged in a nationwide conspiracy to impede and obstruct municipal, state and federal taxing authorities, by adopting a religious and charitable guise to avoid payment of taxes.

"Scientology's internal policies state: "They (the public) want ministers. We will show them what ministers look like" (Vol. 1 p.41). "Churches are looked upon as reform groups. Therefore, we must act like a reform group" (Vol.1 p.196).

"Scientology has nothing to do with religion. The Church did not adopt the religious guise until it was necessary to seek First Amendment protection (Vol.4 p.405).

"Scientology uses a religious image checklist designed to falsely portray a religious image to mislead officials (Vol. 2 p.238,239). "Church policy instructs members to lie to inquiring officials (Vol.1 p.226,227).

Documentary evidence in Church of Spiritual Technology vs U.S., November 22, 1989

"The goal of the department [of governmental affairs] is to bring the government and hostile philosophies or societies into a state of complete compliance with the goals of Scientology. This is done by a high level ability to control and in its absence by a low level ability to overwhelm. Introvert such agencies. Control such agencies." -- LRH

"The purpose of the legal officer is to help LRH handle every legal, government, suit, accounting and tax contact or action... and to bring the greatest possible confusion and loss to its enemies." -- LRH

L Ron Hubbard HIMSELF stated that Scientology not a religion

From L Ron Hubbard, page 251 creation of human abilities:

"Scientology has opened the gates to a better World. It is not a psycho-therapy nor a religion."

http://www.lermanet.com... (church of spiritual technology case)
Hubbard being convicted of fraud- http://www.lermanet.com...
Scientology is not a religion- http://skepdic.com...

P.S. Funny enough Channel 13 took a survey of people to ask if they though Scientology was a religion

Yes - 7%
No- 90%
Not sure- 3%
Debate Round No. 2
Teleroboxer

Pro

Unfortunately, Con has opted to copy-and-paste a series of damning quotes, rather than attempt to elucidate a clear argument as to why he believes Scientology is a not a religion. Rather than refute my own argument, he has ignored it entirely. So that this round is not a complete waste, however, I will briefly attempt to isolate and refute a few of my opponent's "points."

Re: "Evidentiary fact"
In legal terms, a fact is "an actual thing or happening, which must be proved at trial by presentation of evidence and which is evaluated by the finder of fact (a jury in a jury trial, or by the judge)." (1)

The Clearwater Commission was comprised of the Mayor, Vice Mayor, City Manager, City Attorney, City Clerk, a number of City Commissioners, and a host of legal counsel. (2) As such, the findings of the Clearwater Commission are advisory, and do not have the force of law or legal precedent. They basically demonstrate one side of an unresolved argument - in this case, the City of Clearwater, Florida's.

Re: "L. Ron Hubbard says"
L. Ron Hubbard is quoted as proclaiming that Scientology is not a religion. In fact, the book in which this is found is The Creation of Human Ability, published in 1954, the very same year the first Scientology church was established in Los Angeles! (3)

The complete sentence is "[Scientology] is not a psycho-therapy nor religion. It is a body of knowledge which, when properly used, gives freedom and truth to the individual."

It is worth pointing out that psychotherapy is "treatment of mental or emotional disorder or of related bodily ills by means ... directed toward the will or toward the mind." (4)(5) In spite of what Hubbard appears on the surface to assert, Scientology is a type of psychotherapy in addition to a religion. Dianetics, Scientology's premier processing methodology, "can help alleviate unwanted sensations and emotions, irrational fears and psychosomatic illnesses." (6)

I argue simply that Hubbard is speaking in hyperbole. This is similar to me saying something like, "I am not a debater, but a legend." As a matter of fact, I am a debater, as I am presently engaged in a debate. I do not truly seek to lead you to believe otherwise. I am using a hyperbolical device to mean, "I am an exceptional debater." Likewise, Hubbard, himself no stranger to literary device (7), is employing hyperbole to mean, "Scientology is an exceptional psychotherapy and religious philosophy."

Re: "Channel 13"
Con cites an unscientific website poll as evidence of Scientology's unreligiousness. Of course, the website only polls Channel 13 viewers, and this unrepresentative sample is further biased by the content of Channel 13's stories. Furthermore, website polls can be solicited by interested parties to other biased groups, grossly skewing the results to be unreflective of the opinions of any particular segment of society. It should also be mentioned that a poll demonstrates opinion. This debate is not a matter of establishing opinion, but establishing truth, hence the poll has no legitimate use in this discussion.

Closing Argument
In Round Two, I successfully demonstrated that Scientology conforms to the conventional definition of religion. Since this basic premise has yet to be undermined by any sound logic, I rest my case.

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1. http://dictionary.law.com...
2. http://www.lermanet.com...
3. http://www.scientology.org...
4. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
5. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
6. http://www.dianetics.org...
7. http://www.lronhubbardprofile.org...
Firejack

Con

Firejack forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Teleroboxer 6 years ago
Teleroboxer
I hope everyone enjoys this debate. This is my first one on this site. I wish Firejack had not abandoned it in the last round, but maybe we can pick it up another time.
Posted by Firejack 6 years ago
Firejack
you're using wikipedia as a soure?

Also, FYI Evolution DOES attempt to explain the origins of life.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
The definition of religion used by academic theologians is along the lines of "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a supernatural agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs." http://en.wikipedia.org... However, notice the "especially" and "often containing" clauses. Scientology is certainly nuts, but I don't know whether or not it meets the definition. It probably does.

The two most-cited atheist religions are Buddhism and Jainism.

Evolution does not qualify as a religion because it says nothing about the the cause or purpose of the universe, and there is no moral code nor ritual observances.
Posted by mattrodstrom 6 years ago
mattrodstrom
If by "Religion" we mean unjustified belief which puts forth an unsupported explanation for things.

Then yes.
Posted by Firejack 6 years ago
Firejack
I agree, I think it is more of a "cult" though. I like to think of Religions as good things, but sadly that's not always the truth. If a Religion was a good thing though, Scientology would DEFINETLY not be accepted as one.
Posted by Koopin 6 years ago
Koopin
If Scientology is a religion then Evolution is a religion.
Posted by joshpleco23 6 years ago
joshpleco23
It's a joke...
Posted by Sorrow 6 years ago
Sorrow
I've always wondered the difference between a belief and a religion. Religions aren't always divine, so Scientology would be an acceptable religion. As most religions offer and teach morals, however, I see none implanted by Scientologists. In fact, I would go so far as to describe Scientology as the destroyer of morality.

But, indeed, I think that PRO is right when he says that Scientology is a religion, albeit not a very good one.

To paraphrase a quote I like, one person believing in something unique makes them crazy. A bunch of people believing in something unique makes it a religion.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by us5halls 6 years ago
us5halls
TeleroboxerFirejackTied
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Vote Placed by Teleroboxer 6 years ago
Teleroboxer
TeleroboxerFirejackTied
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Vote Placed by Koopin 6 years ago
Koopin
TeleroboxerFirejackTied
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