The Instigator
ianspigler
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
Marauder
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

Jehovah's Witnesses Are a Cult

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Marauder
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/24/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,995 times Debate No: 23148
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (12)
Votes (3)

 

ianspigler

Pro

Premise: Cults require members to make drastic changes in their lives (History Channel: Cults, Dangerous Devotion) and Jehovah's Witnesses are required to quit smoking, celebrating holidays, date and marry only other Witnesses, ect. (What Does the Bible Really Teach?) In addition to that cults have leaders or a leader that cliams "special knowledge from God" (HC: CDD) and Wintness believe that the Wathtowr organization is helmed by a group of "prophets" that have "knowledge of the truth" (WDTBRT), Lastly, cults exercise control over their followers and, in a Watchtower titled :"Avoid Independent Thinking" (Jan 1983) It claims that: "Indepdent thinking is introduced by Satan." A clear indicator of a cult exercising control.
Marauder

Con


Hello, first off I would like to thank my opponent for starting this debate, and welcome our newest member to DDO.


Second thing I would like to do is ask that my opponent to take a look at the popularity rating this debate has gotten already. Numerous debate members of this site viewed this debate and did not like its set up at all so they voted it down in popularity. This is because of the cardinal importance a definitive definition of just what constitutes as a cult was not given or agreed on in your opening round.


But fear not, for I, Marauder, one of this sites top debaters, am volunteering to mentor you for this debate by making a good debate out of the resolution you provided even without a definition being given for what a cult is.


Normally in a debate over this topic the opening round would have had a definition set out like this for example


Definitions:


Jehovah Witnesses- a religion whose founder was Charles Taze Russell.


Cult- a religion that follows a man and not the bible.



That was just an example we are not really using that this debate. Anyway afterwards we would then have a common neutral ground to refer when determining if JW’s are a Cult but arguing if there church meets the criteria of the given definition we are arguing about.


That’s not an option this debate and most past up the chance to take the Con side because of it. But like I said am one of this sites top debates. Because I am smarter and more clever and imaginative than most the other members of this site I do not need you to provide the basic necessity of definitions to argue from to win this debate.


All I need is to draw back to the Socratic Method http://en.wikipedia.org... and trust your profile some at least for the sake of this debate.


Socrates’ would systematically argue with people by finding something they agree on and basically working his way from that point back to the resolution. Now while we cant fairly debate with an agreement on what a cult is we can have a mostly fair debate agreeing on what a cult IS NOT.


You and I are both Christians (at least according to your profile and I have little suspicion that it could false right now). And perhaps I’m going out on a limb but I feel like its safe to say you don’t look at your own religion with the label of “I’m in a cult”. So….


A) Its assumed for this debate that mutual faith of the debaters is what is NOT A CULT


B) Based on A Christianity is not a cult.


C) My opponent has given reasons for why JW’s is a cult


D) If I can show the reasons given in C apply to Christianity based on B the reasons would then fail to show JW’s is a cult


E) If I pull of D then the resolution is not proven Pro and all should vote Con.


Hear are the 3 cult characteristics you gave


Requires drastic changes to member’s lives: Are you suggesting that we Christians who are not a cult are not supposed to make drastic changes in our live? I am offended at the suggestion. We teach that when you live a live with love like Christ it truly starts to change every aspect of your life. It is the goal of every Christian to have our old selves that were of this world die with Jesus on the cross and have our spirits be reborn to live lives that are set apart and stand out from the lives of those that live for the secular world.


Has leader(s) that claim special knowledge from God: I don’t know if you have met Jesus but he is our churches leader who not only claims to have knowledge from God but claims to be Gods only begotten son. Not to mention every book of the bible was claimed to be written by someone under the divine inspiration of God. The word of God has got to come from some kind of prophet man


Exercise Control over followers: Unless you can provide a link that shows that article so it can be seen in context it cannot be used to prove this point. A title like that might have been used to mean a lot less than it sounds. In any case telling others to avoid thinking independently is not the same as manhandling them make them drink poisoned koolaid. An article in a magazine is hardly ‘exerting control’. Plus I know by default that whatever the article in question meant by ‘thinking independently’ they did not mean all kinds of independent thinking as you have to do that to break from the norm of society to even be a JW.


Also can you really say that we do not exert any kind of ‘control’ over our own church members? All denominations have “Book of Discipline” of some kind or another. Plus if it were our intention to just let our members go off and do whatever they feel like we would no need of “Spiritual Sheppard’s”. I don’t suppose you would find it too out there to ask if you thought the ARMY was a cult because of the control it has over its members?



And with that I have negated the 3 reasons you gave to show the JW’s are a Cult thus leaving the Resolution unproven.


I await my opponents response.


Debate Round No. 1
ianspigler

Pro

I would like to add this argument to my case:

1) All religions are technically cults

2) Jehovah's Witnesses are a religion

3) Because all religions are techincally cults
Jehovah's Witnesses are therefore technically a cult.

"Based on A Christianity is not a cult."- Sorry Con, Christianity is techically a cult.
You provide some excellent examples as why:

"We teach that when you live a live with love like Christ it truly starts to change every aspect of your life. It is the goal of every Christian to have our old selves that were of this world die with Jesus on the cross and have our spirits be reborn to live lives that are set apart and stand out from the lives of those that live for the secular world."- An example of a drastic change of life, one of the signs of a cult.

"I don´┐Ż€™t know if you have met Jesus but he is our churches leader who not only claims to have knowledge from God but claims to be Gods only begotten son. Not to mention every book of the bible was claimed to be written by someone under the divine inspiration of God. The word of God has got to come from some kind of prophet man."- Again, more proof, in fact another thing cult leaders do is to direct veneration away from god and towards themselves which is what Jesus did.

Back to the Jehovah's Witnesses, I would like to add some more information to bolster my earlier arguments:

A: According to the Jehovah's Witnesses Offical Media Website, contact with "disfellowshipped" individuals is only limited if they have Witness relatives "In the same household", a sign of the organization exerting control over their congregation.

B: In the Tract titled "United in Worship with the One True God"- Members are suppose to refuse blood transfusions even in "life or death situations" and in a wikipedia article memers have somtimes been coerced by other witnesses not to get blood transfusions. Again exerting control over members lives.

C: In the same wikipedia article new members undergo an intense "re0eduaction program" that replace their past beliefs with Watchertower approved dogma, According to HC: CDD reprogramming is another sign of a cult.

D: Former member of the Jehovah's Witnesses governing body Raymond Franz said the Watchtower parctice "Intellectual dominance ", "Controlling Information", forms of mind control.

E: Watchtower Mar 15, 2006: "This means we avoid exposure to religious programming on the radio or television."- Controlling Imfo and Exercising dominance, both elements of cults.

F: In the Watchtower Oct 1967 edition it advoacted memebrs to "submit" to the governing body "without question."
Submitting? Really? And without question? Sounds like a cult to me.

In conclusion the Witnesses are a cult beacuse 1) They're a religion and therefore technically a cult. 2) They control members lives' 3) They hold their members back.

By the way:
"But fear not, for I, Marauder, one of this sites top debaters,"- I can't take you seriously when you sound like that.
Marauder

Con


On your last comment, I just want to make a quick disclaimer. I was shooting for comical arrogance so your not really supposed to take that comment seriously, just you know… laugh and have fun.



Anyway back to the debate, there are 2 Major Reasons you lose this debate.



Reason #1: You can’t give new arguments in the final round. Even by your own admission the point which your whole case hinges is about all faiths being cults, it was a new argument you decided to just add in the final round. Final rebuttal and conclusions are okay in the final round by flat our new arguments are not. At the very least this is a breach of conduct and should lose you the conduct point and at the most your new arguments in the final round should not hold anymore weight on the debate than had you put them in the comment section, thus causing you to lose the debate.


Reason #2: Even if we were to consider your new argument you added in the final round you still lose this debate. By deciding to go as far as say “sure all religions are technically cults” for the reasons you gave that make the JW’s a cult than the term “cult” has now become watered down to the point of meaninglessness. Anything can be called a cult not, Catholics, Baptist, scientologist, Hindus, Congress, the Military, the GOP, lobbyist, the USA, Australia, Unions. Pretty much anything.


If we are to follow your case to its natural logical conclusions we could only really conclude that “cult” is a meaningless term, like ahifdyoi and QQQQiiryr. Cult being a meaningless term means that there are no cults, they do not exist. Cult is just a vain word we slap on things we don’t like we slap the word “stupid” or “bugerbrain” on the kid we don’t like in elementary school. Its not that there is anything that actually makes him a bugerbrain, cause the a insult I just made up, theres no rational case for actually calling kid that.



That’s really all the character space I needed to use on that. So…..


In Conclusion:


1) Pro needs to give linked sources in future debates that preferably avoid being wikipiedia.


2) Pro needs to give definitions for all the terms of the resolution in his future debates


3) Pro needs to keep his new arguments in the rounds before the final round in future debates


4) Pro needs to have debates with more than 2 rounds in the future.


5) One last piece of advice that might help your future debates; try and package your arguments in the future as if you plan on a extreme skeptic to your side of the case to read it with only a logical line of thought to bias them to see it your way. Perhaps then you will not just put sporadic factoids that come off like a rant but instead are all used in a flow together in the same fashion of the Socratic Method.


Vote CON!


Debate Round No. 2
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
CON got to define cult, (seems like semantics, hence the conduct to PRO). But his definition was lucrative, and well, made it easy for him to win. He showed what a cult is not, PRO did not show jehovas to fit the definition, hence loses. And as PRO, instigator etc he had the BOP. Not fulfilled.

Now, lest round arguments are bad, so they are irrelevant, his r1 arguments where poor, cant judge r2 then, hence CON got an easy win.

CON also refuted r2 arguments (although not necessary) as pro was using a very lose interpretation of cult, making most things a cult (like phones) therefore it is a useless phrase.

CON wins....
Posted by ianspigler 2 years ago
ianspigler
Also, tylersch96- Since you are a JW could you answer this question: Why was the teaching in 1929 that Jesus's invisible presence began in 1874 when now the teaching is his presence began in 1914?
Posted by ianspigler 2 years ago
ianspigler
Dear, tylersch96-

Scientists have proven (Sir Richard Dole, google him) that pure tobacco is not harmful, only the carcinogens that cigarettes companies inject into them. So if you roll your own joints you'll be fine.
Posted by tylersch96 2 years ago
tylersch96
just for your info we arent required to not smoke or any of this but we think it would be good for the body to be as pure as possible
Posted by ianspigler 2 years ago
ianspigler
I should clarify this a religion guides, a person a cult controls a person.
Posted by ConservativePolitico 2 years ago
ConservativePolitico
Based on his definition almost every school of thought out there is a "cult".
Posted by IntelligentFemaleAtheist 2 years ago
IntelligentFemaleAtheist
Jo'Ho's are just crazy... definitely 'cult'-ish.
Posted by IveGotUrOuts 2 years ago
IveGotUrOuts
which side are you taking
Posted by annanicole 2 years ago
annanicole
"Cult" is a hard word to define, kinda like pornography. What exactly is your definition and your source for that definition?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
ianspiglerMarauderTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: comments
Vote Placed by frozen_eclipse 2 years ago
frozen_eclipse
ianspiglerMarauderTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: pro dropped his source claim because we all knew it was false....con made a more compelling argument in las round.....because of introduction of a new argument last round c gets conduct
Vote Placed by XimenBao 2 years ago
XimenBao
ianspiglerMarauderTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con won the definition argument about the broader definition of cults. I'm not sure how much I buy the new argument rule in a two round debate, but I don't have to because Con beat it with the 'into meaninglessness' argument. However, Pro extended his arguments for his original concept of cult and Con didn't respond to them at all in R2. That means Pro wins arguments. Sources and conduct I have mixed feelings on, so I'm leaving it as a tie.