The Instigator
Harboggles
Pro (for)
Losing
16 Points
The Contender
Tatarize
Con (against)
Winning
40 Points

Scientology is the worst popular religion in existence.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/21/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,605 times Debate No: 3315
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (16)

 

Harboggles

Pro

The CoS is slowly being eliminated by Anonymous, but no one seems to take notice on the news too much. So I wanted to take this chance to debate someone about it.

My claims.

1.They exploit people, making them work for 70$ a week.
2.They steal peoples money to advance them in the church.
3.They are not a religion. They are a corporation. A religion revolves around belief, they revolve around money.
4.They sue anyone who disagrees with them. Which is against the 1st amendment. Freedom of speech is a RIGHT in this country.

FOR GREAT JUSTICE!
Tatarize

Con

Scientology is not the worst popular religion in existence.

This is for two very critical reasons.
1) Scientology is not a religion. "3.They are not a religion. They are a corporation." You concede this point and thus the debate.
2) Scientology is not popular. Despite the claims of Scientology that they are the fastest growing religion and have millions of adherents they have ~50,000 members and have been in decline for two and a half decades.

Due to these problems Scientology does not qualify as a popular religion and therefore cannot be the worst in the set of popular religions.
Debate Round No. 1
Harboggles

Pro

1.Ask the United States government. They have tax exempt status as a religious institution. That's as official as you can get.

2.IT may not have numbers, but the ranks are made of famous people, and rich people. Money is power in our society. Granted they are falling, but the premise I'm trying to prove here is that they 1. Are not a religion. and 2.The people who get lured into it destroy their lives.
Tatarize

Con

1) The US government is not the end all of what is and isn't a religion. In fact, for the very reason that the first amendment keeps them neutral on the issue they should be the last place to go to determine what is and isn't a religion. The tax exempt status of churches, in general, is a complete farce. Scientology does have tax exempt status as a religious organization, however, this is due to a massive illegal operation on their part.

http://www.cs.cmu.edu...

"Scientology's lawyers hired private investigators to dig into the private lives of IRS officials and to conduct surveillance operations to uncover potential vulnerabilities, according to interviews and documents. One investigator said he had interviewed tenants in buildings owned by three IRS officials, looking for housing code violations. He also said he had taken documents from an IRS conference and sent them to church officials and created a phony news bureau in Washington to gather information on church critics. The church also financed an organization of IRS whistle-blowers that attacked the agency publicly."

Scientology had something in the range of 200 suits against the IRS and personnel. Many believe that the impromptu meeting between the leader of Scientology and the head of the IRS to drop the suits (which probably would have cost a lot to deal with) in exchange for tax exempt status was the pivotal reason they have tax exempt status today; not because they are a religion.

So we see, not only is the government a bad arbiter. Their decision on the issue had more to do with not wanting to be constantly attacked by Scientologists than it did with the merits.

2. Just having a bevy of B actors doesn't make a religion popular. Scientology treats the actors differently than the standard minions, so in a fairly technical sense, the famous people have a different religion where everybody treats them like deities as they lure in others. The actors are exposed more gingerly to the activities, beliefs, programs, and treated far better.

>>"the premise I'm trying to prove here is that they 1. Are not a religion. and 2.The people who get lured into it destroy their lives."

I concede the first point, which contradicts the topic and clearly concedes the argument. The second point is a little more nuanced. Most people leave within a year after one or two sessions and thousands more don't actually have their lives destroyed and live happily as Scientologists. Certainly they have managed to kill people like Lisa McPherson, but how are you judging the impact? Christianity has lead to the death of millions. Islam has lead to a fair number of deaths as well. Catholic priests get juggled about by the Church when they get a bit too touchy with the kids (ruining thousands of lives in the process).

You need to establish that they are a religion, they are popular, and not simple "bad", but the "worst".*

* I concede that they exist so "existence" is not required.
Debate Round No. 2
Harboggles

Pro

I concede this debate, I wrote the entire premise at 4 am while hopped up on Oxycodone (legal, just had surgery)

My logic is terrible and I shouldn't of even pursued. All we can agree on is that Scientology is a cult and not a religion.
Tatarize

Con

Oh yes. Hella bad. Not that all cults are bad just small odd religious groups some of them, but the typically horrible bits are certainly there in Scientology.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by santanisgreat 8 years ago
santanisgreat
scientology is a greedy cult, and although people are happy, they are being used. i have seen other religions fullfill lives. i equally hate most religions, there are some i really hate. like this trash greed shlop called scientology. and now they have commericials, i saw one watching spongebob today. they are going to comprimise are childs future life.
Posted by Muhafidh 9 years ago
Muhafidh
Samacado, you have a wild imagination. Scientology began as an approach to psychology, or a self-help movement, however you want to describe it. It wasn't the result of a bet. The most obvious evidence for that is the fact that Hubbard didn't just write a holy book and see if it took; he wrote a *psychology* book and didn't expect much beyond that. Evidence of this is in the fact that his publisher only arranged for 6,000 copies of *Dianetics* (May 1950), which contains no actual religious content, and Hubbard didn't expect most of those to sell. He was about to leave on a trip to Greece, obviously not worrying at all about the book, when he found to his surprise that it stayed on the NYT bestseller list month after month, which necessitated reprinting it. A year and a half after that, Hubbard's further exploration into issues of the mind and soul led him to conclude that the spiritual nature of human beings transcends the province of psychology proper and instead belongs in the realm of religion, a recognition that the US Government *refused* to extend until 42 years later (1993). Personally, I have known Scientologists, and I have known a lot of members of many other religions. Maybe I just didn't meet the "bad ones," but those Scientologists that I have met have been among the most positive, confident, and open-minded people I've ever encountered. They rarely have any hangups, and they're very proactive. Need a leader? One of them will volunteer. They don't fly off the handle. Since I've only met the best examples of people among those who call themselves Scientologists, I now expect them all to be that way. And the couple of times that I've heard that an actor turns out to be one, it's always a really good actor. Coincidence? I think not!
Posted by Samacado 9 years ago
Samacado
It's ironic how it started as well. LR Hubard founded it as a bet with several other famous athours to prove that people were gullible and would beleive anything in a book. This is a tough argument because it is not tecnically a religion, it is a cult, but it does explain existence so in a way it is. I'm not going to vote.
Posted by liberalconservative 9 years ago
liberalconservative
scientology is a very strange... dare i say it religion, i dont think that there is even a good reason to respect this religion... science fiction writer, l. ron hubbert (sp?) was a self admitted science fiction writer. he was caught as saying, "The real moneys not in books its in religion."
Posted by DucoNihilum 9 years ago
DucoNihilum
That doesn't change your contradiction.
Posted by Harboggles 9 years ago
Harboggles
Because they are recognized as one by the federal government. They shouldn't be.
Posted by DucoNihilum 9 years ago
DucoNihilum
If they aren't' a religion, how they can the ybe worst popular religion in existence?
Posted by Harboggles 9 years ago
Harboggles
Debate me then. I made this short and sweet. They aren't a religion.
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
Point three contradicts topic.
Point four is a critical misunderstanding of the first amendment. Right to sue is part of the bill of rights too however private organizations can suppress speech all they want. The government cannot. The first amendment and the bill of rights in general are restrictions on the power of the government.
Posted by DucoNihilum 9 years ago
DucoNihilum
Your premise and third point contradict each other. You essentially proved yourself wrong in your own opening.
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