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Cult versus Religion: What’s the Difference?

It depends on who you talk to…

Mainstream religions have always viewed new religions with suspicion. Not infrequently, they say that new religions are heretical and socially dangerous. While the past fifty years has seen a growing acceptance of the principle of “universal human rights,” in this same period there has also been even more opposition to new religions.

The dictionary defines the term cult as “a system of religious beliefs or rituals.” However, the general public often uses the term cult to describe any religious group they view as strange or dangerous. The word is most often used to refer to religious leaders or organizations that employ abusive, manipulative, or illegal control over their followers’ lives.

When anticult activists describe cults, they often make the following generalizations:

˙Cults are groups that often exploit members psychologically and/or financially through certain types of psychological manipulation, popularly called mind control;

˙Cults encourage excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea, or thing;

˙Cults employ unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control;

˙Cults convince members to sacrifice their own welfare for the good of the group.

Because the word cult has such negative connotations, most cultists do not use it. They describe themselves simply as followers of a new religion. They often point out that virtually every mainstream religion was once labeled a cult.

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  • 1 0 年前
    最佳解答

    教派 VS 宗教:其不同之為何?

    其視其你所討論的是對象是誰....

    主流宗教總是對於新宗教持著懷疑的角度去看待的,其會宣稱新宗教是異端危險分子並不是件稀有的事。在過去的15年「世界人權」的主義成長為大家所接受,在相同期間,有更多意見相反的新宗教產生。

    字典上對於"教派"的定義是:一個有宗教信仰或是儀式的系統。然而,一般大眾經常是使用這個詞來形容他們所認為奇怪或是危險的團體。其最常被使用在那些會過度操控甚至到了違法地步其教徒生活的宗教領導人或團體。

    2008-05-20 09:46:27 補充:

    一般來說,當形容異教(Cult)的活動,他們會做的事情如下:

    ˙異教是種團體,其是會透過某種心理上的操控,在其成員的心理或財務上做剝削。通常被稱為「洗腦」;

    ˙異教會鼓勵成員過度捐贈或奉獻於特定人、想法與東西;

    ˙異教會利用不道德的巧妙手法去說服、控制成員;

    ˙異教會說服其成員為了團體的利益而犧牲自身的福利

    因為異教這個字眼通常是很負面的使用,所以大部份的異教徒並不會使用這個字眼。他們會說自已只是此宗教的「追隨者」,而他們也指出實際上每個主流宗教也都曾經被指為是「異教」過。

    參考資料: myself, myself
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