Friday, January 23, 2009

Germany Has the Right Idea

Outside of Scientology headquarters in Berlin, officials have posted a warning sign expressing opposition to activities of the sect and asking people to keep a critical eye out (read Der Speigel article here).

The German government has never recognized Scientology as a religion, refuses to exempt it from taxes, and keeps a constant eye out for "anti-constitutional activity" because of aggressive recruitment.

While I applaud Germany for seeing Scientology for what it is, I can't help but notice the hypocrisy of it. Just like in the US, many Christians are quick to call Mormons or Scientologists crazy cult members.

In my mind, the only thing that Christianity has on Scientology or Mormonism is age and popularity.

It seems that people will continue to ignore the absurdity of their own beliefs while laughing at the equally insane beliefs of others.

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20 comments:

DB said...

I hate to defend Scientology, but the German govt undermining their religion only validates other religions as "better". They should all be on the same playing field so everyone knows how ridiculous they all are. When you start distinguishing between old religions and new religions you only enable the old ones to gain more power.

sunnyskeptic said...

Funny, I just wrote a post on that, called "Time Does Not Equal Sanity". lol. :) It's one of my biggest beefs, acting as if one religion trumps another, or is less crazy.

Buggy said...

Similarly to DB, I hate to defend the Christian brand of nuttiness, but leaving aside the question of whether interstellar jumbo jets or talking burning bushes are sillier, Scientology ruins the lives of a far greater percentage of its adherents than Christianity (except for some offshoots obviously) and also lays claim to being rational and "scientific". With all due disrespect to Ray Comfort and his banana-fondling ilk, I'd say creationists still have nothing on the Hubbardites when it comes to claiming magical thinking as science.

amrhima said...

Why would we consider someone mad if he believed in Zeus and sane if he believed in Allah or Jesus while they have the same status of existence? It is true, people tend to think there's sanity in numbers or in the Age of the beleif (which is almost the same factor actually). Very good point.

Faith Imagined said...

Interesting. :-)

Zedge said...

The fairies told me that anyone who believes in dragons is some kinda’ sinner! …so there, nah nah nah nah nah! Poopyhead!

Parlemort said...

Why aren't you posting anymore?

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Jeremy said...

Well of course, the older/more people that follow a belief, the less insane it appears to be to society. Reality is a different story.
--------------
The Atheist Perspective

R2K said...

Germany seems to embrace a particularly knee jerk reaction to cults and racists. It doesnt feel healthy.

Raithie said...

It's rather hypocritcal to defend Christianity and to reject Scientology etc., however - I'm glad that there is enough sense to invalidate stuff like scientology ...

Hopefully Atheism will come out on top ;)

Fizzy Fjord said...

I think the crucial difference between the major religions and Scientology is that Scientology is an outright scam. I think the pope is a sincere believer. But I don't think for one second that L. Ron Hubbard believed in Scientology, and I don't think the people running the racket since his death believe it, either. It's a scam, and it's leaders should be punished like scammers.

faj9778 said...

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Clair.Voy.Ant said...

I agree with your last comment:

"It seems that people will continue to ignore the absurdity of their own beliefs while laughing at the equally insane beliefs of others."

But at the same time, it's an opinion. to some being an atheist is absurd or insane. i think it's too much of a stretch to say "atheism" is synonym with "sanity" or "right opinion."

i am an atheist. formerly militant. but i realized that our denigrating of people with faith is the same intolerance just in different stripes and colors.

it's my opinion that atheism is an independent lifestyle choice or a culture. i do not believe in god or any supernatural being because it was the conclusion that i came to after conscious examination of the evidences. i am rather worried that atheism has become a fad of some sort, becoming a movement that is set about to purify the world of irrational belief or absurd actions in the name of god.

it's my humble dissenting opinion that everyone has the right to choose, whether it be god, green flying teacup in space, or none.

Sungyak said...

thanks for the post.
dan barker makes an excellent case against mormonism because they agree in a spatially existing, physical god. but the biblical God is quite different from either of their description, which is why im inclined to disagree with your conclusion.
cheers.

Hope said...

An interesting post. I suppose I'm naive, but I wasn't aware that this still happened in countries.

I have a lot to learn I suppose.

James Farris said...

I mean, you have a point.
If they had an OBJECTIVE way to evaluate WHY their religion is better than another RATIONALLY, then we'd be cool, but "faithmongering" is becoming sickeningly popular.

EriK said...

If you think the only claim to Truth Christianity has is age, that might explain why you became an atheist... Christianity is the largest religion in the world because it's right. When all the cards are on the table, people choose Jesus Christ over anything and anyone else.

If you want to be an honest atheist, look up Christian debunks of claims of errors in the Bible, and then spend some time on AiG, ICR, and CMI's websites. It has to be that order, because those sites presuppose Biblical Inerrancy and you'll need to investigate that first.

But if you look into the Bible honestly, you won't be an atheist by the time you finish (presuming you don't give up early). Are you brave enough to risk your pride by investigating the Bible?

I dare you ;)

El said...

Most religions are scams. I have respect for Buddhism but Scientology like the Abrahamic faiths is a scam.

L Ron Hubbard was a liar and a fraud.

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