Is Scientology a Religion?
Much of the debate of the religiosity of Scientology hangs incorrectly on the inability of some to understand what a religion is. How can one decide if a group is a religion if one does not understand the meaning of the word being used to categorize the group.
People have asked what am I, where have I come from, and where am I going, where do I fit into the cosmos of things, for as long as they thought. All religions have come from an attempt to answer this questioning. Most religions have been built on the earlier knowledge of the spirit of earlier religions to answer these questions. I would dare say all religion has and will do so in the future too.
Scientology is an answer to these questions. It is a very good and exacting answer. So why is it attacked with name calling?
For a start this kind of attack is not new. Religion tends to be categorized into two main camps, They are the revealed religions, such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Here someone says they are revealing the word of the higher power and creator of the cosmos – God. And there is no argument here that this is not true. Then there is the natural religion, which has a man or men working out themselves what is man, and how he fits into the cosmos and what is the higher power, and so on.
Historically, in the West, the first group has had people within that tried to stamp out the second group. But usually in the revealed works, there are not references to do this.
The West has grown up mainly with the powerful revealed religions. There were once the Hellene religions of Rome and Greece but they were eventually convinced they were pagan (Latin meaning peasant) and were stamped out. They were a form of natural religion. Then there was the Gnostic religion, again meaning knowledge, and again leaning to be a Christian natural religion, and again stamped out. In the middle ages there was the Cathars, a Christian religion that also leaned to knowledge of the spirit, and they spread all over Europe. But they were stamped out. Much of the stamping out was by simply killing their members.
Well, Scientology is very much along these natural religious line. The great religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, that number billions, are also natural religions. In India and Nepal, where I have been many times, there is no question of the religiosity of Scientology. And there is no name calling either. Such questioning is only in the West which has a tradition of revealed religions rather than natural religions.
I hope this sheds some new light on this debate. Thank you.
Locate the Church of Scientology of Canberra here.
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