Not to incite a discussion about religion on the internet, but...

Is it a bad idea to join a cult?

I've been an atheist for a few years, which doesn't do a lot to help my intense fear of death and the unsettling feeling that I'll never be able to understand what my place in the universe is. So I've been thinking of adopting a philosophy to fall back on when I'm confronted with life's conundrums. Not something that I would seriously believe, because it's kind of hard to start seeing god in spaces that I've already filled in with science. But I'm intrigued by dogma and rituals. Some kind of structure that I can guide my life by.

The top two contenders so far are Scientology and Buddhism. I like the RPG aspect of Scientology. The idea of progressing through OT levels could give me a goal in life, though I probably wouldn't get very far if I don't take it seriously. Which I wouldn't. The sci fi bullshit is silly in a way I can get behind, but the organization's practice of censoring dissenting opinions seems kind of shitty.

Buddhism seems kind of cool, and there are even books about following the philosophy without taking the superfluous mythological bullshit literally. It would probably be better for me psychologically than Scientology but it doesn't have the novelty value of aliens, and it would probably require actual effort to grow spiritually, as opposed to trowing money at an e-meter until it says I'm a good person.

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Edited by Nightriff

....sigh

Posted by Video_Game_King

Wait, Buddhism is a cult? I've seen people argue that it's not even a religion!

Edited by Vinny_Says

Wait, Buddhism is a cult? I've seen people argue that it's not even a religion!

all religions are cults

Posted by Video_Game_King

@vinny_says:

But we haven't established if Buddhism is a religion.

Posted by coakroach

I'd wait for a few months and then join the inevitable Giant Bomb cult.

At least then you'll already know all the major figures and texts.

Posted by Ares42

@notdavid said:
Not something that I would seriously believe

That's pretty much all you needed to say.

Posted by notdavid

Sorry about the Buddhism=cult thing. I started off thinking I was only going to write about Scientology, then I got on a different track.

Posted by TheHT
@notdavid said:

Is it a bad idea to join a cult?

...

So I've been thinking of adopting a philosophy to fall back on when I'm confronted with life's conundrums. Not something that I would seriously believe

...

I like the RPG aspect of Scientology.

...

Buddhism seems kind of cool, and there are even books about following the philosophy without taking the superfluous mythological bullshit literally.

ಠ_ಠ

Edited by leinad44

As an Atheist the prospect of death used to terrify me when I was younger. But it has something I learnt to deal with over time. Hey the end is the end, nothing I can do about it. To me the universe is something that is well beyond our comprehension, seeking a religion just comes across trying to find a quick and easy answer to everything.

Note: Scientology can just fuck off. Buddism is ok.

Edited by WasabiCurry
Edited by TheManWithNoPlan

I've always thought of it like this, even if you don't believe in God or whatever omniscient deity, you can still take positive messages from a lot of religions. I mean really, what have you got to lose? Right?

Posted by EXTomar

There is nothing wrong with seeking spirituality. Buddhists on the one hand do not require you to give their organization much more but your time and attention while Scientology are much much much more dubious.

Edited by EquitasInvictus

If no other cult, you should consider the Cult of Cthulu. I saw them at PAX East, they were pretty cool... ironically at the Rock Band stage playing "Tribute" by Tenacious D.

Yes, they seriously were playing "Tribute" by Tenacious D in spite of being a Lovecraftian-inspired cult. Maybe this hint at double standards might suggest they're not a good cult to join after all... EDIT: OH and note the cultist on the right who appears to be eating Pinkberry or something. Now that I think about it, this Cult of Cthulu doesn't seem legit at all!

A little more on-topic, I didn't know Buddhism was considered a "cult"?

Posted by JasonR86

Fuck.

Online
Edited by zFUBARz

Why not, I'll take this moderately seriously, and say why not just read about religions? even if they're mostly archaic BS they're still very interesting from a historical and often comedic stand point. A lot of human history revolves around them.

Also Atheism is way to strict, I say go agnostic, even if there is a supreme being (or at least something powerful enough to create worlds) we don't know, probably never will, and really it shouldn't matter either way, if you're a good person you'll behave in a good way with or without angry penis snipping cloud man.

Edited by Strife777

Except that the "RPG" element of scientology, as you call it, also involves you paying a shit-ton of money to "access" the next levels of information.

If your reason is really just to fall back on something when you need it, don't. Just don't start getting into things you don't actually believe in. If you want to get informed and read up on it, sure, but don't fall down that hole.

Also, who cares about death, you're living now aren't you? Make the most of it and enjoy what you have, end of story.

Posted by Ravenlight

You can be spiritual without being religious. Shop around the different religions and pick and choose the aspects you think are cool. Maybe drop the parts which tell you to hate others.

Posted by mellotronrules

Except that the "RPG" element of scientology, as you call it, also involves you paying a shit-ton of money to "access" the next levels of information.

...so i guess what you're saying is scientology is an mmo. makes sense.

Online
Posted by zFUBARz

@strife777 said:

Except that the "RPG" element of scientology, as you call it, also involves you paying a shit-ton of money to "access" the next levels of information.

...so i guess what you're saying is scientology is an mmo. makes sense.

A "free to play" one sure

Posted by Clonedzero

this thread is only going bitter angry internet athiest directions so yeah dont bother.

real-life atheists seem like sensible normal people. internet ones are SO GOD DAMN BITTER and angry its annoying as fuck

Posted by Whamola

@zfubarz said:

Also Atheism is way to strict, I say go agnostic, even if there is a supreme being (or at least something powerful enough to create worlds) we don't know, probably never will, and really it shouldn't matter either way, if you're a good person you'll behave in a good way with or without angry penis snipping cloud man.

That just reeks of Pascal.

OP, instead of joining a dangerous cult no one in their right mind would join, or becoming a Buddhist because it sounds cool, why not just come to terms with the idea that there's no real reason why things happen and that you really shouldn't worry about dying because if you do die, you won't notice or care because you won't exist.

Posted by JasonR86

this thread is only going bitter angry internet athiest directions so yeah dont bother.

real-life atheists seem like sensible normal people. internet ones are SO GOD DAMN BITTER and angry its annoying as fuck

To be fair, 'internet-everyone' sucks.

Online
Posted by DarthOrange

Most atheists follow flyentology, where they go about there lives then look to God only when the shit hits the fan.

Edited by Clonedzero

@jasonr86 said:

@clonedzero said:

this thread is only going bitter angry internet athiest directions so yeah dont bother.

real-life atheists seem like sensible normal people. internet ones are SO GOD DAMN BITTER and angry its annoying as fuck

To be fair, 'internet-everyone' sucks.

i dunno. "internet atheists" are by far the most insufferable annoying, arrogant douchebags on the face fo the earth. im not even religious. im apathetic on the entire concept.

anytime i see anyone even remotely reference religion on the internet you see a swarm of douchey comments bashing the guy for being religious. its insane. why it bugs me when im not even remotely religious? well i dunno, it seems disrespectful to the highest degree to me.

Edited by JasonR86

@jasonr86 said:

@clonedzero said:

this thread is only going bitter angry internet athiest directions so yeah dont bother.

real-life atheists seem like sensible normal people. internet ones are SO GOD DAMN BITTER and angry its annoying as fuck

To be fair, 'internet-everyone' sucks.

i dunno. "internet atheists" are by far the most insufferable annoying, arrogant douchebags on the face fo the earth. im not even religious. im apathetic on the entire concept.

anytime i see anyone even remotely reference religion on the internet you see a swarm of douchey comments bashing the guy for being religious. its insane. why it bugs me when im not even remotely religious? well i dunno, it seems disrespectful to the highest degree to me.

No comment.

Online
Posted by zFUBARz

@whamola: ? the mathematician or the user?

Posted by TangoUp

Interesting thing about Buddhism is that Buddha never wanted a religion to be formed based on him and neither that he be revered as a god ...

Edited by TruthTellah

@notdavid: Yes, it's a bad idea to join a cult. Joining Scientology is not something anyone should do.

And joining a religion you don't believe in is also a bad idea. A really bad one. There's no reason to be a part of a religion if you don't believe it. None whatsoever. If you had to choose, Buddhism isn't an awful thing to look into, but don't join it because of non-belief reasons. Pursue a better understanding of it because you want to, not because you feel you need to as part of a group. I'm a servant of Christ, but I would never, -ever- encourage anyone to state belief in Christianity if they didn't actually believe it. I can understand your desire to address serious spiritual questions, but the answer to that is researching about it, not just jumping into some organization. No religious belief should ever be about some structure or institution; it should simply be about what you choose to believe, whatever that may be.

This is your life, and you must choose for yourself. Do your own research, reach out to people, and try to gain a better understanding of where you're going. Pursue the truth and don't accept anything less, because your life and what you do with it matters.

Edited by ShadowConqueror

Make your own.

Posted by TheHT

@zfubarz said:

@whamola: ? the mathematician or the user?

probably the mathematician. unless there's some other religious argument of Pascal's he was referring to, what you said didn't 'reek' of Pascal. like, at all.

where the wager says that you should be religious in case God happens to actually exists so you'll go to heaven, you said that whether God exists or not, you should be good for goodness sake.

Edited by Pudge

@darthorange said:

Most atheists follow flyentology, where they go about there lives then look to God only when the shit hits the fan.

Good of you to speak for atheists considering that you obviously aren't one. I can't speak for everyone I guess, but for me personally, if "shit hit the fan", I have no one to blame but myself. I don't get to beg for forgiveness from some all powerful being in the sky, I get to look inside and realize what I did to cause said shit hitting said fan, and then I get to go on the long road to fixing those problems or I just accept that I'm messed up in one way or another.

To the OP, no. It's not good to join a cult. It is good to question what you believe in though, it's not something you come to overnight.

Posted by zFUBARz

@theht: Yeah I didn't think the comparison fit too well, but I'm always open to the possibility I misunderstood.

Edited by BeachThunder

You might find this interesting:

Posted by Darson

@notdavid said:
I like the RPG aspect of Scientology.

Best thing I've read all decade.

Edited by zenmastah

Scientology is like EA in religion, its all in the nickel and diming..

Posted by Tits_Matador

You can join my cult duder. All it takes it is ten easy payments of $10,000.* In return you get the sastifaction of having given me a bunch of money for no reason.

*Also payable in equivalent value in Brad Bucks.

Posted by OfficeGamer

Islam is your answer me breda

Edited by Inkerman

Yes, the censoring of dissenting opinions by Scientology is "kind of shitty" in the same way that the Third Reich was "sort of bad".

Posted by TobbRobb

Dude don't join a cult. Just don't be a dick. You can steal rituals from religions if they help make you sleep better, but no need to follow them step by step if you're not a true believer anyways.

Edited by troll93

@pudge: Don't you know, if you can be lossly identified with something, there is only one way you can be i.e. Atheist- Stalin; Christians-Kony; Muslim; Osama Bin Laden; Buddhist; some Buddhist dick?

On more serious note; if you do want to start attending church/mosque/temple again, just find a sect that is a modern reform sect. I don't belive and never have felt the need to go past age 15, but my mother is a lot quieter if I go to a sermon on Easter and Christmas (I can sneak out of the Christmas one, harder for Easter.) The church that I go accepts the big bang, evolution, is cool with gays and just preaches the actual message of Jesus, treat each other as you want to be treated. They don't even use a lot of religious things, a lot of talking about cool people i.e doctors without borders ect. It is a nice feel good experience for everyone involved. Or go to mosque cause they have cool architecture.

Posted by Cloudenvy

I feel like the internet is becoming too much for me these days...

Posted by AlexanderSheen
Posted by Cloudenvy

@alexandersheen: How do you even get to the point of the original poster? At what point do you think it's sensible to either: Join a cult, become a scientologist because you like the "RPG" aspect of it or join a religion you don't believe in?

Everything about the opening post is a good mix of the dumbest/best crap I've ever read except for the part where he wants more structure and goals in his life.

Edited by UlquioKani

Being a buddhist is pretty easy. It's basically the same as the number one rule for Giant Bomb.

1.) Don't be a jerk

Other than that, there isn't really all that much to it.

Online
Edited by AlexanderSheen

@cloudenvy: I see. For me the Kickstarter scam comments were the end of me. People after people showed evidence indicating the whole thing is just a cash grab and a publicity stunt, but still, some folks are so moronic and unable to believe that the genuinity of the "project" is non-existent. The stupidity of poeple shows again and again and I'm not even angry about it anymore, it's just makes me sad.

Posted by Kidavenger

If you aren't going to believe, then I would just join whichever one is most popular in your community; Improve your social life, maybe get a girlfriend, escape from a life of asking retarded questions on the internet.

Edited by Brodehouse

I'm an atheist. I dislike Bronze Age superstition and the strange combination of maximum solipsism and maximum servility that Abrahamic religions demand. And I urge all rational people to abandon it. Even if merely for the half-measure of agnosticism.

I love the religious playing the 'tolerance' card, you can't say anything that might offend them. Same as it ever was, the only difference is nowadays they can't execute you for hurting their precious fee-fees.

Edit: on wait unless you're Islam. And then not only can you execute people who offend your religion, you can issue death contracts on foreign citizens who offend you. And the supposed 'moderate' Westerners will tacitly endorse it. Islam is the one religion who can demand that non-believers the world over follow the precepts of their religion.

Edited by Anund

@troll93 said:

@pudge: [..] The church that I go accepts the big bang, evolution, is cool with gays and just preaches the actual message of Jesus, treat each other as you want to be treated. [..]

Man, that just sounds like a cool church. I am not religious, but that is the kind of thing I can totally get behind. A religion which basically accepts reality for what it is and just says "hey, be good to eachother". If they were all a lot more like that, I'd have no issue with religion what so ever.

Posted by FancySoapsMan

try talking to a monk about this maybe?

They'll probably be better at answering your questions than anyone here.

also becoming a scientologist seems like a terrible idea, especially for the reasons you provided.

Edited by Pudge

@troll93: So you go to a "reform" church twice a year to appease family members? What a waste of time for all involved.

On another note, the meaning of your paragraph directed towards me continues to elude me, so feel free to make yourself clear unless you were just living up to your username.

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