An introduction to the issue of various cults in todays society

Membership in groups such as Hare Krishna, Divine Light Mission, and the Unification church appears to be on the decline or leveling off. Groups that seem closer to home, on the other hand, now generate increased helpseeking on the part of parents and ex-members.

An introduction to the issue of various cults in todays society

This paper presents over 30 significant ethical issues that remain unresolved and invite more discussion by the general public. Social policy regarding these issues shouldn't be decided by special interest groups and lobbyists.

The list below is meant to be evocative rather than comprehensive. I hope it stimulates you to think of some issues I haven't listed.

Perhaps we'll add them to the list.

An introduction to the issue of various cults in todays society

The answers to the issues listed below aren't easily deduced from any type of philosophy that I know of—maybe a few, but not all. To assume that a grand unified philosophical theory can address all these issues adequately may be a form of reductionistic thinking.

Some of the easier problems in my mind involve the more individual issues. One application of these issues is as a way to assess the effectiveness of a philosophical system or theory of consciousness-raising. Ethics involves the sphere of interpersonal, group, and community politics at the level of values—not just what can be achieved or how to achieve it, but more what should be sought, in the realm of social harmony and fairness.

It is the complexity of the other side of individualism— other than taking care of oneself, what do we want our collective to do or refrain from doing? Ethics looks at our proper relations, our duties to each other, indvidually and collectively. In the past, ethics—and a good deal of civil law, in addition—was mixed with the requirements of religious ritual and the establishment of the details of the priestly caste.

There was no other law back then, around the time of Moses, at least for the wandering Israelites, and when the alleged basic rules were laid down in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. In most other countries, the law wasn't codified, and although there were traditions, the king was the boss and he could be pretty capricious.

The code of Hammurabi, around BC in the area near Babylon, was a bit of an exception, as far as we know. It took a while to establish a civil government with some semblance of consistent law, and the revisions of the code re-established this effort.

Such efforts also were in reaction to the growing problems of trade, the establishments of small sub-cultural communities within larger communities, and inter-cultural mixing, which then required laws that applied to all sub-cultures within a greater empire.

Before that, each minority or mini-nation or tribe was allowed to apply its own traditional rules of justice—as long as they paid their taxes, sent their military levies, and didn't make trouble, they were left pretty much alone.

The ascendency of the Church in the West and of a theocratic legal system in the Islamic Empires tended to re-establish a more theocratic process, but once again this has broken down in most countries of the West and many in the Middle East, so that civil questions are distinguished from religious ones.

This preamble is being presented because there's still a sense that our ethical rules are if not explicitly described in the Bible, they are implicit there, and can be applied to all modern issues.

The Jews actually tried to do this, and the Talmudic tradition was a result, an interpretative tradition that laid the groundwork for some of the later traditions of rational argumentation found in our judicial systems.

But the problem is this: New circumstances and technologies really create new problems. Should we rationally tie our ethics to these traditional sources and precedents, especially when they arose out of cultures that may be becoming minority cultures in our present society?

Beginning perhaps with the Magna Carta and flowering in the 18th century, the idea of "rights" emerged. The problem is that these were perceived as existing a priori, 0ut there, so to speak, objectively. Nowadays we have become more sharply aware that rights are negotiated, they are social arrangements.

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As increasing groups of peoples--including, lately, the "unborn," and now, even animals, are viewed as having "rights," ethics has expanded to explore who should have which rights? Is health care a "right," and if so, are we obligated to collectively offer it, or should it be something people have to purchase at some significant expense from privately-owned corporations?

Thus, we are charged with a goodly number of "hot potatoes," sticky and pressing ethical problems, social issues, that are more often than not avoided, at least as topics of ongoing rational social discussion.Religious Cults: The Christian Perspective Christians define religious cults from a different perspective.

Simply, a cult is any religious group that deviates from the fundamental teachings of the historic, Bible-based, Christian faith as confirmed through the ancient ecumenical creeds. Resources: Cult Research, Critical Thinking and Cultic Studies: What messages are behind today's cults?, by Philip G.

Zimbardo, Ph Comparable individual diversity has been evident among the members of many different cult groups I've dangerous, or as opposing basic values of their society.

Cults represent each society's "default values. - Cults And Jews Cults are becoming more and more of an issue for Jews every day. Many cults are beginning to target Jews.

In this cult a believer can remove their bad karma by enduring various sufferings.

An introduction to the issue of various cults in todays society

Members and leaders use this idea to justify the abuse of other members. Cults and the Moral Decay of Society - I. Introduction A. The most basic of these today are religious movements, denominations, sects, and cults.

Types of Religious Organizations

Religious movements and denominations A form of social movement, religious movements involve groups of people who join together to spread a new religion or to reinterpret an old one.

Indeed, culture is not the issue for the issue faced by the Jerusalem Council was the gospel. 15 The implications of the decision of the Council, however, concern culture and its relationship to Christianity. There is a great deal of difference between an issue and its implications.

Religion and society. The growth of religions, as well as cults and superstitious beliefs, is partly a reflection and consequence of the decline of the organised working class and socialist movements over the last decades, particularly following the collapse of Stalinism. Evangelical Protestant churches supported various right-wing.

Cults, Christianity, and Culture (Acts ) |