What Does Cult Mean?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by IceAgeCivilizations, May 13, 2007.

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  1. IceAgeCivilizations Banned Banned

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    SkinWalker says a cult is any group which is theistic, however, I've run across several definitions which say it is a group plainly and strangely deviant from common religious teaching.

    It seems the social engineers are trying to lump Christianity in with the Moonies, Mormons, Tree Huggers, and Scientologists, so Skin, only Atheists are not Cultists? How conveeeeeeenient.
     
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  3. SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology Moderator

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    Let's clarify what SkinWalker says.

    Cult, n. - Worship; reverential homage rendered to a divine being or beings.

    -Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed. 1989

    I was aked, "[w]hat is your definition of a cult Skin?"

    In anthropology and archaeology, the definition that is used is the one above. It is both utilitarian and fair. It is not used pejoratively. The pejorative use of the term is within religious cults that do not see themselves as cults. They use the term to create an other that they can point to as the wrong kind, as weird or as strange, insulating themselves from these groups to prevent conversion and apostasy.

    Certainly, one can use the term "cult" as a trope to define social groups like the followers of rock stars, exercise "gurus" (guru, itself, being a trope), management gurus (Zig Ziglar, et al), fictional stories like Star Wars, Fire Fly, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

    But, my usage of the term, in my academic life and in my discussions in these forums is generally that which I provided above.
     
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  5. IceAgeCivilizations Banned Banned

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    One definition is that a cult is a group of people who hyper-venerate a person (Darwin) or thing (his hypothesis), so plainly, Darwinism is a cult, right Skin?
     
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  7. SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology Moderator

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    That, my friend, is a trope, which is a type of metaphor. Specifically, a figurative use of language. "Guru" is a trope that often refers to the guy who's a subject-matter expert.

    As I already admitted in the other thread, the best that you can do by referring to "Darwinism" as a cult is to use the term in its form as a trope, not in its literal sense. The trope then becomes a pejorative. Different from the usage I've outlined. Face it: you have a pejorative term in mind and it simply irks you that there is an academic definition that includes your own religious beliefs.
     
  8. IceAgeCivilizations Banned Banned

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    But it is an academic definition, it's in the dictionary, you can use all the social engineering terminology you want, but "Oxford" certainly is not the end all, don't you think?
     
  9. SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology Moderator

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    Again. You asked what definition *I* was using. I gave it to you. You can disagree on my usage all you want, but I challenge you do show, in academic literature of anthropology and archaeology that the term is used differently in the context of religion (which is the context that this discussion originated from).

    If it is your under-educated opinion that anthropology and archaeology are disciplines that amount to "social engineering" merely because they don't provide adequate reverence for your favorite religious cult, then you are entitled to it. It doesn't make you right, however.
     
  10. IceAgeCivilizations Banned Banned

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    You're a social engineer, eew.
     
  11. pinkiss Registered Senior Member

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    cult means when mentaly unstable people start to worship something or someone like a God and does stupid things which are against nature ,example: like suicide for their beliefs.
     
  12. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    cult

    1.
    *1. A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.
    * 2. The followers of such a religion or sect.
    2. A system or community of religious worship and ritual.
    3. The formal means of expressing religious reverence; religious ceremony and ritual.
    4. A usually nonscientific method or regimen claimed by its originator to have exclusive or exceptional power in curing a particular disease.
    5.
    *1. Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person, principle, or thing.
    *2. The object of such devotion.
    6. An exclusive group of persons sharing an esoteric, usually artistic or intellectual interest.
    http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery?s=What Does Cult Mean? &fw=2&fc=2&gwp=16

    as defined by 6 above sciforums is a cult.
     
  13. Mosheh Thezion Registered Senior Member

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  14. IceAgeCivilizations Banned Banned

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    SkinWalker could do it, but I don't know if anybody would follow him.
     
  15. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    It's hard to say what separates a cult from any other kind of obsession. Is the military a kind of cult? The Salvation Army? How about football fans?
     
  16. IceAgeCivilizations Banned Banned

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  17. IceAgeCivilizations Banned Banned

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    Notice I got a red flag for saying to Skin that he's "a social engineer, eew."
     
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    The term Darwinism is used to identify the early, basic model of evolution that Darwin derived from his original research. In essence it has only one force, natural selection. The model has been greatly elaborated to include other forces. For example: genetic drift, something which could not have been identified in Darwin's era because the technology that allowed DNA to be discovered had not been invented yet.

    There are no more "Darwinists" in the scientific community just as there are no more "Newtonians." So the "cult" you are postulating is a null set.

    I have warned you before that if you insist on denigrating science and scientists, as a snide way of touting a faith-based belief system which could just as snidely be called "the cult of evolution denialism," you will find yourself with no place in a community named Sci Forums.

    Consider this your second warning.

    There are lots of religionists among us who have no trouble maintaining a mutually respectful discourse.
     
  19. IceAgeCivilizations Banned Banned

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    What about the rest who you let run wild like wolverines?
     
  20. IceAgeCivilizations Banned Banned

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    Rather than a Darwinist, what would you rather be called Frag?
     
  21. IceAgeCivilizations Banned Banned

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    Frag, just because you can't defend your Darwinistic dogma doesn't mean you should take it out on me.
     
  22. Roman Banned Banned

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    Evolution is a fact. There are no competing scientific theories of evolution. Therefore, you can't be called anything, as there's no faith required to accept evolution.

    You are so frakking thick, IAC.
     
  23. IceAgeCivilizations Banned Banned

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    Yes Roman, evolution is a fact.
     
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