RE: virus: Hegel's Virus (was Altruism, Empathy, Etc.)

Wright, James 7929 (
Fri, 25 Apr 97 09:35:00 EDT

Dan wrote:

>I wasn't suggesting that Buddhism was a cult, only that Buddhism wasn't
>different from other religions, cults, belief systems, 'understanding
>systems,' or whatever. All of them claim to be different. None would
>to being merely a belief system; all claim to have some deeper
>of the truth.<

To be specific, there are Buddhists who have religious practices built
into their understandings; those who understand Zen generally have almost
no religious practices, since it encourages criticism, etc.

>By the way, I don't appreciate the difference between cult and religion
>illustrated in the two lists above. The two religions I am most
>with (Catholicism & Mormonism) fail religious items 1, 2, 4 (Mormons
>and 6. Further, they both satisfied most of the cult items at various
>points in their history.<

Not being a member of either, I cannot address item 1. Catholics and
Mormons both can be excommunicated for heresy, but freedom of thought is
not discouraged; you have to clear your conclusions with the hierarchy to
continue to claim membership, however. Both have quit burning people for
heresy, as far as I can tell.
Mormons are geographically centralized in Utah, but they neither force
others to leave the state nor avoid contact with the outside; two Mormon
missionaries pedaling their bicycles around the city has been a
reasonably frequent sight in four different cities/states that I have
lived in. As for welcoming criticism, I suppose that means different
things to different people; the Mormons I have run across are quite
willing to discuss anything about their religion you care to ask, and to
answer criticisms with reasons as appropriate. Given the existence of
liberal Catholic clergy in a conservative institution, it's tough to
argue they don't welcome criticism either; although like any institution,
tolerance of internal dissent has its limits.

>As far as I can tell, an anti-cult attitude is just religious bigotry
>directed against a young religion.<

Cults can develop into religions, but they need to give up most of the
cult characteristics in order to do so.

>The word 'close-minded' came from me, but here's the earlier post I
>it from, beginning with a statement about the tone of DHR's posts:
<Snip Robin's posts, "fill in the details">
>I think this last paragraph describes almost every person on this list
>(especially myself).

It appears to be a common trait to view the world through the filters
created by your own experience and assumptions, memes and customs; when
you cannot change them, you can be considered 'close-minded' I suppose. I
do not consider it necessarily a terminal or permanent condition.