Sunday, March 23, 2008

Is Scientology a Religion?

I've been asked why Scientology is a religion recently, so I thought I'd explain it here.

Scientology is recognized as a religion all over the world, but why? Why is it called a religion? I think to answer that question, I'm going to have to look at what "religion" means.

The Encarta dictionary (my favorite) says:

1. beliefs and worship: people's beliefs and opinions concerning the existence, nature, and worship of a deity or deities, and divine involvement in the universe and human life
2. system: an institutionalized or personal system of beliefs and practices relating to the divine
3. personal beliefs or values: a set of strongly-held beliefs, values, and attitudes that somebody lives by"

Scientology deals with man as a spirit and distinguishes itself from material and nonreligious philosophies that say that man is the product of the material. Scientology doesn't ask for blind faith, but helps the individual find past experiences and shed the trauma or guilt connected with those experiences. The Church of Scientology also provides basic services that any religion provides, such as Sunday Service, Sermons, Christenings, Weddings, etc.

So, there you go. I hope I cleared up any confusion as to why Scientology is called a religion.


Stan Dubin said...

Good post!

I've met quite a few devout Christians who initially thought Scientology would encroach or interfere with their religious beliefs. When they got a bit more familiar with the actual principles of Scientology, this concern disappeared.

Julia said...

That's great, Stan! I have run into the same situation too. I'm glad you were able to discuss the information with your friends openly and that their concerns were alleviated.