Faith and knowledge: Churches, Cults, and other
Faith is an accepted and important part of many established
religions. Though some people question the reliability of knowledge gained through faith,
few use this point as a premise to argue that the religions themselves are unacceptable.
We generally do not object to people who are 'faithful' Catholics, Christians or Muslims.
This tolerance does not, however, readily transfer to those 'faithfully' following various
other ideologies such as cults or other non-mainstream organizations.
For example, we often consider people in cults, white
supremacist organizations, or even nontraditional political parties to be unreasonable,
illogical, and even crazy because their beliefs can not be accounted for objectively or
Here are a few specific questions and some hyperlinks that
are a starting point for using the Internet to find answers.
A. Is faith the same in all cases? Are all faith based
beliefs equally valid?
B. Are cults only called cults because they have relatively
small numbers of adherents and are relatively new? Are "hate" groups only evil
because they espouse beliefs that are different from what most of us believe?
The Religious Movements Homepage at University of Virginia
The Anti-Cult Movement
Making of a Skinhead
Fire from Heaven Ministries
Faith and Reason Ministries
Virtual Religion Index
The JW Place: Jehovah's Witness Discussion Forum