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Main-Stream Religion

Jackson (and watch this trailer for Hell House)
P&A, Ch. 26; 29-30answer the questions 1—2
1. Share an experience where either: A) your religious convictions were reinforced through persuasion, or B) someone attempted to evangelize to you. In reflecting on this, what seems to work in religious persuasion? What doesn’t?
2. What’s your reaction to the strategies described in the Jackson piece? Using a quotation from the reading, identify one of the examples of the argument ad baculum that particularly struck you. Are there instances (religious or not) when this type of persuasion would ever be ethical? Why or why not? Should we even qualify events like Hell House as acts of persuasion?
Cults Discussion
P&A, Ch. 24, 27, & 36
Southpark on Scientology
Heaven’s Gate Initiation TapeAfter reading the Davis piece on Heaven’s Gate and P&A chapters 24, 27 and 36, answer the following questions:
3.Reflect upon a group or organization that you participate in. Does it exhibit any of the qualities of cults discussed in P&A? If so, what are they? What makes this group/organization different from a cult?
4. Identify a quotation from the Davis reading that you found interesting – what’s intriguing about the Heaven’s Gate cult and Davis’ analysis to you?
5. After learning about some of the different cults we’ve discussed and some of the atrocities associated with them, do you believe that cults should have the right to the freedom of religion like other main-stream religions? Why or why not?