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Blog: Scientology's Leaps of Faith - 2017-06-08

F0.png Scientology's Leaps of Faith June 8, 2017, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large

In this video we are going to talk about faith and the religious beliefs of the Church of Scientology. Almost immediately, if any Scientologist were to bother to watch this video, they would feel challenged by what I just said because Scientologists don't really think about their beliefs as beliefs in the same way that an astrophysicist doesn't think about the orbit of the planets around the sun as a belief, but instead treats such ideas as scientific fact. Where the astrophysicist can actually use astrophysics to predict the exact speed, location and distance to any of the planets in our solar system, Scientologists are not as able to so easily predict the things their religion tells them about and that is actually one of the big differences between belief and fact.

I'll soon be doing a video series breakdown of the various tenets and practices of Scientology, but before we get to that series, there are some even more fundamental principles about Scientology which I first have to lay out. I've linked in the description below the first of these videos, covering the timeline and development of Dianetics and Scientology. Now in this video we'll take a good hard look at faith. Because make no mistake, Scientology is a faith-based belief system. In the same way that it cloaks its business model with religion and First Amendment privilege, it also cloaks its faith with pseudoscience. There are many claims made by L. Ron Hubbard that Scientology consists of scientifically developed techniques which were rigorously tested and which he guarantees will work 100% of the time on 100% of the people to whom it is applied if they follow his sometimes very vague instructions to the letter. Unfortunately, Scientology does not hold up to this kind of scientific scrutiny or peer review and so doesn't even really try, instead choosing to cloister itself away behind barbed wire fences and gilt facades which look great but don't prove anything.

Now don't get me wrong because I'm not actually knocking the idea of faith. There's nothing wrong with faith, religious or otherwise. It simply means putting one's trust or confidence in something without necessarily having any tangible proof of that thing. We all have a kind of faith in things, even if those things aren't directly related to God or religion. For example, many optimists have a faith that things will turn out alright, that people are basically good and given a choice, most people will choose a positive rather than a negative path. There are lots of good reasons to believe such things, but it is a leap of faith to speak in such broad terms about people and things we can't so easily predict or know. No matter how many times we observe the sun rise and set, that does not mean it's going to rise again. We may have faith that it will, but there is no concrete evidence that it shall always be so, especially since we already know that one day it will not. Whether that day is tomorrow or not is the question.