Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H
Gormley


How do you assess somebody as behaving immorally?

 

First there are fundamentally only two ways to be immoral.

 

Do you become anything harmful such as a murderer or child abuser? First and foremost you let yourself be one. Second you take action to be one. Its passive and then active. There is no active without the passive. The passive in a sense is more dangerous than the active for you don’t what you are letting yourself be. Evil can be a chameleon.

 

So how do you assess if somebody is being immoral?

 

There are five answers people give.

 

1 "They have bad beliefs that drive them."
2 "They have mean motives for what they think and do [thinking can be doing!]."
3  "They have nasty strategies- their end justifies their means."

4  "They are terrible for look how well they have done by being so vile."

5  When they won't do good to express the goodness of God but malign him by sin as if you owe him nothing

Many people give all four answers. None of the answers exclude the others.


Everybody has a favourite one.

 

What about 1?


Religious people adore the idea that what makes you bad is your beliefs – by that they could mean that you worship statues while they worship the real God and the source of love. The answer to that is all beliefs can breed evildoing or evildoers. But the fact remains that some beliefs and religions do this more than others and often without even trying! A belief has no rights or entitlement to respect (the holders of the belief do have rights and entitlement but that is a separate matter) so if a religion is a system of belief then the people should walk away if it is in any way having a bad effect on anyone. That nobody would do that is itself a sign that the religion is bad.

 

What about 2?

 

You cannot really be that sure of what anybody’s motives are.  Somebody with an embarrassing or secret motive is not going to tell you the truth.  Even somebody who seems evil may just be addicted to playing a role like life was a soap opera. Sometimes people who con are not intending to do it but are just pawns in some con artists web of deception. It is hard to tell what your own chief reasons for dong something are. If you have motives for what you think it is even harder again.

 

Let us pass over the minority view that an egotist is a person who engages in selfishness that harms others and that we are all psychologically egotists.  A psychological egoist is a person who is out chiefly for themselves or solely but who does not harm.  A psychological altruist is about others chiefly or solely.  There is disagreement on whether human nature is one or the other.   Some think your brain can make you one one minute or the other the next.  That, assuming altruism or egoism are possible at all and everybody assumes they are, is possible. In fact if you are an altruist you end up with no right to call anybody an egoist for that altruism calls it selfish to accuse somebody without evidence and no evidence is available.  Plus as we are to put on the best interpretation possible it follows that you must never call say a murderer or bank robber an egotist but an egoist.  Altruism totally contradicts itself and has to call everybody an altruist so it is just useless fairy dust.  For that it is selfish.  It is pride for it is a person pretending to be better than what they are when the better is anything but good!

 

What about 3?


We all do ends and means. Even if you starve your dog to feed the neighbour who needs food more than the dog does that is doing evil to do good.

 

What about 4?


Calling somebody a sinner or criminal or monster for they do well from their distastesful escapades is really just a sign that you are jealous.  Success from evil does not give anybody the right to judge you as evil.  It is about what kind of person you are not your success.

 

What about 5?

Sin is about how an evil offends and breaks the law of God.  Evil is about harm.  The two are not the same thing.  Anarchists used to blame the police for crime in the sense that the laws against crime cause crime. Their logic is faulty but strangely enough is spot on if it is be applied to God the big policing deity. Sin exaggerates how bad an act is and accuses it of opposing the infinite perfection of God.  That attack and defiance of perfect good is imagined to be an unimaginably malicious thing. It would be if there is a God.  So evil is maligned more than it needs to be and naturally and predictably it leads to fake sins being invented. Sin is a fake evil that is tacked on to a real evil.  To say evil is not God's will is to judge it and the evildoers as extra bad for it gives a new reason to condemn them as if there is not already enough.  The evildoers will sense that you are being passive aggressive and that does not help them or anybody.  It makes things worse.

5 is simply not a way to assess morality.  It opposes morality and offers only judgemental hypocrisy.