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


When your atheism becomes your faith

Belief

Beliefs are accepting something as likely to be true. To know something is not to believe it. When you know something it is 100% certain. It cannot be wrong. We use the word know a bit loosely. When we believe something very strongly and find the evidence very persuasive we tend to say we know it. An opinion is a weak form of belief. When you accept an idea

You are not your beliefs/opinions. Your beliefs/opinions control how you experience the world. Thus if you have not for example overcome some big hurt in your life, you may fear people you think can hurt you like that again. You need to know what you need and what you want. More importantly you need to now why you want them. You don't want to be a slave to your needs and wants. You want to be ruler of your need and wants.

You need belief more than you do faith.

Faith Ė Itís Life in One Word

Faith should not be trusting in something without proper and without sufficient evidence. It should be confidence based on evidence. If you trust your wife now without evidence, your trust in her is based on the fact that you donít need evidence any more. You based your faith in her on evidence up to a moment ago. Your faith is provisional in the sense that you are open to it being shown to be misplaced.

Faith is my power to believe what I have reason to think is true.

Faith is trust.

Faith is your life's blood

Life is impossible without Faith. Faith is a form of belief.

Do you need faith as I wishful thinking to make yourself feel better? Perhaps you do but the occasions will be rare. Such faith might help you but it does not follow that you should encourage it in society or in others. If it is good for a person it is not necessarily good for the community as a whole. There is a downside to the comfort you get from wishful thinking. It can take away your incentive to fix your problems. It can stop you seeing problems. For example, if you are on your deathbed you may hope that with Godís mercy that you will rise from it. That stops you feeling low but it could lead to you refusing to make your will or reconcile with estranged family members.

It is said that to believe in God or religion is to make an act of faith. It is said that to decide there is no God is also an act of faith. This is saying that both are presuppositions for belief.

Without faith in yourself you wouldnít be alive and you wouldnít be able to be happy.

Many in the world try to live as far as they can by what reason tells them. But faith in reason is really just faith in yourself. The person with insanity cannot reason correctly. You have faith in your intelligence and in your rationality and in your sanity. Without faith in your emotions and instincts you wouldnít be able to love your friends and family and trust them.

Even those who claim to put all their faith in God are actually putting faith in themselves more than in him. Faith in him is a manifestation of their faith in themselves. No they have only faith in themselves and are choosing indirect faith over direct faith. What are they afraid of? How much better it is to have direct honest faith in oneself. They trust themselves to know they should and can trust God. If they didnít have faith in themselves they would have no faith in God. If they didnít trust their thinking and their feelings they wouldnít be able to generate faith in God.

Faith is built in to us. We have faith, even the atheist, that if we go on a bus trip we will come back alive. We have faith that kindness is the best policy generally. There is no need for religious people to try to condition children to have a specific KIND of faith eg a Catholic or Muslim or whatever one. And the fact remains that an atheist cannot encourage religious faith for religious faith demands, in principle, that believers try to convert her or him.

Without faith in yourself you cannot respect yourself properly. You cannot respect others. Having faith in yourself to do the right thing for you and those who lives you touch is the most important gift of all.

The focus of mental health is to develop faith in yourself and nothing else. You create your faith in the God you make your rock. God, if he exists, doesnít bless you. He gives you the power to bless yourself. He wants you to be independent.

Self-confidence comes with trusting in yourself. True self-confidence involves desiring only the things you can bring into your life. When you manage that, you know you can work to get those things. Instead of hoping these things will fall into your lap, you simply go out and do something to make them happen. You do not ask a God to help you. That is going back to hope and hope is unhealthy.

Faith/belief is very powerful. It colours how you see and perceive. If you see people as shifty you will filter out the evidence against this and remember the evidence for it. Thus you end up harming yourself through your belief.

You need to avoid any form of faith that is not self-correcting. If faith is good it does not follow that religious faith is good. Faith can be a way of blinding yourself to the truth. It carries that risk. Religious faith makes that risk too strong. It claims to be about taking Godís word for it that such and such is true so it is not self-correcting and cannot be. It involves putting the beliefs beyond the reach of testing. Consider how when one gets what one prays for it is considered evidence for the existence of God answering prayer while

Belief is never a private matter in the sense our beliefs make us the kind of persons and influences we are. Harmful beliefs are harmful for us and therefore for those who come into contact with us. They do this without any mysticism as well has being able to harm people by putting harmful psychic energy into the world.

Faith is imperfect. It is not knowledge. The thought that it might be misplaced is part of the package. You always have to hope that what you believe in is true. Hope is imperfect too because you can't have it without also having some fear. If you say you hope for sunshine tomorrow, you will feel the fear that it may rain. You know that it may rain instead. You need faith to be able to hope. The less faith you have the greater the sense of hopelessness you will experience.

People usually have faith in what they want to believe. But it is possible to believe in reason because you want to be reasonable. That is the only kind of faith that is acceptable. Anything else doesnít intend to be rational

All faith is ultimately faith in yourself that you are progressing as a fulfilled person who can be of service to others. Be honest about that and faith will work for you!

God and faith

God is that which alone matters and which is the all-good cause of all other causes.

It could be that the cause should not be revered as God at all.

There is an idolatry risk - idolatry is the worship of a fictitious God or the worship of something that is not worthy.

It could be dangerous to call on the cause for help for what if it randomly does harm? If it does good all the time right now, that could change in seconds.

Man Worships His Image of God

The men of God cannot ask you to worship them for it lays too high of a burden on them to be perfect. So they say they are the humble servants of God. They invent a God so that you can employ them and grant them authority over you thinking you are doing it for God not them. When you serve the God invented by men it is those men who benefit not God. You adore their creation and worship them by proxy. They are better than any God for they invent God.

People serve corrupt religions and say, ďI give this religion money and worship at its rites and I do it for God not the kind of people that run it.Ē They might mean this or they might be just making an excuse. If God asked these leaders to preach his gospel and to preserve it and gave them guidance then God is putting huge trust in them. It is their word you have that they speak for God not his word. Whether a religion is from God or man you will still be trusting man. If it is from God that is down to luck. You are depending on luck. A God who gives you his word through a man is asking you to trust that man alone. There is no greater trust than that put in man when man says he speaks for the only ultimately important being and gives his sacred truths.

Even if there is a God, you judge him worthy of worship. You worship your perception of God. Two people with contradictory of ideas of God can both be convinced that they are right. So idolatry is inevitable. People declare the God they have in their heads to be the one thing that matters. Selfless service of a God in your head is really selfishness that you manage to feel good about for it so easily passes for sacrifice. Both the peaceful believer and the murderous religious fanatic are guilty of expecting people to suffer and die and give all their love to a collective of ideas. Both are cruel only the cruelty is more obvious in the case of the violent believer. Nobody considers it virtuous to enable or encourage somebody in loving a being who does not exist except in their heads.

It is no answer to say that God gives us revelation through prophets and Bibles. If your version of God is your version, then saying you have a revelation makes matters worse. Why?

Faith in God is really faith in man

To say men give you Godís message is to say that God trusted them to give it. It is about trust in the men.

Hearing a voice does not mean it is Godís and only God can know if he is really speaking. Even the person who hears cannot be sure but can only guess. If anyone claims to be hearing the voice of God and giving his message to others he is a liar. To think that you donít know where the voice comes from means it is not from you is arrogant. It is, ďI donít know where this inspiration comes from so it comes from God.Ē It makes no sense. By spreading your message you inspire a worse arrogance in others. X has a voice in his heart or head and doesnít know where it comes from therefore it is from God. The more your faith in a prophet is based on hearsay the worse the problem gets.

No man has the right to start a religion and give it doctrine because that is man knowingly or unknowingly fooling others and having them look up to his word as if it were the word of a god. It is man dictating to man what he must believe and that is demeaning.

Religious leaders can be corrupt. People say, ďI follow this religion because its from God - I donít do it for those leaders.Ē In actual fact if there is no God to follow they are still following something so it must be the leaders.

Faith and feelings

Faith is an assurance that through your relationship to truth you can be fine. Faith should be embracing the truth as your friend. Faith should be a fluid process. Religion has people adopting faith for they fear what it is like to think for yourself and feel alone. If you adopt faith for that reason then your faith is not about truth but about what suits you. It is not about truth but about practicality. Faith that serves as a crutch or a shield to avoid fear only leads to irrationality and self-deception and bigotry.

If you have faith for the alternative is worse then that is an admission that it is not about truth about practicality.

The only problem in life is our feelings. Our feelings alone can damage and hurt us and we fear them. They do not always follow the head. They sometimes respond to good sense and often they do not. Worship them. Talk to them. They will become more co-operative.

The person who admires the billionaire who seems to have an exciting business life forgets that one can small running a tiny business just as much. Itís not what you do that matters but how you feel about it.

Faith is belief when it is accompanied by action. The action flows from it. Faith without good works is no good and is not real faith. Faith helps me the more I put it into practice. I test and exercise my faith by performing good works and this helps me prove to myself that my faith is true and is justified.

Faith must promote what is best for people on the human level. Keep all religious and spiritual assumptions and prejudices out of it. That way even if the faith is wrong, there is no harm done. Faith must not make anything worse if it cannot make anything any better. Keep faith human. Once you start telling people to take supernatural assumptions seriously you donít know where it will lead.

The only faith you need is the faith in yourself to manage acceptance of one fact. The fact is that you can handle all the difficulties of life. You do this by doing things despite the fear you feel and by taking all the credit for your courage.

You cannot develop a faith unless you start with faith in yourself. After all, there is no faith unless you create it and you need self-belief to do that.

Everybody has faith in themselves even if it is very small. There is hope for all.

You live out your faith as if the only thing that mattered was people first and then the higher animals.

I will nurture my faith and then try to feel that it is true. Feelings need not stop me being rational. Seek the truth with fervour.

Faith is confidence in ourselves that we will never worsen any pain and suffering that come to us. It gives us at least some strength to face the future. Healthy faith does not necessarily take away your problems but it does not worsen them.

Religious people turn faith into a religious matter but it does not need to be. It is not intrinsically religious. In fact it is natural. Our minds are programmed to make most of us see life as better and less threatening than we might see it. Nature has given us the faculties which protect us from overwhelming and crippling fear.

If you need medication to correct some kind of imbalance then take it. There is something the matter that needs medicine to help. But usually all we need to do is to avoid anything that gets in the way of our faith or that weakens it. Faith will happen unless obstacles are put in its way.

Faith happens easily if you simply recognise that failure does not exist. When you lose something you get an opportunity to find something else. Put this into daily practice and you will soon feel that life works miracles for you. You alone can and will do this and you alone can and will take the credit for it. Thus your faith is atheist.

Many of us need to leave dubious faith or unhealthy faith behind in order to find real faith. Do not be afraid of helping a person lose their faith for they will find another. And hopefully it will be self-faith. You can destroy a faith but not faith. Faith abhors a vacuum.

It is feared that faith gives us comfort when things go wrong but makes us less willing to fix those things. This only happens when faith becomes a refusal to consider changing oneís mind even when the evidence says you should. Real faith never fears the truth.

Faith/belief is very powerful. It colours how you see and perceive. If you see people as shifty you will filter out the evidence against this and remember the evidence for it. Thus you end up harming yourself through your belief. Is it not better to see them as yourself in other bodies and as deities in their own right? Belief is you being God. When you worship God, it is really the beliefs that you have constructed that you worship. This is idolatry and shows that it would be wiser to adore yourself and others in the first place!

Belief is never a private matter in the sense our beliefs make us the kind of persons and influences we are. Harmful beliefs are harmful for us and therefore for those who come into contact with us.

I celebrate my rationality and come to correct conclusions about the important truths. Then I feel that they are true and enjoy the feeling as best I can. When I do that they will influence my life better and I will remember them better.

Your horrid feelings are not your fault in themselves. What you have to do is to take steps to help them to disappear. It is not you that makes yourself feel angry or depressed or sad or bad. Even if you choose to watch a weepie movie and you cry you have not made yourself cry. It is your psychological make-up that causes all the adverse emotional reactions. You have to find the triggers or buttons that will change the feelings to something better and something more positive and healthy.

We often sow what we reap in relation to our thoughts. If we think nice thoughts we attract nice things into our lives.

To help yourself keep feeling it you must believe it.

Self-deception is harmful

It is easy to assume something and think that means you believe in it. The test is in the evidence you have for it.

Self-deception often masquerades as faith. Emotion often does as well. Emotion can only do that when feeling that something is true is mistaken for believing that it is true. The self-deceiver is the worst liar of all. Self-deception always leads to people hating to some degree anybody or anything who may expose that deception.

If you lie to yourself, it is so that you can be believable to others. It ultimately about fooling others. The more plausibility and respect you are awarded by others the more you tend to almost believe your own lies.