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?

 


RELIGIOUS FAITH LEADS TO DISAPPOINTMENT AND SEEKING ANSWERS IN RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Ordinariness can drive a person to become a drug addict, a religious maniac or even make them turn to suicide.  They crave excitement.  They have two problems.  They have a vacuum a space inside that makes them feel bored and un-stimulated.  They are also made to feel that way by what dullness surrounds them.  They can get it either way or both.

Religious extremism promises power and glory and excitement.

The extremist may or may not be a dedicated religionist.  She or he has enough religion to do grave harm.  The fact is that they may miss public worship a lot and may break some major rules of their religion and still kill in the name of faith.  We have seen such praying and looking peaceful and invoking God as they lead others to their deaths.  They may kill in suicide bombings. This shows that they may feel they are compensating for their negligence.  They are doing the big good work that makes up for their religious neglect.  So what matters is that the religious extremist kills in the name of faith not how particular they are in lining up properly to their faith.  This is the great equalizer for heretics of a religion and the orthodox ones.  You may think that if a person wants to be devoted properly to his religion and feels bored by it then killing for it is what he ends up doing for it promises some excitement and a sense of heroism.

Schopenhauer wrote,

Everyone who is in love will experience an extraordinary disillusionment after the pleasure he finally attains; and he will be astonished that what was desired with such longing achieves nothing more than what every other sexual satisfaction achieves, so that he does not see himself very much benefited by it. That desire was related to all his other desires as the species is to the individual, hence as the infinite to something finite. On the other hand, the satisfaction is really for the benefit only of the species, and so does not enter into the consciousness of the individual, who, inspired by the will of the species, here served with every kind of sacrifice a purpose that was not his own at all. Therefore, after the consummation of the great work, everyone who is in love finds himself duped; for the delusion by means of which the individual was the dupe of the species has disappeared.

He shows that there is something that yearns for the perfect love of a perfect being and for that love to bestow perfect happiness when one person loves another. Thus love has an implicit religious or faith tendency.  He shows that love leads to you being fooled so love is dangerous.  The love of God would matter most or more than loving anybody so it must be the biggest disappointment of all.  An all-powerful God and all-loving God by definition can reach you and bless you if you let him so you end up blaming yourself and feeling driven to try religious extremism when nothing seems to work.  The love of God must lead only to the biggest dupe of all.

Focusing on working for your personal happiness, material, bodily, mentally and spiritually leads sooner or later to a huge let down. The let down can be so bad that you end up jaded and cynical forever. Directly thinking of how you feel all the time puts pressure on you and you can be concentrating on that when you could be happy instead or even distracted from how good things are. What works better though it isn't foolproof is forgetting about being personally happy. Expecting to take steps and guarantee happiness will fail for it is making demands on life and on others that they will not deliver. Just realise that mattering, connecting and belonging to something more reliable and bigger than yourself for you are a small thing in a big life and big world and big universe is what gives you the chance of happiness. In short, connect more with your family and community. It will all fall into place and if it does not at least you have their support. You cannot be happy all the time.

Working for material happiness fails for you get your big house and you still feel no better.

Working for bodily wellbeing fails for eventually all goes south and health problems set in.

Working for mental happiness hurts you for it leads to too much focus on your own feelings.

Working for spiritual happiness, peace with God, is giving yourself something else to worry about as if you do not have enough.  Nobody knows what is spiritual or what is not.  So it is too vague to help and plus working for the other kinds of happiness can be mistaken for working for spiritual happiness. The dangerous thing with spiritual happiness is that it is given by God and it needs to be real otherwise it is a danger and an illusion.

Faith in God, prayer, religious sacraments, worship are all attempts to take steps to be happy so they are bad.  They will fail which sets you on the road to possible religious addiction.

You cannot personally love everybody else.  What you love in religion is directed to vague ideas of humankind and the occasional real person.  To love the idea of loving everybody else is not loving everybody else.  It is in fact making it hard to love many of them should you encounter them as real flawed suffering and difficult individuals.  Is it any wonder then that the love of God will let you down for it is said to be practiced by the love of neighbour?

Loving humankind like some vague collective item is just trying to feel you love them and that is dangerous for a lot of people out there need real direct love.  Its selfish of you.  It will not satisfy you.

Religion and certain aspects of religion lead to existential problems - you may feel a dysphoria that you think drives you to murder in the name of God and/or religion.  It may be so painful that you may think killing is going to relieve it.  Or it may directly cause you to kill.  Or you may be happy to be part of a system that produces some sharks to do the killing for you.