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?

 


  Gospel of Atheism
1 Salvation by atheism
2 What is self-esteem?
3 Why is self-esteem important?
4 How to love yourself
5 You want to be happy
6 You can be happy
7 To love yourself means loving yourself alone ultimately
Fear is the father of evil
9 Nobody makes you unhappy but you
10 Let happiness come just pave the way and trust yourself
11 Be easy to please and life will be better
12 You just need to see your worth
13 Egoism is the way to go!
14 Distracted selfishness is your salvation
15 See that you are not a sinner
16 Be your own person
17 Only God you need is you!
18 You have a will but it is not free in the religious sense
19 Proof that there is no free will and we don't really want it
20 Belief in fate is not really that bad
21 Liberation and guilt the gospel of atheism
22 Forgiveness in the popular sense is a snare!
23 Hatred in disguise the gospel of atheism overcomes it
24 The importance of evidence and why probability not possibility is what counts
25 Using reason correctly means protecting yourself correctly
26 There is no God - be your own God
27 Show the oppressive God belief the door!
28 Belief in God thrives on attacking your self-regard
29 Why it is inhuman to condone God's often cruel plan
30 Religion is fanatical superstitious and therefore harmful
31 Why prayer offends against decency
32 Why it is bad to believe in revelation
33 Miracles are a toxic belief
34 Fast inner transformation for the atheist
35 Don't expect too much
35 Affirming atheism in a positive way
37 Humanist meditation - transforming your inner self
38 Feeling that life is meaningful
39 On optimism - the atheist and mature optimism
40 Why there is danger and irresponsibility in the afterlife doctrine
41 Telling the difference between right and wrong
42 Being fair
43 On value on human life
44 Can an egoist be a martyr for others?
45 Animal rights
46 Ways of being complicit in society's evil
47 Lying and stealing
48 Gossip is a plague
49 The need for social regulation
50 Proper relationship of church and state
51 The value of education
52 The evil of marriage
53 How to have a happy love life
54 Erotica is harmless and to be enjoyed
55 The bare essentials of atheism
56 About Humanism
57 Humanism is not a religion or a faith position
58 Atheists here are the rules if you want them!
59 Being an atheist or humanist in a religious world
60 Making friends for humanist atheism
61 How we must spread the good news of atheistic humanism
62 The end goal of atheistic humanism
63 Ultimate truth - the theorems of atheistic humanism
IT'S EASY TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE

Nobody can deny that some things are good - for example, good feelings. The only problem is in determining how to do what has the most good in it. Despite all the clashes between religions and schools of philosophy it is easy to distinguish right from wrong and the religious tenet that we need to believe in God to do it is a lie. We know for a start that if there is no perfect code of right and wrong we have to choose the best one. It is because there are faults with every moral code that there is so much of a dispute about what is right and wrong.

The law is that what is right is what promotes the greatest happiness of the greatest number. This law has rarely been interpreted or implemented correctly. So it should be made a bit clearer: what is right is what promotes the greatest self-esteem and greatest rationality (you can't have self-esteem without correct thinking) of the greatest number. It matches the code of right behaviour that we want to believe in very closely. No system will be perfect so you just have to find the best one and stick to it. Motive is all-important in this for an action is only good when it is meant to be good. If the motive is bad then you defile, hurt and demean yourself. We need rules to make sure people have the right motives for if we let them bend the rules all the time they can do it with bad motives and say the motives were good.

There can be no security, order or contentment without rules. Some say we should stick to rules no matter how much harm it does. "Believe in God and serve him and never do other than these" is a notorious example. Others say we should have no rules but do whatever makes the most happiest. The right doctrine is found when we cross the two approaches and come up with, "Make the rules that are the best for most of us." We should do what is best for most people which means keeping the rules for it is best to be happy yourself and to make another happy for two happy people are better than one.

Some things that are called evil are really just neutral, neither good nor bad. But most of the time there is something that can be done that will be for the best.

Reason tells us what is right and wrong. Reason forbids the pollution of the environment. Reason forbids parents not supporting their children who depend on them. That's two examples.

Some may object: "Why these rules and not others? Order will still be maintained if we permitted a little child neglect and a certain amount of pollution. You can't say that permitting these is bad for it causes trouble for the law has to be enforced by causing trouble."

The answer is that these two things would be needless evils and evil is essentially an attack on self-esteem.

We feel that we want these rules. Even when we feel like breaking them or do break them we prefer them to be maintained even when our breaking them will be secret for they make us feel safe. The way we naturally feel about them would be a sufficient reason to stand by them and preach them for that would guarantee the greatest possible happiness of the greatest number in a harmless as possible way.

Rules should be confined to the bare minimum. A moral precept that can be done without, eg that a very decent man and woman living together outside of wedlock is a sin, is an extra burden on the world and it slanders the one who contravenes it as bad while the real baddies are the people who keep the precept and preach that it should be observed. The rules need to be as liberal as possible for you don't need a lot of control over people to organise society. Where there is no law we have to live as if there were a law. We have to live out the best code of right behaviour that we can find.