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?

 


Contempt between groups and religions

Any group - even one that has a huge similarity to the other group - can hate the other group.

Liberal groups and conservative ones are remarkable in how they both paint each other as evil embodied. Liberals are never as liberal as they say. Each side fears the other being right about anything.

Contempt for a group is a skill learned from being able to see a person as vile. Then it expands to the group the person represents and the group that you link with the person.

Contempt thrives on seeing the violent and cruel group/person as pure evil or embodying it. It says they have no reason for doing what they do but just malice. This allows one to see the hurt party as a victim totally and simply. And anybody who says different will be condemned as an assistant for total evil or sympathetic. If one person sees the other as just bad there will be no middle ground and there will only be fear and conflict. When a group or country is seen as pure evil war will surely follow. Seeing evil that way gets very ingrained so there will be little hope of real peace. Many feel that hurting others just for the sake of it rarely happens. If that is so, then evil is useless or near-useless as a concept. Itís an excuse for judging and fear-mongering. Greed does not help explain much about war and violence either for war entails such massive loss on every level. The religious concepts of evil/sin and supernatural protection of your group by God have to be behind violence and cruelty even if that is not explicit.

M Scott Peck found that even thinking about evil triggers and feeds the corruption within you. The experience of evil doing or having it done to you forces you to hate and corrupts you thus to experience evil is to make it part of you.
Probably evil stirs up an attraction in you, or you have evil seeds in you that seeing it awakens. Evil tries to look good so it appeals to your good side not just the bad.

This idea of evil inherently making the victim bad is inconsistent with love the sinner and hate the sin and rouses suspicion about the victims of sinners. Religious experience of God is refuted by experience of evil. How? The experience claims that God really overcomes evil. If he does not or cannot that wonít stop you feeling he is weakening it in you which is exactly what evil or your bad side would want you to think! Is that what you only want God for? So that you can imagine you are growing at the expense of evil?


This leads to malice in spite of itself! Good plots are set up to pave the way to Hell with good intentions. So there is no way to be definite that something really bad has happened in spite of something good.
If God and evil or if good and evil are two sides of one coin then that coin is you. You want others to do the suffering not you.

It seems to us that groups can be selfish or unselfish as groups. These are the concepts of collective selfishness and collective unselfishness. A member of a selfish group will hurt other groups and other people in defence of his or her own group. The trouble is that the member of the unselfish group will be dangerous as well. Terrorists sacrifice themselves selflessly for their religion and group. Groups may look like something somebody just becomes part of. But there has to be a selection process even if it is not obvious. Group selection has to happen or there is no group at all. The group will be to blame for what it accepts and lets in.  For example, an Islamist group or sect will be tarred by the actions of its handful of terrorists even if it disowns them.  And it will be thought, "It has to disown them to survive so what do you expect?"

One reason we hurt our enemies and the enemy may be a group is to help them see what evil is and how horrible it is and put them off it. It can be an attempt at educating rather than at being malicious. The non-judgemental will have to defend the vengeful by suggesting that their game is to teach the enemy a lesson. Nobody really wants to do that for it means protecting the malicious and refusing to admit that people can want to hurt each other and use revenge as an excuse.

Anger involves the feeling that you need to right the wrong. Contempt which is more rife does not which explains its runaway toxic popularity. It is about feeling you are morally better than somebody else without taking action to show it. Contempt is about sharing itself around which leads to terrible damage. By being such ill-willed hypocrites we live out our hypocrisy and hypocrisy feeds on itself and gets nastier and stronger. And hypocrites always form a group that holds other hypocrites in contempt.

The brain seems to be programmed to protect you by wanting revenge on those who do harm and wanting gratitude/rewards given to those who are good. This is all about helping society be co-operative. If the brain is like that then religion is only fooling itself by talking about forgiveness and non-violence etc. It adds to the problem by not admitting that tit for tat is natural. It adds to the problem by advocating rewards and forgiveness and not admitting that this cannot be done without legitimising revenge and hate. To preach one side of the coin is to implicitly preach the other. The two go together. And trying to frustrate the bad side only forces things in society to get worse. Frustration of what is natural has dire consequences.

Human nature is not made to love everybody and meaningfully proclaim the whole world population its family. Our limit for connecting to others and making a kind of loose group is about a hundred to a hundred and fifty people. Our brains are not big enough to do it any differently.

Human natureís dark side will out. Thus it will seek an occult or supernatural or religious way to hurt if it is totally inoffensive and helpful in society. One way it will serve the dark side is by feeling good or indifferent about doing nothing for people in need. Another way is by asking for others to be hurt by God or doing spells to hurt them. This may be direct or indirect. Indirect is looking for something from God knowing that it is taking it from somebody else too. Also, asking for a bike when babies are dying is a form of that. Asking for Sue to recover from cancer as if nobody else mattered but her is just an indirect black magic spell: may somebody else die instead of Sue.  Religions of prayer have a dark side.

The answer to dealing with toxic groups or groups that may go that way is to work for diversity and dialogue.

Diversity has two basic forms. One is demographic. The other is moral.

Demographic recognises groups such as race, age etc and also the subgroups. If you promote demographic diversity you will work to make groups feel included and equally cared about. You will bring the groups together.

Moral diversity is about how each person and each group will have differences on what is or is not morally tolerable, acceptable and praiseworthy. The end result will be arguments and suspicion and division. Morality is more ingrained than mere preference. To hold that gays should stay in private for it is a sin or so you suppose is a moral matter. Just to want gays to stay in private for you don't like them is a preference matter. Preferences fit tolerance but morality is based on x not tolerating non-x.  That is where the difficulty arises.  It is important to know what we are talking about when we define morality for getting it wrong has people battling over unnecessarily divergent and wrong principles.  Secularism is more unifying than religion so it can help.