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 doctrine supports our thesis that not all bad is an excuse!
 
No matter how much damage a religion does in its doctrines, in its people, in its leaders it tries to get out of it and justify its continued existence by saying that it is not all bad and points to the good people in it.  There is something unsettling about such a tactic.

The doctrine of God implies that God alone matters. It implies too that everybody falls short of what God wants a good person to be. It is safe to say that most "godly" people are mainly out to get things from God.

Religion links itself with morality.  Morality basically refers to love and justice.  But either one of these are vague and hard to apply.  Love is vague and justice is vague.  Adding them together adds to the confusion.  One goes with the other which means there is no way out of it.  You go to jail for three months for a specific theft in x land and for a week in y land.  The vagueness empowers the avaricious and the political first and foremost.  The vagueness in general gives pretenders a loophole and allows the road to Hell and nuclear jihad to be paved with good intentions.  The vagueness speaks and its voice is sepulchral and alarming.  It is criminal to identify love and justice with God when that is what the vagueness is telling us.  It is validating our blurred and error prone idea of what love and justice means in daily life.  It gets far worse when we say that we cannot really justify or give good reasons for love or justice unless we believe in a loving and just God.  We are pretending that we are grounding love and justice in God when in fact it is us deciding what a loving and just God is like so it is grounded in ourselves.  That is adding more confusion and mud in again.  Religion then by trying to represent morality, by trying to use a God to picture and stand for it and by preaching it is admitting the vagueness.  It must also admit that by its nature, the vagueness must deceive us so no matter how accurate we are at seeing it the real picture is far worse.
 
God is said to attract sinners.  No wonder after what we have just read.  Following God can be just a more hidden and private and interior way to sin. 

Sinners allegedly want him which is why they can abandon their sins for him. But f that is so then the reality is that it is the imperfect people of God who attract us. They tell us God is in them and we think we find God in them. It is certain that for many people, they are warmed up to the Catholic Church by memories of pious family members who would have given you their last loaf. Through them, God supposedly inspires you to live a better life. In fact, you are confusing the goodness in people with God. Moreover, it is the fact that those people had flawed goodness that makes them so special. So looking at their goodness to learn about God's is really like looking at God's goodness through a clouded lens. People are not scared by flawed goodness in others and they love it. This is not really about God at all. Feeling divinely inspired by the flawed but hospitable people in your past is just a feeling for you would not relate to any of those people if they were proper images of God. Religious people expect you to be inspired by them. So what happens when this inspiration fails to support you as you battle temptation to work some great evil? They blame you. They should blame religion as well. But they won't. The moral of the paragraph is to blame the religion even more so than the person.
 
Christianity claims that God intends to save the world through Jesus Christ but that people, even Christians get in the way by not being obedient or prayerful enough or sharing the gospel enough. Therefore though the people do not blame Christians for everything bad in the world, they surprisingly enough say they are to blame! Christians are forbidden by Christ to see themselves as good servants of God as we have seen from the quotation from Luke above. And the Bible says only God sees the heart and than humankind prefers their own understanding of the divine and not God as he really is. If we are good enough to each other we are not good at all to God.

Some religions claim to be collections of individuals. Others claim to be a family. Mormons claim to be a family and to have inherited its spiritual DNA from Heavenly Father when their souls were procreated in Heaven. Roman Catholicism teaches that you somehow become part of Jesus, not literally but in some mystical way, and that this union exists in its best condition in the Roman Catholic Church. The members of the Church share Spiritual DNA - a metaphor but it indicates what the Church is trying to say about the members of the Church being in communion. In some supernatural way, the members of the Church are one. This is not like the family being one - it is mystical and even closer than that.
 
A family sees one bad member as a reflection on itself. If the family does that then the Church should see its bad members as a reflection on itself. But it never does. The sinner is a bigger reflection on it than a black sheep would reflect on his family.

When a religious organisation does harm the organisation will say there are problems in all organisations and societies.  But that does not change the fact that a religious society is different from a human one and you would expect better.  It is very dishonest of religion to pretend that it is like any society for it is only taking advantage of the fact that it is crazy to imagine that all societies should be wonderful and pacifist and peaceful.  And religion does not see itself as just human but divine. 

The argument that all societies have problems with violent members and not being able to prevent some from turning out like that which amounts to inadvertently helping suggests that as we have to have societies that does not justify specifically religious societies.  By religious societies we mean organised religion and the fact that one religion seriously contradicts the next one shows that organised religion can be done without.  It makes no sense to say that a religious society is necessary for the fact that religious societies can be so utterly different from each other proves that either only religious societies that believe certain things - say in Jesus as the only Son of God - count or none count.  It legitimises discrimination.

And we should have the minimal number of societies because too many creates too many problems.  You can handle evil in one society easier than you can in two.  It is better to handle a society that is bad on human grounds and impossible to handle one that thinks it gets its evil directives from God who knows better than us and who uses evil to do good.
 
The not all bad excuse then though used by many religions actually contradicts the faith of those religions which claim to be a spiritual and supernatural unity.  A religion either sees itself as community or a collection of individuals. Either way it must take responsibility for not having its bad members turn out better and for having them as well - no bad person is all to blame and as the religion is what claims to be making people good the blame-layers must go to its door first. The religion is tarnished. To see itself as a community is to take the bad with the good. To see itself as a collection of individuals is to recognise that it considers the individuals its own even if they are bad. Thus it is to be criticised along with the evil members.

If religion is unwittingly untruthful and stupid it is still bad.  Lies and errors cannot be turned good by good intentions.  Given that religion says evil is never satisfied there will be bad consequences if not today then tomorrow.

The perfect religion and the perfect religious community are hard to misuse. So the more imperfection in a religious faith as a religious faith and/or in its religious community the easier it is to deliver the misuse. The religion as well as you must take responsibility. A religion of only good motives but which is in error is still to blame for any evil conducted in its name or by its members especially its prophets and leaders.

 

What a Pope wrote...

Pius XI with the Nazis in his mind wrote an official letter called With Burning Anxiety.  It goes, "Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the state, or a particular form of state, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community—however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things—whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds."  This plainly blames religion, albeit idolatrous religion and secularism that is in fact a hidden religion, for all evil.  If there is no God then it follows that even if Catholicism is the best and most plausible religion is still idolatrous and that makes it dangerous and explains all the evil it has wreaked on religious grounds.

Another Lesson from the Nazis

Christianity says the optimist or humanist view that human nature is basically good was definitively and decisively refuted by the Nazi Holocaust. Read between the lines. This is a rejection of the “some not all” logic.  Some people were Nazis and that is enough to say something about human nature in general.

Saints

Some religionists say the not all bad logic is rubbish. Some Catholics say the Church is riddled with sinners and sin so that the only people who should be considered are the saintly. But as each religion has exceptional good people that should be put down to them being the cream of humanity as people. It’s a people thing not a religion thing.  Also, it smacks of "my saints are the truly good people".  And if a religion with a billion can only produce a handful of saints most of whom do not bother living among lepers but who go about praying and are locked up at night in a religious institution that is a black mark against the religion as a whole.  The bad count not the good.  It is childish to argue that we should see no evil and just see the good.

Societies that scrap God such as Buddhist ones or which have no interest in doing things all for the love of a God have no worse problems with incest, stealing, fraud, corruption, murder and lies than do devout Christian cultures.  Rather than worrying about the good people we must see that overall all are equally uninspiring.

Predestination

Catholicism teaches that we use free will because of God not in spite of him and though we may try to defy him we cannot.  That is supposed to differ from the Calvinist and Presbyterian doctrine that God makes all the real decisions.  Christians say that God empowers us to sin but is not to blame.  The mind boggles!

An old Calvinist magazine called Old and New Theology says, “It has been a common sentiment among New England divines, since the time of Edwards, that sin is the necessary means of the greatest good, and as such, so far as it exists, is preferable, on the whole, to holiness in its stead.”

It is safe to blame a faith as a faith for the evil its members do in the name of faith.  This doctrine says that faith is involved even in sin for God is involved.