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

Does Atheism Stir Up War?
Some thoughts: Religion likes to blame most wars on atheists or atheism. Even when religion implies that there can be no real peace without it it is accusing atheism. That can be dangerous. And religion permits and encourages the publication of materials that slander atheists and incite hatred against them. The atheist who challenges religion with firmness and dignity is engaging in self-defence. And he is helping to protect other atheists. If religion gets strong enough in society again atheists will suffer.
You never hear of atheists making bitter factions among themselves and persecuting one another. No war has ever been fought in the name of atheism. Religionists though are infamous for fighting in the name of God, miracles and divine revelations. People are prepared to wage war in the name of something be it a religion or God or political agenda/philosophy. They fight in for something they see as bigger and more important than themselves. The religious think they have superior knowledge given to them by God so they feel so sure they are right that they can wage war against the "wrong". God and religion add fuel to the fire. Even if atheism were arrogant and produced wars, at least it tries to base itself on facts not revelations. Also, the ultimate reason why any religion got established enough to gain great power and influence is because of its marriage with political powerhouses. Consider how Mormonism ran Utah and consider the infernal marriage between Christianity and the Roman Empire. Atheism, understood as a faith in humankind not God, never had to marry politics to get power. It earns it. Religion could only make the problem of belligerency worse and creates more things to fight over. Politics and war gave it its privileged position and only they can continue it.

Politics is doubtlessly the root of all evil. Even when politicians do good, there is a catch. People can kill each other over who owns a country that is little more than rocks and shrubs. Religion if it is a form of politics is therefore bad and dangerous as well. But it is worse in the sense that politics is a necessary evil but religious politics is not. Religion when strong enough tries to sway the government and get special rights and control hospitals and schools. The state complies for it operates by the notion that religion is useful to the state even if it is untrue and superstitious. There is also the matter of the government getting the members of religion to vote for them. Religion is open to being political and often is.

A malignant and scheming political entity and a malignant and scheming religious one have one big difference. One does not necessary have to feel inspired by a supernatural force that knows better than man and the other does. No matter how much harm politics does, there is more potential harm with a religion doing similar evil. And there is no way to reason with a person who feels God is calling him to kill for some mysterious purpose. There is nothing you can do to prove the person wrong.

Atheism's alleged bloody intolerance of religion
Religion likes to point about the intolerance of religion that happens and has happened under atheistic communism. Religion blames atheism for that. The communist proclaims religious liberty for all. Thus it follows that the communist was going against his own communism by persecuting religion. Atheism is not to blame. The abusing of Atheism is.
Atheism is purely a negative stance in the sense that it is the absence of belief. The atheist is lacking in faith in a God. The bloody regimes of Communism were not based on the absence of belief but on their own kind of faith. Atheism cannot be blamed for what the Communists did.
The Church says that Joseph Stalin the monster was an atheist and blames the blood on his hands on atheism. He ran a Communist atheistic regime. But read the 1936 Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It was the law of Stalin's USSR. It guaranteed freedom of speech, of assembly, of meetings and street processions. It guaranteed the rights of the citizen. It specified that arbitrary arrest was forbidden and that his or her home or correspondence was his business and should not be invaded by the state. Atheism taught this. Stalin and the secret police violated it at every turn. Therefore what they did was the violation of atheism. Atheism cannot be blamed.
Stalin facilitated and protected many churches and the religious communities relevant to them. There was mutual co-operation. He did not then hate religion in itself. He hated it only when it contradicted him. He obviously perceived that religion and murder and genocide are indeed compatible. And so did the Christians who collaborated with him!
Religion lies that Hitler was an atheist. Christianity tries to avoid the blame for the Holocaust of the Jews. But the truth is Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, "In defending myself against the Jews, I am doing the Lord's work". In Vienna in 1938, Hitler declared after the Anschluss, "I believe that it was God's will that from here a boy was sent into the Reich and that he grew up to become leader of the nation". Hitler in Mein Kamph used the story of Jesus driving the Jews out of the temple to ague that the Jews today needed to be driven out of society. In 1941 Hitler wrote to Engel the following words, “I am...a Catholic, and will always remain so”.
The sayings of Hitler that disparaged the Christian faith come from dubious sources such as Herman Rausching. Hitler viewed race as something that could devolve from bad to worse. He was not against Judaism as a religion as much as he was against it as a race. He saw many Jews as pretending to be religious so that they could use the cover of religion to segregate themselves from others as a race and outwit them and maybe destroy them.
Communism was and is materialist. It says that nothing exists but matter. More importantly, it says that nothing matters but matter. It uses the scientific method. The scientific method is - observe what is happening in matter and in the universe and the world. Form a theory about why it happens and in the way it happens. Do experiments to test this theory. If the theory is proven, then we say we have discovered that we can predict that similar things in similar situations will have similar results.
This shows great concern for being right. It should prevent people from being so absorbed in doctrines that they will not change them. It is an antidote to bigotry. Communism sadly got dogmatic despite its wise endorsement of science. That is the fault of the communists and not Communism itself. Religion in its essence adheres to ideas that it refuses to change. Take Mormonism and Islam. One of these religions is man-made or both. The religions might have taken some of God's revelations and ideas but could still be based on purely human authority. They look at the evidence that they are wrong and they ignore it or downplay it. All religious war-mongering starts off with a refusal to let one be affected by and enriched by the truth.
Whether we think our minds are spirit or matter, one thing is clear. The body and matter affects how we think and feel. For example, if we are tormented by sickness our minds will not work properly and we will mentally experience tremendous unhappiness. Misery is in the mind. So matter comes first in the sense that unless we look after our bodies, our minds will have nothing to want to exist for. This is an insight that can have practical use. It is more important than the dogma that nothing exists but matter. It is good for us to believe that nothing matters but matter.
We must not condemn systems that are good in principle but that have been abused and which have been used as an excuse for war or persecuting others. Pacifism is not an option. However people should disentangle themselves from religion - there is enough to fight about as there is. There is enough to give us an excuse for warfare.
Atheism and religion
Atheism has no religious beliefs. Atheism is not the denial that God exists though many atheists do deny he exists. Atheism is rather the absence of belief in god or gods. Christians are atheists after all as far as Zeus is concerned. They don't believe in the gods of paganism. There is no possibility of fundamentalism in relation to atheists.

Atheists all have different ideas and approaches to life. They make suggestions but do not enforce these suggestions as dogma. The atheist who is dogmatic is really approaching religion in his attitude. The proper atheist doesn't do that.
Atheists do not see beliefs as truth. Beliefs should be taught as beliefs and not as truth. Religion seeks control of schools to teach beliefs as truth. Jesus sanctioned this bigotry when he said that he was the Truth.
Thus we see that atheism does not have the dogmatism that would be needed before you could start a war just because you can.
Atheism looks for sincerity and helps people to achieve it. The wise atheist does not believe that any God is going to help people believe in the truth and that that entitles them to be dogmatic and intolerant. Tolerance means you allow people to do what you disapprove of and criticise. It does not mean you must not criticise what they do. In fact if you didn't express your disapproval it wouldn't be tolerance. Religion tries to stop people criticising it. No liar or fraud likes to be looked at by the sceptic.
Any regime, even one that claims to be godless, can be totalitarian. But if a regime tells people that they are stupid so they need grace from God to see the truth and the truth is that the regime is right then that regime is totalitarian in the fullest sense of the word. Atheist systems even if they are totalitarian cannot put people down or deceive them to that extent. Human systems are only human and not so sacred that they cannot be critically examined. Religious faith and faith in God makes for worse totalitarianism than unbelief ever could.
Atheists should not be so insecure that they would need to resort to mass murder to see the end of religion. They need not be.
People go to war not for material benefits for themselves or any benefits but to satisfy their sense of loyalty to the leader of the country. Religion is a personality cult. Christianity is based on Jesus and Islam on Mohammed and so on. Atheists don't carry on like that so atheism should lead to less war than religion.
The normal person will feel tremendous compassion for the individual. And more so when that individual is the victim of random evil such as disease or poverty. These things can happen to anybody. The compassion will be made stronger if the person believes the individual will lose everything at death. Such feelings should urge the atheist to work for a better world and a haven of peace. Religion stunts them by making out that God has a use for evil and disease. Jesus told the poor to make their poverty worse by giving away their cloak to anybody that steals their coat. Religious believers don't show much of an inclination to go and help the poor for they feel that God will make it up to the poor in an afterlife. The atheist who denies the reality of the supernatural miracle of free will will be able to look upon the most vile of actions without hating the perpetrator. This is the fullest form of atheism for it says people are programmed and not free. All other forms of atheism fall short. Pure atheism should not lead to trouble but to peace. It rejects all doctrines that can be used as an excuse for persecuting people while religion reveres such doctrines.

Atheism has clean hands. Religious hands are stained with innocent blood. Religion says that its opponents like us Atheists are making the world worse for it says it is right and they are wrong so we have to respond in self-defence with our intellectual weapons and bare her evil black insides for all to see.

The Amplified Bible

A Critical Review of Humanist Manifestos 1 & 2, Homer Duncan MC, International Publications, Lubbock Texas.
A Shattered Visage The Real Face of Atheism, Ravi Zacharias, Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Tenneessee, 1990
A Thief in the Night, John Cornwell, Penguin, London, 1990
A Woman Rides the Beast, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1994
All Roads Lead to Rome, Michael de Semlyen, Dorchester House Publications, Bucks, 1993 (page 120 recounts Cardinal Konig of Vienna’s testimony that the Vatican helped Nazi war criminals to escape)
Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, Part 1, Most Rev M Sheehan DD, M H Gill & Son, Dublin 1954
Apologetics for the Pulpit, Aloysius Roche Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd, London, 1950
Blind Alley Beliefs, David Cook, Pickering & Inglis, Glasgow, 1979
Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Karl Keating, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988
Christianity, David Albert Jones, OP, Family Publications, Oxford, 1999
Convert or Die, Edmond Paris, Chick Publications, Chino, California, undated
Correction and Discipline of Children, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1946
Crisis of Moral Authority, Don Cupitt, SCM Press, London, 1985
Documents of the Christian Church, edited by Henry Bettenson, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1979
Does America Need the Moral Majority? William Willoughby, Haven Books, New Jersey, 1981
Does Conscience Decide? Bishop William J Philbin, Catholic Truth Society of Ireland, Dublin
Ecumenical Jihad, Peter Kreeft, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1996
European Union and Roman Catholic Influence In Britain, David N Samuel, The Harrison Trust, Kent, 1995
Fascism in the English Church, A London Journalist, Henry E Walter, London, 1938
Fifty Years in the “Church” of Rome, Charles Chiniquy, Chick Publications, Chino, California, 1985
God and the Gun, The Church and Irish Terrorism, Martin Dillon, Orion, London, 1998
God Is Not Great, The Case Against Religion, Christopher Hitchens, Atlantic Books, London, 2007
‘God, That’s not fair!’ Dick Dowsett, OMF Books, Overseas Missionary Fellowship, Belmont, The Vine, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 3TZ] Kent, 1982
Handbook of Christian Apologetics, Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, Monarch, East Sussex, 1995
Human Rights, Michael Bertram Crowe Veritas, Dublin, 1978
In God’s Name, David Yallop, Corgi, London, 1987
Is the Roman Catholic Church a Secret Society? John V Simcox, Warren Sandell and Raymond Winch Watts & Co London, 1946
Is There Salvation Outside The Catholic Church? Fr J Bainvel SJ, TAN, Illinois, 1979
Jesuit Plots, From Elizabethan to Modern Times, Albert Close, Protestant Truth Society, London undated
Jesus the Only Saviour, Tony and Patricia Higton, Monarch Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 1993
New Catholic Encyclopedia, The Catholic University of America and the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., Washington, District of Columbia, 1967
Radio Replies, Vol 1, Frs Rumble and Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1938
Radio Replies, Vol 2, Frs Rumble and Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota 1940
Radio Replies, Vol 3, Frs Rumble and Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota 1942
Religion of Peace? Why Christianity is and Islam Isn't, Robert Spencer, Regnery Publishing Inc, Washington, 2007 - a curious book in that it simply doesn't mention how Christian Scriptures incited believers, eg Calvinists, to attack and destroy other believers who were thought to be heretics and doesn't mention the infallible decrees of the Roman Catholic Church commanding the violent destruction of heretics but wants to give the impression that unlike the Koran, the Christian Scriptures and the Christian religion do not make calls for religious violence
Religious Freedom, A Fundamental Right, Michael Swhwartz, Liguori Publications, Missouri, 1987
Roman Catholicism, Loraine Boettner, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, Phillipsburg, New Jersey, 1987
Rome – Our Enemy, Clifford Smyth, Puritan Printing, Belfast, 1975
Secular Humanism – The Most Dangerous Religion in America, Homer Duncan, MC International Publications, Lubbock, Texas. Undated.
Sex Education in Our Public Schools, Jack Hyles, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1969
Sex, Dissidence and Damnation, Jeffrey Richards, Routledge, London 1994
Spy in the Vatican 1941-45, Branko Bokun, Tom Stacey Books, London, 1973
Summa Theologica of St Thomas Aquinas, Part II, Second Number, Thomas Baker, London, 1918.
The Case for Faith, Lee Strobel, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2000
The Christian and War, Robert Moyer, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1946
The Church of Rome, Wilson Ewin, Bible Baptist Church, Nashua NH USA
The Dark Side, How Evangelical Teachings Corrupt Love and Truth, Valerie Tarico, Ph.D, Dea Press, Seattle, 2006The Encyclopaedia of Heresies and Heretics, Leonard George, Robson Books, London, 1995
The End Of Faith, Religion, Terror And The Future Of Reason, Sam Harris, Free Press, London, 2005
The Future of Atheism, Alister McGrath and Daniel Dennet in Dialogue, Robert B Stewart, SPCK, London, 2008
The Inquisition of the Middle Ages, Henry Charles Lea, Citadel, New York, 1963
The Last Temptation of Christ, Its Deception and What you Should Do About it, Erwin T Lutzer, Moody Press, Chicago, 1988
The Pestilence of AIDS, Hugh Pyle, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1987
The Reason for God, Belief in an Age of Scepticism, Timothy Keller, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 2008
The Rise of the Spanish Inquisition, Jean Plaidy, Star, London, 1978
The Sacred Executioner Human Sacrifice and the Legacy of Guilt Hyam Maccoby Thames and Hudson, London, 1982
The Secret History of the Jesuits, Edmond Paris, Chick Publications, Chino, California, 1975
The Truth About the Homosexuals, Dr Hugh F Pyle, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1978
The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life, Watchtower, New York, 1968
The Unequal Yoke, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1946
The Upside-Down Kingdom, Donald B Kraybill Marshalls, Hants, 1978
The Vatican Connection, The Explosive Expose of a Billion-Dollar Counterfeit Stock Deal Between the Mafia the Church, Richard Hammers Penguin, Middlesex, 1982
Their Kingdom Come, Robert Hutchison, Corgi, London, 1997
Unholy Sacrifices of the New Age, Paul de Parrie and Mary Pride, Crossway Books, Westchester, Illinois 1988
Vatican USA, Nino LoBello, Trident Press, New York, 1972
Vicars of Christ, Peter de Rosa, Corgi Books, London, 1993
Walking with Unbelievers, Michael Paul Gallagher SJ, Veritas Dublin 1985
War and Politics The Christian’s Duty, Peter Watkins, Christadelphian Bible Mission, Birmingham
What About Those Who Have Never Heard? Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1986
Whatever Happened to Heaven? Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Publishers, Oregon, 1988
Fascist Romanism Defies Civilisation by Joseph McCabe
Democracy is not a good form of Government by Citizens for the Ten Commandments
Is Christianity a Cult?