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?

 


concerns about religious fanaticism

Any religion that says you must worship its God to the exclusion of others is bigoted. If you need to worship something, then worship it no matter what it is. As long as you feel invigorated by your worship to be kinder to your family and keep your obligations to people it does not matter. But what if it is an idol? God cares but why should we?

Christianity teaches that we do not need police or medicine to be well. We only need God. They deny however that this means we should dispense with police and with medicine. So their thinking is that God is needed for looking us but he uses the police and medicine to do it. They are saying it is only right to have police and medicine because we have them or because they are there. But really, it does not matter about them. Should we believe that if we trust God and jump off a cliff we will survive? Such things do happen. This seems very unusual but if there is a God it is not unusual at all. Our whole life is just as much of an unlikely wonder as is somebody surviving a nuclear attack on his city. Belief in God is the key to fanaticism.

Battered Partners need to be told that the abusive partner will do it again “because that is who he is”. You can’t say that if you believe in love the sinner and hate the sin.

God is that which by definition is the only that that ultimately and really matters. Thus the believer in God has to treat God as a fact. In other words there is no room for saying, “If God commands me to do something that seems harmful to others or myself, I have the right to refuse for I may believe in him and I may be wrong. It’s not worth the risk.” Believers see that as, “I love God and obey God, but …”

Always work for the greatest happiness or well-being of the greatest number of people. We might disagree on how to put this into practice, but we share the principle with the wider world. This is a thoroughly religion free ethic. Thus religion is necessarily fundamentalist for it disagrees with it. It may put a religious spin on it but that is actually changing the principle.

Catholicism says that one who does not pray is being ungrateful to God. If you don’t visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament or go to Mass often, you are being a bit of a swine. These teachings are in violation of the rule that religion should never put faith before people. Rather religion should say that the atheist who never prays has no advantage or disadvantage over the saint who devotes his or her life to prayer. Religion is abusing those who do not believe and who do not pray.

To say that God gives all people on earth enough grace so that they might know and love him and become more like him and go to Heaven is to put the blame on them if they are without religion. It’s judgemental. It denies their sincerity if they do not believe.

Whoever says that the statements of the Pope or the Bible or whatever are not to be questioned or criticised is saying that the faith comes before people.

Some say we must not criticise religion because doing so leads to arguments and hatred and rage. Thus in their way they admit that religion represents intolerance.

The wrong we do is bad enough. But to encourage us to believe in God is to inflict the burden of worrying about how we have offended him as well on us. The atheist does not intend to offend God by his wrongdoing for he does not believe. The Christian does. Thus wrong is made "wronger".

Christianity presupposes a God who judges. In matters of the spirit or conscience, a God judging us instead of us judging ourselves is oppressive and vindictive.

Nobody should fear God's judgement. What is the use of a God telling me, “You are 45% evil,” unless I see that for myself? If God tells me that he is forcing something on me that I may not see. And even if I do see it, his unloving attitude to me is, “Whether he sees it or not I will force it on him”.

Catholicism would deny that religion is a always bad thing. It would deny that religion necessarily causes wars. What it would say is that false religion is a bad thing. The Church says that we need to share the true religion, Catholicism, with everybody so that they might become members of the Church and avail of its spiritual treasures. This really says that people are best off in the true religion and that false religion is harmful. That is sectarianism.

When people say it is wrong to kill for religion, they would still think that if a sin could be destroyed only by killing the sinner then it would be right for sin is so horrendous. They think such killing is justifiable in itself but is unjustifiable in the circumstances we live in. They accept killing in that sense.

A dangerous form of religious fanaticism and support for it is in the form of the claim, "If you join our religion, your spiritual DNA or its equivalent changes. Just like you always belong to your family no matter what you do because you share their DNA, so you always belong to our religion. This rejects the notion of a person who happens to be a Catholic or Jew etc. It affirms the notion that a Catholic is a different form of human nature. Or Jew is. It is racism to argue that you are your religion. It implies you are better than those who are not members. Your identity is superior. We have different races. The differences are to be celebrated. But to imagine that the races are fundamentally different is racism. The black person is as human as the white person. A religion whose members consider themselves to be fundamentally different is saying it is racist. It is racist to treat a person as a different race even if they are not.

Extremes are not necessarily always opposites. People might see Catholicism and Islam as opposites but they are in fact different versions of Abrahamic religion. Differences alone do not make two things opposites. It is not good to try and be a moderate and be in the middle if there is no middle. Finding the middle can be finding not the middle but something entirely alien.

What is moderate religion? Is it the middle between lax religion or extreme? If it is then both the lax Catholics/Muslims and the extreme ones are true Catholics/Muslims.

If you think good is real and bad is a privation or absence of good then there is no real middle. All you have is a privation that is not as strong. But it is on its way to getting stronger and ending up very bad. Remember that if you think lax religion is good and extreme religion is bad! And if both are bad then looking for the middle is not going to help even if there is a middle. And there is not.

A principle is about truth. Truth is not about you. Truth is truth no matter how much you want it not to be. Once you oppose principles you become a lie. You automatically make your life a lie and thus lie to others. To seek a middle ground between the truth and the lie is to create a half-truth and a half-truth is a half-lie.

A good principle and a bad one are not opposites. The bad principle is bad not because it is a lie but because it manipulates the truth and uses the truth to make itself look sensible. Two extremes are not necessarily opposites.

Extreme religion and nice religion are thought to be opposites. That is odd for you have every religion having both sides. And as for the moderate believers, if they are trying to find the middle they need to remember that there is no middle between vice and virtue. To look for a middle is compromising virtue. If you look for a middle ground between the truth and the lie you only end up with another lie. If you really cared about the truth you would not be looking for a moderate or middle ground to slot into. And you are treating the whole thing like, "Okay I can be an extremist and become a suicide bomber. Or I can be so nice that people find me sickening. The best idea is to be in-between." If you want to be the kind of person who wants to kill and who curbs that by a desire to be saccharine that is up to you but you cannot claim that you or your faith or religious devotion is good.

The middle between a lax form of a religion and the rigid bloodletting form is fanaticism. It might not be very strong - for now! But it is still bad.

When the Christian Church looks for converts it is looking also for people to condone the murders committed by the behest of God according to the Bible. It is asking people to undermine the absolute value of life by approving of these killings which means they would encourage those who carried them out to go ahead and do it. they tolerate different interpretations of Christianity. They therefore can’t complain if some believers start stoning adulteresses to death at the behest of God in the Bible. I they condemn they should not strongly condemn.

The Church says you should kill a person even if it is illegal, to save lives. Then it pretends to believe that abortionists should not be killed to save the lives of unborn babies. It is only saying that to avoid the penalty of the law of the land.

Catholicism is a fanatical religion for it is certain that its condemnation of homosexuality results in suicides. Obviously, it would be better to approve of homosexuality that takes the utmost care to prevent diseases even to save one life. But the Church won’t do it and that gives it no right to boast that it has total respect for the value of life.

The Church has advocated the entering of children into the Catholic Church even in hard-line Protestant areas in Northern Ireland even though it meant persecution for the child and many children have been killed and maimed for life. This religion claims that the faith is the greatest treasure ever – quite a selfish claim when you are not one of the ones that has to suffer – indicating that it is better for the faith to exist even if it means there will be loads of deaths over it. Faith in the value of life should matter more than anything else. Jesus himself claimed to have died for his faith and that God wanted this example set for his people.

The Church’s attitude towards to animals shows up how fully hypocritical it is. When a religion claims the right to pontificate in the name of God over people’s lives and their deaths any hypocrisy is very serious indeed. It is odd that children are encouraged to be kind to puppies and kittens but to eat innocent animals and avail of brutality towards animal species. And if animals should be happy that means animals are important and their lives are important. Their lives are more important than happiness. Religion says that of us but this is insincerity for it does not say that of them. It believes in cruelty to animals but doesn’t dare advocate it.

The vast majority of Christians have a poor track record when it comes to doing something for animals. That the Holy Spirit who supposedly inspires them hasn’t tried to make them do better is a testament to the bad fruits of the Christian faith. Their prayers are insults to God. Their visions from Heaven are tricks cooked up in Hell.

Pilate told Jesus he had the power to release him or crucify him. Jesus replied that he had no power over him for it was God who conferred this power meaning that God was in charge. He then said that the traitor who handed him over to Pilate was, as a result, the one with the greater guilt. So Jesus told Pilate that it would not be such a great sin to crucify him because it was God’s will. This is a clear endorsement of fanaticism. Pilate knew little about Jesus which means that Pilate could not be expected to crucify Jesus because it was God’s will for Pilate would not have believed in him. The episode was only written up to take all the blame off Pilate to suck up to the Roman Empire. Even that was fanaticism!

Jesus said that blessed are you when all speak evil of you and slander you on his account. Christians must be doing something wrong for they are not hated or loved any more than anybody else is. It is only extremists who are hated and persecuted even legally. Jesus made it clear then that Christianity was to be an extreme fanatical religion. That was why he was so sure it was only fit for a few. He said that only a few would take the rough narrow road into the kingdom when asked if a few would be saved.