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
Gormley


THE GROSS IMMATURITY OF FAITH IN PRAYER AND GOD

Religion tends to see God's promise as action first and foremost.  It is essentially action.  Thus in a sense if the sun rises every day that amounts to God promising to send the sun up every day.  Thus prayer is asking God to change his promise or at least start a new one.

Prayer intention: "Baby Joey will not get better so God is promising not to cure him.  I wish God could break his promise not to intervene and help the little baby." This is hypothetical but refuses to accept God as God or his promise as good. In the real world you agree with God but no agreement is complete. The hypothetical is real too in its way. It is reluctant tolerance you engage in rather than acceptance of God not curing the baby.

The intention is different for an atheist: “I just wish this baby was not suffering.” There is no insult to God in this.

Religion does not respect God as much as it acts which is why if God is about peace religion won’t be!

Attempts to show why God can use evil and remain good are referred to as theodicy.  God is intolerant of evil and only lets it happen if it will backfire and if he can get enough good out of it.  Why should you only justify an evil if you see immediate and clear and undeniable reasons why it was needed? It is the way human nature is and the way it has needs. Theodicy opposes that straightforwardness. Does it say, “It is not clear so we have to find the answer,” or, “It should not be clear so we have to think of an answer”? To challenge or do away with the need for straightforwardness maligns human nature which needs and is entitled to an answer. It is evil itself. To even say that evil and God may fit, is to insult human nature.


The assumption that God is all-powerful and evil is not for it self-destructs is part of the argument that both can co-exist. The almighty and the hardly-mighty can co-exist. It turns it into a discussion about power.

Do people have a false understanding of a real God? The opposite of truth is not one error but a number and there is even a bigger number of tacit, potential and unexpected errors waiting to tag themselves on.

How does the idea that you attract what you are relate to prayer? That idea is usually and basically about: “You have to love yourself to attract love and to receive it. You have to understand love.” The idea behind prayer is that God lets us sin and do evil when he has set it up to backfire and result in good after all. One thing that attracts people to that belief is that it highlights how stupid and futile evil is. But surely we should be more worried about the harm done than in the doers of evil being made fools? It is hypocritical to act as if the act does not matter just the consequences. It is bad in itself! We cannot pick on people just because of what happens after they do something. And evil does not look stupid ever. We would not be doing it if we thought it was totally useless and unintelligent. Hypothetically, even if it does it does not look stupid a lot of the time and even works out! So the warning cannot really relate to many people.

God is not the only thing that is claimed to work in mysterious ways. You have no right to say x works in mysterious ways and that is that. What you should say is a, b, c, d and so on work in mysterious ways so take your pick. Let it be a tomorrow and z the next day.

 

Talking of mystery, why can’t we say that in some mysterious way some physical or material thing in the universe may refute the existence of or the love of God? When people talk about mystery in religion, they mean the mystery they want us to accept. Being selective with mystery is not on. If there is a fact and there is a mystery about it and there is thousand mysteries about it then admit there are a thousand mysteries instead of banging on about one of them. Be honest.
We like to think that the alleged purpose for evil and suffering is our wellbeing. That is quite mercenary. And it means you think somebody suffered for you. The divine purpose could be that but the Bible says that God does these things for his own glory. The purpose of your suffering may have nothing to do with any person’s need or wellbeing at all. That truth would put most if not all off religion and God.

Beliefs create your version of reality – it is as good as reality to you
To project the best of what is in people unto God presupposes sin. The best is what comes because of and in spite of sin. So sin has to be in the back of your mind and you end up with what seems the right image of God but which is actually idolatrous and blasphemous.


We are all living for something and we are controlled by that, the true lord of our lives.  Emotionally, regardless of what we think, researchers believe that, we do treat certain things and ideas as sacred or as gods or divine. In this view, the atheist has a god, the denial of God. It makes no sense but feelings don’t have to. So it follows that you can have what looks secular and which might be actually religious. Moral feelings tend to turn religious and see themselves as sacred.

Is that an argument for trying to find God and getting it right about him?  It would seem so.  But if we are compelled to have a god whether we want one or not then there is no such thing as really intending to find God.

Which is the best and most responsible? We can have both but we are deciding what if we had to have one or the other?
Here we are:
# Feeling God will protect you from the worst calamities
# Feeling that he will not protect you from the calamities but from feeling too bad about them
With the first, vulnerable individuals will have calamities in their mind. In say Britain, people may hope for safety from earthquakes and volcanoes. That is what they feel safe from. Things that won't happen anyway! The real dangers are conveniently left out! In times of dire stress, the vulernable and the children especlaly with grasp at any straw. We must see how cruel that is. Accepting what is coming is better and the energy of stress can be energy for bonding with others instead.
The same things will happen with the second for emotional devestation is often as bad and sometimes worse than any natural castatorphoe. And its natural too in its own way. People will imagine going through a trial that is is possible to get through. They conveniently do not think of a crippling incurable depression!

 

Unlike God, nature does not work in hidden or mysterious ways.
IF I want to end pain and if I think I should then then IF is enough to get me from an is to an ought. How does that work?

A good person or civil person is usually a person who avoids a negative lifestyle and who is not necessarily adding anything positive to life. If you need God to help you do good then human nature is at best able to just not do harm but do no good either.

God is useless to pray to. Seeing God that way is denying that there is a God you can communicate with or pray to. That is a kind of atheism and indeed the essential kind.

Suppose God is real. Then there is no true evidence that he does not exist. There may be misinterpretations of evidence but that is different. When God is that which alone is important then there is no evidence against him. That matters most. Then you look for evidence to support him. But that is compelling you to be biased. It is biased to look for evidence to fit what you have already assumed. Thus the presumption of honesty lies with the atheist not the theist.

 
s that if a bigger power demands obedience we should give it for we will be made to pay the price of obedience anyway. So we are better off just obeying.” Is that really true? No – it amounts to obeying to save your own skin and that is not real obedience for it is not based on freely choosing to do the will of the other. It is simulated outward obedience. You wonder how much genuine obedience is around when people think that way!

One reason why we fall for the divine purpose for evil stuff so readily and so handily is because when something terrible happens we start the, “At least that didn’t happen or this.” Ad hoc after serious evils or serious matters is evil and is more about us than the suffering. It says something about us. And what it says is not good. We make somebody’s pain more about protecting ourselves from seeing and feeling how bad it is.

Freud said that we have a sense of being helpless in life and that is why we need a father God to look after us. We need the feeling that we are going to be okay. Christians say that if that is true it does not show that God is merely something that is not real but is just in our heads. But it does show we are abusing God. We only want him for us not for himself. This God is abused. If so that explains why believers can be so vicious and hate atheists. Those who exploit God will soon start using everybody else too!

Could it be that complaining that it is unfair for the child to drown is you condemning God though you don’t realise it? It is typically only persons that are thought of as fair or unfair. If we need to impose our values on nature or God, then let us stop lying that we love God and respect his freedom. He is as imposed on as much as nature can be and we are the real gods playing at being devotees of the divine.
If many babies in a famine zone are dying then we may say God has promised they will die. God expresses promises through how nature works. That is why you can say he does not promise that tea will cure a headache but promises that aspirin will. It is a metaphor for how he acts in nature.
Those who do evil work on it to turn it into a should. It is always made to look good or like a necessary evil. It can even be presented as a sacrifice! And in a sense it always is!
Christians boast of having no doubt of God’s love. That is a boast and its arrogant for surely everybody has doubts.

The only freedom nobody can take from you is how you can respond to what is happening. Whether your attitude is anger of acceptance nobody but you can do a thing about it.

Expecting God to intervene and stop evil admits that he let it happen in the first place and should act for its his responsibility.
Those who wage war and hurt others for the sake of good or God really do think the end goal, good and God are all that matter. The warring and suffering in the path are nothing compared to the goals. The right path may not be chosen because it is right though it may claim to be.

The argument that God is not responsible for evil but merely responsible for using good to turn evil around and neutralise it or make it good is an odd one. God cannot be anything but responsible when he has that much power over evil! Our responsibility is not worth talking about so why are we judged?

So if we are abusing God then we need to be corrected firmly. Why though do we not become a threat to others through thinking an angel guards us or Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy? Why do you not want to persecute the person who steals your rabbit's foot charm? The answer is that in thinking something loves you infinitely and knows all things and has all power, only God is like that, inherently makes you selfish. The other entities are not as involved and so not as useful to you. If you become atheist, the bad trait put in you by God belief may remain or you may believe in God or programmed by ideas about him more than you realise. Some atheists persecute believers and that could be down to them seeing, or learning from experience - perhaps their own as a former believer - that there is something about belief in God that is obnoxious and a threat.



God acting and letting evil happen to prevent a worse evil is really saying that he is averting man from doing worse evil than the evil he allows to happen.

Man not creating God is an irrelevant detail. All ideas about God are potentially man-made. You cannot prove that God must be good. Even faith in God’s love admits that it might be misplaced. You just have faith for it shows you at least know what kind of God should be there even if he is not like that. Faith is about you.


It is said that man is too puny to question or criticise how God set things up in the animal world. But man has a duty to do this for it uncovers if God or any version of him is purely a human concept.


The atheist will reason, “Trouble may come. I must do something. There is no purpose or divine guidance so I can’t leave it to chance. There is no guarantee that my body or mind or spirit can get something terrible in life but which is reasonably fixable.” The believer might not leave it to chance either or so it seems. But the believer does not really believe in chance if God is in control. So a believer acting to avert future danger is not worrying about chance. Thus only an atheist can really say he or she does not leave it to chance. Only an atheist can really intend not to leave something to chance.
Belief in God when no answer to evil works or helps (note the difference!) indicates:

#wanting to believe and that is immoral [It is not about what you want to think or feel. Somebody is being degraded by suffering]

#you have no right to want to believe that evil makes sense [It is evil to do so therefore you are trying to reason your way out of evil by using evil

There are those who describe goodness as a mystery that is not worthwhile explaining and which should only be discovered. If that is so then the same is true of evil.