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


RELIGION NO MATTER HOW LOFTY IS A MASK FOR SUPERSTITION AND IDOLATRY

A false god is that which does not deserve worship and deserves to be hated and/or ignored. A false god in a statue or image form is an idol. The image is usually a statue but it can even be some heavenly object such as the sun and the moon.

An idol or false god is what is worshipped and served instead of a God who deserves worship. It is an injustice and the biggest one of all if we owe all we have to God. It is a false God or a false image of God. If you have the true version of God but only honour it to please man and clergy you are still an idolater. You will be beyond saving from it when you have such a good cover. It will look like you have a worthy concept of God and you will even fool yourself.

The Bible is clear that an idol is just metal or wood and is not a God. Paul said that the cup of these gods is the cup of demons and says an idol is just nothing. An idol is just a god in your head. Its not real. Its in the head rather than the image. The idea is that demons hover about encouraging the worship and making you think your prayers and blood sacrifices work. There is nothing behind the idol itself but there is something behind your relationship with it. The same will happen if you don't have an idol but still have a false god. This is serious business. Paul would agree with Dawkins and Hitchens that religion is evil but would disagree only to insist that it is dangerous only when it is idolatrous.

Worshipping false gods is seen as bad for it is telling the gods to be egotistical. They are told to forget they are not infinitely loving and infinitely powerful but beings who can do wrong or lose their power. They can even lose your favour so you can dump them for better gods. Telling them to ask for worship or demand it is you being selfish yourself for you are telling them to be selfish when you know it is wrong. It is selfish for you to lead an example of worshipping such gods. It is selfish how you will move to new gods if the current ones are not pleasing you! Idolatry and egotism are inseparable.

The Bible says that God is present everywhere. There are two ways to take that. Some think it makes him like a ghost who is spread everywhere. But the accurate interpretation is that there is no spreading as such. He is a non-material being and all creation and all space is as present to him equally. Mars is as close to him as Jerusalem. It is not so much about where God is but about how he keeps the universe in existence and sustains it. It has been noticed that those who see God in everything think the universe is God and do not realise it. The universe just becomes a big idol.

Christianity and all religions are characterised by having no divine figure to definitely and undeniably speak to them. Instead preachers and teachers have to do the messaging and the interpreting. This is key to what is going in in their heads. This is really about loyalty to men not God. Loyalty to men who talk about God is not loyalty to God. They are two separate loyalties. Two loyalties that overlap are still two loyalties. They are not one. To worship a man's interpretation of God is to worship a man's interpretation of God not God. Its an idol of sorts. Once that happens if they say they only use holy images to help them think of God you can be sure these images are idols!

God does not need to directly inspire anybody. He can impress upon or make the human mind to work out what he needs people to know. Direct inspiration is inherently patronising and a sign that God is a failure or just a proof that religion is trying to control you and make you think there are such things as thought crimes!

Some religions say that human nature is innately anti-God and seek interpretations of God not because they are true but because people want them to be true.

Total depravity is the Reformation doctrine that says that unless you see enough bad or harm in some good deed you will not do it. If there is none then presumably you have to find a way to get some bad motive bad into it. You don't need religion to show that we are like that if we are like that. God may be needed as something to sin against. At least you have him to try to hurt if you really cannot find anything to hurt in the person you are helping. Such an attitude might explain how saints turn into monsters when they get power over others. It shows how you can follow the true God out of a bad motive and thus make an idol of him! Your real God is your motive!

People are shocked at how religions like Catholicism say that actions such as masturbation and so on are such terrible sins that they will cost you an eternity in Hell unless you repudiate them and repent.

One reason religion likes to make evil out to be worse than it is, is to get the person who has a sense of guilt or a conscience problem to internalise the condemnation. It is evil to empower evil by exaggerating it. It is a crafty way of victimising the person who is perceiving themselves as a wrongdoer. This is such a serious matter that it shows that if a good God cannot prove his love even if it means forcing people to see then he has no right to make people. Forcing is not wrong in itself - it depends. Forcing is needed. The alternative is idolatry. By not forcing us to see his loving presence God is forcing idolatry on us.

If religion is idolatry or founded on it and hiding that aspect then we can expect it to do bad things. At least by complaining about extremists in its midst it admits that they are part of it. To be an extremist in religion you need to be a member and regarded by the religion as one. An extremist is extremist about something. You can't just be just an extremist.

A religion that has a number of extremists above the norm is surely an idol itself.

We are told, "People will be people so religion or not people will still become tyrants and kill millions." That seems to silence religionists who blame atheists for mass murder and to silence atheists who blame religion. The best you can hope for then is admitting that neither side is anything special. Neither side has any power to heal human nature. But atheism does not claim to have the ability (natural or supernatural or both) to rejuvenate the bad side of human nature while religion does. For that reason, you should drop religion for atheism. Its a sufficient reason. It is a duty. Religion if it cannot administer supernatural healing to the bad side of human nature has inborn dishonesty and is not religion if religion is for making people spiritually better.

A tautology goes b is true for a says so and a is right for b is true. That is a trick not an argument. When you support a tautology you are really saying, it's true for I say so. So it's really just about you. You hide your ridiculous infallibility behind a lookalike for an argument. There is no way to contradict a tautology. It is dishonest through and through. Making out its okay for debate or can be part of another debate is inherently dishonest and crafty. Your motive is to guard it against refutation and human nature needs statements checked. It is anti respect. You are trying to prevent a reality check. You lose any right to say to John, "Don't argue that tea causes cancer for Ernie drank it and got cancer therefore tea causes it".

Religion is full of tautologies. Here are the main examples. God is good and made all and no evil casts doubt on that. That is refusing to admit that evil can refute God. If you deny that suffering is evil you can still argue that it refutes God as in a God who cannot tolerate suffering. Jesus did no wrong - he told a woman she deserved stoning for adultery but in some way we cannot understand he was right. If you pray for virtue and are sure you are sincere you are wrong if you end up getting worse. It is your fault for God would not let you down.

Pious frauds lie and cheat to get people to support what is seen as a good religion. They think the lies justify the benefits. A pious fraud may do good now but in time people will suffer at finding it was a farce and critics will be dismissed as cruel immoral people just for trying to save people from an illusion. And frauds need further frauds to prolong and sustain them. Jesus warned that if the seed is bad the tree will be worse. Protecting a lie is damn hard dangerous work so the truth will out so you are better getting rid of the lie and facing the truth no matter how terrible it seems.

Religious labels are a major idol. That is why a person baptised Catholic in Northern Ireland can hate the atheist for just being baptised Protestant. Commitment should be the real test. Religious labelling without regard to what the founder would think leads to you taking a person at their word when they say they are something. That is insane. A Scientologist can claim to be a Catholic though he has refused baptism and confirmation into the Church, And you cannot just stop at that. The person who says it is a Muslim act to provide abortion days before birth like Gosnell will have to be believed.

Moses is Judaism. Islam is Muhammad. Jesus is Christianity. Joseph Smith is Mormonism. Many may alter their work but the result will be an alteration. The religion cannot really change. It has never changed. An alteration cannot become the religion.

Fundamentalism according to many is not evil. It just means refusing to pretend that watered down interpretations of the religion are valid. If so then what is evil is being a fundamentalist in a wrong religion or ideology. Testing/reasoning does not necessarily or inherently claim that you must reject or dismiss revelation. It claims that you assess it and consider it. But only if it is worth considering. If you do not test a religion for truth then your opinion about it does not matter and is worth nothing. Your religion no matter how devout is an idol.