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?

 


Why is sincerity of religious leaders important?
 
Criticism of religion is necessary so that we may find grounds for wondering if the leaders of our religion really do believe in it. If there is no intelligent or historian support for the notion that Jesus made the first bishops who alone had the power to make new bishops and today's bishops have inherited those powers, we can safely assume that highly educated members of the Vatican actually or probably know all that. Perhaps they know the Lutherans are right - the Lutherans do not believe that the power to give sacraments depends on bishops having the power to make bishops.
 
Why is the sincerity of religious leaders important? What happens if they are insincere?
 
#If they are insincere they are taking our money for posing as men of faith.

#They are hypocrites and hypocrites can turn dangerous.

#They are hypocrites and that sets a poisonous example.

#They won't admit the truth but obscure it by their pretences. The respecter of truth will be endangered and condemned.

#They will punish and penalise those who admit unbelief - for example, they will not ordain out and proud atheists to the priesthood though they are atheists (at least practical atheists, those who are not motivated by a desire to please God) themselves.

#They are part of the problem where people know or suspect a religion is untrue but won't join an improved version of it or another religion.
 
Religious morality is treacherous
 
Belief in God endangers morality. If you suppose that the belief has no relevance to morality then it follows that emphasising God like religionists do is bad. The more you emphasise, the worse it is.
 
Religious morality only leads to lies and unfairness. Take Catholicism. It tries to turn people against the pill with arguments such as what follows. "The pill causes havoc with a woman's body. It could damage her fertility forever. It kills any baby she conceives by preventing implantation. It increases the risk of breast cancer." The Mormons argue against drinking tea, "It contains a drug that is bad for you and addictive. It can prevent you sleeping." I could mention the Jehovah's Witnesses who say that blood transfusions have led to disease and AIDS being spread and use that thinking to prevent their members thinking that blood transfusions may be had. These conniving cults purposely ignore the fact that there are risks with everything we do. If Catholicism, to pick one out, was not trying to manipulate women and society to turn against the pill it would condemn driving a car with a petrol engine and would certainly condemn smoking which does far more harm than the pill ever could. In reality the reasons given have nothing to do with Catholicism banning birth control at all. It is because they won't admit that their faith is wrong. They are trying to make it seem that they prohibit because they care. They are insecure about the reasons for their prohibiting and so they have to use subterfuge. The Church gives out arguments and evidence that contraception is wrong. They ignore the arguments they don't want to hear. Their sincerity is suspect.
 
The False Solutions offered by Religion
 
Religion offers false solutions when we have a problem with being good. An example follows.
 
If there is a God, he really has to help us to help ourselves. God can only help us realise for ourselves like a life coach what we should do and what course is wise. The notion of eating the body of Jesus at Mass completely contradicts that notion. The Church says the bread is transubstantiated into Jesus so that it behaves like bread but it is not. Antibiotic tablets that are transubstantiated into chalk will still get rid of my infections. There will be no physical difference in what effects it has. So eating the body of Jesus does nobody's soul or body any good. Its magic and superstition. There has to be some erotic attraction in this sacrament to explain why such a useless and therefore harmful superstition is found to be so attractive. The worst bitches and assholes in a Church are often regular communicants. No wonder - they depend on a false solution to heal their personal flaws.
 
Prayer is making yourself feel you have done good when you have not. People who like prayer get that buzz. That is why they like prayer. It has led to the extraordinary spectacle of terrorists and abortionist Catholics coping with the evil they do by saying prayers.
 
Projection?
 
It is nearly always criticism of religious beliefs that people try to censor. Why do they? They will say that religious beliefs are somehow sacred, that criticising them causes bigoted stereotyping and may even cause some of the offended to resort to violent retaliation. It sounds like that the censors are talking about themselves. They are afraid there is too much truth to any stereotype they will get and they wish they could destroy anybody who condemns or mocks their religion. Censorship is an advertisement for a religion but not for religious benevolence.

 

Relevance of doctrine, "love sinner hate sin"

 

Love the sinner and hate the sin is the core of what Christianity is about for its ideas about God make no sense without it.  It says we sin which means God hates us if loving sinners is impossible.  That would refute creation by God for God would not create beings to hate out of nothing.  So love the sinner and hate the sin is not a doctrine but a colossus.  That is why no doctrine gives us more right in principle to criticise religion.  If you can love the sinner and hate the sin or respect the sinner and disrespect the sin then I can love/respect the believer and hate/disrespect the belief. So I should be allowed to.  Try something different.  If you preach love the sinner and hate the sin or respect the sinner and disrespect the sin then let me preach that I can love/respect the believer and hate/disrespect the belief.  A believer has no right at all to shut up an atheist critic or a sceptic or to condemn them for criticism.