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


"O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, everlasting God, for the sake of Your bounty and that of Your Son, who for me endured suffering and death: for the sake of the most excellent holiness of His Mother and the merits of all the Saints, grant unto me a sinner, unworthy of all Your blessings, that I may love You only, may ever thirst for Your love, may have continually in my heart the benefits of Your passion, may acknowledge my own wretchedness and may desire to be trampled upon and be despised by all men; let nothing grieve me save guilt. Amen. O God the Father, abide in my always, as You always abided in Jesus."
Page 98, The Saint Martin de Porres Prayer Book, Dominican Fathers, Parnell Square, Dublin.
Jesus Christ, according to the gospels, was asked what the greatest commandment was. He said it was the Jewish commandment to love God with all one's heart and soul and power. Love your neighbour as yourself was stated by him to be the second greatest commandment. If we love God completely and dedicate all to him, that means we dedicate the love we have for others to him too and do it for him. So we do not really love them but him. We only love them in a loose sense of the word. But human nature is made to REALLY love people and not in that loose sense.
Jesus said we are to love God with all our hearts meaning our emotions. In love your neighbour as yourself there is no mention of emotion for we simply cannot feel about some stranger as we do ourselves. Love your neighbour means treat your neighbour as God wants him to be treated. This service of neighbour is only the second commandment in importance. Though it is about pleasing God and helping others for his sake and not their own it is still in second place!
Jesus embraced little children saying, "Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me" (Mark 9:37). He is showing that he means welcoming a person in the loose sense. Strictly speaking it is only God that is to be welcomed. That is how the seeming contradiction between loving God alone and loving neighbour is reconciled. He is clear that he does not mean, "Whoever receives a child does not just receive the child but receives me too". "Receiveth not me", makes that plain.
Religion promises that the service of God without self-interest will give meaning to our lives. This really means that you do good just because you are told to do it.  You do it because God wants it and not because you feel you should.  It is about God not your feelings.  Doing good because you feel you want to is rewarding yourself by fulfilling your want and you will never know if you would do any good if you didn't feel you wanted to enough.  So good according to religion is doing what you are told by God because you are told. 


You are to do good because you are told that it is good and not because you really understand it as good. So the philosophy is saying that good is just obeying authority, in this case, God, in a child-like unquestioning manner. Why should we make God so important and obey laws just because he says so? Because he is perfectly good?  Babies are perfectly good and we are not allowed by religion to give them as much devotion. Because he is wise? We can work out wisdom without God. None of us are very wise but what matters is that we do our best. Because he is all-powerful? That is the only reason left. To serve and therefore love God above all things just because he has a bit of weight to throw around is really snobbery and implies that the service of God is really slavery. In other words religion is slavery. Even if he will reward we are still slaves in practice for we cannot act for the reward for that is preferring the rewards to him. Power is not a reason to worship someone. Buddhism cannot give us a reason for attaining Nirvana either. To desire it because it is pleasant is to fall prey to desire which Buddhism says is the root of all evil and a bad thing.


Good is good.  If you really cared about good you would care about what good or doing good would do for you.  It does not make sense to wish that others had good things instead of you.
All the worldís religions thrive on lies and slander. One of the basic lies is that you can sacrifice yourself and they hope their God will look down on anybody that does not sacrifice meaning they are slandering them. But we all do what we want under the circumstances. There is no such thing as sacrifice. They vomit slurs against anybody who sees through this lie and who have the courage to admit that they do all they do out of self-interest. The Church says we all crave and struggle for happiness and pleasure. If we do then how can we have free will for there is no point in it when we are only willing to satisfy our own desires? Even when we sacrifice it is only because we want to so there is no sacrifice. When we always do what we want (at least under the circumstances) it follows that we choose what our minds make us think we want to choose. What I think is determined by my past. I have only one thought at a time and so what I do the next moment is entirely caused and fixed by my past thoughts leading up to the choice. There is a point just prior to making a ďchoiceĒ where it is unavoidable.  Your decisions are not your decisions in the sense that you make them before you realise.
So we could have been programmed then by God to think things that make us saintly. The fact that we do what we want proves there is no God for a good God would not let us do evil.
Jesus and the Church want all we do done for the sake of God alone and so we are to love our neighbour for the sake of God which is not loving them but using them to please God. But few are aware that the motive is for God only. This fosters the deception that Christianity can make people caring and give meaning to life. In actuality, God is being evil and deceptive for asking that much commitment for we see people around us but we cannot prove he exists and he expects to come first and people can be harmed but he is beyond being harmed Ė his anger at sin is only a metaphor expressing the idea that God works against sin. What cannot be harmed should not matter more than what can be harmed. The only way Christianity can give a purpose to life is if it is misunderstood. There are sexists and there are ageists but Godists should be listed among the pro-discrimination groups because in obedience to Jesus and the like they put God first. The pope puts his God before women when he commands them to refrain from birth control though it has saved millions of lives. To turn away from a suffering human being and prefer God who may not exist is the ultimate in hidden cruelty and craftiness.


The Church teaches that if you truly love God it is his well-being that matters and you will not be motivated by wanting to be loved in return. Wanting to be loved in return would imply that your love for God is conditional. It is really you you love and not God. Perhaps you want to be loved in return in the sense that God would not be God if he doesn't love? But that love is about God's benefit not yours.
God is to be loved and valued and people are to be loved for God's benefit which means that the love for them is really the indirect love of God. It is really loving God. If you love John for his money its really the money you love no matter how kind or good you are to John. The first Epistle of John in the Bible says that we can only be sure we love God when we love the children he made for himself, that is, other people. To love other people is to love God when it is done for him. The Epistle suggests that we won't be any good to others unless we believe in God. So the more we believe in God and religion the better.
Why should we love God so much? Is it because he is so good? That would mean you love his goodness more than him or his goodness not him!
It must be then because of his superiority and dignity. You can't say this is loving God's dignity but not God for God's personhood is his dignity. Only a person can be real dignity. We say persons have dignity but a person strictly speaking is dignity. A king is a king - this is more accurate than saying a king and his kingship are distinct. The words are different but that is all.
Atheists find the doctrine that we should love God most for he has the greatest dignity to be snobbery (page 45, Crisis of Moral Authority). A snob is a person who values people on their dignity. The Bible says we are to love others only for the sake of God which means that it is really him we love so it goes to the extreme in the snobbery. People adore a God who they think is behind them and on their side. This makes the arrogance far more extreme.
There is arrogance in saying you love the greatest being possible. And the more you love the worse the arrogance is! It is boastful for it is your judgement that makes God real to you so you are really putting yourself, your judgment, before God. You think you are better than the person who does not love that being or loves him less. It is bragging to state that you have a million in the bank in front of the poor so it is bragging to boast that you have the greatest friend ever. It is also boastful to say that that being loves you with an infinite love. Boasting is what happens when you refuse to know yourself and exaggerate your greatness and your possessions. You donít know if God loves you infinitely like you would know if you had half a million in the bank so it is boasting to say you are prized that much. The Church says it is not for Godís love is undeserved. But you can boast about having half a million in the bank even if you donít deserve it.
God loves nobody but God. God cannot love anybody or anything in preference to himself for he is infinite love and it is only fair that he loves himself. If he gives me some of his love instead of giving to himself he is preferring to love me in so far as he does that. He would be unfair to himself because he is important and I am not. Therefore, he has to love himself infinitely or totally because if he did not he would not love infinite love and that would be evil (page 8, Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, Part 1).
If God permitted us to love anything other than him he would be a sinner and sinfully committing an injustice against himself for being perfect and infinite love he deserves all our love in return. We would be insulting him if we loved somebody who was not as good as him. He would not have made us unless he wanted us to love him only. God made us not to love us but for us to love him therefore he has to receive all our love and not just a part of it. To deny that God demands all our love is to deny the existence of God. We only love others in the sense that we love them for Godís sake not our own and not theirs. Strictly speaking, we donít really love them. If we value them it is only because it pleases God and so that is what we really value and not them.
God loves himself alone when he commands us not to love others because we love ourselves but to be totally other-centred. Doing that is putting his law down as the only thing that matters and therefore it is complete obeisance to him.
There is the trendy idea that you have to love yourself first before you can love God or anybody else. When the Bible command to love God with all our hearts and powers is the prime commandment it follows that this view is heresy. The trend is telling you to love God because you love yourself. Self-love is to be your motive. Self-love is the biggest commandment. To love God and your neighbour because you love yourself means that you only love yourself in the strict sense of the word. The command is that we love God because we do not love ourselves except in the sense that we do with ourselves what God wants us to do and God is right and good - we treat ourselves good only for God and not for ourselves. It will be objected that you can hardly love God if you offer yourself to him and think you are worthless for that is meaning to offer him something worthless. But that is something we have learned in recent centuries and we cannot pretend the Bible is as wise as us. However, some say the biblical answer would be, ďGrace is the power of God with which God helps us to do what we cannot do ourselves. God can make us love him despite our hatred for ourselves by a miracle for grace is a miracleĒ. The Bible does see grace as the miracle of psychological change. The Bible says we are all sinners so any good we do or improvement we make is an unnatural miracle for nature decrees that we sin all the time.
The only sense in which the Bible sees self-hatred as sinful is when you do with yourself what God has forbidden. Self-hatred for us means hurting ourselves and not liking ourselves. Self-hatred in the Bible means we hate ourselves for the sake of God and if we fail in this motive it is the sin of self-hatred. That is self-hatred in the sense that we violate the only reason we exist - to love God and do all for the motive of pleasing him.
Perhaps when we would do good infinitely if we could and if we were God we deserve the same infinite love as God does? It is not our fault we are finite so even if we deserve punishment we deserve blessings far more. The punishment has to be cancelled. So what if there is a conflict between the infinite love and blessing we merit and the infinite love and blessings due to God? Maybe God has to compromise and love himself and us as well? But religion replies that God gave us the power to be good and to want to be good and it is his power not ours. So if there is a choice, he has to be rewarded. Also God is infinite love and we are only potential infinite love and what is real comes first. And Judaism and Christianity cannot accept that anyone could deserve any part of the love that should all belong to God. They teach that we deserve nothing but suffering.
The Church says we have infinite value for God values us infinitely. But when God alone is to be loved we cannot care about that. We cannot insist that we get the infinite blessings of being valued infinitely. The notion of God infinitely loving us is just one of the things the Church uses to bait us. Plus God only cares about his own dignity. If it is true that God values us so much then he only values us for himself so it is really himself that he cares about. We might be valuable all right but this value is only an evaluation and it does not mean that anybody or anything should value us. It is like 2 being a value but that does not mean that anybody values anything as two though they do do it.
Rome gives one of her kisses of spiritual death in ordering her slaves to agree that they can love God for some selfish reason and also for his own sake Ė a mixture - and calls it imperfect love. Can they?
If you really love God selflessly you can drop the other motive. It is a sin to offer imperfect love when you can offer better. God gives all his people the power to resist sin (1 Corinthians 10:13). You havenít true love for God at all when you claim you love him and love something else as well.
How can the Church of Rome be capable of genuine love for God when it advocates untrue love for him? Is her perfect love a sham Ė mere self-delusion? To really love God you have to make sure you arenít doing anything he despises which she does not do. She is not giving the message. The message is that anything but selfless love for God will not do. Thus those members she has that claim to love God perfectly are lying because they would not support the Church policy if they did.
God religion teaches that the love of God and love of one another go together. If you donít love God, you oppose the one entity that others need which is not consistent with loving them. God is infinite love which means he hates sin infinitely. God hates sin with all his power so to sin is to offend him as much as you can. If you donít love your neighbour you donít love God for he loves them and wants you to do the same (1 John 5:1-3). Christianity says we are all sinners so we love nobody and nothing. All we are doing when we think we love is pretending. This teaching is enough to have anybody foaming at the mouth and put in a straitjacket. The doctrine of love for God which Christianity advertises as a healthy one is our in-doing.
We canít say we love God in loving ourselves alone on the grounds that it pleases him for that is too easy. Any egoist could say the same. There would be no need for God then and people believe in him because they think the belief will comfort them and restrain them from moral degeneration. Loving God cannot mean we love ourselves alone. That is like saying black is white.
You canít do real good when hostility to good is adhered to. What you do may look good and bring benefit but since it is done with a dark heart it is not really good. We know that to do good while being an impenitent sinner is false and deceptive. For that reason, unconditional love for one person and not another or even for everybody except one person is worthless. It is not love at all for it is willingly defiled by the unrepented sins. It is defiled by your refusal to love everybody else unconditionally too. It is a mimic of the real thing. Only perfect people can have unconditional love. There is something vulgar and convenient and pompous about a person saying they unconditionally love somebody who has not lived that bad a life. It was easy for them. How can you know the love is unconditional when the person has not had the chance to be a Hitler and refused it? The love is just a act of self-delusion.
If I love God alone that means that any joy I have that is not completely founded on him is a sin assuming joy is allowed at all. He and only he must be the source of my joy. Thus religion tells you how to feel and who wants to listen to that these days? But God is a spirit being without feelings. Aquinas said that Godís love is nothing like the kind of love we understand. We only call it love for the sake of calling it something. Any descriptive word used of God is vague and not far from empty. From this it follows that anybody who finds their joy in God is not really doing so. They are finding their joy in a subconscious or conscious anthropomorphism or picture of God. They are relating to God in the way they would to a human being though God is not a human being. Though they say that they do not believe that God has human feelings and responses they turn off that idea when they have their relationship with him so they bond with an idol and not the real God. The only way the Church can give meaning to life is by deception such as this. It foments this deception. It gives the world a stale and alien God the world does not want and makes it think it does want it. This drives many critics to say things like that the Church is thieving souls and thieving their money.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that you can commit something called mortal sin. This is a sin that implies total rejection of God. You expel the saving presence of God from yourself. Those who die in mortal sin go to Hell forever. They are separate from God and so can't ever go to Heaven for God lives there. The good works of a mortal sinner deserve no blessing from God. The works are sins themselves for the sinner is only desecrating the good by doing it without reconciling with God. To love a mortal sinner would be then to love something that there is no moral good in. You cannot love sinners and hate their sins for it is not sins we are against but bad people. Those who hate sin because it insults the God of infinite love and so is very serious cannot love the sinner. The evil of failing to see how sin offends God would be a worse one than neglecting a person to love God. The believers claim they can accuse sin of being infinitely and unimaginably bad and yet they say they can love the sinner. They are lying. The doctrine of mortal sin prevents you from looking at the good side of the person. The good side of the mortal sinner is dangerous for it is not really good and the more good the mortal sinner does the less likely he or she will be to see how much he or she needs to correct their sin and make peace with God. The good side cannot be praised by the true Christian. Instead the sinner has to be despised. God has to be loved so much - indeed totally - so hating those who loathe him or don't take him seriously or who don't appreciate him, ie mortal sinners, would be inevitable. You cannot love God and love the mortal sinner.
Liberal Catholics say you must love the mortal sinner for it is not for you to judge if a person is such a sinner. So it can't be for you to judge if somebody is a murderer either even if you are a judge. The Bible stresses that bad people are to be avoided and Jesus only bothered with them if they were on the verge of repenting or thinking about repenting. Judgement is necessary.
Loving God more than people is bad. Loving God not people is worse.
The problem with such attitudes as that you should love God alone is that you end up making people think you care about them when it is mainly or all about God. Its unnatural and can lead to severe psychological problems. It demands doing goodness for the sake of obedience and not for the sake of those in need. We all know believers with a callous righteousness.
Another problem is that it will result in a crippling guilt. Nobody can manage to love God first in their hearts or with all their hearts - if you did you would choose to suffer the greatest torment forever because he needed you to do it.
It is only by offering yourself and even your entire happiness up as a sacrifice that can end up putting God first. You consent to God destroying you or your happiness if he needs to.
Jesus claimed to be the divinely inspired Son of God who repeats only what God told him. Jesusí main teaching that there is no real good without God and loving God with your total being was wrong - for we know by experience that unbelievers can be good people. Hardly any competent philosophers suppose that you canít believe in morality unless you believe in a God who commands it. Then you are just blindly obeying God and calling it morality which is dangerous for you would be doing the same if he commanded murder. That attitude does not foster morality but immorality and it does not foster maturity but immaturity and it does not foster diligence but laziness. Its lazy to take your morals from authority instead simply seeing that the authority is right and obeying it because of that.


If God deserves all love then the only sin that matters is refusing to grant it to him.  The ultimate sin is telling God that you do not care that he made you for a life purpose or that his son died for your sins as if you were the only sinner alive and the offer of eternal happiness. This is said to be the only real reason at the end of the day why people go to everlasting damnation.  The command then is extremely passive aggressive and threatening.  You cannot love God under threat of committing the worst sin.  That only leads to fear.  Christians are either hypocrites who do not care about God or they are damaged passive aggressive individuals if they try to care. 
Another problem is that it will result in a crippling guilt. Nobody can manage to love God with all their hearts - if you did you would choose to suffer the greatest torment forever because he needed you to do it.
It is only by offering yourself and even your entire happiness up as a sacrifice that can end up putting God first. You consent to God destroying you or your happiness if he needs to. Your belief becomes an act of violence against yourself. That might be violence that you think is justified but it is still violence.
Some psychologists embrace the dogma that if you seem to be trying to hurt yourself, the reason is because you are angry at somebody else who let you down, who hurt you or who failed you. There is no proof of this claim that you are always just taking it out on yourself. You could be angry at yourself for failing yourself or hurting yourself or another. But it is clear that some people are trying to hurt themselves because they are angry at somebody who hurt them. Imagine how damaging it would be if they believed in God and felt that he failed them or let them down! It would be worse than thinking or feeling that a loved one let them down for God is so much better than any person.
If you punish yourself because another person let you down, it is because you feel that they are better than you and must not be criticised. Their evil must be soft-soaped by you. It is easy to see how belief in God can lead to this far more than being let down by any person would. There would be a stronger incentive to denial of the reality. You will suffer far more.


A person does terrible things to you or to somebody close to you. Trying to understand does not mean you are necessarily trying to condone them or condoning them. But if God comes first or God alone matters then the only thing that matters is understanding why the person has not connected enough with God to be good. That is in total opposition to psychology as a science.
People will not go to a professional with a problem if it involves God. They might go to an unqualified pastor or priest who has no right to playing the therapist role. The drunk in the local bar would be as well-qualified. The doctrine that God alone is to be loved and is to be loved above all things clearly indicates that people should be set up to feel angry against themselves if they perceive that God has let them down.
That it is possible for belief in God to lead to that is enough to make the promotion of belief in God irresponsible and dangerous.
Loving God and using people to put that love into action is abominable.

A HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY, VOL 6, PART II, KANT, Frederick Copleston SJ, Doubleday/Image, New York 1964
AQUINAS, FC Copleston, Penguin Books, London, 1991
BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL, Friedrich Nietzsche, Penguin, London, 1990
BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER, Association for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, Dublin, 1960
CHARITY, MEDITATIONS FOR A MONTH, Richard F Clarke SJ, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1973
CHRISTIANITY FOR THE TOUGH-MINDED, Edited by John Warwick Montgomery, Bethany Fellowship, Minnesota, 1973
CRISIS OF MORAL AUTHORITY, Don Cupitt, SCM Press, London, 1995
EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT, VOL 1, Josh McDowell, Alpha, Scripture Press Foundation, Bucks, 1995
ECUMENICAL JIHAD, Peter Kreeft, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1996
GOD IS NOT GREAT, THE CASE AGAINST RELIGION, Christopher Hitchens, Atlantic Books, London, 2007
THE GREAT MEANS OF SALVATION AND OF PERFECTION, St Alphonsus De Ligouri, Redemptorist Fathers, Brooklyn, 1988
HANDBOOK OF CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS, Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, Monarch, East Sussex, 1995
HONEST TO GOD, John AT Robinson, SCM, London, 1963
HOW DOES GOD LOVE ME? Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1986
IN DEFENCE OF THE FAITH, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1996
MADAME GUYON, MARTYR OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, Phyllis Thompson, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1986
MORAL PHILOSOPHY, Joseph Rickaby SJ, Stonyhurst Philosophy Series, Longmans Green and Co, London, 1912
OXFORD DICTIONARY OF PHILOSOPHY, Simon Blackburn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1996
PRACTICAL ETHICS, Peter Singer, Cambridge University Press, England, 1994
PSYCHOLOGY, George A Miller, Penguin, London, 1991
RADIO REPLIES, 1, Frs Rumble & Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1938
RADIO REPLIES, 2, Frs Rumble & Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1940
RADIO REPLIES, 3, Frs Rumble & Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1942
REASON AND BELIEF, Brand Blanschard, George Allen and Unwin Ltd, 1974
REASONS FOR HOPE, Ed Jeffrey A Mirus, Christendom College Press, Virginia, 1982
THE ATONEMENT: MYSTERY OF RECONCILIATION, Kevin McNamara, Archbishop of Dublin, Veritas, Dublin, 1987
SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD, Jonathan Edwards, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, undated
THE BIBLE TELLS US SO, R B Kuiper, The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, 1978
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE MORAL DILEMMA, G R Evans, Lion Books, Oxford, 2007
THE GREAT MEANS OF SALVATION AND OF PERFECTION, St Alphonsus De Ligouri, Redemptorist Fathers, Brooklyn, 1988
THE IMITATION OF CHRIST, Thomas A Kempis, Translated by Ronald Knox and Michael Oakley, Universe, Burns & Oates, London, 1963
THE LIFE OF ALL LIVING, Fulton J Sheen, Image Books, New York, 1979
THE NEW WALK, Captain Reginald Wallis, The Christian Press, Pembridge Villas, England, undated
THE PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD, Brother Lawrence, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1981
THE PROBLEM OF PAIN, CS Lewis, Fontana, London, 1972
THE PUZZLE OF GOD, Peter Vardy, Collins, London, 1990
THE SATANIC BIBLE, Anton Szandor LaVey, Avon Books, New York, 1969
THE SPIRITUAL GUIDE, Michael Molinos, Christian Books, Gardiner Maine, 1982
THE STUDENTíS CATHOLIC DOCTRINE, Rev Charles Hart BA, Burns & Oates, London, 1961
UNBLIND FAITH, Michael J Langford, SCM, London, 1982