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?

 


LOVING GOD ALONE IS EVIL

"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 world’s 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 “choice” 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 – 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 don’t 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 God’s love is undeserved. But you can boast about having half a million in the bank even if you don’t 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 God’s sake not our own and not theirs. Strictly speaking, we don’t 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, “Grace 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 miracle”. 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.