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?


When religion "disowns" its terrorist members who slaughter in its name

Religions despite and even because of having harmful doctrines or potentially disturbing ones - eg telling children their sins were paid for by Jesus' blood - can and will allege that the religious terrorists they have even if they are in the majority are their own responsibility not the faiths or the others in the religion.  It is too easy to say that and there is something worrying about how it is too easy.  You worry that they even say it.


The honest approach is to say that the members have done a terrible thing but that it really does sully and mark us all.  It is not that you are saying you are a terrorist but that you have something to do with what happened by being of his religion.


Saying the terrorists cannot really act in the name of the faith or religion amounts to claiming that the faith or religion is being misused.  But who defines the correct use?  A religion is to blame for it cannot really do anything about that question.  Bad faith or bad religion can be misused for good.  The religion is to blame as a unit for what even a handful of members who are terrorists do.  Saying the religion is being misused for violence is obviously just talk and useless.  Knives are bad in the sense that they can be misused.  Religion can be bad in that sense or in the moral sense or both.  Either way the religion has to admit that it has something to do with it as a whole for it is a whole.  It has to take action and start with cutting the bad nasty revelations of its God out of Bibles and Korans.  If religion is good then good means taking responsibility.  A religion cannot be praised for its good members and not the bad.  Calling them good has to mean admitting they could be bad but were not.  To dispense with responsibility for the bad means demeaning the good members as well.


Numbers are dangerous.  Concentrating on the law abiding members of a religion and dismissing the terrorists as cranks rather than religionists of that religion is saying that what matters is that most are good and that amounts to hinting, "Not that many were killed so it is okay."  You would expect religion to treat the murder of one person as being as heinous as the slaughter of millions.


A religion tries to be a unity but is necessarily divided.  Nothing is a proper unity.  It aspires to be.  Thus a religion has to accept that those who conduct violence in the name of God, out of obedience to a scripture or revelation or in the name of the people are to be considered its own people.  The word religion and the word good do not mean the same thing.  You cannot use the words interchangeably.


Atheists are individualists as in worldview but community members in every other way. A religion is a collective and must be judged as a collective. So “they are not all bad” is not only irrelevant but ignorant.  People outside the religion tell you when terrorists do harm in the name of religion that all the believers cannot be condemned for the terrorism.  But nobody is blaming them all.  All we are saying is that there is a connection between religion and some turning terrorists and the whole religion must take responsibility for that problem.  People inside the religion try to tell you that they are good and the terrorists are bad and disown them.


Take a community that seems to produce some monsters.  "They are not all the same" or "We are not all like that!" is irrelevant if some people in a community or group are committing suicide. What do you do?  You assume anybody can do it even if it seems unlikely.  The suicides say how people must treat and think of the community.  The number is not important.  One is too many. You commit a form of suicide by doing grave harm in the name of faith.  "They are not all the same" or "We are not all like that!" are just political language speaking.  It is simply evil to take that approach for a religion is a unit and part of the unit being bad gives rise to hard questions about the whole unit.


 "They are not all the same" or "We are not all like that!" is irrelevant and mocking the problem for it basically is side-stepping it.  It is a proof that in some way attempts to make religion sacred and immune to condemnation are themselves evil and uncaring.


Back to our religion with its terrorists.  What if it is not an organised community but a community that organises itself – there is a big difference.  A religion that has a hierarchy and a list of beliefs is an organised religion.  A religion like Quakerism has none of that but still behaves in an organised way.  It is not an organised religion.  Is it worse for an organised religion or a religion that is not but which just happens to have order to have religious fanatics and terrorists?


Quote from online comment by Greta Cristiani regarding religion doing harm: "I get angry when believers act as if these offenses aren't important, because "Not all believers act like that. I don't act like that." As if that f*****g  matters. This stuff is a major way that religion plays out in our world, and it makes me furious to hear religious believers try to minimize it because it's not how it happens to play out for them. It's like a white person responding to an African-American describing their experience of racism by saying, "But I'm not a racist." If you're not a racist, then can you shut the hell up for ten seconds and listen to the black people talk? And if you’re not bigoted against atheists and are sympathetic to us, then can you shut the hell up for ten seconds and let us tell you about what the world is like for us, without getting all defensive about how it's not your fault? When did this international conversation about atheism and religious oppression become all about you and your hurt feelings?"  The bigger the harm or potential harm the more important this comment is.


There is a terrorist problem in most religion and some religions have a bigger one than others. The percentage of dedicated terrorists is currently biggest in Islam.


It is said that the Buddhist terrorists who slay Muslims are not Buddhist. But it does not follow that Buddhism is innocent. In fact it takes responsibility and says that as a religion the terrorists will pay for it thorugh the law of karma.


Is it the individual in the religion, not the religion?
A study concerning terrorist attacks for which 41 organisations in 21 countries was responsible tells us a lot about how the evil in me is nurtured through the support I feel I am getting from enough people around me. I may feel supported by my culture or feel that if I want to kill people for being of another religion that it does not seriously oppose me. It was found that countries that have very collectivist cultures accounted for 15,036 acts of terrorism. Only 2,090 came from nations that tend to be individualistic. A religion then can generate terrorism by acting as if it does not really care or it may actively encourage the evil.
The "Don't condemn religion for it is not all bad" religious brigade are not taking evil seriously when it is done as a religious act by a religious person. It is odd that they want to argue that it is individuals not a religion that is doing it. Why won’t they say that if an individual do it an individual can do it as a religious person? Why won't they say that if the individual can be bad then a religion that is a collection of individuals can be bad too?
Many look at the terrible things religious people do and decide that some of it is not about religion for the people do not say they do it for God or faith. But were they asked? Would they say? They would fear that if they kill in the name of God that others will think God is telling them to kill them. If a religion is not able to stop or influence violent people to drop the arms, if it is not effective at making peace by stopping war in the first place, the members should not be in it. The religion is to blame so the members not saying their violence is faith based means nothing. A violent religionist does not have to admit it if he is violent for God - he is better off not admitting it for he might get support he would not get if people were put off by religious violence.
If a faith is a collection of individuals rather than a Church, the faith is still to blame for the crimes of the individuals in the name of faith. It tells them to be individuals so it is still responsible for what they get up to in the dark side of religion.
Even if you believe in free will, there is no doubt that in some aspects we are programmed by our environment. The alcoholic is programmed to crave alcohol. Some experts believe that free will is incomplete - it is a combination of freedom and programming.
Whatever you think, if you do bad you can be sure that programming and conditioning have played their part in it too. That bit is not all your fault. If we are programmed at all in any way, religion being a major part of your environment has somehow programmed the evil person to be evil.
Religion says it has to be lived 24/7. When the person seems to be doing secular things, the religion is still there behind it. There is no room for saying that the bad a person does has nothing to do with their religion for they are not acting as religious people but just as people. They could be showing how their religion has no power to help them become truly better people.
Why does the religion seek some credit when the individual does good? If it does that it must take the blame if the individual is bad. Its refusal to shows that it indeed is far from angelic.
If it is the individual to blame, then is the religion causing harmful individualism? It could be.
Some religions teach a spiritual connection between people that means the religion has to take the blame along with the individual. Catholicism is not the same as any other religion. It claims to be the body of Christ and to be infallible. Thus it is more to blame for the evil in its members than any other religion would be.

Most people will not be violent. Religions that claim to be able to supernaturally heal evil produce a number of evil people. In the light that most will be civil anyway, it follows that it is doing nothing to help. It only looks as if it might be helping. But a might could mean anything.
Religion confidently saying, "That nut is a lone wolf" or "That has nothing do with us. It's the guy's individual choice" is insulting and irresponsible and ignorant. It is not something you just say. You have to back it up with evidence. The evidence will be hard to get for you cannot know that much about anybody's else's life or development. But in principle it should be there before you speak. To blame the individual not the religion, fully or partly, is just victimising the bad person in order to keep the religion looking sweet.

Religion makes its terrorists sense they are supported.
In the book Christianity is Not Great, we read that humankind "has the wherewithal to be cruel and unkind without God. My point is that God gives him permission." Christianity is "a belief system that allows for that behaviour. It's no argument to suggest that evil will exist anyway, therefore we should let an existing justification for it continue." As long as religion or faith "produces any evil, it is suspect". "If it is true that we are in the presence of some system, some force, that rises above the squalor of human existence, it should consistently be far and above anything that man can offer". "They may not get their own hands dirty, but they accept doctrines that protect those who do harm in the name of God. They give tacit approval to outdated ideas like physically beating children to keep them safe from hell." If you are a religious terrorist, you will deal out horror and destruction in the name of your faith. The reason you do this is because you feel sufficiently supported by the religion. For example, it may not cast you out or it may not seem to take your evil that seriously. You feel its condemnations of your actions are hollow and hypocritical. If the religion does not advocate violence and its scriptures do, you will feel it should approve of you. And you are right that it should not judge you. It shares in the blame.

No terrorist in the name of religion, acts in its name unless he feels others in the religion at least secretly approve of what he has done. It is superficial to blame the man not the religion. Blame both.

Many religions oppose relativism and are actually relativist themselves. The dogma of relativism that nobody has the right to judge what another culture thinks is right or wrong encourages and invigorates the terrorist.
The smug shout, "Religious terrorism? - not in my name!"
Those who claim to think that religion is good often narrow down what is meant by religion in order to make it look good. They might narrow it down to a prayer system or a community. This denies that religion has an impact and a relationship with politics. A religion is more than just praying and as for its being a community is not a community but a faith community. The defenders of religion have to trim away anything that could make the religion look bad. That is pure prejudice and shows a lack of concern for the damage religion does. The religious extremist will read that as a yes to religious terrorism.
The proof that a faith can produce evil people is when it does. It does not help to say, "X is following his own interpretation of Islam/Christianity. It is a good religion. It is X who is the problem." But X could feel that his religion is so good that it is worth killing for. It is the presence of good people in the religion that makes him reason that way. Nobody wants complete mayhem. They do evil to get good out of it. Islamists think that by destroying bad Muslims and other religions that they will create a Muslim paradise on earth.
If a religion or holy book has teachings that can be interpreted as permitting or advocating violence, the religion is responsible for the actions of terrorists. And since religion does not care much for evidence and truth, it follows that the terrorist interpretation is just as valid as anybody else's. The religion gives him no tools to rethink his position. It is to blame for the fact that there are no tools.
The Christians must not say, “Okay he is an individual. His terrorist actions in our name are not a reflection on us.” If he could be acting as an individual that does not mean that he is. The Christians are being rude and dismissive unless they have evidence that the person is acting as an individual.
A religion is trying to cover up that religion is dangerous when it tries to make out that its terrorist members are acting as religious individuals and not in its name. Nobody is that individual - the terrorist is formed by a lot of influences many of which are religious. Even when a prophet or pope commands evil, religion makes out it is the individual's problem. Nobody really acts completely as an individual no matter what they do. You feel that enough people might approve or should approve of your evil deeds. It is that that gets you across the line.
If a particular religion produces crazier terrorists or more than average than any other religion, the blame is to be laid at the foot of the religion even it is not obvious what exactly is causing the problem. There are people in other religions but in similar economic and social conditions who are not as bad.
A terrorist may say that his faith motivated him to kill. The wider religion and its enablers might say this is not true. It is not helpful to call X a liar. If he says his faith motivates him then you have to take his word for it. If you say he is a liar, you risk misdiagnosing the problem and so the problem will go on and on without proper treatment.
Many religious terrorists say they do it at least partly for the faith. That is as good as saying their faith makes them as nasty as what they are. We must take their word for it.
Many religious terrorists do not say it but they act as if they are fighting for the religion. Actions speak too. Think of the IRA.
People with a little faith have been known to do terrible things in its name. If faith is the problem then the more the religion praises faith the more it is to blame.
When terrorists act in the name of say Christianity or Islam and you have hardly anybody acting in the name of secularism or Quakerism that is proof that there is something not right with the Christian and Islamic faith. If it is true that Christian faith made the Christian terrorist so vicious then his bad deeds do reflect on the Christian religion. To blame him as an individual shows more concern for protecting religion than people. There is more to people than religion. To blame him only is being unfair to him and sending out the message that it is okay to hurt people for faith.
Religion tends to condone evil retrospectively by being too light on the religious terrorists. Religion's civility is founded on its ability to forgive its evil people and its terrorists too easily. This is nothing more than the disguised and retrospective condoning of their violence. And the religion though smeared in blood seems as fresh as a daisy.

People disagree widely on moral issues. Some think abortion is okay and others think it is the worst form of murder. It stands to reason then that with all that disagreement that man will form religions that do harm. Politicians do not want to admit that any religion is dangerous or would be if practiced properly for it suits themselves. The pope saying all religions want peace is a ridiculous lie. And surely he does not think that the religion of Satanism wants peace?


Islam claims to be the successor of the faiths taught by Moses and Jesus. That is where it gets the idea of killing gays and other sinners from. We must remember that it is not up to you or me or anybody to say what a religion teaches. A member of a religion can be a good person in a vile religion.  A religion stands for what it stands for no matter what its members or anybody else wants to think. The Abrahamic religions are to blame for the killing of "sinners" through ideology and also through letting people kill them. There is a collective responsibility issue.  Denying it only makes members of the religion worse and more disgraceful.




When Christianity points to the violence in its Bible to get people to kill and maim and wage crusades liberals say, "Christianity is all good and those atrocities have nothing to do with Christianity." Christians like them for saying that. But the likes of Waters never returns the favour to say, "Though most abusers are homosexuals homosexuality in itself is good and those homosexuals are no reflection on it. What happened has nothing to do with homosexuality." No he is so vile he would rather blame homosexuality instead of a manmade faith that has no magic or even natural power to improve human nature in any special way. He does not realise that homosexuality can only happen between adults. An adult and a person who is too young for sex is a different matter. The priests will enable his lies and vitriol by giving him communion on Sunday.