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

Religion and Persecuting Atheists
"Not their love of humanity, but the impotence of their love prevents the Christians of today from burning us" Friedrich Nietzsche.
Religion is feared by many in the world for it has a history of persecuting those who disagree with it. Religious people notoriously persecuted converts to another religion or unwed mums.

Even religions strongly supportive of religious liberty, have argued that atheist activists and public atheists should be forcibly silenced or imprisoned or destroyed if necessary.

Many have argued that the Atheist should be executed like murderers or punished like thieves for his doctrines tend to make murderers and thieves of people (page 128, Fifty Years in the Church of Rome). This assumes that no society and therefore no law is possible unless God is believed in.
The argument that Atheists should be punished implies that it is not what is true that is important but what is believed in. How? Because even if there were bad consequences from disbelief in God that does not mean there is a God. So if it is true that we need belief in God then it follows that hiding the evidence against God and silencing Atheists and believers who ask awkward questions is critical. That would hardly be conducive to intellectual honesty!
Atheism is accused of teaching that our goodness has no ultimate value (ie permanently valuable and significant) but only has value in this life. Religion tends to attract people by contending that the good we do in this life will make us good and happy for all eternity. The atheists say that you can get meaning in life from doing non-ultimate good. You certainly will not get it from injuring others. We must remember that only a few believers keep their focus on the next life anyway. Like atheists, they treat the good they do in this life as being for this life. They don't even think of its ultimate value. If they did, they would never forget the good deeds they do but they do. So both atheists and religionists get the happiness they have in life from valuing non-ultimate good.
Most believers do, most of the time, consider their families and careers more important than God. They do good for their families and enhance their careers. That gives them meaning though it can't give them ultimate meaning. The good they do for strangers hardly counts. And do they care? No. The good they do for family and to advance in their career can't give them ultimate meaning for Jesus (read his Sermon on the Mount) that if you serve those who love you or who serve you back or if there is a return you can't expect a reward from God for you have already got your reward.
The thought that the good you do has to be somehow extended for everlasting time to be ultimate shows that the worship of God is a vice. How? It runs down the good done by a good person who turns bad at the end and goes to Hell forever. It argues that good is not good in itself. What is good is its extension in time. But if good is not good in itself, then whether it lasts for one minute or a million minutes, the end result is not good in itself. It is not good. This point shows that the only true friend of goodness is atheism. The God concept only corrupts goodness and belittles it.
In summary, the good we do in this life has ultimate value without any recourse to God or everlasting life or religion. In fact they only get in the way of it. It follows that good is independent of faith in God and so it follows that God then is not the same thing as goodness. So God is not God. An atheist can feel her life has meaning far more than a Christian can. Sadly, atheism has not grasped this properly yet.
Religious preachers show little concern for what a person has to go through when they find out that their religion is wrong or absurd. A Catholic can suffer guilt and fear for years after realising the faith is wrong. They are conditioned to feel bad and evil for changing their minds about the veracity and correctness of the religion. They have an addiction they are resisting. Secularists should promote secularism. If it upsets believers it is better doing it now than later. What if a person who needs comfort from their religion discovers its a trick while they are fighting cancer? What about vulnerable children? A person who uses faith as a crutch has not dealt with the reason they need a crutch. It would be better for them if they were helped to throw the crutch away and deal with their issues without it steaming up their glasses. Religious faith is an addiction to some degree. This is easily seen from the theologians who when confronted with proof that their faith is wrong absorb it and seem to keep believing. If there was real sincerity there, if there was no fear, if there was no psychological problem they would have little difference between them. For example, Catholic and Evangelical theologians would have few theological differences because they would really be listening and really learning and really thinking. But they differ greatly and many Evangelical theologians do not consider Catholics to be Christians. THE CRIME IS: PEOPLE ARE LEFT WITH A WAY TO COPE WITH THE HARSH REALITIES AND FEARS OF LIFE BUT NOT WITH A WAY TO CHANGE THEM. Those who promote religious faith to people who are troubled do not have those people's true concerns at heart. The person who tells a person with commitment issues and who has promiscuous sex to pray instead of seeing a therapist is cheating that person. They are manipulating that person to dull pain with rationalisations. If they tell the person to prayerfully go and see a therapist they are encouraging that person to believe that prayer is only using the therapist as a tool to heal and that the therapist in herself or himself is useless. That is dangerous if prayer does not work. It is making the progress less effectual. Christianity's scriptures teach that suffering is something to be boasting about (Romans 5:1-5) for sufferings bring patience etc. The scriptures forbid us to boast about our good deeds (Ephesians 2: 8 - 10) so nobody can pretend that it means that we are to boast about how we handle suffering. It means we are to boast about suffering but not boast about the good results it brings. This is masochism.
Religion encourages us to look for meaning in suffering. If you believe in God you simply have no choice but to believe that he lets us suffer for his reasons. People like to feel their suffering is going to be used by God to do good and so it has value. But they have been misled. What we must do is not pretend that suffering serves a purpose. We must see it as useless and despicable. But what we should do is look for the good that appears in the midst of it and try and use what we can to make the best out of the situation. If we feel that we must suffer for a purpose, that is giving away our sense of being in control. It's degrading. If we look for the gems amid the rubbish and use them we will feel in control. It will help us more than condoning suffering by saying it is useful. If we think that we will not fight as hard against suffering when we suffer and we will be less keen and fighting suffering for others. Belief in God is evil. How believers handle suffering and sufferers looks good but it is a mockery of the right way to take care of it.

Blaise Pascal said that there is nothing better at getting good people to do evil than religious conviction. The belief that God is with you and behind you and supporting your cause can lead you to harm people, especially those of a different religious persuasion. I would add that God and Christianity have sinister and dangerous implications and are corrupting. They are subliminal poison.
Christianity tries to make morality and Christian faith inseparable. The Christians say that morality is a person so to really understand morality you must believe in God. And not just any God. It must be the Christian version. This is a God who is three persons in one living force who is the reason why there is something rather than nothing. Islam has a different God and thinks that you cannot understand morality properly if at all without believing what Islam believes.
The doctrine that morality has no basis except in God is sectarian doctrine in that it accuses atheists and people of many other religions of having no real justification for being moral. The believers in the doctrine may say that they do not accuse them of having no morals and of necessarily being dangerous. They do accuse them of being capable of acting morally without having any justification. That is not acting moral. If you help a baby while intending to act and not to help for you are not sure if helping the baby is right that is not morality. I think the reason we are told that atheists can be moral but have no justification for morality is that believers are afraid of breaching hate speech laws. What they are saying is not logical and it is hypocritical. It is about lulling atheists into a false sense of security.
You can believe that 2 and 2 are 10 and still act as if 2 and 2 are 4. What you are doing is accommodation yourself to the mainstream. You look as if you are being mathematical in the real sense of the word but you are not. Thus you cannot be moral unless you believe that you are being moral and that morality is authentic and makes sense.
Surely a person who does good but who has no justification for doing so is worse than the person who does have justification but who does bad? Which one will do the most harm in the long run? At least the bad person knows what good is and that is where real good must start. Good that is done without a basis could turn evil just in the blink of an eye. It is no good and no recipe for happiness or security in society.
If people really believe that morality and God go together, that could be dangerous if they lose their faith and have the power to wage war.
The annihilation of Atheist nations by Christian countries would be necessary for their influence would spread. No correspondence between Christians and people living there would be permitted. It would be a crime to move to an Atheist nation. It is obvious that when people promote belief in God and pay money to the Church and pass the “faith” on to their children they are saying that unbelief in God is bad for you emotionally and therefore morally. It must be bad in the extreme when it manages to be bad even for a happy go lucky child!
Atheism must be seriously bad and damaging for if it were slight it would not be worth worrying about for we all encourage one another to be imperfect though good enough. This is as poisonous as homophobia. This time is it we Atheists who are being picked on.
Modern trendy religion espouses the doctrine that you need to believe in God and love him in order to dignify yourself as a human being. It follows that Atheists are destroying human dignity and consequentially are to blame for destroying morality and causing anarchy. The Atheist is happy to promote his doctrine though it is a justification for murder and causes people to kill. The Atheist incites to hate. We see then that it is certain that a religion that does not persecute and incarcerate Atheists and even believers with insufficient belief is betraying its own self.
What if the Church starts saying that Atheists do believe in human dignity as much as they do, but for a different reason which entitles the Atheists to peaceful lives? God revealed himself to us for he claims he can give us true dignity. The Church is denying that if it accepts Atheists for atheism becomes an alternative to religion.
When somebody is judged by somebody they might say, “Who made you judge over me?” Jesus when he judged people would have replied and Christian judges would also reply, “God.” For believers, God being the judge of the world who alone has intrinsic authority can only make lawful judges by delegating some of his authority to them. This implies that religion and the state should be one and the same entity and atheists should not be appointed as judges for it is more appropriate to have believers. The atheist believes that the need for judges (as long as reason is obeyed and followed up on) gives the judge authority not God. Why would it be God if people have to reason a God into existence meaning their reasoning has the ultimate say? Belief in God detracts from acceptance of the judicial system and does not help it one iota. God = bigotry, intolerance.
When all legitimate authority comes from God (Romans 13) it follows that the state should have at least some concern for God and foster religious revival and stability and keep Atheists and humanists and certain heretics who think God is not all good out. To be an Atheist is to deny that the infinite good of God exists so if God exists then this is an extreme injustice and departure from goodness so Atheists would have to be persecuted. They undermine good.
Bible doctrines such as that we need to believe in God in order to receive graces that help us live a holy life and that God is the Lawgiver all support the persecution of Atheists. When reason says, “Don’t steal” that should be enough. You don’t need a God proclaiming, “Thou Shalt not Steal and this is my Law”. How can God make a law that is already a law and true even if there is no God? God is saying there is no law but what he says is right and wrong. So even if he tells you to stick your head in a microwave oven and get it turned on what God says goes. It is only out of luck and the inability to do otherwise that many of God’s morals match what reason says is good for if God went too far nobody would have anything to do with him. The Bible then definitely teaches that there is no law where there is no belief in God and that the state should legislate according to the word of God.
A law must punish violators of the law to be a law. God does not need to tell us to avoid murdering and stealing. If he commands us to avoid them - and Christianity says he does - then that is an attempt to compel us to obey him by making us scared of the threat of punishment. A God who compels obedience necessarily then compels us to be intolerant of atheists.

If Atheism and not knowing the truth are so bad then God’s people have a duty to kidnap the children of unbelievers to raise them in their so-called truth.
All religions hold that there is such a thing as intolerable religion. It is easy for the religions to start seeing atheists as intolerant.

The Amplified Bible

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