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 it is dangerous to use faith or religious faith as a crutch
 
MAIN ARGUMENT
 
Religious faith is often seen as little more than a crutch. Even if religion disagrees, it does at least say that many believers are in fact using it as a crutch. It is obvious that if some believers can be using a crutch some religions if not all are only crutches. No crutch religion will admit what it is. It ruins the crutch if it does. A crutch is a necessary evil. It is always a sign that something is wrong and it gets you through it but it doesn't fix anything. By definition you have to keep trying to get to the point where you can cast the crutch away and by definition you are not an island so others must assist you and encourage you to do with the crutch less and hopefully get rid of it. It is an insult to defend those who make money or get status out of giving the crutch and implies that the person is so weak that they cannot do without them. It is bizarre how some would understand religion as a crutch and then argue that is a reason for protecting it and not criticising it.
 
ANALYSIS
 
Faith should be embracing the truth as your friend. Without that honesty it is not faith at all. Faith should be a fluid process. Religion has people adopting faith for they fear what it is like to think for yourself and feel alone. If you adopt faith for that reason then your faith is not about truth but about what suits you. It is not about truth but about practicality. Faith that serves as a crutch or a shield to avoid fear only leads to irrationality and self-deception and bigotry and to bigger fears and an extremely rude awakening. Unless you look at the truth in the eye you are unnecessarily risking your health or mind or wellbeing not to mention that of those around you. It is said that faith is fine, but not when it comes to solving social problems or figuring out how to make the world a better place. Believers prove how skin deep and escapist their faith is by keeping it out of social problems - no Catholic urges pharmacists to incinerate condoms. If you partition your crutch to avoid it being challenged that shows you know fine well that it could be rubbish and you are acting like a child. The popular view that you should challenge a person's moral beliefs but not their faith is a bizarre, insane, stupid, unfair and dishonest one. What you believe about morality matters more than your religious beliefs! Unless you witness gently and kindly to the truth you are part of the problem caused by people setting up their religious crutches. And why would you encourage people to fake faith or to make a crutch out of skin deep faith? That is mad.
 
Nobody will sacrifice much for religion or morality if their power depends on how comforting or useful they are. The crutch religionist will get nasty to defend his crutch so there will be no sacrifice done in the name of tolerance! Crutch religion leads to bigotry and indeed is bigotry.
 
THE CRUTCH
 
Atheists and many believers claim that religion is a crutch for getting through life. In other words, faith in the religion is the crutch.
 
If the faith is misplaced then it is not good for the person and this danger outweighs any comfort it may bestow. Mere belief in religion alone cannot be a crutch - it needs action to express and reinforce it.
 
Belief alone will not get you a good wage. You have to work for it. Belief and acting it out would then comprise the crutch.
 
Thus if the belief is nonsense or hypocritical then the person is not enhanced by her or his belief but deformed by it. True self-respect is about embracing truth and not being afraid of negative emotions or pain. You have nothing to gain from tormenting yourself with fear and worsening your suffering by refusing to accept what cannot be changed. Sufferers should try not to fear the suffering continuing. A crutch faith means you are more interesting in thinking you are good and having others think it than in actually being good.
 
If religion is said to be a crutch, then it might be said that religious people are being accused of being useless and of having a broken psyche and need the
crutch. To treat religious people as permanently handicapped or as children is not a positive argument for religion - it treats it as a necessary evil. Some see that as extremely patronising. If religion helps one get through life, it need not be a crutch. It might only be a help.
 
A crutch faith is an oxymoron. Real faith is built up by facing reality and is open to changing its mind. Using faith as a crutch indicates that you don't trust God or others or reality enough to care about the truth.
 
A crutch can leave you not knowing if you can walk on your own. A religious crutch always leaves you in such ignorance.
 
People claim that their religion comforts them. They think it is their crutch. What they may not realise is that the real crutch is their belief that human nature is basically good and trustworthy. When all is said and done, we want others to care for us and that is the care we need even more than God's care. Faith in human nature is the only crutch we need and it is the best crutch. It is a crutch that is soon discarded for you get your sense of meaning in life from helping and valuing others. God cannot substitute. Believers in God who have no friends are still unhappy. This is a humanistic crutch. Our article is attacking the supernaturalist or religious crutch.
 
The use of religion as a crutch is routinely challenged by religion itself (for example Christians are told they are doing something wrong if their religious lives are easy) and by other people and the media. Life experience alone refutes it. Do not let yourself feel bad when people accuse you of taking away the faithful person's crutch for they do that themselves. They themselves to not tolerate those who use proselytism as a crutch. Those who proselytise feel their life has no meaning unless they pressure society to conform to their religion and way of thinking.

Jesus' teaching that we must love God totally and our neighbour as ourselves and be willing to embrace the cross and to call ourselves useless when we do good works and to pray in secret to avoid praise and that some of our loved ones will be cursed by God forever in Hell all mean that Christianity is not to be used as a crutch. It cannot be with terrible doctrines like that. In fact, to discard such a faith is to do yourself a favour.
 
Many religious people teach that doubt is a terrible sin that will be punished in hellfire. This teaching leads to religious people becoming very hostile when they are invited to doubt or if their doctrines are challenged. They fear condemning themselves as bad people fit for Hell.
 
Some say people believe religious lies because these lies are more comfortable than the truth. This is incorrect. People believe religious lies because THEY THINK these lies are more comfortable than the truth. A problem arises when each religion claims to be the most comforting!

If you have a Christian faith and that is your crutch then what makes you think you have the right to lead others, especially children, to think that it is the best crutch for them as well? A crutch is a crutch and it shouldn't matter if it is made of ash or another kind of wood. The one crutch is not right for everybody. You deserve to have your crutch broken for you are showing your arrogance and intolerance. These are part of your crutch too.
 
Another reason they get mad when one suggests to them that their faith may be incorrect and that they need to think is that they have been indoctrinated as children. Children are manipulated to become prisoners of the indoctrination for life. They will always be at least partly afflicted forever. Religion manipulates people to think that those who indoctrinated them were good and wise so anything that questions that wisdom is feared. They associate questioning or criticising the faith with criticising those who influenced them to believe and who indoctrinated them.
 
People avoid the truth for many reasons. They may have something to hide. They sometimes wish to try and pretend that they are what they are not. They intend then to mislead others too. Deception always has a ripple effect. To lie to yourself is to be open to lying to others and to give them your false self.
 
If you doubt your ability to think correctly or accurately about religious matters, that can be scary. So you relieve the fear by imagining that you don't need to think for you got the answers on a plate. Catholicism says that you need the infallible Church to guide you and it filters what it wants you to hear. It tells you that you suffer from original sin which is not completely removed by baptism. This skews your head and heart when it
comes to God thus you need God to look after you through the Church. This is gross unabashed manipulation.

When religion claims to give comfort and strength in facing life's sometimes horrendous difficulties, that gets people's interest and attention and sometimes devotion. But it is unfair how people make such claims and show no regard for people who find it makes their pain worse or people who get nothing out of it. And nobody is interested in investigating if the "help" given really is good enough to justify the existence and promotion of religion. If you need a crutch, you need to be open to finding out if there is a better one!
 
Religion is often seen and used as a crutch and so is spirituality. Spirituality is when you create a faith for yourself without a religion ordering you what to believe and do. If we need a crutch, it does not follow that we should make religion a crutch. Surely, being optimistic that things will never get too bad and that you will cope with whatever happens is the only crutch you need? It may take patience to grow the wood to make the crutch from, so work on the patience.
 
As for using beliefs that are devoid of evidence and logic as crutches, do we take on beliefs we know are rubbish in order to use them as a crutch? The problem with the religious crutch is that you must not know it is there. That is dangerous for what if one day you find the crutch? You need to know the crutch is there to avoid falling into any danger. And if you are misled you risk leading others into harm too.