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?

 


Religious Mystery is Risking being led astray and is a threat to truth

Religion says that God and his ways are a mystery and that mystery is good for us for it teaches us humility as in reminding us we cannot and do not know it all. That is actually passive aggressive for what is wrong with knowing something? If you could imagine your baby in your arms might in some way not be there at all and maybe its a mystery why you sense that she is how is that going to make you humble? There is something degrading and cruel in it. There is no moral value in having mystery. And are we to think that God deliberately creates mysteries that need not be mysteries?

An antimony is a term or concept that should be known better. It is when you have two truths or facts. They do not agree. They cannot be reconciled. Calvinists hold that there is a big antimony in the Bible which speaks of people being totally to blame for their sins and yet God destines them to sin of his own free will. God is an antimony for he has free will and yet he cannot sin. Because he is absolute perfection and outside time he cannot change. He is in a prison he may like but he is still in a prison. Liking prison and wanting to be in it does not make it a playpark. It is still prison.

Religious people thrive on antimonies that are in fact not antimonies. Not all antimonies are really antimonies. Why can't atheists have their antimonies? Why can't we say that the universe came from nothing that is a fact but it is a fact that there is still no God? Why can't we say that if evil is just good in the wrong place and time it is still a thing and a power? Why can't we say that a miracle is what may be a supernatural event and real but it is a fact that nature cannot allow it to happen so it does not? Why can't we say a baby in the womb is a person and say that it should be aborted though it is murder if the mother chooses to? Religion has faith-based antimonies. In fact a true antimony is strictly whatever is proven by science or reason. Faith or belief is not enough. If it were then you would be saying that the apostles did not steal Jesus' body from the tomb and that is a fact but that another fact says they must have done.

One core religious antimony without which God cannot make any sense as a being of unconditional love is the notion that it is a fact that x is a sinner and thus hateful and yet you must love him and direct the hate to the sin. Religion denies it hates the sinner so it may say there is no antimony but there is.

The religions of old thought that through experimenting with human sacrifice to God or gods good luck resulted. If people really think that God’s ways are mysterious they would not rule out the possibility that human sacrifice is a good thing or can be tested and found to benefit the intended beneficiary. If it passes the tests you can make a religion about it and keep sacrificing.

Jesus spoke of God as Abba - Daddy. Daddy would never let his child become sick or die even for a good reason. Nothing gets between Daddy and his baby. The Abba doctrine implies a number of things.

That Jesus was a liar. He knew fine well that the God of his Jewish faith was bad news and he even made him nastier. As vile as the God of Moses was he never said that anybody who did great evil was asking for an eternity of horrendous suffering. The worst kind of bullies do what Jesus did. They try to stop the victims protecting themselves by spreading sweet lies and poison.

That the mystery doctrine is disgraceful. A God who hurts people terribly for their own good is more like a distant father at best but not an Abba. Jesus seems to have realised that when he called to God that he was forsaken on the cross. A man who is too confident of God's cushy protection is sick in the head.

It is obvious that if you want to lay down rules and obligations to believe in silly doctrines or unconvincing morals you have to get people to think the rules have come from a God whose mind is unimaginably greater than ours. That covers up the nonsense and disempowers people from realising that it is nonsense.

The Church says that mystery in religion is a good thing for it requires a greater effort of faith from us. Every religion however toxic says the same thing!!

The two types of mystery in religion are:

a) things that God plans but has hidden from us

b) things that seem illogical to us for only God can understand them – like Jesus being both God and man and not being a mixture.

The mysteries serve only to make you distrust your own thinking. “God knows better” is the religious moral but this really translates as, “Those who tell me what God’s word or message is know better and thinking is only allowed as long as it is biased towards their conclusions”. It gives them the power not God. That’s fine until some cult comes along that leads to suicide bombings and wife-beating. What is not fine is how it leads to people who know better such as scientists and other investigators being ignored and even hated.

Mystery leads to a religion refusing to revise its doctrines no matter what harm they door what contrary evidence exists. Religious mystery and religious fundamentalism are the same thing even if the fundamentalism is in a liberal dress.
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Roman Catholic Baltimore Catechism,

Q. 201. Why must a divine religion have mysteries?
A. A divine religion must have mysteries because it must have supernatural truths and God Himself must teach them. A religion that has only natural truths, such as man can know by reason alone, fully understand and teach, is only a human religion.

This catechism is Roman Catholic so the presumption is that the divine religion is Roman Catholicism. The Church argues that God gave it its sacraments and doctrines and morals and structure.

The argument is that a religion that is understandable is human in so far as it makes sense. The rest of it is what is supernatural. Catholicism teaches that the natural stuff is not accepted for natural reasons such as logic or evidence but because God says its is true. So if there are sound reasons for believing something the reasons are not why you believe. You believe because God says it is true. So while some religions may have some natural and supernatural teachings, Catholicism in fact in principle does not.

Catholicism is not the only religion that does that. Mormonism does it too. Even if it looks for evidence it is not an evidence based religion.

A religion that has both natural truths and supernatural truths would be partly a human creation. Such a religion would actually be making man's ideas equal to God's. That will be confusing and risky for a man who wrongly thinks his ideas are God's is fooling people whether he sees it or not.

For Catholicism a religion gives you real obligations and duties. A human religion cannot give you such obligations. For example, if Joseph Smith wants you to abstain from caffeine completely why should you obey him? They are not real obligations at all.

Is the argument that a religion given by God must have supernatural truths correct?

Religion offers you many mysteries and paradoxes. If you show a religion that its answers for why God allows evil are themselves wrong and evil the religion will resort to saying, "We don't know why evil happens. It is a mystery. God alone may understand." In other words, they guess that evil is a mystery. That is a cop-out. If somebody said, "This child rapist is a saint. We just cannot judge for he must have had some reason for what he did even if we cannot even guess what it is" you would see this person as being unsupportive of the victims and centred on feeling good about what happened and as stating a cop-out. Evil is not a mere theory - it is not something to guess about. Guessing that it is mystery insults the victims. Guessing to excuse it or make people feel better about it is insulting the victims. Until you have the battle scars of fighting evil all over your body and die among the lepers you are trying to help you cannot have even a bit of a right to call evil a mystery. You have no right to praise God for that is really about you making yourself feel better about evil by condoning it.

The mystery doctrine is often justified as follows: "We cannot know the mind of God so we should not judge evil as useless and as something that cannot happen if there is an all-good God." Not knowing the mind of God does not imply that evil is a mystery. It might imply it. You can read other people without seeing into their minds.

It might seem to be more positive to see evil as a mystery and part of a plan. If evil is vile and useless and not part of a plan there is nothing positive about saying it is part of a plan and good will emerge from it that makes it worthwhile in the end. But either view should not make a difference if you are a good person. Even if you think evil has a purpose, you could argue that you still prefer to approach it as useless just in case it is. You want to work to bring good about in spite of evil. Being willing to bring good about in spite of evil is what matters. To emphasise faith in a purpose over that is disgraceful.

A paradox is when two contradictory things are true. It does not mean there is a real contradiction but that we don't have the solution. A paradox should only be accepted if it is proven. Religion uses paradox to cover up the fact that it is man-made and is full of contradictions. It contradicts itself and makes out that it doesn't and is just acknowledging paradoxes. You don't want to make it easy to disguise a contradiction as a paradox - that would be dangerous. It would mean that you could canonise Hitler as a humanitarian saint.

Problems with mystery are that anything can be one so we end up being unsure of all things. It humbles us but that is evil if it is just a fairytale. We should only be humbled by truth. And if x is a mystery then what is the point of trying to understand it?