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

Public religion is cosmetic. The cosmetic is used to hide something dark

Evasion of responsibility


Christians hold that there is a true form of the Christian faith. Some individuals and denominations are better at conforming than others. They admit that beliefs are part of Christianity and that certain ones are not even if they pose as Christian beliefs. There is then a quintessence of the doctrine taught by Jesus. This is based on the fact that if there is a God then he knows things we don’t and who are we to question? We would be arrogant and self-appointed God's if we thought we could! There is one Christian faith. It is not a free for all. This is expressed in Jesus’ claim that he was the way and the truth and the life. Jesus is not the way and the strong opinions and the life. He claims that he has facts not opinions. Opinions are a kind of guess. If Jesus does not teach final doctrine, doctrine that ends the debate, then he is not much of a revelation from God. We will not be sure where the God bits start and where the human elements end or vice versa. All any religion then can ask for is a set of human responses to a set of possibly divine or possibly human ideas and doctrines. There would be more than one real or genuine way to be Christian just like there are loads of ways you can be a Communist or a Hindu. If so then the Christian who burns witches for sport and the Muslim who suicide bombs gay clubs is as much Christian as Pope John Paul II and as Muslim as Muhammad himself. To give the label equally to the bad and the good is rewarding the bad in some way. It’s a sort of embrace. If a religion has violent teachings or anything that can reasonably lead to violence - eg the notion that suffering is a gift from God - and it subjects itself to human responses then it has to take responsibility as a religion if people are killed. If it claims to be divine and not about what people think or want to think then it is to blame in another way. Human or divine the religion must hold its hands up.


A religion whose members cause war and genocide and torture may argue that those who took part did so without its permission. And then even if they do have it this is rationalised as follows:

If God supposedly told the religion to command it then he didn’t.

Even if the religion commanded it it had no right to for obedience is not a duty when evil is commanded.


This will only be said when the wind changes and it serves religion best to try and distance itself from the evil. Instead of admitting, “Our religion is to blame” they hide behind self-serving excuses. When admitting is not even allowed as an option that proves how the religion is manipulative and not truly good. We cannot be surprised when this nice religion has a closet of blood soaked secrets.


Nobody is asking the religion to say, "We are all murderers" if some members murder for the sake of the religion or God.  We are asking them to stop talking and acting as if admitting any involvement is out of the question.  Religion thrives on refusing to.  That is why any particular religion is still here!

You need to see the ripened fruit

You can't really know how a religion affects people or tends to affect (note the difference!) until you see dedicated members in action.  In reality it is not nuns on missions we should be using as criteria about how good a religion is but how the members behave politically.  And remember that religion is also a politics of its own.  The downside of doing good in a corrupt or arsenic religion is that the harmful side will be parasitic on it and use it to cover or water down the dangers.  To be good you have to leave the religion.  Full stop.  Such good is bad for the very reason that a lie that is 99% truth is so bad and the most dangerous and powerful lie of all.


Different individuals respond to things in different ways. That is why religion must take the blame if some members are bad even though there is no obvious link for there does not need to be and often there is not an obvious link anyway. A bad religion that knows what it is doing will hide signs or obscure them by disseminating confusion.  Organised religion is not needed and when it claims power to stop people being worse than they might be it is not the same as any other organisation that has a problem with some bad members.  For those reasons unlike other entities it has to take the blame in some important sense.  Religion is doctrine and a bad doctrine. If it does not actually hurt another it stops some good from being given to them. An added benefit is not given to them.


The Terrorist use of randomness as weapon?


Religious terrorists seem to want chaos.


What about the argument, “Terrorists use randomness as a tool. That means using a bomb leads to out of control chaos. They need the chaos and the forces of chance more than the bomb itself. The random is really what serves most to make them terrorists.”


But the fact remains that randomness can backfire. It means things can fall into a better place or a worse one. You can only use randomness if you think that there is something there to make it go the way you want. The Christian or Muslim or x terrorist thinks that there is some power such as God to make the random torment the enemy worse than the imagination can tell but to use it to bless the Christian or Muslim or x people. You only use randomness as a tool if you think there is a supernatural or magical power underpinning all things. It is like the mess goes to a certain stage and then God acts to create some order.


When religion or faith cause trauma


Many children, men and women react to trauma by degrading or endangering themselves. Take how some try to get over being sexually violated by adopting promiscuity as a defence – no one can take from you something that you don’t value. Suppose you think God has rejected you. You may react by doing terrible things in his name as if you have nothing left to lose when you lose him. If a religion teaches absurd doctrines and morals some people feeling that way will be inevitable.


Is belief in religion too much about wanting to believe?

Some think we cannot help our beliefs or at least our religious beliefs. Some think we believe what we want so we will be inescapably drawn to a form of faith. If you are a religious bully and terrorist and autocrat then what? If you cannot help believing then religion is to blame for your religious madness. If you are harmless you are harmless now but what if you get worse? People like you need rescuing. If religious belief is a disorder – social or emotional or psychological – then that cannot be allowed to propagate especially to children.  One person with a religious disorder is enough to bomb a shopping centre in God's name.  Its a serious matter.

The Reality Check is Lost
Violence is harm, especially harm that is uncalled for.
Violence against people cannot happen unless there violence against truth first. Distorting the truth means trying to use facts to do violence to the perception and thinking of others.
Religion has no reality check. When a dying baby lives, God saved it. When it dies, he had a reason for letting it die that is justifiable. How could you tell if God exists or not with thinking like that? It is being blind to God's faults. It is refusing to see if he did wrong. That is not respect for the child. If you still respect the child then it is because you are twisted in some way.
Another example, God commands you to murder your friend for your friend worships idols. The reason he makes the law is that he sees the complete picture and is in a better position to make laws that seem cruel than we are. It is only luck that people accept seemingly harmless doctrines such as the pope being head of the Church and the mouthpiece of Jesus Christ rather than the more bloodthirsty tenets of a religion such as fundamentalist Islam. Religion is still bad in its essence.
A religion that has no reality check is conditioning and manipulating its believers. Conditioning is the root of all evil. If conditioning is acceptable, then it is just as good when it leads somebody to help the poor as it is when it leads a suicide bomber to kill in the name of religion.
Some religion vehemently protests against sectarianism and violence against people simply because they belong to another religion. There is one thing for sure, you can’t be certain that it means it for any intelligent person can see that the best way to do damage is to condemn it and then manipulate people in such a way that they become likely to ignore your preaching of peace and do the apparently forbidden thing. Religion does not need to advocate sectarianism for it will happen anyway if the right ingredients are put out there but in subtle measures. It has a reputation to consider. It can knowingly sow the seeds of sectarianism, and cowardly and approvingly watch it all take fruit as it shines its halo.
When religion persuades a person to blindly believe in its creeds it has succeeded in making that person bigoted. Blind belief is bigotry. The person’s bigotry increases when he is encouraged to take a stand for harmful doctrines like abortion or lying being always wrong. Another such doctrine could be to miss Mass on a Sunday because you would rather read a religious book. That person will be capable of sectarian violence and if he does not practice it is best he does not have the guts. He will find it hard to see such activity as bad when its faith is the fruit of bigotry. Blind faith is violence for it is a harmful act.
The Church forces unbelievers to say the rosary at the wakes of close relations here in Ireland. Because people will talk and because it is the done thing there is tremendous pressure to do it.
If we sin all the time as the Christian Religion says then why not commit the sin of punishing a person for not believing the true faith instead of one of the others? At least it would be doing something for the faith. Religion says we are never good or never heroically good so if we are going to be bad anyway then why not be bad in a way that helps our religion?
When religious persons suppress their normal humanity for the sake of God, the barriers against religious troublemaking are knocked down. If I love God alone I do not care about other people and only use them to please God. My love for God is not feeling but will and is not to be influenced by emotion for when I do something because of an emotion it shows that I want the emotion and not God. I want the desire I like. This makes the person a danger to one who does not belong to his religion. The person might slander them or go much further.
It is difficult for a person of one religion to truly love a person who belongs to another for the other person stands for a religion that is against their own and against their principles.
Religion is too strict. It condemns sex outside marriage for example while the sensible person would say that it is okay as long as no harm is meant to be done. If a man married and was widowed every year by the end of his life he would have slept with as many women as promiscuous men have and the Church approves. Rules should be kept to a bare minimum and religion refuses to do that which leads to much trouble. It should not stir up resentment and guilt and shame where there should be none.
Religion stresses that you should care about only what God thinks and not other people. That is stressed because it knows that most of its own followers are not that bothered about morality. The true Christian will be hurt by his own more than by anybody else. Christianity is famous for ignoring the parts of Jesus’ teaching that it does not like. To urge a person to forget about what others say and think will often lead to that person not caring about breaking the law and who knows it. Worrying about the neighbours can be taken too far but it can put some restraint on a person.
Those who think its good to put their children into a religion should look at history and see how it is often the simplest and tiniest things that set in motion the violent hatred that exists between one religion and another. Just like people can hate one other over skin colour so people can hate each other over where one wastes an hour worshipping on a Sunday morning.


Tipping Point


People fighting and warring do it for complicated reasons and they may not realise what all their reasons are.  Religion because of its having no reality check is to be blamed for the violence the people in it wage.  There has to be a tipping factor.  There has to be that which turns reasons for war into reasons that start the war. The best and default tipping factor is dogmatism and only religion can be truly dogmatic.  It says, "God says so".  Any secular entity looks ridiculous if it says, "It is right purely because we say." A dogmatic secular organisation is contradictory - not truly dogmatic.


It is not possible to tell a lie well enough to make it true or as secure as what is true.  The real truth will always threaten it.  The desire to thwart truth once and for all is behind all war and all attempts to crush or discourage reality checks.


Attitude to suffering?


Why does religion admit this?  It admits that it does not hate sickness and depression and death more than sin or wrongdoing.  What is the point of hating immorality if they do not matter as much or more?  This is a callous moralism disguised as love and divine worship.  It desensitises.
Essentially good?
Whatever is essentially good cannot be used to do any harm at all.
Many things are called essentially good when they are not. Many religions like to be called essentially good.
Nothing can be essentially good without being essentially reasonable to believe in and true. If something is erroneous it causes a risk of harm. The risk is bad in itself apart from any harm. To be detached from truth is harmful. The best person fits the truth and embraces the truth. It takes courage to do that.
Religion has doctrines that cannot be essentially good.
For example, the doctrine that God has the right to let terrible things happen to us for he is superior to us and we are pets. Some say he has a plan and that makes it right. But that implies that what matters is the plan. What is wrong with that?
The notion of God tolerating evil for the sake of the plan is not and cannot be essentially good. You need to show beyond all reasonable doubt that God has a clear plan. It is a very serious matter so you need evidence for you cannot be asked to take even a slight risk of saying that a hideous evil should happen to say a child for its part of God's holy and good plan. It would be a TERRIBLE thing to get wrong!

Some Ways Religion leads to violence
- By "love".  People who are doing grave evil feel supported by you when you know what they do and are nice to them. That is the reality nobody wants to confess. People don’t need constant assurance that they are right. They need a friend or two to encourage them at least once and that equips them to feel others indirectly support them by seeming not to care. It is easier to do bad if everybody around you is just nice to you regardless.  And don't forget you can feel God is just as kind!


- By de-sensitisation.  Christians engage in a lot of hatred and violence on the internet and in video games and by what they watch on television.  They use the idea of sins murdering Jesus to accuse even children of murdering Jesus.  Adultery is equated with murder for killing a soul.  Masturbation is the sin of suicide against your own soul.  The idea is you "lose" your soul to God through serious sin.  Why do they want de-sensitisation? 


-By pretending that all that matters is a religion not being essentially violent. But that does not mean it is essentially peaceful either! It could go either way! We are not told that though!
-By pretending that any essentially violent religion is not essentially violent or by pretending religion is somehow immune to being violent and condoning violence and making violence out to be a sacred dogma. Claiming that the violence is based on a misunderstanding is assuming that those who founded the religion and gave it its doctrines were well-meaning. That is not necessarily true. They may say that you should talk to the most reasonable exponents of the religion before you dismiss it as essentially dangerous and evil. But what if these people do not follow their religion correctly? They may say that there are many ways of being a Christian or Muslim so you cannot say which professing Christian or Muslim represents true Christianity or true Islam. This is exactly the problem - what if the bad ones are in fact the perfect Christians or Muslims? And if a religion is man-made it is nonsense to say it is essentially non-violent for human beings are all capable of violence. Saying any religion is inherently good leads one to deny the role the faith taught by the religion has played in forming religious warmongers and terrorists.
-By teaching that you must not deliberately expose yourself to anything that makes you doubt the teachings that the divine supposedly gave to the religion. The more you try to conceal and avoid doubting thoughts the more frequent and intense the unwanted craving to doubt is going to be. Suppressing it only makes you mad at those who you see as threats to your faith and turns you into a bothersome person who only sees what she wants to see.
- By insulating faith from being challenged by facts and evidence - for example, Christians say that God answers your prayers but not in the way you necessarily expect so when you get an antibiotic instead of the bike you asked for this proves that prayer works! But this is merely a rationalisation and is about shielding the alleged efficacy of prayer from critique. But if this is done the tools for its justification are lost as well. Truth is put at risk meaning there is an undercurrent of hatred, sometimes latent, for those who serve the truth and those who believe end up exploited and treated like objects.
-By teaching that evil violent books are God's word. A book that is not violent but is open to pro-violence interpretations is still to blame for any violence done by believers. A really edifying book takes pains to avoid giving any impression to readers that violence is okay or necessary.
-By making the more peaceful interpretation of those books a mere matter of opinion or preference meaning that if you follow it your trust in it will be weak and those co-religionists who crave war will see you as sufficiently though reluctantly opening the door in principle to their nasty interpretations. Holy books that are from God will minimise as much as possible the need for interpretation. They are not plain enough. Thus any violence that is defended by appealing to their statements is their fault for it should be clearer.
-By teaching that other religions or secularists are the enemy
-By teaching that if God commands violence we must obey for he knows best and he uses evil to bring good out of it. Even to internalise this principle is bad. It says something about you. Non-violent believers accept this violent principle hypothetically but that makes the filth in their hearts no less real.
-By prayer. Prayer is making yourself feel you have done good when you have not. People who like prayer get that buzz. That is why they like prayer. It has led to the extraordinary spectacle of terrorists and abortionist Catholics coping with the evil they do by saying prayers.
-By motivating terrorists through encouraging its members to think they are part of God's plan and God's plan does include tolerating violence for he is said to let evil happen for his and our own ultimate good. Terrorists do not use a proper military strategy to defeat whoever they are against but they do it recklessly in order to make a religious or political point and to make society feel endangered and threatened. Without religion there would just be the political point to worry about and though the state will act against terrorists who claim to act in its name religion refuses to disown its terrorists.
- By using the No True Scotsman fallacy to get away with evil and to keep the ideology strong and put people into denial that it is harmful. It easily becomes or encourages the No True Nationalist attitude. What does the notion that religion is essentially good mean? It may mean the core is good but is a core really good when it slots itself in a heap of excrement? Or it may mean that religion is always good and that whoever does bad in the name of religion is not being a religious person even if they pray as they kill babies. And it denies the truth that working out what is good can be messy dangerous business meaning there is a risk with our moral and religious systems.
-If you worship God you necessarily worship a being who gives many people violent genes, and who gives everybody genes that make them enjoy the misfortunes of another, and who is ultimately responsible for the existence of political institutions. Religion and faith in God involve YOU taking responsibility for worshipping such a God and approving of the evil he creates. And if there is no God the responsibility is yours by proxy. Do not add insult to injury by saying that no truly religious person would condone or do violence. They have to and there are countless examples. Some say that faith in God or gods is not to be blamed for religious violence and that God or the gods cause the violence and inspire it in the belligerent. I don't know how they expect to be taken seriously.
-If you believe in a perfectly good God, you must say that evil is good that is used wrongly. So evil becomes the absence of good. Violence becomes the absence of peace. Peace usually is not real peace but just war not happening. Too often, peace means that people are experiencing good conditions but is it real peace? It is only provisional peace until the good things they have are threatened and then war breaks out. And each religious country blesses its favourites with peace. Many groups are left out of the equation. Another difficulty is that if a religion or group is considered pacifist, it may not wage war but it makes up for it by battering children and wives and spewing hatred. Such groups are no better than the non-pacifists or the population in general. And religion creates new "needs" to get aggressive and protective about - eg, a religious nation will persecute missionaries who enter it to bring in another religion. Lucretius noted that once you start needing and craving beyond the bare necessities you start taking baby steps to becoming a warmonger.
-Many faiths such as Christianity believe that Jesus will war one day against the evildoers. They may claim to be non-violent but that is a lie. They love deferred violence.
-The notion that you can wage war in God’s name and be assured that God will protect you or will not retaliate (at least not much!) if you think the war is lawful when it is not can encourage you to maim and kill. And more importantly, it SHOULD.
-In many cases, violence WOULDN'T have taken place without religion. It proves that religion is not immune to causing strife and would cause it. But even if the violence would have taken place without the religion, what does that say about the religion? That it would cause it even if it does not.
-In many cases, violence COULDN'T have taken place without religion.
-Religion is to blame for violence when the amount of the violence or the number of the violent is above what is normal statistically and when any other possible cause has been shown unlikely or eliminated or just to possess a minor role. Religious people too often try to get you to just assume religion is always good when they should be getting you to collect and check the evidence for and against. Finding evidence that religion can sometimes be bad is enough to prove that religion and good are not the same thing. Keeping you away from evidence-based thinking is a typical tactic and manipulative religionists are notorious for it.
-If Satan uses human enemies to do evil, and Christianity says this is his favoured method, then it is always self-defence to attack them first.
-Human nature is not intrinsically good so if non-religious people engage in violent extremism or religious people engage in it, it is a demonstration of how there is nothing intrinsically good about anything human - even religion. To say religion is good is to be lie and you will only tell that lie if you want to cover up the violence.
Belief in God is a terrible thing

Believers say that God does not just represent and endorse morality but he is morality. He is justice, for example. Interestingly, nobody praises Stalin for serving justice in his perverted way. Nobody says, "Justice is God and Stalin then was just serving his hazy and confused version of God." Indeed if God is justice then you can say even secular wars are fought in the name of God even if that is misguided. If they think they are fair they are trying to connect to God. You can still blame God. You cannot blame secularism. God by definition is the be all and end all.
Belief in God is a terrible thing. In Islamic countries in particular it is responsible for many murders legal and otherwise. People are killed because it is claimed that God has decreed that they must be punished by a cruel death - often by stoning. Some believers will respond that it is not belief in God that does this but men looking for power. The Bible God and the Muslim God wants adulterous people subjected to cruel capital punishment. Men could get power without stoning adulterous people to death. And do we have the right to say those killers are just after power? Why not take them at their word - that they do it out of a sense of duty to obey God? Accusing them of being godless hypocrites who are really only interested in power is a guess. You need proof to say that and you cannot get such proof unless you can do the impossible and see into their hearts. Imagine the damage you do if you are wrong! You enable the problem. You just judge the evil servants of God instead of judging the real problem which is belief in God. The belief in God - God is by definition that which is to be obeyed - is to blame. If God is such a great belief then how are people able to use this belief to wreak great evil? Accusing them of being hypocrites who are pretending to care about God is antagonising and angering them far more - especially if they really do care for God.

Those who say, "Belief in God does not always lead to terrible deeds" need to learn how to think. They too enable the problem of god inspired violence. What you do is check to see if more people kill because they believe in God or if more people kill if they don't. It is a statistical matter. If more kill because they believe then you cannot hide behind the excuse that the belief can be harmless.
People are being urged and conditioned to try to love God more than their own lives. That automatically says that beliefs and religious authority come before life. It is a short step then to start believing in books like the Koran and the Bible that say we may kill for God and to start obeying them. To love God entirely is to hate disobedience to him. The step from hating disobedience to him to hating the disobedient is too short for comfort. Belief in God certainly encourages violence even if it pretends to forbid it for it puts the temptation to violence in those foolish enough to believe. When the religionists say they kill because God commanded it then why not believe them? It is better for the whole belief to be abandoned if that is what it takes to save as much as one human life. Religion devoted to God denies this for it says that God as the originator of life comes first and that is why I attack and abhor the fanaticism it stands for. They are fanatics because they should have beliefs that are so respectful of human life that no harm is done if their religions are false. Happily there is hope. God does not exist and we should not want him to.
Christianity when it seems to be a religion of peace is actually a religion of deferred violence. The violence is given to the Hebrews to do for them. For example, consider how the Church regards the laws commanding the Hebrews to stone people to death as divinely inspired.
When you believe in a God who uses evil to do good or if you think that evil is necessary for real good to take place then you are saying it is reasonable to believe that God can command you to go to war for him. Even if you are not violent, you are still to blame for the believers that are for you and they both cut the key to open the door of violence. If there is a God it is reasonable that you may have to do harm for him but you will deny the harm is really evil in the scheme of things. If there is no God and you believe in him, you are making it reasonable for you to believe you may have to harm for him.  Do not enable damaging beliefs and behaviour - you could promote healthy beliefs and behaviours instead.

If a person is conditioned to believe that killing people of other religions is not seriously wrong or not wrong at all or even good you need incredible evidence before you can trust that person in society. Conditioning is very powerful and can seem to be gone and then resurrect itself unexpectedly. The person themselves could end up surprised at what they want to do and do. The seeds of violence were planted in the child and seeds can grow when the person himself least expects it.

Religion opens the door to violence and censorship and indoctrination and abuse and pious fraud. It both opens the door and leads to them. A religion that leads some not all to such things is still bad. A good religion opens the door to no evil and does not lead to any evil.


Saying anything is an abuse of religion can be used in an ideological way and become a strategy for disrespecting and attacking religious freedom. You can say it is an abuse of Catholicism not to let priests break the seal of confession to stop murders. Or you can say it is an abuse of Catholicism to ban abortion. Or to ban atheists from becoming pope. Atheists would not want to but you never know. Stranger things have happened. It is thus in a faith’s best interest to admit that it, at least in some unknown way, leads to hate and violence.


Only the fruits of a bad religion show if it is implicitly or manipulatively endorsing evil.  Only they show if it has an inherent knack for doing this.