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?

 


RELIGION ROBS YOU OF A REALITY CHECK

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.

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.

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!