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?

 


Sharing in the evil of religious social constructs and the harm it threatens and does

Social structures that are oppressive and harmful are kept up simply by people who won't speak out for the truth.  This is foolish for the system does no really have what is best for them at heart.  The other people who are to blame are those who will not reprimand them!


SHARING IN EVIL
 
Here are the ways in which we can cause and share in the badness of others and be as bad as they are.

Advising evil, commanding evil, agreeing to it, provoking evil, using flattery to get a person to do evil, concealing evil when it encourages it, actively assisting in the evil of others, by keeping silent instead of trying to talk people out of evil-doing and by defending their evil action.
 
Hypocrisy enables evil in the sense that it gives a bad and very attractive example. It enables evil by destroying the credibility of a good and edifying message.

Evil religionists and philosophers insist that if you can help, say, a woman being attacked by a brutal rapist, and just walk on by you are a lost less guilty than he is if guilty at all. But by letting him do that you are intending that she suffer abuse from him. If he wants to kill her it is okay with you. You would be worse than him for he may not want to kill her but you don't know that. You are as good as telling him to do it. The man who pays somebody to steal for him is as much a thief as the other and you would be like him.

A morality that forbids killing and allows you to cause killing is sheer nonsense.
 
A person who shares in evil by letting it happen as an individual is one thing. But if the person is part of a system it is far worse. His part is bigger and he is part of big evil machinery.
 
If Roman Catholicism does grave evil, nobody has any business being part of it when there are better religions and one is free to join them. The Catholic Church claims to be a voluntary organisation. No decent person is part of a voluntary organisation that they know tells lies or that is seriously off the mark especially when its teaching claims to be final and irrevocable.
 
The Christian religion is gravely evil for it sees sin as gravely evil and is famous for telling sinful people only what they want to hear. Christianity favours manipulating people by charming them over telling them what they need to hear to get right with God. It is cruel for a priest to charm people who are living in homosexual relationships or who are notoriously dishonest without inviting them to reconsider. Because Christianity teaches that sin gravely insults such a wonderful God and deserves everlasting suffering in Hell, it is far worse for a Christian to be complicit when somebody does wrong than it is for an atheist. It comes down to intention. The worse you intend your sin to be the worse you become.
 
Catholicism should believe that birth control is very evil - its part of its identity as a religion. Catholicism can't be the true religion if it is wrong about how sinful birth control is. But people should separate from it so that there will be no Catholicism left to believe it. If you belong to or claim to belong to a religion that should believe evil things, then even if it doesn't, you are being evil and supporting evil. A religion that doesn't understand or admit or see how evil it is meant to be is a religion that is being praised for going against itself. It is no compliment to praise it for you are praising ignorance and disobedience. Separate from it.
 
CHIEF MEANS OF BEING COMPLICIT IN A RELIGION'S DARK DEEDS
 
By furtherance. Ways in which religion is furthered follow.
 
A religion is a community which means that there is a shared responsibility among the members to be loyal to the religion and not for example supportive of views that are not representative of the religion.
 
Joining the religious leadership that represents support for the evil.
 
Enabling a system where children are made members of and believers in the religion.
 
Enabling and endorsing the comfort delivered by religion. (Belief in God is a catalyst for our tendency to think bad things happen to others not us this keeps our fears in check but is dangerous for what if the fears are warning us about the danger? Wanting to believe bad things happen only to others and believing this to be the case because you want to is vindictive.)
 
Joining the religion when the grave evil is seen as part of the identity of the religion and not just an aberration or non-official policy
 
Enabling contradictory religion to thrive - if you do that then you cannot speak if members contradict that religion by killing the innocent.
 
By saying that all religion serves a lot of truth even if there are errors too so religions can learn from each other and the secularists can learn from religion. This argument does nothing to solve the problem of the divisiveness of religion. If you think your religion has the truth, why on earth would you try to learn from another religion? Indeed it would be a risky enterprise.
 
Saying that atheists and religionists must work together to better the world instead of arguing about doctrines - but God is hardly a minor doctrine as is religion's insistence on faith in spite of the facts and religion has terrible major doctrines.
 
Failing to challenge what is unfalsifiable. Religion states its doctrines in such a way that nothing can ever prove them wrong. For example, healers say they cannot cure you unless you have enough faith. And no matter what God lets people endure, he is still good. Unfalsifiable doctrines are doctrines that only cheats and liars come up with. Anything at all can be made unfalsifable. Its dangerous.
 
Religion also argues in circles. "The Bible is always right. When it commands something evil - our interpretation of it must be wrong, we don't understand the circumstances that forced it to command it or there are texts that say we must do only good." These are all excuses and their goal is to stop you seeing that something proves that the Bible is not always right. You cannot see through an imposter pretending to be a schoolteacher if you say that when he is wrong he is testing you so he is not wrong after all. It is callous to excuse evil commanded by scriptures or God with contrived vicious circles. The more brutal the evil the more callous and nasty it is. You are deciding what you will think and then bending everything to fit it. And in the process you are pretending it makes sense and pretending that reading the Bible proves it has no errors. Also, the believer who sees through it will start to wonder if the answer is that it is good even if it seems not to be. That is how fanatics who bomb skyscrapers start off.
 
And though it is true that holy books command that we must do only good and still tell us to do evil things it does not follow that the good bits override the bad and violent bits. Why not the other way around? Texts conflicting in morality still open the door to violence and pro-violence interpretations. They half command the evil at best! To successfully get people to condone evil or engage in it you need to give some good teachings.
 
You cannot trust your peaceful interpretation of a book you say is infallible such as the Bible or Koran or Book of Mormon when there are disagreements about whether violence is needed or not in its pages. It takes the wind from your sails. You cannot convince others.
 
Unless you have beliefs that encourage you to do harm you will never do it. You will not rob the old lady next door if you believe she has nothing but the clothes on her back. You don't need religious beliefs to do evil, atheists can do evil too. But you need beliefs. We need belief but it does carry its risks. There is enough to believe without religion. If belief risks harm and errors then clearly religion does this too for it is a belief system.
 
Letting the religious understanding of faith thrive. The sensible person knows that her or his faith could be wrong and does not take dangerous risks. But religion says you must risk. So you treat faith as knowledge though it is not.
 
By saying it is the religious person's choice - that is true but sometimes people say something is somebody's choice simply because they don't care if they do right or wrong.
 
By saying we all have silly beliefs so religion should be left alone. Yes even the most rational person will believe silly things. We all do that. But we don't use these silly beliefs to create faiths and religions and communities and divisions.
 
By blaming the bad deeds on some other impulse and not on the religious impulse. If the religious impulse is irrational, it means the person is risking becoming violent for religion.
 
By example.
 
Summary: the problem is how people passively (by silence perhaps?) or actively enable religion to spread error and its unavoidable but often indirect consequence: violence.
 
RELIGION AND THE CONCEPT OF BEING COMPLICIT BY SILENCE
 
Religion says that if somebody needs guidance on the wrongness of anything such as abortion, you have to speak out firmly but kindly. If you don't you are risking great evil being done through abortion. If you don't, you are consenting to the person's support for abortion. Religion forbids you to be complicit in abortion which is why it does not allow you to think and say, "If somebody has an abortion then what is that to me? Let her have it for its up to her." I used the example of abortion here. Religious people could substitute heresy, idolatry, sex outside of marriage, divorce, homosexuality and loads of "sins" of a non-secular nature. Secular people could substitute bank robbery, murder and adultery to name a few.
 
Religion says if you are able to reduce the incidence of evil doing by others or are able to discourage it by action or word and if you don't then you want the evil to take place. That makes you bad. You are the one letting others do evil while keeping your hands clean. You are affirming their evil. You are supporting their evil indirectly - you like doing so because it feels like you are uninvolved. The indirectness creates that illusion. You will only get worse.
 
Religion has a lot more taboos and sins than secularism or atheism could have. For example, the atheist does not care if you miss Mass but the good Catholic will.
 
The fact that religion condemns being complicit in evil is important even if at times it often condemns what is not evil at all. It shows that religion should, if it has any sense of justice, ask you to leave and look for a new religious home if you are reasonably sure that it is not a religion revealed by God but is based on man-made teaching and therefore error. It cannot condemn being complicit and ask you to become complicit in what is or should be offensive to your conscience.

 

FINALLY

 

You will treat your religion mainly as something.  It is mostly about comfort then why are you not trying other options?  If it is mostly about morality then if you find it mendacious or has fake holy books or makes moral mistakes in its teaching then get another religion.  If it is mostly a cultural construct then you are acting like a social parasite.  You are really abusing religion.  There is no excuse for allowing your name to stay on the member roll of a wrong religion.  Error leads to lies just as lies lead to more lies.