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





Belief in a loving God you can have a relationship with is harmful.


It seems to have some benefits. These are not enough to justify encouraging it. And the benefits might be triggered by the person's own attitude to God rather than God himself. And if a person's life was vastly improved just because they thought they were getting strength from talking to their teddy bear and worshipping it we would look on that person with pity and as unwell. We would not take joy in their joy. So why discriminate and approve when it is God they have instead of the teddy bear?


The relationship is a delusion. As God has all power, nothing is really able to defy him - it may only seem he is defied. It follows that we sin because of him and not against him. That total dependency on God means a relationship just cannot happen. A true relationship happens between equals and beings who have an adequate measure of independence from each other.

A mature relationship only exists between a person who communicates with you properly. Christians think that God manipulates their feelings and thoughts to communicate with them. Some imagine that he does signs for them. For example, if the Bible falls open on a page about marriage they take it that God approves of their impending marriage and advises it. Such communication from God is fallible. The Christians only take it seriously when it suits them. It is a case of them deciding what God says rather than letting God speak for himself. That is not communication.

It is said that it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you are a good person.

That has its limits. If you refuse to examine your beliefs and grow in knowledge you are not the good person you seem to be. Your beliefs do have an effect on your emotions and actions.


Strive for the best truths.


Loving God first and foremost is not justified. Yet religion makes it law that we must put God first. Religion finds the fact that the rule isn't justified very offensive. It does not want to hear it. It will respond that if there is a God then he deserves to be put first for he is good in himself and good to us. The implication is that the less we are interested in God the worse we are inside even if outwardly we do a lot of good. The implication is that we must love God even if it destroys us. Religion usually denies that it will destroy us but that is it trying to evade the force of the implication. It still thinks we should adore God if it hurts us.


A truly good person does not infer such a thing as putting God first because the evidence for such a great God is insufficient.

Believers say that God has the right to punish sin. So it is possible that when you suffer that you are being punished for sin. An atheist never has the slightest suspicion that a sufferer is being punished. A believer may say to person x, "You suffer it is true. But I know God is not punishing you." That is quite frankly a lie. The believer cannot know it and in so far as he doesn't know it he suspects it. To tell such a lie is to say, "God, you may be punishing. But I intend to stop this person realising that. I don't care that if punishment is to be fair, the person must be helped to see that it is punishment." It is not about the believer helping the person but about helping himself come across as sweet. It is not about respecting God so it is disrespecting him. To fail to respect him who deserves all respect is always disrespect.

The Handbook of Atheist Spirituality mentions the proverb, ďThe opposite of faith is despairĒ. It amends it to, "The opposite of faith is cheerful despair". This refers to the capacity to be happy even when death and awful suffering is around the corner. You know you have to face them. There is no hope of avoiding them. But you don't let that absence of hope make you sad. You can be like the person who enjoys today for they know they will die a horrible death tomorrow. The person who does that is manifesting the strength of their mental health. Religion and God urge people to keep hoping. They block that strength.


God necessarily comes first. As he has all power, he cannot be hurt by mere creatures. God coming first makes it follow that it is more important to confess your sins and apologise to him for your sins against another person than to confess and apologise to the person. Your sins cannot hurt him for he is almighty. A system that makes it imperative or more imperative to repent sin for a God that cannot be hurt is evil. Its a slap against the offended person. It implies that if you have no time to apologise to both then apologise to God.


Christianity seeks to induce an addiction to God for it says we must love him with our whole heart and being. Happiness is being able to control your needs and avoiding enslavement to those needs. The doctrine of God endeavours to cause an addiction. It reduces freedom.

God is an infinitely good and infinitely attractive personal entity. God and the concept of God should produce an addiction to God. To promote the concept is to try and make people addicted to God. If people are addicted to one thing they can stop this addiction only by finding another one. For example, alcoholics may find God and become religious extremists. Or it could go the other way. A God-addict can give it up as long as a new addiction such as alcohol or drugs is found.


To think that its good to be addicted to something like God rather than drink is a hideous thing. It is saying, "I don't care what addictions you have as long as they are not antisocial ones or as long as its a religious one." God people want you to be a slave to their God addiction and hope to guarantee that you will become one.


Belief in God implies that we do not exist to be happy but to be righteous. The Church says it is better to be righteous for all eternity rather than happy for all eternity. Those who try to enjoy God and hope to enjoy him forever are really deniers of this teaching.


The atheist who does good while believing there is no heavenly reward or no God to reward is a far more noble person than the one who believes there is a God who will reward.


People mostly believe that love is a choice. Surely then if that is true the choice matters most. It matters more than love or God. God then cannot be that important. It would be evil to say he is. No wonder Christianity and God-based religion are such failures.

All lifeís happiness comes from the thought that great evil will not happen to me. This is arrogance. I canít be happy without being arrogant. I canít be happy unless I renounce God and put myself in his place.


The atheist and the believer alike have the arrogance. The believer makes the arrogance a gift from God. He says God assures him that he is all he needs and there is nothing he shall want. "Goodness and mercy all my life, shall surely follow me" so the hymn says. But at least the atheist cannot be suspected of pretending to honour God by attributing his arrogance to God's agency.


People with low self-esteem will hate themselves if they hate sin. If they are not religious, they will rise from low to higher more easily. That is because they do not worry about what God thinks about them. God gives people something extra to worry about as if they do not have enough. It is bad enough to feel guilty say about hitting your child than to get the added burden of feeling guilty for offending God by hitting your child.

We tend to berate and hurt ourselves and let others hurt us because we feel we are imperfect. This is a human trait. Believing in a perfect God who we must obey can only make this worse.
If you believe people hurt God by being sinners you will find it harder to like them. Its easier to like somebody who hurts a person who has loads of faults than it is to like a person who hurts somebody wonderful - and God is supposed to be wonderful.


Psychologists say that religion can be dangerous if the person fears that God will hate them if they do wrong or sin. In fact, many people love being hated. They treat their enemies badly because they enjoy making them hate them more. They love the frustration and anger that torments those who hate them.


If somebody is upset by others hating them, it speaks of their own insecurity and vulnerability. They are afraid of being hurt.


God owns us and our children. Christians reason that he has the right to kill us and our children because we are his. If so then our life is not his gift to us but his gift to himself. God cannot give you the gift of life for you and take it back for a gift will be yours not his. What pleasure is there then in the doctrine of God?



Today, we live in an age where young girls see airbrushed images of perfect actresses and models in magazines who seem to have been starved almost to death. The young girls feel inadequate and unattractive as a result. There have been many instances of holy women, female saints and beati who have felt like nothing in the face of God and treated themselves accordingly. They fasted until starvation, they deprived themselves of sleep until they saw visions, they beat themselves and rolled in nettles etc. They were worse off than modern girls. Modern girls forget that the images are often airbrushed and the models waists are digitally slimmed down. But for a girl who believes in God there is no mistake. She really is nothing compared to him and yet he demands great things of her. Imagine what that can do to her if she has the predisposition to hurt herself like girls who feel inferior to the airbrushed beauties can have.


To trust that God helps you and your loved ones is really to trust yourself. You trust in your own perception of God as trustworthy and this perception and belief is your own creation. Trust in anybody is indirect trust in yourself. Since God is supposedly perfect, it follows we are to trust him and not ourselves. This nasty doctrine prevents you seeing how much you trust yourself. It is not healthy trust. It is an attempt to rid yourself of trust in yourself.


You make your God. Therefore you believe that at some level that it is you who answer prayers and who sends protective power to your loved ones. That can have bad consequences when your loved ones suffer and die. You will think you made it happen or let it happen.


It is said that if you believe that God is your friend and is using his unbelievable power to help you and protect you this will aid your self-confidence. But that is you making yourself feel safe not because of some power outside of you but because you believe in this power. The trust is based on deceit and lies have a habit of being uncovered. Its not healthy confidence. It is a crutch.


Believers have to teach that God has to let you be hurt so that it may benefit others. He could ruin your self-confidence for that. Believing in God means you believe you are at the mercy of this being to have self-confidence. Its up to him if you get it or not or if you keep it or lose it. The end result is not confidence in yourself at all. Would it be real confidence if you needed a pill to make yourself see yourself as confident? No.


The notion that God gives confidence is delusional.


Real self-confidence comes from you and not from dependence on some crutch or outside power. True self-confidence will not be shattered by rejection from God or others. It will still be there because it is your own creation.


The clergy manipulate the people into imagining they need God. They do not. The clergy are doing a vile thing in trying to fool the most vulnerable among the people. Their doctrines about God and other things merely make it harder for people to win the self-confidence they are entitled to.

Religion claims that we need God for he keeps us alive and in existence. If he really is a good parent, he will not destroy us ultimately just as a good parent lets their child live no matter how evil he or she may be. So us needing God to exist does not necessarily mean that we need to be chummy with him or that we can be. If we do, then this is an emotional need he has put in us. That however would be extraordinarily manipulative. He would be using us not loving us by doing that.

Faith in you alone is the cause of the love you bring into the lives of those who meet you and who share your life. Faith in God is a block. It is to blame for all the evil done by his followers. As for the good, they were going to be good anyway. Religion or faith cannot take the credit.

It is a fact that life can be wonderful. There are millions of facts that would make us feel wonderful if we only knew of them. But there is something more important than facts. If we have the wrong attitude to good facts then they will do us little or no good. So the attitude is what comes first.

For an atheist, what you are like inside is your own business. As long as you donít let it cause you to do harm to others. God religion is stricter than that and wants the heart changed. This violates the rule that religion must never be put before people.


Catholicism claims that everybody has a God. For some its money. For others its sex. For others its fame. And so on. Catholicism says these gods are false gods and substitutes for the real God. Such a declaration presupposes that everybody seeks God. Everybody in other words seeks the God of Catholicism. He is supposed to be love because he is three persons who love each other so much that they are one God. This means he is not the God of Islam which sees God as a unitary individual. To the allegation that we all seek God, we answer that it is intolerant and condescending to say that others are not their true selves and have not got the chance to reach their true potential if they are not worshippers of God or not Catholics. Being condescending is a symptom of intolerance in itself.


All emotional and psychological problems stem from our power to punish ourselves. We make ourselves feel guilty and torment ourselves because of wrong things we have done or that we have thought we have done. Also, if we endure painful rejection from say a parent or a lover we may take it out on ourselves for being flawed in the eyes of those who have turned us away.


People think that religion and corporal punishment never did them any harm. They fail to realise that we all have aberrations and problems and these can arise from religion and punishment and other things without us being able to see a direct link. If we cannot see the link, we would have to suppose that there is one. If we are wrong it doesn't matter. Better than doing nothing.


The purpose of true justice is not deterrence or reform but paying back evil for evil. However that does not mean that justice can ignore deterrence or reform.

The criminal that truly reforms will want to face justice. He will thank those who turn him in.

Punishment of a criminal say a rapist needs to help the victim reach a sense of closure. Justice requires that the criminal suffer for the suffering he or she has caused. If you jail a criminal simply to deter others from crime that is not justice. If you jail a criminal to reform her or him that is not justice. What should be happening is that the criminal is getting his or her just deserts but in a way that helps deter others from crime and may help reform the criminal.


Justice is important to all including atheists. Justice when it returns evil for evil is not good but it may be a necessary evil. If there is a God, then we have to be just because it is just and because God commands us to be just. A necessary evil is not something to be celebrated. God religion gives it an additional sanction in the form of saying its the will of God and approved by God. It is evil to seek additional ways of justifying necessary evil. The whole point of necessary evil is that you give it as little justification as you can.


Anger is bad for you. If you feel angry, donít go about pretending that you donít. That is bottling it up. It becomes a pressure cooker that can explode. In addition to the anger, you endure the pressure of trying to keep the anger down or to pretend its not there.


Do not count to ten when provoked. That is bottling it up. Instead, put together a plan that involves speaking up firmly. You are doing something about the situation that is making you angry and that is best way to deal with it. The reason pagan religions had human style gods and goddesses was that people could direct anger and hatred towards them if their lives went all wrong. The gods just had to take the abuse. Christianity with its notion of a perfect God has robbed people of this. It would be better if people could take their anger out on a pagan style god rather than on other people.


The angry Christian who rants against God ends up worse off. He adds the guilt of attacking such a supposedly wonderful God to the list of emotional problems he has.

Imagine a woman who has lost several children when they are babies. To tell her that God took the babies home to Heaven is no reassurance. The woman if normal will feel anger at God and at the suggestion that he took her babies. The Churchís reassurance only urges her to bury her anger. She might bury it so well that she will never discover it. All the while it will be eating at her and poisoning her.


Is it worse to believe in a Good God who hurts you or lets you be hurt than to blame vindictive pagan Gods? Yes is the answer.


Priests and all who encourage belief in God are thwarting the right of people to accept the cruelties of life properly. The concept of God delays such acceptance.

Perhaps if you pray to God you will get help to accept the situation?


But what if prayer is just expressing your despair to what you see as God? This expressing is focusing on the fear and feeling it. Would it not be better to try and deal with it? The person would not be praying unless he thought he could suppress the fear temporarily at least. But that is only delaying dealing with the problem.


Prayer is useless for God decides if he is going to do what you pray for or not. And if he does it, it will be because it is right and not because you asked for it even if you did. Prayer is done by people who want to feel they have done good in praying. This is delusional. Whether God exists or not, it is self-deception and pride.


People can suffer terrible forms of loss and depression. Many of them say they seek comfort in the idea of a God who wishes to help them through this by giving them strength. They say they sense that God is their friend and who understands totally. None of what they say is true. What they want is a being who was unable to stop the evil that happened but who is like a invisible human friend. Even if we pretend we think God is very different from us and that he is Spirit not human, we relate to him as if he were human. We make ourselves feel that he is a better human being than us.

They might call the invisible source of comfort God. But they relate to it as if it were not God but human and limited in power but unlimited in a will to support. So it is not God.


Acceptance ends the worst forms of suffering. For example, if you are in terrible pain you only make your suffering worse by refusing to accept it. You will not end the pain by accepting it but you will end the pain of resentment and possibly depression by accepting it. If you accept that you are in a prison cell for life, you save yourself from a lot of inner turmoil and suffering. The atheist and believer both agree that we need to accept the horrible situations we cannot change. If you believe in God and the supernatural, you will have to believe that there is a possibility of supernatural intervention getting you out. Believers may accept the terrible things that happen them because they think they sense at some level that God is going to take control and fix things. This is not acceptance. It is downright cruel if there is no God. It is not right to put the idea of God before people like that. Anyway, belief in God reduces acceptance. Atheism requires that a person be brave and accept the situation. Atheism is better for people than religion. Maybe not short-term but certainly long-term.


Long-term is what matters.


Some theologians say we should believe that God chooses not to intervene when we suffer so that we might grow in goodness and better ourselves. They deny that God sends the evil. They mean he only lets the evil happen. He is not its direct cause. Why are they so anxious to to deny that God directly does evil? They do not really believe evil has a good justifiable purpose in God's plan. If they did, it would not matter if he does harm directly or not. Besides, is a God who lets evil happen to you worse than one who does evil to you? If God lets it happen, then he refuses to control it. If he does it to us then he is in control. The God who lets suffering befall us is the worst God.


Religion encourages us to look for meaning in suffering.  If you believe in God you simply have no choice but to believe that he lets us suffer for his reasons.  People like to feel their suffering is going to be used by God to do good and so it has value.  But they have been misled.  What we must do is not pretend that suffering serves a purpose.  We must see it as useless and despicable.  We should look for the good that appears in the midst of suffering and try and use what we can to make the best out of the situation.  If we feel that we must suffer for a purpose, that is giving away our sense of being in control.  It's degrading.  If we look for the gems amid the rubbish and use them we will feel in control.  It will help us more than condoning suffering by saying it is useful in God's plan.  If we think that we will not fight as hard against suffering when we suffer and we will be less keen and fighting suffering for others.  Belief in God is evil.  How believers handle suffering and sufferers looks good but it is a mockery of the right way to take care of it.


Nobody can accept properly that a tragedy has happened in their life unless they see it for the the great evil it was. They need to see that. To tell them things such as, God has a purpose for it is merely to obscure their perception. It is to delay recovery. Perhaps they will not face it properly and deal with it - that is no solution. People want to believe that there is a power that is helping them to face a wholly useless evil. They do not want or need to believe that the evil is diminished.


In the chapter called, Why Does God Tolerate Suffering?, we find the following in relation to atheists or those who think that if there is a God, then God is to be condemned for letting so much suffering happen, "The condemnation of God by man is not based on the truth, but on arrogance, on an underhanded conspiracy" (page 65, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, John Paul II, Jonathan Cape, London, 1994). It is judging atheists as arrogant for blaming God if he exists. It is fuelling antagonism against the atheists. And it is an insult to the person who sees such horrendous suffering that they refuse to accept a God who would tolerate it. They do that out of a wish to face the utter horror and intolerability of the suffering. They do it out of courage and compassion.


Christianity teaches the evil doctrine that God is right to allow evil to happen because it leads to a greater good. This is really watering down evil. Evil is that which is utterly useless. Good cannot come out of it. The Church sees good that appears IN SPITE OF EVIL and it classifies it as a result. Itís not a result at all. Suffering does not make anybody a good or a better person.


You become a better person independent of it and in spite of it. Christians should be firmly silenced for condoning their God who they say is right to allow evil for such good things as freedom and wisdom and holiness come from it! If we tolerate such offensiveness why be against anything anymore?


The Christian doctrine that suffering can lead us to God needs to be firmly but gently corrected whenever it surfaces among the believers. The believer has to want to reach God for God's own sake and not for the sake of happiness. Wanting happiness is not wanting God. The only way to be sure there is no ulterior motive in your heart is to suffer and want to suffer. Suffering is to be seen as evil and abhorrent and useless. Good cannot come out of something so vile. It only appears in spite of it. Suffering is the sense of meaningless existence. It is despair. Pain and suffering are not the same. You can be happy and in a lot of pain. There is an unmistakeable callousness in the person who says that suffering leads to God. Also, to tell a suffering person that their suffering has a purpose is only going to make them feel worse if that is possible. It is insensitive to tell a person who experiences meaningless existence that their suffering has a purpose. Itís not intended to help.


The sufferer will want to get rid of the suffering. That is what he or she cares about not God. Suffering is an experience in which you perceive your existence as futile and useless - there will be no concern for God in it. Sufferers are pressured by religious society to feign devotion to God. But they are feigning.


We are not completely in control of how we feel. If we have an emotional problem, it takes time as well as effort to heal it.


Catholics feel that if they do not forgive they give the person who hurt them the power to emotionally destroy them or damage them. This is nonsense. It is blaming the other person for the bad results of one's own anger and hate. What they are doing is giving themselves the power to hurt themselves and they are using what some person did to them as an excuse.


If I forgive to help myself, then my motive is to help myself and not the other person even if the other person benefits. It is not really forgiving the other person for the motive is not about her or him.


To truly forgive one has to first let oneself feel the full fury of hate and anger. This is a healthy part of the recovery process. It is healthy if one tries to and is open to learning to let it go.


Praying for help to forgive somebody only makes the ill-feelings worse because it is not the right method. It is not the real starting point. If you try to keep finding things about people to like and if you treat them like you like them you are practicing for liking them. You will end up liking them before you know it. Remember that you never dislike anybody. You only partly dislike them. See that. That is your starting point. No religion, no mysticism, just commonsense. Anything else is like giving a person with flu a massage first instead of aspirin. It makes the problem worse for its not the right thing to do.


The Christian faith has people apologising to God for hurting others. The fact that John was hurt has nothing to do with God for God is not John. The fact is that Godís handwork was damaged but that is a separate issue. You canít go to God and say, ďI confess that I hit John and I want you to forgive meĒ. What you say is, ďI confess and ask forgiveness not for hurting John but for not respecting your rights when I hurt himĒ. The Christians have been conditioned to go to God for relief when their consciences condemn them but in fact they canít do that. It doesnít make sense. This is really about them using religion to feel better. It is evil to apologise to God for John's suffering. Go to John. The matter is not over until you forget God and do that. In so far as you prioritise saying sorry to John's mother for hurting him over saying it to John you are not sorry for hurting him. So it is with God who the Church says comes first. Only interfering people would worship a God who they say sorry to as if it were him they hurt.


Religion says that the love of God and not shame should be our motive for amending our lives. Again, we see the supremacy of rational Atheism over religion. Shame is needed for social control.
Conclusion: Even if you think belief in God works for you, do not encourage it in anybody else. It's dangerous and that's that! Its only helping you despite itself thus it is not the real source of the help.