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



It is a fact that when a religion tells lies and is corrupt and is a fraud, people hold on to it longer than they should. There is a persistence that is worrying and it is a persistence you don't really get to the same degree with anything else. Corrupt governments come and go but a corrupt and lying religion hangs on. A corrupt and hoax religion when established will survive exposure sometimes for centuries. Religion has some way of turning its adherents into addicts of a sort.

So what is actually going on?
# People reason that nothing is perfect anyway so being in a religion that causes some harm or tells a few lies is no big deal. This argument only excuses you if you are forced to be in the religion or whatever it is. It never excuses you if the danger is very serious.
# When an organisation that claims to be God's authorised family and his Church lies and causes harm it is a bigger deal than if any political entity does it. Why? Because you would expect it more of the political entity and the political entity is not claiming to be the work of a God whose ways and rules we cannot completely understand. The religion claims to be in touch with a God who uses evil for a purpose - thus the evil it does is excused. Politics can't have a loophole like that. Catholic supported the Catholic Church regardless of all the slaughter and violence it got up to centuries ago on the basis that no matter what it does, it is still Christ's Church and it serves no purpose to leave it. This doctrine leads to enabling. If it is Christ's Church then they did right but if it is man-made they prove that their hands are stained with blood. If it is Christ's Church and they believed without having sufficient evidence then their hands are still stained with blood.
# A lot of the evil caused by religion is internalised because the religion has to look good to get power and money. Internalised means it is there and only you can know it is there. You make it part of yourself. The evil becomes you and you become it. The evil is no less real because it is just internalised. Internalising evil always risks it becoming more explicit and put into practice. For example, if you find religion a strength and comfort, it is easy to feel that God has a plan for you when things are going well and that attitude is an insult to those who suffer terribly. We like to feel that bad things happen to others and we prefer them to happen to others than to our loved ones. That could be why religions with violent and evil scriptures such as Mormonism. Christianity, Islam and Judaism still have a following among those who have read the violence for themselves. Those people only care about looking good and reasonable in their own eyes rather than in being really good and sensible. Don't be like them. If you are then you are telling yourself that God has a purpose for the suffering of others not yours and that you will capitalise on that. Internalised evil means that if you do not give money or support to your religion when it does evil, you are still part of the problem and part of its evil because evil deeds start with people internalising evil.  We know that the religions above have brutal commands from God. If you were in those times you would persecute blasphemers. It is in you, in your heart. 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.
# People who are in irrational organisations feel their irrationality is validated when they see others being as ridiculous but in much the same way.  It reinforces their irrationality. The silly don't feel as silly when they have silly company.
# Irrationality easily leads to the irrationality of violence and hate. They cannot happen without it. Even if violence is a rarity, there is a risk and the more you support irrationality the more you increase the risk. Making and taking the risk says yes to it. The way is still open and it is only luck keeping the violence at bay. The irrational disparage the views and persons of those who are as irrational as themselves but in different ways.
# Some organisations claim to be God's family - for example, the Roman Catholic Church. You have to choose to be in its family. You should not become part of a bad or irrational family by choice. No family is perfect but if one is too illogical or dangerous then you are as bad as they are by joining them or by staying in them.
# It is wrong to say that a religion is good if there is good people in it. The goodness of people in a religion is irrelevant to whether the religion is good or bad. It is wrong to say that people are influenced to do good by their religious beliefs. If they are good they will be good. It is not the religion that is influencing them to be good. Indeed, if a religion is bad, the goodness of people in the religion can often slow down or halt the religion from bearing its bad fruit. But those people though good are bad in the sense that they enable religious evil.
# It is easy to be bad inside and hide it. Most evil takes place in the heart. If we are all that crafty, then if a religion is man-made it is intrinsically dangerous no matter how much good it seems to do. What is man-made is not safe if man's virtue is spurious and skin-deep. It is bad enough for a religion to claim to be from man but worse if it claims to be from God. That is the religion getting more influence and respect by attributing its machinations and lies to God. And as God cannot be questioned for he knows best, it is dangerous to mistake man's teachings for God's. It creates a cycle - "I believe this for God said it. If evidence contradicts it, God is trying me out so I must be strong and continue to believe." It is bad for a fairly good religion to claim to be from God if it is not. Who knows what it will turn out like in the morning? It does not have God to stop it going to bed as the Virgin Mary and rising in the morning as Dracula. It bad to say it is from God but it is worse to say it if it does more harm than other religions. The more harm done the worse it is.
# Being accepting or encouraging towards a religion because of the good people overlooks the fact that good intentions are not everything. Great harm can be done with the best of intentions. This harm can only be reduced or avoided by doing all you can to find the truth and obey it. A religion that is based on errors is only a blockade. It risks making good intentions dangerous.
# Faith is the reason religion does harm. Faith is bad in itself and risky and religion nurtures and reinforces it. There is plenty of evidence of people with shallow religious faith putting themselves and their children at risk. They do it for faith. The antics at some Catholic pilgrimage sites is a good example. The observation that not all religious people are violent means nothing when faith is the problem. It is luck you can thank that their faith has not ruined them. It is not their faith or their religion you can thank.
# Religion and non-religion can have overlaps. One example is the ridiculous notion of equality. The reality is that person A cannot be equal in doing good and deserve the same opportunities as person B. You do not have a right to a maths degree unless you do the work. However the obsession with everybody expecting the same treatment as everybody else leads to strife and oppression.
# What makes us the same is believing we are the same. Religion creates the illusion that its members in important ways are the same. That is the secret of its power. It manipulates the members to practice egoism as a group. That is why religion is so divisive.

Judge a religion more by the people and publications who promote evil and hate in its name and who are not disciplined. Every evil religion does more harm by what it does not do than by what it does do.
Judge a religion by the worst of its members when they are worse than members of another religion. Ask if a religion has worse people and more of them than other religions.
Judge a religion by the false hope it gives dangerous people that they are changing which actually subliminally encourages their evil.
Judge religion by its scriptures not by the charitable behaviour of its members bearing in mind that being in a religion with violent scriptures implicates one in the violence those scriptures have endorsed or had committed.

A religion should not be judged on the basis of those who claim to be its adherents, when, in reality, they practice the opposite of what it teaches or ignore the teachings they do not like.

If a religion claims to be the remedy for human evil, is it the evil its members do that we should consider first or the good? It is the evil. A good hospital is judged not on how many it cures but on how many are killed by it. You do not go to a surgeon who is careless enough to let one person in 100 die of negligence.
Before you complain about what religion and its believers are doing, take a look at what you are doing about it. If it is nothing then you are part of the problem. And if you are listed as a member you are more part of the problem than you would be if you were a non-member. The member is an active supporter merely by being a member. The non-member who raises no challenge to religious evil is a passive supporter. If you can get your name struck off the register, at least do that. Religion is like a fast-food restaurant, it seems great to dally with it until you need major surgery and your health is ruined.
The more evil the religion is the worse it is to enable it. If your religion is naughty rather than evil and if there is better then walk. If your religion is not evil but enables evil and is soft on it and too tolerant, go. The enabler of evil does more to promote evil than evil people do.
The founder of a religion may have a definition of religion and what it is for. Even if the whole religion ends up with a different purpose from his that is still not what it is for. Only the founder can determine what the religion is and what it is for. You may have a purpose for his religion but it remains yours not the religion's. A religion with a bad purpose is bad. A bad religion is bad no matter how many good people are in it. It is the purpose makes it bad. The members degrade themselves if they refuse to do the bad things for they make themselves hypocrites. And goodness is defiled when you let yourself be part of a bad religion. To defile goodness is actually worse than to just be bad.
To stay in a religion unless leaving will be a worse evil and bad example than staying (eg if you will suffer an honour killing for leaving or if you have to leave your children with the religion at the risk of them being sexually abused), is saying you are okay with the errors and prejudices of the religion. If a religion is racist, your membership says you are okay with racism.  If you actively support the religion's racism, the reason you feel you can do it is because the other members who passively support it are saying they are okay with it by their passive support. That feeling is the main thing you need to become an activist in favour of your religion's evil. They are still as much to blame as you if not more. If any member objects to your activism, you will see her or him as an intellectually dishonest hypocrite or as somebody who is ignorant of his or her religion. You don't want to be even partly okay with racism so passive support is out! You may deny giving your support but people will see you as engaging in double speak and will read your approval for racism between the lines. The truth of what you think is told between the lines. Let us take another look at the concept of passive support. Passive support from others would refer to when your evil is not challenged by others. Their silence shows a willingness for the evil to be done. If those others are members and let themselves be listed and regarded as members then that is more than passive support. It is active support.


There are many countries in which one religion wields a loud voice and a strong influence. Ireland is an example. The Catholic Church there is able to communicate its will all over the country.
Morality or the Christian version of it has declined in Ireland. When this happens, it shows the religion has not halted the rise in immorality. It could be standing up for morality but perhaps helping people to be moral in the wrong way. For example, you cannot depend on prayers, apparitions of Mary and sacraments to heal people of their immorality if these things are superstition. It could be making a laughing stock of morality by making stupid moral rules. It could also be ineffective because it is not really sincere or dedicated. Whatever, the rise in immorality would be an indictment of religion. It is partly to blame.

If an evil religion teaches that its membership is voluntary, then what are you waiting for?  If people are in an irrational religion, it will be hard for them to change. Lead by example and leave. Your leaving is a witness to them.
"If holding a belief entails membership in a group and that group participates in immoral behavior, then choosing to hold that belief makes one morally blameworthy. Even if holding the belief doesn’t cause one to go out and do those immoral things, belonging to the group still makes one guilty by association. After all, the group wouldn’t exist without members; if believing makes you a member, you promote the group’s existence by believing."