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
Gormley


“I sin and do bad but I would be worse if I were not a person of faith"

Christianity says you need prayerful faith in Jesus to be a good person. Some religions say you need to be in them to be good. In some way, many faith systems say their teachings and practices have a good moral/spiritual effect. Christians say this happens to the practitioner through grace - the help of God.
No matter they explain it it sounds pompous. And it sounds pompous because it is.

Sin is about how an evil offends and breaks the law of God.  Evil is about harm.  The two are not the same thing.  Anarchists used to blame the police for crime in the sense that the laws against crime cause crime. Their logic is faulty but strangely enough is spot on if it is be applied to God the big policing deity. Sin exaggerates how bad an act is and accuses it of opposing the infinite perfection of God.  That attack and defiance of perfect good is imagined to be an unimaginably malicious thing. It would be if there is a God.  So evil is maligned more than it needs to be and naturally and predictably it leads to fake sins being invented. Sin is a fake evil that is tacked on to a real evil.

Then they say the question is not: "Will God’s grace make a person of x-faith as a whole better than a person of non-x-faith?” but “X sins and does bad but would x be worse if they were not people of faith?” But that is playing with words. It is still saying the faith person is better.

Preventing evil is more important than doing good. What use is feeding Anna when you leave her to the clutches of a rapist? So in that way the second question is more bigoted and pompous than the first one. It makes those who consider organised religion to be spiritually and morally important, responsible for the inevitable microaggression and sectarianism that will come. Those who give it cultural importance by going along with giving it their children and their schools need to take note.

“I sin and do bad but I would be worse if I were not a person of faith". That is what they will say no matter how badly the religion behaves. Notice how it actually undermines their mantra, “Some kill and terrorise in our name. They do not represent us or our faith. We are not all bad people.” If all religion does is make me feel that I would be worse without it then that is not testable. No matter how bad I am I can say that I could be worse and it is thanks to God and the faith that I am not. It needs to be testable for it is not fair to make assumptions like that. Matters of justice need evidence. And think of how harmful it would be for you to be wrong.

No matter how bad you are you praise yourself that you use faith to stop yourself being or getting worse! And you may not realise that you cannot be in any way worse. Everybody has a limit depending on their DNA or whatever.

The mantra is just pure manipulative political style garbage.

To say, “We would be worse without being in this religion and faith and without the help God gives us through it” is thin. It is a trick for how do you test something so important? And even Scientologists and Satanists could use the argument and in fact do! But each religion when it uses it is only referring to itself.

It implies that a person without faith or this religion is dangerous and morally inferior in a way that a person of faith is not. It is also slandering yourself for you can’t know if you would be as good or better without this faith. It is judgemental towards yourself and by implication others for they say the same as you.

For these reasons a religion should be abandoned faster than any other kind of organisation when it does bad or allows bad or uses such ridiculous and crafty logic as that! It needs to be held to a higher standard than anything else for it claims to be the moral guardian.

Religionists think they would be bigger evil doers without God and faith. The doctrine that all are sinners demands that they think like that. So they say, “Therefore but for the grace of God go I”. For atheists that is, "Therefore but for the luck of the draw go I".  For atheists though you make your own luck and use what luck gave you. There is more goodness in bringing good out of chaos than in co-operating with or depending on a God to arrive at the good. There is more transformation. There is more determination to outwit fate and randomness.

“I sin and do bad but I would be worse if I were not a person of faith". It is obvious how thin and dubious that is! Its a disgraceful assertion.

APPENDIX: OBJECTION

Christians: "Those who say that morality is not necessarily part of religion and can be found without it to prove themselves wrong by two assumptions they make: one that human beings work out what is best for us and two that morality is about making us happy."

Reply: Suppose both assumptions are wrong.  Which one is the worst?  The first.  The reason it is the worst is that if we cannot figure our what is to our benefit morally and socially we are not going to have any happiness anyway.

It is true that humans can work it out - the problem is that they won't.  Religion is a symptom of that "won't". 

Morality may not be doing a stunning job of making us happy but it does a good job under the circumstances when allowed to.  It can be us using it to make ourselves happy even if it does not seem to be having great results.  Maths classes are still maths classes if nobody is doing well.  Maths is not about the success but about maths.  And so happiness is not about success though it wants it - it is about trying and trying helps happiness for not trying only leads to misery.