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?

 


When you worship God, you worship not God but how man wants you to see him

So deeply has the need of a revealed religion been felt,

that many who have not received revelations from God

experienced the need to invent them. Fr Leslie Rumble


Briefly

Only what is valuable and important gets counterfeited. Religion counterfeits truth. It risks truth as well. We need knowledge and truth and that is what we want faith in God for - God by default would be totally intelligent so he is a shortcut to truth if he speaks to us.

God is the being you can have a relationship with and who is absolute limitless truth and love and there is no real love without truth.

Therefore to see God through the lens of a religion, Muhammad or Jesus is idolatry. Seeing somebody's image of God is not seeing God. To take a person as an authority on God who is absolute truth is contradictory. Whatever comes from a man even if right by its nature could be lies or error and to make the word of man absolute truth is foolish. Absolute truth by definition means it stands for itself and should be taken on its own authority alone.

There is never a revelation from God except from somebody who thinks God is inspiring them what to say. That is dangerous because of the chance of error and the chance that the person is trying to be treated like God the easy way. If you are treated as God’s mouth that is as good as being treated as God and you have no hassle having to keep being angelic all the time or right all the time. A fraud then is more likely to claim to be a prophet than a god. You can just say God occasionally inspires you so that you don't need to be right or sinless all the time. You can even say revelation is a process so that you can err and work with God to weed it out and that the end product, a holy book or whatever, is the authoritative truth from God.

In some cases, the person claims to get revelations from God but does not claim to be inspired in how he reports these revelations to others so errors can creep in. That is the craftiest scheme of all.

The goal is to get seen as a revelator of God and protecting your claims from exposure and ensuring that there is an "explanation" for the exposure. It works very well for lots of religious frauds thrive after being caught out. They get the believers to doubt themselves when they experience doubts about them.

Because godlings and prophets are human and they know it they will do the following. They will say God inspired their teachings thus they turn their word into the word of God. If man cannot be God then speaking for God is just as good. Claiming to be divine becomes a problem if you are caught sinning or unable to do a miracle. The drive behind godlings and prophets is arrogance and craftiness and their ego gets addicted to people believing in them - believing rubbish because another says it is true is a huge compliment to them.

If you would like your word to be treated as the word of God then you can follow a prophet and revere his utterances and that may be enough for you. You make his word your own and he does the work. Easy!

PEOPLE ARE TOO UNRELIABLE TO SPEAK FOR GOD

Lies are very rife. Individuals lie and more importantly keep up structures that lie such as politics and culture and religion. They lie by not challenging lies and letting people wander into the dangerous blind unknown.

A man says God spoke to him. Other men say that he did speak to him.

Is human nature too deceptive to take such ideas seriously?

For you to say all people are irrational or bad or sinful means you are cutting off your own foundation for if those things are true then who can trust what you say? You are left with a foundation but it is a weakened one. Sometimes there is no foundation but that depends on the magnitude of the lies.

Some limit the irrationality to religious believers. They say we get by knowing we cannot fully trust people but given the importance of God claims and the claims of religion we should pay no heed to religious believers. Life can go on without believing anybody's religious claims.

If you are a prophet or Messiah or pope who reports what you say is a revelation from God then what? You are top of the untrustworthy list. If people can get by without paying much attention to religious hearsay they definitely can get by without you. You are in such a tiny minority. There is also the problem that you are asking people to trust your miracle stories even though miracles need a high standard of testing for they are so like magic. Let the evidence make the claim not you!

Protestants say that all we do is tainted with sin which is why God cannot be pleased with our good works so only grace, his free gift of salvation can save us. Catholics say the same thing except their idea of what grace does is different. It is a fact that nobody really loves God with all their heart so that they would suffer forever for him. He does not get the love he deserves for his perfect love. These faiths and Islam warn about how clever Satan is and that Satan manipulates everybody so it gets worse.

If you are coming from the angle that all people lie, this adds to the mistrust especially in God matters.

The religionists wreck their own foundation. Religion is not about God or faith at all but about culture. God and faith are just props for the culture. There is no foundation left. Religion cannot be inherently morality promoting or morality preserving.

Imagine you are Jesus who said that nobody is good but God. Imagine you are his mouthpiece St Paul who said that all are divorced from God by sin. You are asking others to be so keen to accuse that they would take your unreliable word for it to blacken people as sinners who have no God in them until they repent or whatever. That is just hate. It also shows your pride. Religious leaders are masters at using humility to hide their pride. Catholicism reaches a new low by inventing the idea that babies have no God in them until baptism puts him in.

Religion is not about character building but about religious character building. You are not to be a good person for the poor but a good person for the poor for it pleases Jesus. This outlook says that the suffering of others does not matter. It treats helping suffering as an afterthought after serving Jesus or a tool to serve him with. What about your own? It says the same thing. Only growing a good character through it matters. That is hard and cruel enough but to say that only a good character in the eyes of Jesus matters is worse. You may interject, "Does suffering matter a lot or not at all? Is it only becoming more compassionate, fair, kind and loving that matters?" You are turning your suffering into a means to an end. There is a pride in saying you should be compassionate and fair and loving just because you can as if what they are for does not matter. Suffering is by definition a degradation and that is what matters. It matters that suffering demeans you and by definition nothing else can matter. It is cruel to use suffering either your own or somebody else's as a virtue seed pot.

If there is any time it is right to say that man should not be listened to just because man in general is unreliable, it is with God. You should not take man’s word for it that God speaks even if God does speak.

Ad hominem arguments are mistakes for they attack the person saying something instead of challenging what they have said. If x says God exists don't say, "X is stupid so I will not listen." That does not make x wrong. Keep your focus on the argument made by x. It is possible for a system of thought to be ad hominem on itself. When and only when religion claims that God uses it to show his love and good works which means ad hominem applies to religionists and religion. Religion by calling man unreliable in God matters is inviting it.

To say all people are not very dependable is saying you are not that reliable either. So logic says you should not be taken at your word without checking. But evidence gets you out of the quandary. You cannot use God to get people's attention. Realistically a man saying God said x or y is going to get more of a hearing than one who does not.

THE DANGER OF DIVINE REVELATION CLAIMS

A sense of morality does not necessarily intend what is best for others - a moral person may put obedience before the happiness of others. That would happen more often than not even if it should not. But there is another reason why moral teaching is risky.

If good people can be got to do terrible things by an authority figure when they feel they should obey then clearly there is a risk that all morality systems carry. They demand obedience and that comes across as being more important than what is commanded. To obey a God telling you to love your neighbour in fact stresses obedience to God more than love. Obedience and love - either of them can make you miserable and joyless. But obedience is more likely to do that than love. If God commands you to love there is a risk of putting you off love. Loving for no reason and certainly not because you were commanded is everything while loving for God orders it is nothing in comparison.

Doing the good can be more dangerous than doing the bad. That is true if you do good just because it is good and good is more dangerous if you are ordered or pressured to do it.

God presumably only directly commands one in a billion! The trouble is the rest us of have to go to his prophets and holy book or religion to get the information second-hand or infinite-hand. So God sends you to man - how strange and how risky. The risk increases if the authority is seen as a man of God or an authorised spokesperson for God and that is down to the fact that belief in God goes with the doctrine that God lets evil and suffering and death happen for good reasons- he uses them. Whoever says that it is okay for God to send terrible sickness to kill babies but not to tell you to make the sickness in a lab is just a fantasist not a believer. She or he is a hypocrite. In their hypocrisy, they insult those who suffer for they use their suffering to build hypocritical delusions on it.

The good may feel that they are so good that some bad now is fine. We see that once God and religion get involved in moral deliberations that this is happening in some form.

If right is right and wrong is wrong then let that be enough! Why do you need to reinforce and increase the problem caused by commands by making out God commands?

Even if God is right for us and moral then it is clearly a very dangerous thing to go to man for his word. No loving God would want that.

BIBLE BANS GOING TO ANYBODY OTHER THAN GOD FOR SPIRITUAL TRUTH

The Bible God demands that spiritists and psychics be put to death for the sin of trying to dabble with the supernatural - that shows how serious God considers their sin to be. God's ban on mediums and fortune-tellers is given in the light of command to look only to his authorised prophets. So if you want hidden knowledge you have to hope that God is willing to give it to you. So the condemnation is not about looking for hidden knowledge as such but not in trusting God if he wants to give it to you or not. So if God is good and trustworthy looking for any information he is kept out of is necessarily but perhaps subtly evil. Science would then be condemned as much as mediums etc. In fact a person claiming to be channelling God would deserve more belief or credence than somebody who is giving a message about somebody else who has channelled God. There is no point in telling people to take their information from God if the information has to come second or third or whatever hand.

Hypocrisy is inherent in man-made religion in so far as it thinks it is not man-made!!

Pope Francis said in 2017 that it is better to be an atheist than a fake Catholic or in other words a person who is bad but pretends to be a good Catholic.

But don't forget that Catholicism teaches that belief is a supernatural and supernormal gift from God that enables one to believe all the Church teaches. Catholic faith must have Catholic content to be really a Catholic faith. If man is telling you your belief in his creed or religion is inspired from God in you and God is inspiring you to believe it that is another way of taking man's word for it that you have the word of God. It exalts man not God. A God who man speaks for is not a God at all.

The Church also claims to be a hospital for sinners - it means it has treatments that are of God not man. Thus if the religion is just man-made delusion and has no intrinsic power or unique power to help anybody be a better person then it is just quackery and should take responsibility for the terrible consequences. For example what about paedophile priests who find themselves abusing again after thinking they were helped by prayers and masses and sacraments? So it is simple - if the Church is purely of human origin then clearly it is hypocritical even if it does not intend to be or think it is. Being a hypocrite doesn’t always mean knowing you are one – hypocrites are exposed only by the evidence. The hospital claim is totally unconcerned about evidence which is a sure sign that it is about hearsay and listening to man.

List of ways you listen to men when you imagine it is God you listen to

+Listening to those who say they have God's word is listening to them not God. Even if God is speaking it is as good as no communication for there is no communication unless the messenger is verified.

+Listening to those who tell you the faith they give you can be believed by you if God supernaturally helps you and forms it in you is a form of taking man's word for God's word too.

+It is not up to men to tell you that treatments (eg sacraments) for the bad side of human nature work. It is up to the evidence.

The evidence is that most, or all if you like, who pass you the word of God are wrong and probably lying. The risk of following them is a sign that you don't care enough about any real God.

Even without the risk, you are still not trying to listen to God. Trusting in what men say is a sign of caring about what you want the truth to be. It is anti-truth and no real God of truth would praise you for it.

Thomas Paine

Let Thomas Paine have the last word, "It is a contradiction in terms and ideas to call anything a revelation that comes to us at second hand, either verbally or in writing." In other words, it is a lie you tell yourself. He is talking about alleged revelations from God or supernatural beings. The huge majority of that material is unbelievable literally because it is full of tell tale signs of delusion such as one revelation disagreeing with another. A person getting a revelation from a person and then passing it on to you is different. It can be checked out better than supernatural revelation and is not really a revelation until it passes some tests. A revelation from a God has no tests and you are forced to take the prophet's word for it. That is not good enough in principle or in practice. It is selfish and lazy on your part to embrace what the person says.

Finally

An idol is whatever you think of as being of supreme importance when it does not deserve it. The idea of God will be the biggest idol of all for God is not about what you think of him or think he is. If you have the truth about God and his true religion and your motive is, “If I didn't have this I'd make do with inventing it” that is still idolatry for the truth means nothing to you. You will never get away with trying to make truth what you want truth to be.

Disobeying a man-made religious rule to say not draw Muhammad or to baptise your child does not make you the instigator. They are the instigator and you are the hero. When your rule is against somebody's rule for you what else can you do but break it?