Scientology and other systems say that you have a sort of higher power within you or with you.  It does not matter which.   This force is about your will and even if it is not about your wants it is about your needs. Having needs met is not always pleasant.  Many say that in some way they needed their trauma or their serious illness and then tell you about the supposed spiritual outcomes.  This can only mean that you made bad choices that led to the universe having to deal with you so unpleasantly.  It is like you were responsible for making yourself sick and Dr Universe has to pump you full of horrible dangerous drugs to help you.

But there is more going on than that.

Take the importance of free will and choice in Christianity and other faiths.  If God loves you and love is about respecting choice as much as possible, that means that God only lets things happen to you if it seems you would choose them anyway.  You have a problem all the time being sure if any choice is an informed one.  Even when you make a choice you may doubt if it was really choice or just doing something for you felt you had to do something.  Choice is hard to discern.  So there is nothing you can do to show that if something terrible happens to you that you didn't in some way choose it out of need.  If choice is not clear for you, then you are still responsible in a real but loose sense if what happens is what you would choose if you had the information that God is privy to.  If you believe in God you believe he has the information about what you need so you accept this on some level.  You consent on some level.  A choice you struggle with is still a choice.

 So if you have cancer or are a slave, whatever, you at some level have chosen this for a higher purpose.  If you have access to a higher power, the access matters.  It does not matter if it is like, "What you think you draw to yourself.  Thoughts become reality."  That is cruel and blames the Jews for the Holocaust.  But it is as bad as, "What God thinks for me he draws to me.  His thoughts become reality."  The intention is the same - the source of the thoughts that make your reality is irrelevant.

So faith has intrinsic undertones of blaming the victim.  If it could blame the victim it would be bad enough and reprehensible.  But it is more than a could there.  It's appalling.

The horror leads to new horrors.

It is arrogance to say that God or some higher power looks after you when there are so many people out there who suffer terribly and come to bad ends anyway.  It is worse if faith is bad to start with anyway in the way it attacks the victim, the way we have seen. 

Anyway, you are saying that your welfare is more important in the plan of things than theirs. What right has anybody to say serious things like that without undeniable proof? (It is worse than saying that, “My religion is right and nobody can go to heaven outside of it” which is nearly universally frowned upon these days.) If they have then you should let a surgeon who could be an impostor operate on you without proof of his credentials and experience.  Atheism is kinder than religion.

Suffering cannot really lead you to God for this depends on faith and faith is passive aggressive. It's a horrific suggestion.  Suffering cannot lead you to God unless you start saying, "God I accept this.  I do more than accept it.  I choose it.  Choosing it gives it more power than merely accepting.  It is active.  Accepting is passive."  There is no point in objecting to the starving being to blame for the famine if you take that stance.  It is like arguing about the difference between killing a child by hitting her on the back of the head or the front.  There is no meaningful difference.

Regardless, 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 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. It’s not intended to help.  The sufferer will want to get rid of the suffering. That is what he or she cares about not God.

Faith tends to focus on comfort and determination but that is unfair as there is another side.  If you truly care you will look at the bad side and dangers first.  Faith spreads and so you have to show a sense of responsibility.

Believers in God use their faith to justify not living as simply as possible in order that they can give all the extras to the poor. (The blasphemy of the priest who thanks God for his nice parochial house with four bedrooms and a bathroom and a parlour and conservatory and whatever else is plainly apparent!) They use it to justify the oppression of women as in Islam. They use it to justify the oppression of divorcees in Catholicism who are not allowed to marry again. Countless examples could be put forward. They should express their faith in heroic sacrifice not in books and in sermons. Atheists are less wicked for at least they do not attribute their failures to God. We admit that our ideas about right and wrong are human not divine constructs and if we are bad we should admit it and not hide it under piety. They use far fetched and implausible logic to solve Bible problems and contradictions. They are so biased. If the Bible speaks of somebody being around after they are dead it is a miracle and if the Koran does it it is a contradiction. Religion swamps us with answers and a pile of information when we spot a contradiction. This is to intimidate laypersons so that they will give up in confusion and just accept the Church's answer and accept its doctrine be it reasonable or not.  It is to deter you by making you think it's too complicated for you.

People who have had lovely exciting privileged lives like most clerics telling you to offer your suffering to God is abhorrent.  See them for what they are and their faith for what it is.  Faith is not the right word for something that victim blames and any one of us can become a victim.  That is a matter for discussion.

God is a callous idea.  Faith in God, as a consequence, is also a callous idea.  Faith is also callous in its own right.  It's just an attempt to make out that choice allows all evil and suffering and choice knows what it is doing and is right to allow it.  It is affirming the choices even if they are made by God so you make them your own choices.  They may as well be.  If you suffer because of your own choice then you deserve no compassion just as you wouldn't if you were suffering for what may as well be your own choice.

If I am the one who decides that evil is too inexcusable for God then if I believe in God I should hate him.  If I am agnostic or atheist I must hate belief in God even in others and especially in others for I am one person living in the midst of many.  The belief threatens me.  As faith is toxic, the idea of evil being intolerable and the suggestion that a God should tolerate it is intolerable follows.  It becomes evil to believe in the problem of evil when that problem is made a part of faith.

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