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, don’t go about pretending that you don’t. 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 it's 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 Church’s 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. It’s 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. 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. 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 it's 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 God’s handwork was damaged but that is a separate issue. You can’t go to God and say, “I confess that I hit John and I want you to forgive me”. What you say is, “I confess and ask forgiveness not for hurting John but for not respecting your rights when I hurt him”. The Christians have been conditioned to go to God for relief when their consciences condemn them but in fact they can’t do that. It doesn’t 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! It is only helping you despite itself thus it is not the real source of the help.

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