The Enemy - Individual Religious Belief or Religious Belief System?

A belief can be fundamentalist. You can be liberal and have one fundamentalist belief. That one belief could be enough for you to do something terrible.


Nice beliefs in a religion make the nasty dangerous belief feel and look better and thus empower it.
A fundamentalist religion means a religion that is fine but has at least one dangerous belief. Or it might have a number of beliefs that are dangerous when they are together though each individual belief seems to be little to worry about. A religion of peace that orders its members to let the enemy kill them when it asks them to abandon the belief is being passively fundamentalist. A religion that there is no trouble with is yet being fundamentalist when it commands you to believe that holy books that speak of a God who commands evil things. That is active fundamentalism and made worse when you are told that you call God a liar and will go to Hell forever unless you believe. A good example of active fundamentalism is when Islam cuts the hands off thieves.
Fundamentalist religion thrives and often gets away with its crimes when the membership seems too big for the state to eradicate the religion, or when the religion is too powerful and when it is married to the state and maybe providing "services" such as faith based schools or hospitals or whatever. It would be much easier if the state could discern what belief it has is the most harmful and dangerous and dwell on dealing with that.

A growing number of intellectuals and laypeople believe that religious belief systems do not make life any better and in fact often do harm.

If a religious belief system can be harmful so can an individual religious belief.

A harmful religious system is harmful precisely because it has harmful beliefs.

It is not enough to criticise a harmful religious system. It would be very wrong to concentrate only on say the Roman Catholic Church and the harm it does when in fact its Protestant daughter churches take after their mother in many things.

Take the view that homosexuality is gravely evil. That is an individual religious doctrine. Some religions accept it. Others do not. And some let you decide for yourself.

If this belief causes harm then the religions that reject it are good in this point but that does not mean that overall they are really any better than religions that preach it.

If an individual wants no share in the collective responsibility for religious evil and does not want to be guilty by association chief of which is accepting the label of membership in the religion then the individual must try to get out even if he does not succeed. There is no excuse in a free world for being in a dodgy religion.

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