Christianity correctly teaches that strictly speaking evil is really choosing some form of good over God. Jesus said that loving your neighbour more than God is a sin. So Jesus' seeming goodness does not really prove that he really cared much for right and wrong.

There is evidence that Jesus didn't care. He promised like pagan gods to dispense his favours to those who did not deserve it.

Human nature needs an outlet for its dark side and that often takes the form of something that could pass for virtue!

Jesus was no exception. If he claimed to be God then he took responsibility for inspiring the evil doctrines of the Old Testament. He made it clear that they were justified!

Jesus told the Jews off for giving people who cursed their parents a light penalty and not the death penalty as required by God's law (Mark 7).

Jesus did not say that it was wrong to stone the adulteress to death. He said if you were any better than her it was okay to cast the first stone. That is saying the death penalty is right in principle even if not always practical or possible. Obviously if it is not wrong in principle it is not the worst sin if you go out and murder an adulteress!

The Jews brought the woman to him to test him if he would obey the law of God to have her stoned. They expected him to tell them to stone her and probably participate himself. It is believed that if Jesus permitted it he would have been breaking the law of Rome which banned Jews from carrying executions. It was a trap. The Jews were definitely very convinced Jesus would say yes. They were willing to implicate themselves as they were so sure. Clearly, Jesus must have been involved in stonings previously and the legal authorities did not know about it. Or Jesus had been heard endorsing stoning. He could have been complaining against Rome's interference with the divine law that such women are to be stoned.

Jesus said he advocated love your neighbour as it was in the law of God - the law is clear that this law does not exclude killing adulterers or homosexuals. He was not taking the command out of context. He said he was using the commandment as the law gave it. The command comes from Leviticus 19 the most murderous book God ever allegedly wrote. The rule is about how people should act from day to day not about how the law should be applied. So the commandment in essence means, "Be good to your neighbour except when the law tells you."

I don't see Jesus as a role model and feel that the religious attitudes of the pagans are still with us. Christianity is cosmetic.


If you don't have enough self-love, then when you engage with your family and friends you will be reasoning, "I am not good for them but I am still going to engage with them and inflict myself on them."

I think all love starts with self-love and the suggested saying, “To deepen your love and acceptance of another, first develop love and acceptance for yourself" is absolutely true.

Christianity says you must start with loving God. I did that and the damage I did my head is still with me to this very day.

AA by stressing the Higher Power is implying that if you don't improve you are not connecting with this power and thus to blame. Alcoholics have enough of self-blame without that adding to it. And what if one finds no succor and ends up thinking her or his alcoholism is God's will? If AA helps people, one will never know if the help would have been better without the Higher Power stuff. If I help myself recover that is my work and if I believe it is mine it will make me stronger than trying to depend on a God who may let evil happen to me for one of his mysterious purposes that he is forced to implement! That conditional faith is not good for me in the long run.


I wonder if people are starting to see they are manipulated by religion. Religion markets itself as providing a reason to live and a reason to tolerate the terrible things that happen in life - it tells people God is with them helping them when it does not feel like it.

That is cheating people. It assumes God has to make us happy eventually. But if God has to put up with evil out of respect for our free will and because he has a plan, it may be that he simply cannot help you or make you happy. Telling people that God will help and make them happy denies the fact that God's plan has to have its casualties. It does not let God be God.

RESPONSE TO Should atheists criticize religious beliefs?

Submitted by Patrick Gormley on September 14, 2014 - 3:52pm.

I find the argument that religious belief is a crutch and should not be challenged by unbelievers to be outrageous. It is enabling the destruction of freedom of speech. Do not insult believers by saying they really want that!

There is nothing wrong with inviting or helping a person to challenge their own beliefs. It is important to reflect your atheism and your humanism in your life. Do that and you won't need to speak up for them much. You won't need to annoy people or rub your atheism or humanism in their faces. Help them to see that we all use the perception that life will be okay and that is the only crutch we all have in common. It is in fact the only crutch we really need. Help them to see that the truth is important. They will agree with those pretty easily. Then you can move on to helping them challenge their own beliefs without offending or hurting them.

If they cannot stand hearing that their faith might be in error, they are suffering from religious addiction. They need help.

The religionist who listens to the person who tells her why she should wean herself away from religion may say, "I regret that you are taking my faith away from me." But nobody ever can take one's faith away. We never ever change anybody's minds. We give them the tools so that they will do it themselves.

We all have the feeling that we will be okay at some point in the future. We all have that crutch in common unless we suffer depression or something. This is not a religious crutch though the person might mistake it for a religious sentiment. Challenging that person's religious dogma then is not the same as challenging his or her crutch.

If the sceptic about religion is criticised for criticising somebody's crutch, then why does nobody care if the sceptic uses criticism of religion as his or her crutch? It may give her or him a purpose in life and makes him or her feel they are doing something about religious belief which they regard as a slippery slope to craziness and violence. After all, if you need religion as a crutch, you will invent new crutches for yourself every time you get dealt a blow in life. Depending on a crutch requires the creation of new crutches in order to maintain your crutch. Lying to yourself (and thus to others - you have to manipulate others to agree with you so that you feel good when you think they believe the same nonsense as you do) becomes a skill.

Re: studies that some people who pray benefit from it

Prayer is an attitude of submission to the will of God and expresses the sense of having a relationship with him. Anything meant to magically control God is magic not prayer. A perfect God cannot be influenced because by definition he knows what he is doing better than we do. Catholicism wants you to get saints to influence God - thus it is a subtly occultic religion. The notion that prayer helps is nonsense. If anything helps, it is people's misunderstanding of prayer. Many think that saying prayers for others in order to feel good about doing nothing for them is prayer. By definition prayer cannot be proven to help anybody. It is really about asking God to do what he wants not you so how can it help?

MY COMMENT: If people's devotion to God increases after a natural disaster or a tragedy is it evidence that the tendency to see activity or agency where there is none has increased?

We all seem to have the ability to feel as if inanimate things are like people. We get mad at the car as if it is its fault when it breaks down. The car is often referred to as "her" or "she". I think that tendency is a trick of the brain for it helps a bit in guarding against loneliness and it is more comforting to blame the car for breaking down of its own free will instead of admitting the truth - things can go wrong and there is nothing that can be done and it's nobody's fault. Judging the car and imputing moral fault to it makes us feel less helpless for we see judging as necessary for dividing right from wrong and good from bad. We think that judging the car is going to make it work. When a lot of people talk about acts of God, they are really just demonstrating how their minds trick them that earthquakes are down to activity by some entity and not just pure random misfortune. They express their magical ideas through God language. We must ask ourselves is it not a form of child abuse to encourage a child to believe in God when there is a risk of the child feeling hated by God or let down when something goes wrong? What if her or his mum or dad dies in an accident? Children have a stronger tendency to magical thinking than adults have. A child will believe he or she is hated by God when things go wrong for the child takes the hideous experience as proof that those who say God loves her or him are wrong. The thinking of the child is less complex and more either or than that of most adults.

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