HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

ALL BELIEVERS IN RELIGION HAVE DOUBTS
HOW THEIR DOUBTS MAKE US DOUBT THEIR FERVOUR

“…There are many Christians who live like pagans. There are always so few true believers.”

When you really believe someone you are saying that they are not lying to you now. If they would lie for no reason you cannot really believe for you don’t know if they are being honest. You may only act as if you do believe because a feeling tells you they are not lying but that is not believing them. Believing a person really is only possible if you spend enough time with somebody.
 
Religion likes to insult and patronise unbelievers by saying that no matter how much they do not believe in God, part of them is uncertain and this doubt is the seed of faith in God. Why not say rather that believers no matter how much faith they have, part of them is uncertain and this is the seed of atheism? In fact it is more logical to say that. The problem with the notion of doubt being the seed of faith is that faith need not be in God.
 
Atheists get by just fine when they do good for others and feel supported in return. This is the only faith that is needed. Anything else is a distortion of faith.
 
Religion claims to be a revelation from another world or plane of reality. If you deny one thing that that revelation says you are ceasing to believe in the rest of its doctrines. You are not denying the rest but you are saying that they can neither be believed or disbelieved. Similarly, if you doubt one doctrine you automatically cast doubt on everything else.

Cardinal John Henry Newman said that a thousand difficulties do not add up to one doubt. That is totally wrong. The more difficulties you have with a dogma the harder it is to believe it. To say the difficulties do not affect your faith is to lie. The degree to which you find it hard to believe is the degree to which you doubt. If the difficulties do not affect your faith then they are not real difficulties and you are only pretending that they are. Your faith then is obviously opposed to the evidence whatever the evidence might be meaning that it is not faith at all for real faith does not hide from the truth and from evidence.

Imagine you have a million difficulties with doctrine x. Imagine you have learned of doctrine y which asserts the opposite of x. It has a million difficulties too. It would follow that if you believe x then it is not because of the evidence for it. You believe it by choice. You are not devoted enough to truth to depend on evidence more than on choice.
 
Christians use the difficulties associated with doctrines they don't want to absorb as an excuse for dismissing them. Many Christians look for difficulties about the scientific fact of natural selection and even add many invented difficulties to it in order to make it look improbable. So when it is something they want you to believe in the difficulties don't matter. They do matter only when it is something they oppose you believing in.

Newman’s comments underline what Christianity and most religion hopes to achieve. When something comes up that refutes your faith they want you to remain true to the faith and hope and wait for the refutation to fall on its face. They tell you the refutation may never come but you must still hope it will. Or they say that not having a refutation shouldn't be taken to mean that there isn't one even if it is never found.
 
The corrupting and harmfulness of this outlook is shown plainly by an example of the same kind of faith that religion demands. Here it is.
 
If you believe that all homosexuals are gay by choice because they want to be promiscuous you will believe it despite the huge number of celibate gays. You will say you need further light before you can even consider thinking that the celibates prove you wrong and that the light might not be given to the world until after you are in your grave. But how can you see if you are wrong when you have that attitude? It is extremely dangerous not to mention insulting.
 
If Catholics have the right to the dangerous attitude Newman had towards difficulties and faith so does the person who wants to believe that coloured people are inferior beings and to be enslaved. The Catholic would be most nasty and hypocritical to try and restrain that person and his pen.
 
Muslim fanatics use the difficulties excuse for believing that God though merciful wants them to kill heretics. They say it is a mystery that is not yet solved in this world and which may be only explained after death in Heaven. This stubbornness arises from the desire for security and can result in well-concealed arrogance and contempt for truth. Whatever it gives you is not entitled to be called faith. It is not faith it is about but working for enslavement to a religious system. How could you have faith when you repose in the hope of a solution when you know people who have nothing in common with you religiously are doing the same thing? I mean how could you have faith when you do something that so plainly blinds you to evidence that contradicts you? Real faith is not scared of the truth. If there is a true religion it has to be solidly rational and have excellent evidences. In this the architects of the French Revolution were correct that religion should be kept within the limits of reason alone and that the credo of the Roman Church would have to be disposed of.
 
Christianity likes to say the prayer of Peter, “Lord, I believe. Help me overcome my unbelief”. This denies that if you disbelieve some elements in Jesus’ doctrine that you automatically cast doubt on the rest. Jesus did not tell Peter that. Presumably, Jesus’ famous honesty had had a lapse. Anyway, the prayer expresses the Christian notion that if you cannot believe, that is God’s will, not that you are resisting in which case you could not say the prayer. For some reason, he cannot let you believe either not at all or fully though he wants all to believe. In that case you should try to believe, pray to believe and live what you should believe. It is supposed to be the effort that counts. All that sounds very nice. But if you don’t believe at all or fully then you have beliefs that conflict with the faith. You are being asked to refuse to be true to your beliefs and live out what you reject and that is evil. And religion still tells us to be true to ourselves! The world cannot progress if non-beliefs are put before beliefs. It is not even an honest way to live.
 
All religionists admit that they have doubts. Doubt rejects authority so it is rejecting the authority. Yet we don’t hear of priests taking time off to resolve their unbelief. They feign belief to deceive us all. We don’t hear people being told to stay away from the Church if they have faith problems. We don’t see the clergy making an effort to help lay doubts to rest as fast as possible. God wants all to believe so he would want us to cast them out fast. We don’t see a queue outside their houses which would be the case if they and their devotees were honest.
 
If you ask God to strengthen your faith like religion recommends you must mean that you want God to deepen your intellectual acceptance of it. That acceptance would only be weak if you had doubts. You are evilly asking God to increase a faith that you don’t have.
 
Religion is hypocrisy for all have doubts.
  
 
BOOKS CONSULTED
A Catechism of Christian Doctrine, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1985
A Common Faith, John Dewey, Yale University Press, Connecticut, 1968
A Primer of Necessary Belief, Dawson Jackson ,Victor Gollancz Ltd, London, 1957
Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, M H Gill and Son Ltd, Dublin, 1954
Faith and Ambiguity, Stewart R Sutherland, SCM Press, London, 1984
God and Philosophy, Antony Flew, Hutchinson, London, 1966
In Defence of the Faith, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene Oregon, 1996
On Being a Christian, Hans Kung, Collins/Fount Paperbacks, Glasgow, 1978
Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Simon Blackburn, Oxford University Press, 1996
Reason and Belief, Bland Blanschard, London, George Allen and Unwin Ltd, 1974
Reason and Religion, Anthony Kenny, Basil Blackwell Ltd, Oxford, 1987
The Balance of Truth, EI Watkin, Hollis & Carter, London, 1943
The Case Against Christ, John Young, Falcon Books, London, 1971
The End of Faith, Religion, Terror And The Future Of Reason, Sam Harris, Free Press, London, 2005
The Faith of a Subaltern, Alec de Candole, Cambridge University Press, 1919
The Fundamental Questions of Philosophy, A.C. Ewing, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1985
The Future of Belief Debate, Ed Gregory Baum, Herder and Herder, New York, 1967
The Student’s Catholic Doctrine, Rev Charles Hart BA, Burns & Oates, London, 1961
Unblind Faith, Michael J Langford, SCM, London, 1982
What is Christianity? Very Rev W Moran DD, Catholic Truth Society of Ireland, Dublin, 1940
What is Faith? Anthony Kenny, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1992