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!

 

The "Not all Bad Excuse" when Religion does Harm

Religion is a community built on a supernatural belief system.  A belief system that is a community is to admit a share of the blame when some members do harm. And so is one made up of individuals. The system permits individuals to be individuals which amounts to permitting them to do harm.

 

The argument that a religion is good because not all members are fanatics or dangerous is rubbish for there is no such thing as a community that can be all bad and a bad community needs to be good enough to stay in existence.  It is irresponsible rubbish and if you have to swallow it in order to follow religion then religion is not really good.

 

The notion that religion is good or a type of religion is leads to people who burn Bibles and Korans being blamed for any violent retaliation from Christians or Muslims.  The burners are blamed for any murders.

When a religion speaks about its members doing violence it should say, “We have done this” not, “They have done this.”  You cannot say, "We have done this" when you are talking about others doing good and refuse to take corporate or collective responsibility for the bad they do.  You would be an unfair hypocrite if you do that.  They say religion is corporate and collective responsibility to a God and his alleged revelations and then have the nerve to disconnect themselves from what embarrassing members do and say and enable.  Corporate unity be it in community or faith [and especially with faith community for it claims there is a God connection and grace connection between the members so it is “more” of a community than a mere human one] brings corporate responsibility. You do not get out of being guilty for the murder committed in the name of religion by another person in your religion by the mere fact that somebody else did it.  True you are not to be jailed or anything but you have to answer for being in a religion that supposedly has power to help man rise above natural evil tendencies and which fails.  It is ridiculous to condemn a religion as bad only if too many in it are bad for one bad member is too many.  You cannot look at violence in a religion and say the violent are aberrant believers.  Why not?  Because what you should check is if the religion is an aberration itself first.   Converts tend to know the religion better and care about it more than those born into it.  Thus too many dangerous converts to a religion is a sure sign that there is something harmful and a bad influence in the religion's faith system.

What does the excuse mean?
 
Some say that when a religion does harm that it is not all bad meaning that it has good teachings and/or produces good people.

 

Some argue that even if you cannot show a religion really made somebody good you can say the religion is not all bad for there are some good people like this one in it.  Sorry that will not do.  A religion needs to be able to produce some good people otherwise it is nothing.  Good people just being in a religion have nothing to do with making the religion in any way good or partly good.

 

If a religion does not produce good people, then the good people in it is irrelevant. Why? Because their goodness belongs to them as good people and is independent of their faith and religion. They were going to be good anyway. If the excuse refers exclusively or mainly to the goodness of religious teaching, you end up looking ridiculous and arrogantly insulting by saying that that the Jehovah's Witnesses who kill children through banning blood transfusions are as good as the Quakers who do nothing harmful. You end up condoning religious evil unless you are only applying the excuse to one or some religions but not all.
 
If man creates religion so that he can be good, how good is he? A really good person does not need a prop and cannot use one. Religion then cannot be really good if it exists as a prop.

 

The excuse that religion is acceptable or even terrific because its people are not all bad has to admit that there is a dark side.  Religion is not all good either and that is important.  The excuse wants  you to dwell on the good instead and that is dangerous and irresponsible and shows supporters of the faith have something to hide.

 

Generally bad 

When  a religion is called bad, you mean generally bad.  You are not saying that every person in the religion for real or just carrying the label is necessarily intentionally bad.  That would be ridiculous. 

Every bad organisation can have okay or good people in it.  But it can never have good people in it who know what they are doing.  And you need to know what you are doing to pass as a credible representative of the religion or an emblem of what it is like.  A child in a bad religion – supposing a child really should be given a religious label for example or a person who has been forced to comply with the badness is an example of what we mean by good people in a bad religion.   

If religious people are not bad intentionally that means little.  Good intentions are not more important than the damage that happens or may happen.  A doctor who thinks holy water cures cancer is doing a lot of harm unwittingly.  Religious people not being all bad does not make them harmless or their enterprise worthy of praise.
 
Can't just dismiss the bad members
 
To say some people in a religion are good is to admit that the bad ones belong to it too and to raise the question: “Are the bad ones the faithful members not the good ones?” And to ask if there is something wrong with the religion that turns some people bad? What if one or both answers should be yes? It is also to ask if the good is enough to justify people staying in the religion.
 
Being in a religion that turns some bad is bad for the same reason as choosing bad friends is bad. To blame the bad person in a religion not the religion is to say that even if religion is to blame you will defend it. You are worse than the bad religionist or bad religion then. A truly good person will blame the system and the faith not the person if there has to be a choice. Both are to blame.
 
When a religion does harm, saying "Some members are bad but not all are" means nothing for not all are at the same stage of development in the religion. If you want to use irrelevant arguments to defend a religious system of power and doctrine then you are are part of the problem when it does or preaches violence or if it would if it got the chance.
 
To say that a religion should not be condemned for the actions of a few is to dismiss the "bad" members and thus to refuse to deal with the problem sensibly. The religion has to be looked at as a whole. It is a whole.

The not all bad view
 
When members of a religion do grave harm, people point to the religion and say, "It's people are not all bad. There are many good members."
 
Translation: "You have to know a person before you can call them good. Until then they are at best civil. But I will whitewash religion."
 
It is hardly a great thing if people have to be that fake in order to defend religious people! Is religion worth it if it demands and leads to that? No.
 
Translation: "Judge religion only by the good members."

A totally unfair and useless argument. If religion thrives on such nonsense and hypocrisy then it is proof that it is intrinsically bad. If you are really good, you will not ignore and thereby enable bad people. Christianity in particular likes to say that you show and draw others to the faith by the good works you do as a believer. It is strange to argue that good works show what the religion is like and the bad ones do not.
 
It makes no sense to judge primarily by the good members for goodness has a lot of motivations and a religious one may not be the main one for most. Judge them as people not as religious people. An evil religion has to have good members - that is human nature. It makes no sense to judge primarily by the good members when people die over the religion or when the religion does more harm than good in the long term. And what about the harm it does indirectly through hate of truth and bad example and what about the subliminal harm? Indirect harm is not made okay by being indirect. Sometimes it is worse and better at evil than direct harm. It is harder to identify which makes it very dangerous.
 
Translation: "We will ignore the fact that religion can't be that good if it really can be used for evil."
 
How much evil has to be done before anybody ditches the not all bad argument as a justification for the existence of religion? No religion tells us to ask that and yet religion has the nerve to use the not all bad argument as a promotional tactic. A religion that is happy that there are two good people in it when it has two billion members is not a good religion. It should be scrapped.
 
Translation: If the religion has bad people, so has every organisation whether religious or not.

That is admitting then that religion has no special or intrinsic goodness! The not all bad excuse should be used to defend people in general and not people as religious people.
 
Translation: The religion may be bad and have dangerous dogmas it will not change but we have to remember that the good people in it pick and choose.
 
It is obvious that if you have religious beliefs you should be in a body that supports you in them. The more lofty the spiritual aims you believe in the stricter you should be about being in a supportive religion. A religion is a collection of believers not cherry-pickers. It is believers who create the religion and invite new members. If you can pick and choose then why bother caring what religion you are in? If a religion is really for you and really good you will not feel the need to cherry-pick. Accepting God or the Bible as an authority and then picking and choosing is not really accepting them. You are the real authority not them when you cherry-pick. Cherrypickers are hypocrites who won't admit what they are - hypocrites. Religion may be bad but it is no answer to cherry-pick it while pretending to be loyal to it. Cherry-picking Nazi beliefs if you are in a Nazi group does not make you a good person even if your beliefs seem harmless. People will look at you and reason, "If I join the group I will not be a hypocrite like him. I will really support the group instead of pretending to myself that I really support it." Cherrypicking is a sign of a dishonest person and a bad or possibly bad religion. A really good and trusted religion will not be cherry-picked by decent people.
 
Religion is hardly credible when it uses the not all bad excuse! The excuse is not only useless, it is wrong. The more people in a religion who are bad by the religion's standards or by civil law standards or society's mores the more deplorable the excuse is.
 
When a religious group is harmful, those who argue that their religion does not matter are merely hypocritical enablers. Of course it matters!

The hypocrisy
 
Violent man will leave his mark on the religions he invents. Christians who show you the nice bits of the Bible and who ignore the bad or give them insufficient attention are honouring violent man. They are covering up for him.
 
Many like to argue that nasty religions are in fact misunderstood or good as if pretending that these lovely things are true long enough and hard enough will make them true or soften up the hard hearts of the terrorists.
 
If the religion is man's invention and gets some things right by luck and not because it is guided by God then the religion itself has to be bad in the sense that human nature is bad. The not all bad excuse utterly fails. It does the opposite of what it is intended to do. A man-made religion is doing bad when it preaches and prays for it is doing what man wants and pretending it is not and that it is evil to treat man's word as God's word. The religion prefers to do evil but in such a way that it looks okay or even beautiful. Outright evil is repellent. But those who enrobe evil in beautiful garb are to blame for those who do more obvious evil. They in fact have no business condemning them.
 
A religion is regarded as "not all bad" by outsiders because the insiders like to claim to be not all bad.
 
They do not dare say that the bad ones are good nearly all the time! They are hypocrites. If the not all bad excuse works then why don't religious people praise the bad ones as being good most of the time meaning that their bad does not matter very much? Why the double-standard?
 
They have suspicions about other religions and keep a polite and sometimes hostile distance. If you don't take "not all bad" seriously with other religions then why do you manipulate and expect people to take it seriously with yours?
 
Not all bad doesn't mean much when coming from a religion of hypocrites.
 
The not all bad view has awful consequences at times. Through immigration being too liberal, dangerous religionists for example have got into the United Kingdom.
 
The worst form of the not all bad argument is that, "My religion is not all bad and I am in it because everybody else seems to follow it." Copying others is no reason to be in a religion.
 
The other problem with not all bad is that it abuses religious labels. People fight as much over religious labels as they do religion. They use labels to put themselves in a box and to create an us versus them outlook.
 
How religion looks good even when it does great bad
 
The not all bad argument is an insult and an excuse. It is a distortion of the evidence. It is in denial of the truth. Consider how "Sunnis and Shiites are still Muslims, and have the same cultural background. They kill each other for faith alone" (see page 252, Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible). Consider how Catholics and Orthodox have nearly the same faith and the same rituals and a similar outlook but both slaughtered each other. Consider how Protestants slaughtered each other over the meaning of holy communion.
 
Today the religions sometimes apologise for the terrible things they did in the past. They apologise as religions. Thus they admit that religion is not necessarily good.
 
The not all bad excuse makers do not count themselves among the bad! How humble! They are innocent of enabling the bad in any way! Apart from their pride and self-righteousness, we have to observe how their doctrine that people are not bad but sins are has been conveniently forgotten! The bad must get some kind of "spiritual nourishment" from the hypocrisy of the good.
 
Every religion is accused of creating monsters, of harbouring monsters, of condoning the activities of monsters and finally, of enabling monsters. You could substitute monsters for liars or fools as well. Religion chiefly gets its power and influence by saying, "We are not all bad." That is how it gets off the hook. As religion depends on human membership, each religion is the sum of the actions of its members. People in a religion not being all bad does not mean that the religion should exist. It could still be doing more harm than good. It could be a religion of lies or a religion of prejudice and intellectual dishonesty that scorns the truth it pretends to love. The not all bad thing is an excuse. It cannot excuse a religion that abuses women or that hates science so why believe it excuses any religion? The religion that carefully forms its members into good people and cares deeply about truth does not exist. For example, no checks are done to see if the magic rites for enabling sinners to transform themselves into saints. A religion being good is no good if it makes the dictator who blows the world to bits.

The disconnect
 
Most members of a religion do not understand the teachings of the religion that well. A religion as popularly understood tends to be horrendously vindictive and superstitious. The leaders are responsible for that for in the real world you cannot expect the dogs in the street to know a religion as well as its pope might. A religions officials and its official teaching being praiseworthy means little when you consider the religion as a whole. It is ridiculous to regard Catholicism as wise over all if it has some wise popes and nuns and priests. It is ridiculous to regard a religion as good just because a few good people who claim to be members stand out. It is like you cannot see the forest for the little rose bush.
 
Slippery Slope
 
A hundred people go on the slippery slope to becoming suicide bombers who kill for God. Only one goes all the way. The others haven't done it. But that is nothing to boast about. They could have. That is what this is about. That is why the slippery slope is so terrible and is not to be enabled or tolerated. The suicide bomber starts off by thinking that God gives him knowledge and this knowledge is right no matter what evidence says it is wrong. If you don't suicide bomb, you are still standing on the suicide bomber foundation.
 
Christianity teaches that “sin and wicked behaviour can never be satisfied.” One example of this is how the thief starts off taking little things and then soon she or he is robbing the most vulnerable in our society.
 
Christians believe in more sins than the unbeliever does. For the Christian, it is a sin to deny that Jesus was perfect while the unbeliever will have no problem.
 
Something that encourages people to think they are worse than they are if evil feeds on evil is not good. If we are prone to going on the slippery slope, that only makes us more likely to go on it.
 
And if a religion allows murder under certain circumstances and you want to murder the rich old maid, then it is hardly a big deal if you do. That is why the Catholic Church cannot complain if a man errs and thinks Jesus still wants him to stone gay people to death!
 
People like to be thought good even when they are not!
 
People like to be thought good. Thus if you make out that doing good is also serving God that is an additional reason to be hypocritical.
 
We find that non-religious people and people of every religion are as good as each other. The reason is because they are human. Every religious person - unless very mentally disturbed - has enough humanity in them to be part of society. It is trying to fit in enough that unites us all.
 
We see then that though it is true that the religious and non-religious are as good as each other, this point does nothing to justify the existence of religion. In fact it demands that people drop religion and be better as humans.
 
If we have original sin, we will not want to give it up. The Bible says sin enslaves you for you get attached to it and you let it capture you. It gets a grip on you and you get a grip on it. It is wise to assume that we will create religions that give false cures for the problem. It makes us look good while doing nothing about the sickness of original sin.
 
The not all bad argument is risky
 
Your culture and the influences around you can blind you to the harm certain actions do. When you believe your religion and culture is good, it is easy for you to believe you are good for supporting it and being in it. Then it gets harder for you to see the harm you do or can do or you may see but water it down.

Mental illness or pressure from the culture can mean you end up doing evil things but are not morally blameworthy.
 
What if you argue that there is a downside to everything so why not stay in a religion that does harm? If you should set up a pharmacy though many drugs have terrible side effects and unforeseen consequences then why can't you be in a religion that has a toxic side as well? But you need pharmacies. You do not need religion. Even the religious people do not live religion 24/7.
 
The Treadmill
 
Religion is like a treadmill where the members fall every day and start again. Often they do as much damage or more than those who do not start again. And the temptation to pretend to be starting again will be great. They have given up inside because they are always falling. And when they die they are replaced by new people as bad as themselves and sometimes worse. A treadmill religion is not helping with the problem of human evil. Saying, “We are all sinners” can be an excuse for giving up sin for a few days and then resuming again. It nearly always is. It is arrogant and immature and irresponsible to think that a religion that keeps you starting again is a good one. It is like thinking a hospital is good for releasing you every day and re-admitting you the next day.
 
Talking about the good is about making the bad look okay
 
The Christian faith says everybody is a sinner and sin is essentially the prideful wish to be free from God. If we are sinners and the essence of sin is pride, then the most attractive sins will be the ones that make us look good though we are not. Religion calls faith a virtue. So the virtue of faith is intrinsically suspect. Some virtue then!
 
A perfectly good religion can be abused. Quite rightly nobody will blame the religion. But to say your religion is imperfect and open to abuse is a different matter. The more imperfect or ignorant a religion is the more prone it is to being abused and it must take responsibility.
 
People do good works - sometimes big ones - but are not really good. A good doctor is not really a good doctor if he has abused a child in his care even once. People point to the good works of Moses and Jesus and call the Bible the good book. That is treated as a justification for not being put off by the violence and the acceptance of violence commanded by God through Moses and Jesus. It is a disgrace. The good is irrelevant. To use the good as an excuse for embracing the bad is a further insult to the people corrupted by those scriptures and to their victims. There is no excuse for not being in a religion with scriptures that abhor violence. Or you could be a secular humanist!
 
Catholicism and Islam have done untold harm and when you talk about the harm people expect you to mention the good too. But this is using the good side as if the bad doesn't matter too much. The same people do not campaign for excellent humanitarian doctors to get off scot-free if they murder a patient. And to say that all religions have faults so you will stay in yours is hardly a ringing endorsement of your religion. You are only in it because you can't find anything better. You cannot expect such an attitude to be much good for inspiring those who look at you for guidance and good example. If you can't find a religion or belief that makes you good and happy it is your own fault.
 
People often point to a religion that has a negative reputation and say the members of the religion are not all bad. You will find likeable people in every group even in the Islamic State. Those who say, "Look how much good that religion does! There are a few bad apples yes but it is such an amazing religion" need to be reminded that they are trying to encourage people to forget the bad members. Evil regimes always use the "we usually do good tactic and some do bad" tactic and it works.

 

To point to heroes in a religion when people complain that the religion is harmful or potentially harmful is manipulative. The problem is not the heroes. It is the bad results of the religion we are talking about. Religion loves to take credit for goodness that appears anyway religion or not and the credit for heroes though you get heroes in every camp. The heroes are irrelevant and so not to be exploited as being an argument for the excellence of the religion. Their exploitation indicates that religion may be capable of much much worse!
 
Only a tiny minority of people in a religion are remarkably good. The rest are just as good as everybody else. The excuse, "I am in this religion despite the bad people for they are not all bad" is just an excuse. It is terrible how it seeks to get people to praise the religion and blame the "bad" religionists. It encourages those who suffer wrong at the hands of the religion to internalise the wrong and blame themselves. The enablers of bad people are the biggest problem. They portray the bad as victims and thus make them even worse.
 
Some religions have NOBODY who is exceptionally good!
 
There is something vulgar about people defending a religion that has members who engage in wanton terrorism that no other religion does however bad it is. For example, Islam spawns suicide bombers who love to take out civilians who are not a threat to them. It is not as bad as say Catholicism which with passive aggressive love, urges people to refrain from condoms though they will end up getting AIDS. The not all bad is used to excuse terrible religions and not so terrible alike. It is hypocritical and ignorant.
 
Most believers are actually civil not good. Civil means you may be a waste of space but as long as you don't break the law you are praised as civil. In fairness, most atheists are probably just civil too. It is no compliment to be called civil. Be good.
 
The "not all bad" philosophy is often an excuse for staying in a bad religion or pressure group on the basis that nothing is perfect. If you religion is imperfect you should be on the lookout for a better one even if it will not be perfect either.
 
If say Catholics or Muslims for example are violent, people will say some Catholics or Muslims are violent.
 
Note these things:
 
They admit that the violent are Catholics or Muslims.
 
They need to tell us if they consider a far bigger number of Catholics or Muslims harmful in the sense that somehow they are helping the violence to take place. Perhaps they don't get mad enough about the violence. People can be harmful without being violent. That question is far more important.
 
And how many members have to go bad before you decide the religion is bad?
 
Love the religionists but not their religion?
 
Though people say you must hate the sin and love the sinner, nobody seems to say you should hate the religion and love the people in it when it is an error-ridden, bad and dangerous religion. Are those who say that a religion is acceptable for not all the people in it are bad really qualified then to assess? No.
 
To prefer to blame a religious person for the evil he or she does in the name of faith in religion and say it has nothing to do with religion is persecuting that person in the name of religion. It would be kinder to look at how the beliefs ruined that person. If religion demands that it be exonerated all the time, then religion is bad.
 
And loving the sinner and hating the sin is such a basic principle to religion that it can be considered its bedrock. But it is deceitful. Moreover it leads to people saying, "I love the sinner but do not forgive his sin." Good people should not join religion when it is founded on a bad and hypocritical principle. Hypocrisy is the seed of further and worse hypocrisy.

The few bad eggs can justify condemning a religion
 
Suppose there is reasonably good religion x and reasonably good religion y. X has a few bad eggs and so has y. The bad eggs are sometimes enough to justify condemning the religion and urging people to depart from it. They justify departures when the evil they do outweighs any good done by the religion. They justify departures when the evil they would do if able outweighs any good done by the religion. We know Islamists and some Fundamentalist Christians would wage nuclear war just to destroy other religions. This justifies those who depart for there are signs and a real risk that the disease of religious fanaticism will spread to the majority and make them dangerous too. It is going to have a political impact and influence. If you support say a fundamentalist evangelical religious and social structure, you are creating the political religious crank of tomorrow. The disease of religious fanaticism will spread to make most members enablers of the violent view. Members usually let the bad people do their violence or make excuses for them afterwards or demand that they be forgiven. You can convert to a religion you would normally dismiss as crazy or stupid when you see it getting the superficial credibility that comes from a seemingly big though albeit superficial and hypocritical membership and by the fact that society seems largely to permit the religion.
 
A country asks one person to vote to see if it will introduce infanticide clinics or not. What if that person is you? You will feel horrendous about voting yes. You will nearly certainly vote no. But what if the vote was put to the whole country. Imagine that half the country if not more is expected to vote yes. You will not feel bad about your yes vote then. Something called diffusion of responsibility is at work. You don't feel as much to blame if others are involved. Yet you are still the same kind of person as you would be if the vote were given to you alone. Hypocrisy then is built into human nature and is stronger than any desire for God. In fact claiming to be God's pal is boastful considering how hypocritical human nature is. It is trying to put God's stamp on your pretence. If you think God is ultimately in control of the universe that means that if you murder babies you think you share the responsibility for the deaths with God. That is diffusion of responsibility too.
 
"My leaving the religion will not help"
 
If a religion has a violent history, some violent members and violent scriptures then it is the height of arrogance to reason, "O I would never get involved in sectarian violence." The violent members once told themselves the same thing. And you are unaware of how easily people can be corrupted or misled. And you are involved indirectly in the violence for no law forces you to support this religion or let your name be on its membership rolls. To be arrogant and proud when people suffer and die or have done because of your religion insults them. You have taken the baby steps to corruption.
 
If you claim to be in a bad religion because it will improve or leaving will make it worse, then prove that. You would need to be arrogant to think that your presence in a religion is indispensable to improving it. It is too serious of a matter to expect people to take your word for it that you have good intentions and are not a hypocrite or a coward. Anybody who sits on a fence can say staying in helps or avoids something worse. The religion is bigger than you if it is corrupt and your staying is only asking for to be corrupted. And unless you are pope or something you cannot do much about the corruption.
 
To stay in a harmful or lying religion while claiming that you feel it will change for the better is just an excuse unless you have strong proof that it will change or you are doing something serious to change the religion. It was the ordinary Catholics of the Dark Ages that empowered the Church's reign of terror and some of them told themselves that the evil Church would change so it was worth staying. When the Church was murdering and butchering and persecuting truth, some kings/rulers and some of the populace said, "They are sinners and not a reflection on our holy religion." They told themselves that to feel good about the fact that they were complicit in all that. It is like how Eve tried to blame Adam for what she did.
 
The Church ran a few hospitals and orphanages and bragged about some of the saints and that made the populace willing to overlook the bloodletting.

Your staying in a religion is bad if it is not going to change anything. And if you are honest, you will stay in the religion even if your support helps make it worse! And in a small way it does - there is strength in numbers and in big membership lists. Your membership is support.

You do not see humanistic or secular organisations trying to justify evil behaviour (and enabling evil to happen is evil behaviour!) done by members the way religion does. For example, the humanist cannot say that she let the child molester run rampant for she had the feeling that he would miraculously see the light. The secular politician will not let terrorists roam free while claiming that he is saying prayers that will prevent them from doing any harm.
  
Finally
 
We conclude that a religion from a loving God will produce something better than civility. It would be arrogant to attribute your civility to God. It suits you to be civil. There is no remarkable goodness in any religion or non-religious entity in the sense that you can find a person better than Mother Teresa in any camp. And any goodness comes from within not from religion. When you join a religion with a dark side you must take responsibility for helping that dark side to exist. The "not all bad" argument is a reason for rejecting religion not accepting it.

What bad people in  your religion do makes it right and a duty for others to say of you, “Not likely that she is as bad but maybe?”  It may be a slight maybe but it is still there.  And if it is not it should be.  If you refuse to admit this you only compound your indirect role in the evil of the religious bullies and religious terrorists in your religion.
 
A religion being mostly filled with good people is only mostly good. It proves religion can be bad and if something is mostly good then it is true to call it partly bad. You cannot ignore the bad members and the bad side and thereby condone them by saying the religion is essentially or totally good! You close off any discussion if people are willing to be corrected if they are contradicting their religion. That cannot happen if you treat them as outsiders of their religion and it creates a new us versus them fiasco.
 
Religion is stronger and gets better commitment when it is demanding and nasty. That says a lot.
 
Those who praise your involvement in a harmful religion while saying all people in it are not bad are actually one-dimensional. They won't challenge your faith and allegiance and so are to blame for the spread of the disease.
 
Real goodness is rooted in an extreme respect for human life. Extreme as in you will not give up promoting whatever helps life thrive and thrive happily. If religion is not needed to help people become good it is superfluous. The person who is not religious but who goes among the lepers to be the “god” that cares for them in the absence of divine love is better than the whole system of doctrine and scriptures and authority that makes up the religion. The religion that is superfluous is to blame for the badness in its flock for it pretends to be able to treat it with prayers and sermons and sacraments and it cannot. To make people think they are helped when they are not is to hinder not help.
 
Religion when it claims to connect you to absolute goodness and give you power to overcome your dark side must live by and be held to a bigger standard than a secular body should be. It never is and it does not want to be. It would not last if it did.