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!

 

RELIGIOUS TEACHINGS THAT DENY THAT RELIGION IS NECESSARILY GOOD

The Bible preaches bad harmful violent religion as a good and oddly enough complains a lot about bad religion.  Even its Jesus complains.  The Bible is evidence and proof that religion can be inherently violent.  Acts 23 for example plainly teaches that theological differences can on their own be a source of violence.  People who know or suspect Christianity is false will not leave it even though Jesus said that religion needs to be a black or white issue. Christ said it should be either or.

What a Pope wrote...

Pius XI with the Nazis in his mind wrote an official letter called With Burning Anxiety.  It goes, "Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the state, or a particular form of state, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community—however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things—whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds."  This plainly blames religion, albeit idolatrous religion and secularism that is in fact a hidden religion, for all evil.  If there is no God then it follows that even if Catholicism is the best and most plausible religion is still idolatrous and that makes it dangerous and explains all the evil it has wreaked on religious grounds.

Religion as solidarity

Solidarity has lots of definitions but the best way to understand is to bring in and old proverb.  An injury to one is an injury to all sums up what solidarity is all about and why it is so great.   It is a vital indispensible element to any social change.  Without solidarity we are easily divided.  Without unity we become a target to ourselves.  We become a target for others.  Strength is in solidarity.

A religion by definition is a solidarity not of people but of faith or believers.  You do not need a religion to have a solidarity of people.  This teaching shows us that a religion then by definition cannot be truly good if it is false or manmade or deluded.

Catholicism says that false religion is bad but that does not mean we cannot celebrate anything in it that is good.  However the good in it belongs to God not to it.

Religious rejection of ad hominem

Ad hominem is when you argue that a belief or opinion is wrong because the person expressing it is a hypocrite or something. But even if they are the devil incarnate their belief or opinion could be right.  A belief being true or false has nothing at all to do with the kind of person the believer is.  Another form of ad hominem, an ad hominem in reverse, is arguing that a religion is true because its members are above average good.  Those who say that violent Muslims are not Muslims at all are presupposing that idea.  Thus their argument is arrogant and bad not to mention irrational.  And if being good makes your religion true then you have to admit that being bad makes it untrue.  The only fair and honest solution is that good or bad people both reflect on their religion.

No religion officially embraces ad hominem.  If their scriptures or God or doctrines endorse such thinking the religion would rather forget that.

The "We are all sinners" copout

When a faction or group in a religion or who the religion recognises as its own engages in terrorism or sectarian violence religion says that we are all sinners.

What do they mean?  They could mean one or all of the following.

They could mean that as in resignation and would say to you, "They bomb and kill in the name of our faith but what would you expect?".  They could mean that as we all sin it is only natural for some if not all to engage in religious related violence.  That is disgraceful for there should be no resignation in such a serious matter.  If people give up trying to be non-violent after hearing a message like that can we be surprised?  The violent would feel sort of supported by such a horrible attitude as sported by those who think their religious evil is just human nature.

They could mean, "We all sin and their sins are simply different from ours."  That is insulting and dismissive.  They even degrade themselves by putting themselves on the same level as the terrorists.  Or is it really degradation if that is their attitude?  If you are a faith terrorist and think your sins and Mother Teresa's sins are equally bad but just different sins then you are warped.  Your religion is as bad as you if it would agree with your insane ideas about sin.

They could mean that we are all sinners but at least we have the right religion so we should battle sinners of other religions or certain sinners within our own religion such as heretics for we have to battle somebody anyway.

If we are all sinners and if we can twist even good things into sin then why can't religion itself be an example of sin?   If man is sin then why can't religion be sin?

Some things like smoking are greatly loved though they do harm and love for religion could be similar.

The doctrine that all are sinners implies that as far as people in it are concerned, religion is not all good.

The sinner doctrine especially when it tries to make us all equal in sin before God only encourages sin. People sin easily when they think they are in company.

The doctrine that we are all sinners can become an encouragement to sin especially for the religion that teaches it for religion functions as a placebo for the tormented conscience.  If there is no God to erase that sin then you are not entitled to that placebo.  And you do not need it in order to try and fix the harm  you have done to people.  The risk of being wrong is a real one and thus no religion can or should claim to be totally good for risk is bad in itself even if it is needed.  Other goods make it tolerable but it is not good in itself.

Some Christian countries in the past were remarkably civilised.  But that did not stop innocent people from being banished and legally tortured and murdered because they were thought to contradict the Christian orthodoxy.  The goodness was the reason why they felt they should destroy.  Some goodness or some good people in a religion cannot make a religion good.  It is stupid to take God's command, "You shall not murder" as condemning the death penalty when those who wrote the Bible clearly believed in the death penalty and assumed one reason for the command was that nobody would murder and have to end up executed.  Today's supporters of the death penalty cite the command and hold that it in context is pro-death-penalty.

Politically correct people ignore religious doctrines and scriptures that incite to violence and when religionists obey those evil teachings the politically correct just pretend it has nothing to do with religion.

Not all religion takes the same view. 

Religion is simply an excuse for extraordinary narcissism, paranoia, and barely repressed rage. Marty Klein PhD
 
That the holiest church should produce the greatest sinners is but the natural application of the principle that the corruption of the best is the worst. Father Ronald Knox

Isaiah 64:5-7 - You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways. But when we continued to sin against them, you were angry. How then can we be saved? All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and have given us over to our sins.

Luke 17:7-10 (ESV) - 7 Jesus said, "Will any one of you who has a servant ploughing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? 8 Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”

Paul says faith in the Lord Jesus is stupid and worthless if he has not returned from the dead. That implies that sincerity alone does not please God. It reminds us of how James 1:26-27 says that religion is in vain if you are a gossip. He says you incorrectly think you are religious. Thus a man-made religion or a religion based on a lie deserves no devotion. James and Paul will not stand for the argument that if religion is false it is useful enough and that is what matters.

Romans 5:20 Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE) - Law came in, to increase the trespass; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more

Evil doctrine and false teaching cannot be tolerated in the Church for it spreads as does gangrene 2 Tim. 2:17.  A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump according to 1 Corinthians 5:6 and Galatians 5:9.  These are warnings not to be confident that a Church can be trusted.  Constant assessment is needed.

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 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.

When religious doctrine tries to blame the members!

A religion is both a social structure an organisation and a system of spirituality.  That is why if priests suddenly start sacrificing babies on altars and even the pope does it, some say that it is not an act of the Church but an act of the members of the Church.  When does it become an act of the Church?  If some scripture it has says it does right even if it never obeyed it before then it is an act of the Church.  Or if the Church uses a procedure to make it part of its required and defining doctrine such as by putting it in the official catechism then it is an act of the Church.  If it is an act of what the Church worships as God then it is an act of the Church as well even if the Church won't tell us.  If the Church is fake and a false religion it is to blame for evil even if it does not endorse it.  A sugar pill sold as an anticoagulant is responsible for strokes and heart attacks.  Same idea.  And the Church by rejecting the suggestion only makes itself despicable.  There is a difference between a religion not being to blame for what members might do and the religion using those people as scapegoats to take the blame for its flaws as a religion.

A religion cannot function if all its members are sacrificing babies against its teaching.  It cannot be a religion.  The reality is that joining a church has a lot to do with the kind of people in the Church.  A religion cannot be wholly detached from the kind of people who compose it.  Nobody accepts a religion as good when it is full of bad people even if the teaching is good.  You can use good to make people bad so good in that sense is not everything.

If you have to wait until a religion uses a doctrinal procedure to make evil an act of religion then until then you must consider it POTENTIALLY an act of the Church or religion.  That alone is enough reason to look for the exit door.  If people walk away then it will never get to the stage where it can implement the procedure for it will have disbanded before that.  If you stay you give it the chance.  Many people stayed in religions before until it was too late and because of their support they ended up part of the problem.

If a religion is man-made, then because man has no authority to bind people to believe x or y or z, then it only matters what the believers do not what catechisms or statements of belief it can put evil into.  The evil is an act of the religion whether it is official or required doctrine or not.  Thus to say that the man-made religion of x is not in some way to blame for what its suicide bombers or child molesting clergy do is to insult the victims and put religious ideology over that.

Notice how at the start we saw that religion is a system of people and a system of what people are to believe or do (spiritual).  For a religion not to be to blame for what people do it would need to be solely an organisation of people. People who organise themselves into village x are not all to blame when one person sprays grafitti.  They are to blame if they claim the village has magical properties or spiritual forces that heal the evil side of human nature.  Notice how religion would admit it is both systems and manipulate you to ignore the fact that its spiritual treatments for sin do not work and thus it is to blame for the harm that follows.

Religious doctrine supports our thesis that not all bad is an excuse!
 
The doctrine of God implies that God alone matters. It implies too that everybody falls short of what God wants a good person to be. It is safe to say that most "godly" people are mainly out to get things from God.
 
God is said to attract sinners. Sinners allegedly want him which is why they can abandon their sins for him. But the reality is that it is the imperfect people of God who attract us. They tell us God is in them and we think we find God in them. It is certain that for many people, they are warmed up to the Catholic Church by memories of pious family members who would have given you their last loaf. Through them, God supposedly inspires you to live a better life. In fact, you are confusing the goodness in people with God. Moreover, it is the fact that those people had flawed goodness that makes them so special. So looking at their goodness to learn about God's is really like looking at God's goodness through a clouded lens. People are not scared by flawed goodness in others and they love it. This is not really about God at all. Feeling divinely inspired by the flawed but hospitable people in your past is just a feeling for you would not relate to any of those people if they were proper images of God. Religious people expect you to be inspired by them. So what happens when this inspiration fails to support you as you battle temptation to work some great evil? They blame you. They should blame religion as well. But they won't. The moral of the paragraph is to blame the religion even more so than the person.
 
Christianity claims that God intends to save the world through Jesus Christ but that people, even Christians get in the way by not being obedient or prayerful enough or sharing the gospel enough. Therefore though the people do not blame Christians for everything bad in the world, they surprisingly enough say they are to blame! Christians are forbidden by Christ to see themselves as good servants of God as we have seen from the quotation from Luke above. And the Bible says only God sees the heart and than humankind prefers their own understanding of the divine and not God as he really is. If we are good enough to each other we are not good at all to God.

Some religions claim to be collections of individuals. Others claim to be a family. Mormons claim to be a family and to have inherited its spiritual DNA from Heavenly Father when their souls were procreated in Heaven. Roman Catholicism teaches that you somehow become part of Jesus, not literally but in some mystical way, and that this union exists in its best condition in the Roman Catholic Church. The members of the Church share Spiritual DNA - a metaphor but it indicates what the Church is trying to say about the members of the Church being in communion. In some supernatural way, the members of the Church are one. This is not like the family being one - it is mystical and even closer than that.
 
A family sees one bad member as a reflection on itself. If the family does that then the Church should see its bad members as a reflection on itself. But it never does. The sinner is a bigger reflection on it than a black sheep would reflect on his family.

When a religious organisation does harm the organisation will say there are problems in all organisations and societies.  But that does not change the fact that a religious society is different from a human one and you would expect better.  It is very dishonest of religion to pretend that it is like any society for it is only taking advantage of the fact that it is crazy to imagine that all societies should be wonderful and pacifist and peaceful.  And religion does not see itself as just human but divine. 

The argument that all societies have problems with violent members and not being able to prevent some from turning out like that which amounts to inadvertently helping suggests that as we have to have societies that does not justify specifically religious societies.  By religious societies we mean organised religion and the fact that one religion seriously contradicts the next one shows that organised religion can be done without.  It makes no sense to say that a religious society is necessary for the fact that religious societies can be so utterly different from each other proves that either only religious societies that believe certain things - say in Jesus as the only Son of God - count or none count.  It legitimises discrimination. 

And we should have the minimal number of societies because too many creates too many problems.  You can handle evil in one society easier than you can in two.  It is better to handle a society that is bad on human grounds and impossible to handle one that thinks it gets its evil directives from God who knows better than us and who uses evil to do good.
 
The not all bad excuse then though used by many religions actually contradicts the faith of those religions which claim to be a spiritual and supernatural unity.  A religion either sees itself as community or a collection of individuals. Either way it must take responsibility for not having its bad members turn out better and for having them as well - no bad person is all to blame and as the religion is what claims to be making people good the blame-layers must go to its door first. The religion is tarnished. To see itself as a community is to take the bad with the good. To see itself as a collection of individuals is to recognise that it considers the individuals its own even if they are bad. Thus it is to be criticised along with the evil members.

A religion that is a collection of individuals by default has to deny that it is anything other than as good or bad as its members are. So if it has some wife-batterers it cannot claim to be unaffected and and still as pure as snow.

If religion is unwittingly untruthful and stupid it is still bad.  Lies and errors cannot be turned good by good intentions.  Given that religion says evil is never satisfied there will be bad consequences if not today then tomorrow.