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!

 

Why Oppose ALL Religion?

Letting people be deceived in religion, ruins your credibility and shows you have no courage and cannot handle tricky things diplomatically. It ruins the peace of the other person who needs to be able to trust others. The deception or being complicit in deceit by silence deprives the person of the chance to find a religion and religious relationship that she values and that suites her better if not best. The notion that what she does not know will not harm her patronises her. It is unresponsive to what she cares about and needs. What is important is that she has a meaningful relationship with a religion or community not that she should have pleasant beliefs about that relationship that are false.

 

Robert Ingersoll wrote concerning the Church which wonders “why any Infidel should be wicked enough to endeavour to destroy her power.  I will tell the church why.  You have imprisoned the human mind; you have been the enemy of liberty; you have burned us at the stake – wasted us upon slow fires – torn our flesh with iron; you have covered us with chains – treated us as outcasts; you have filled the world with fear; you have taken our wives and children from our arms; you have confiscated our property; you have denied us the right to testify in courts of justice; you have branded us with infamy; you have torn out our tongues; you have refused us burial.  In the name of your religion, you have robbed us of every right.  Can you wonder that we hate your doctrines – that we despise your creeds?”


The Greatest of All Lies is the Lie told on behalf of God or religion...

Religion comes from a Latin word meaning to bind. It has to mean more than an outlook or group that binds people together. The best understanding is that it binds people together in a belief system and that that belief system is based on the supernatural so religion is trying to bind people to supernatural powers and each other. It implies that the people owe these powers worship and service as a duty. Religion then is a form of division. And a major source of division and bloodshed.

Religion is rules that have been authorised by God or which at least are claimed to be.

We do not really need religion. We need food and drink and shelter and health care to survive. But surviving is not really living. So we also need, but in a lesser way, arts, philosophy, sport, customs, manners and literature. They are optional for survival but needed for quality of life. You need them more than religion. Many people who have no religion endorse them and embrace them. Arts and philosophy can substitute for religion safely.

If religions are bad, the worse the religion is that you are in the worse you make yourself.

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.

Some deal with the problem of bad religion by saying that faith in religion is a private matter. They point out how a man can be a good president for his country and still be an adulterer in his private life. But separating private and public is never clear-cut or easy. If the president is a good liar like an adulterer needs to be, is that the kind of person you would trust in all things? The president could indeed still be a good president despite his private life but we cannot be expected to trust him or to take a chance on him. And if he asked us to, that would indicate disrespect for us. Now suppose he is a good president regardless of his adultery. What is worse for us - his being an adulterer or his being a member of a deceitful and bad religion? The latter would be worse if he considers the religion as part of his identity, part of what he is all about. And if people do wrong and do it through religion, you cannot say that they would do wrong anyway so the religion as such is fine. It would be like saying a person should be employed in a bank even if he has a history of stealing because he is going to steal anyway.

Some religions make such major claims that if they are man-made religions or are not divinely inspired then the person who follows them seriously misuses his or her life. No truly good person would encourage you to follow a religion that is wrong or man-made when for example it has you living your life to keep out of Hell forever. That makes you seriously miss the mark. It gives you a mistaken purpose in life. Saying nothing enables the error to continue and soon others end up being led astray as well. No man has the right to have his rules treated or considered as God's rules when they are not. It is only for God - if he exists - to make the rules. Otherwise the man becomes the lens through which you look at the alleged God. He becomes the real God. Anything else intends disrespect to the God that might exist and disrespect for yourself and others. True respect for the man who claims to reveal God's laws to you means you give him only the respect to which he is entitled to in reality and no more.

The tendency to enable error, to empower it by letting it thrive, is the principle religious vice. Also religious communities actively or through silence or giving money, enable the leaders to get more power to harm people and to promote lies and "facts" that defy science and history and perhaps everything. Religion is training in dissonance where people seem to believe Adam and Eve existed despite knowing science has refuted them decisively. That is one example. A Muslim can read the Koran and see that its alleged perfection and clarity is a myth and still walk away believing that it is the infallible and perfect and clear word of God for God gave the actual words. When one can do that, one can easily feel saintly and believe herself or himself to be a saint while putting a shot in the head of the infidel. If they are not doing it is just because they didn't get into the context for doing it. If enabling error is the biggest problem with religion and why it is a curse, how does that square with other places where I wrote that the problem is religions tendency to persecute? Enabling error is a form of passive aggressive violence and at least implicitly, it persecutes the seeker of truth. A man of peace who lets others do violence is not a man of peace but a hypocrite. He is worse than those who take up the weapons because he gives evil an attractive face. Enabling error is enabling liars and lying to people is a form of abuse. If you let error thrive, you don't know what the consequences will be. Error allows great evil and violence to happen and thrive because without the truth there is little or nothing that can be done.

We must never consider how much good a religion does. The more a religion opposes truth, the more good it needs to do to look good. All organisations, however evil, need to look reasonably good. What we must consider is its attitude to truth. Does it enable error and does it preach in defiance of known facts? Every religion claims to have the truth. So each one must see the others as prone to error or as witting or unwitting opponents of the truth. Every religion itself must agree with us that the religious enabling error is a huge problem because if people were not doing it, there would be fewer false or religions about. Many religions are outright cons and still get tremendous devotion. People who enable possible error are not much better than those who knowingly enable error.

Even "good" religion makes bad religion or religion that enables evil to look good or better because it legitimises enabling. "Good" religion helps "bad" religion to thrive by developing the main ingredient of "bad" religion, people who enable. Those who deny that evil religious people are really religious are examples of such enablers. The enabling is the biggest problem. Without it the abuse and violence (violence against reason and truth and people) in religious contexts will not take place.

By blaming the bad deeds of a religionist on some other impulse and not on the religious impulse is enabling the problem. If the religious impulse is irrational, it means the person is risking becoming violent for religion.

Many religions are sectarian in the sense that they condemn other religions and condemn things or people that/who are not really wrong or that bad. The system of religion may be sectarian but the people in it might not be. But as they enter and/or remain part of a sectarian system and thus support it they lose any right to protest against sectarianism. They make their argument against sectarianism hypocritical and redundant. They hurt and demean themselves by acting like they want to be squeaky clean but have others in the religion doing the dirty sectarian work for them. Or perhaps they want the religious system of ethics and doctrine to do the sectarian hurting for them. They are still sectarian but of a less obvious and therefore more dangerous variety. They act like passive aggressive sectarians who want the social benefits of being seen as wonderful and good. And that is just what they are.

If a religion or all religion is untrue and is man-made and not acting with divine authority and mandate then religion is separating people from reality and keeping them away from their right to know the truth. They are cut off from the truth about who and what they really are and what life is about. They are blind and they cause more blindness and encourage people like Joseph Smith to take advantage of the blind.

All religions claim that perversions of religion, when religion is twisted and perverted by human beings, are dangerous. They deny that religion as such is necessarily bad or harmful.

We are encouraged to respect the beliefs of others. It is people we should respect not beliefs. Respecting the beliefs of others is popularly taken to mean that you don't criticise these beliefs at all - not even in a kindly way. This is nonsense. Respecting a belief does not mean sweeping it under the carpet. That is fearing it not respecting it. People do not have the right to ask us to fear their beliefs or their rights to hold beliefs. Fear like that leads to resentment and bigotry not to mention more fears!

Respecting the beliefs of others, ie not criticising or showing you disagree with them, is often restricted to religious beliefs which in itself is an admission that religion gets a dangerous level of reverence. It is asserting that it is dangerous to openly disagree with somebody's religious beliefs and admitting that religion is dangerous. It is accusing the practitioners of being dangerous. We disagree and contradict the beliefs of others every day so why should religious beliefs be exempt from our vocal criticism? If religious belief is dangerous and it makes the believers dangerous then that is all the more reason for gently trying to discourage religious belief and expose the untruths that it arises from.

If religious belief deserves such respect that nobody should try to express disagreement with it, then it should only get it when the believer is open to checking that the belief is not detrimental to human welfare. Otherwise the believer doesn't care. For example, the Catholic who denies that birth-control should ever be allowed is opposing human welfare if this belief is wrong. He or she is part of the forces that are against birth control. If he or she is set upon believing that birth-control is always wrong and refuses to listen to the truth that person is simply bad.

Some people are not offended when their god, say Jesus for example, is insulted even though they claim to be Christians. And some Christians are offended. Should we be silent because some people have a bad reaction that they refuse to try and control? Should we be silent because even if we try to reason with them that Jesus might not have been what he said he was without insulting they will still get mad and offended? Surely in the latter case they are doing wrong not us. Surely their reaction is their own business.

Belief is not a private matter. Beliefs and opinions affect how you work in the world and relate to others. Believing something for emotional reasons or on little or no evidence shows poor self-control. If society could have the same beliefs it would be knit together better. Life would be better.

Work against religion by trying to educate its victims and expose the lies of their clergy.
 
Beliefs — what people believe to be true or false about our world — are vitally important.  Just because we take them for granted and they don’t feel important doesn’t mean they are not important. Everything we do can be traced back to our beliefs. If we want to encourage a bad person to be good, we have to teach that person perhaps that people are not as bad as he or she thinks. Anti-social acts are often committed out of fear of others and to feel in control. Fearing other people always lead to disrespecting them at least in your thinking.

All our beliefs are important for they make us what we are. Religion says that religious beliefs are the most important beliefs of all. For the God believer, believing the doctor can help you is a sin. Believing that God uses the doctor to help you is a duty. It is to be all about God though believers may seem to act like secular people when they go to doctors.

From the perspective of the safe side, people who believe their religious beliefs entitle them to special treatment must be ignored. We can't pander to every form of religion. Religions disagree with one another. We have rights as people not as religionists. To expect special treatment because one accepts certain doctrines is just arrogant and silly. To expect people to say nothing critical about religion as if religion were something special is just paying homage to religious fundamentalism and implicitly endorsing it.

Dangerous beliefs can lead to death. For example, a Muslim terrorist or a Christian fundamentalist can believe that evil must be destroyed and this can lead to her or him planning to destroy a whole area thought to be populate with infidels and profligates with a small bomb.

Religion is said to motivate people to do good. Some sycophants say that real religion does this so any community that claims to be a religion and doesn't is not really a religion. The sycophants say that real Muslims do not wage war or kill or do bad things. This ignores the fact that the Muslim God commands Muslims to do bad things. Those sycophants are really in fact lying about how good religion is because they want the religion to exclude its obedient followers who will hurt and maim in obedience to it. They want to encourage and empower the liberals who pretend to believe all the scriptures while rationalising or ignoring the violent commands in them.

Some speak of religion and contrast it with perverted religion. So bad religion is not religion but a perversion of religion. The interesting thing about this train of thought is that if a religion claims to be authorised by God and inspired by him and in fact is merely man-made then it is perverted religion.

Religious leaders and religious people strongly frown upon any criticism of their dogmas – beliefs they are committed to stand by. They make religion very important. But it is precisely because it is that important that it must be criticised or people must look to see if there is any faults in it.

Should we give tolerance to religious beliefs? We all agree that in minor things intolerance is to be tolerated. For example, we tolerate the mild rudeness of a cranky neighbour.

Religious believers themselves would not tolerate who says that God lives in the river and we should drink the water to be saved. Indeed they would turn against that person. To them that person would be a fool and a lunatic. They look for a tolerance for their beliefs that they won’t extend to others. Yet it is clear that some beliefs are so foolish that those who profess and/or promote them should be treated as fools. Consider the Catholic doctrine that the bread and wine physically become the body and blood of Jesus Christ despite no physical change being detectable. Religious belief should be shameful.

Commanding is bad. God should not say, "You shall not murder." He should say, "Murder is wrong". Commanding suggests that you must suffer if you don't obey. It is an implied threat. Islam and Christianity are intrinsically vicious for they are concerned with what God commands and make commands of their own. Commanding implies that you must do good because you want to be obedient and not because the good is good. Priests and mullahs find the commanding side of their religion and their God very very attractive and it makes them feel powerful. God is massaging their egos.

Religion can command dangerous things. So can any teacher of ethics. There is a lot of disagreement about right and wrong. So it is simply stupid to say that religion necessarily has to be good or should be good. Liberal and moderate believers in religion are assisting the so-called “extremists” in their religions. How? They defend violent religious texts. The Catholic Bible has God commanding that parents be permitted to stone their wayward children to death. A theologian will come up with some excuse to avoid the implications of such a teaching but it is only his opinion. He still says the text is the word of God and people must believe it meaning that those who take a different view are being encouraged to obey it to the letter if they wish. The liberals and moderates create a need and a taste for the religion in people. These people can discover that the scriptures advocate violence and upon realising that they may feel they have to be violent too to be consistent with their faith.

The liberals are really saying, “We don’t advocate violence. Our scriptures appear to advocate violence but there must be explanations and these scriptures should be honoured as God’s word”. They are encouraging and helping to implement the conditioning of people to get them to feel and want to believe in these scriptures. This amounts to advocating the violence in those scriptures. Some say that Jesus did away with the laws of God in the Old Testament that ordered the people to kill homosexuals, apostates and adulterers in the name of God. God threatened Israel with destruction if it did not obey his law. If Jesus did abrogate the laws, the believers today are still admiring what God did and how obedient the people were in carrying out his laws. They are saying that God commanding killing is not intrinsically wrong and if God wanted us to do it we should do it. Belief in God who has the right to take life automatically implies that God as the right to order his Church to kill for him. Its a bad belief and some humanity is lost if we assent to belief in God. That is why there is no such thing as harmless religion or faith in God.

It is commonly thought that as a society we need religion, we need politics and we need science. Religion is form of politics dealing with other levels of existence. If we have politics on earth we don't need the politics of Heaven! Politics can go wrong and has led to so many wars and injustices and so much corruption. Science has given us the knowledge of how to make Hell on earth and destroy ourselves forever. Religion, politics and science can go bad. So many argue then that just because religion can go bad does not mean that we should discard it.

Some religionists make out that religion is not a political entity. But religion acts the same way as politics. Leaders are appointed and lies are told to defy the facts that the religion does not like. The same fake charm is displayed. Attempts to seem better than other religions are made. Religion is a form of spiritual politics. Religion is politics in that it claims to give us morality and moral principles. Politics always appeals to moral people to participate in it and support it. Politics bases itself on morality and appeals to it. For example, you cannot be a socialist if you think it does not matter if people have access to healthcare or not.

We may need faith but not religion. Despite the threats the Roman Catholic Church for example against those Catholics who decide to cherry pick from its teaching that they will be punished for this sin and are heretics in the eyes of God, most Catholics simply pick what they like out of what the Church teaches. It is the same even with most Muslims. Most members of religion are not true members. They want to act like members and do what they want. So the evidence is against the view that people need religion. If they needed it they would believe in it properly and obey it better. What they want is to fit in and to have beliefs that suit them. If they need anything it is faith not religion.

Liberals have many doctrines that fuel the extremists.

Religion undermines what is best for people by judging actions wrong because a God forbids them and not because of the suffering the actions cause. They believe in a God who uses suffering and lets it happen.

Religious believers put their views beyond falsification. Nothing however evil disproves the love of God. The contradiction between Jesus dying and being with his disciples afterward is solved by the explanation that he miraculously rose from the dead. A person who gets into this non-falsification habit will end up perhaps thinking that God can want him to kill unbelievers. If you have one irrational belief then why can't you have another?

Fundamentalism refuses to listen to critics and seeks to demonise them and is irrational and often violent. Religion tends to be fundamentalist.

Even sweet religious ideas such as that we must love the sinner and not love the sin are fundamentalist. They seek to blind people to the fact that the difference between a sinner and a sin is linguistic only. We are never against any sin. We are against the bad character of the person. The sin is only a communication of what is inside the sinner - of what kind of person the sinner is.

Can an atheist be a fundamentalist? There has to be such a thing as a non-fundamentalist. Belief in God urges that God be treated as important. Belief in naturalism (the denial that there is any God or supernatural power) says people are important and gods are not. Which one is not fundamentalist? Which one is not putting belief before people?

Atheist fundamentalists are thought to be those atheists who want to debunk religion and leave old people without the comfort of God and faith. They are thought to be those atheists who force secular ways on believers. They are thought to be those atheists who have a bad opinion of religion.

Many people die happily without belief in God or an afterlife. The belief in these causes addictive behaviour in some people who suffer without them. Many old people would be glad to be rid of their belief. It is better to believe death is the end than to fear that death may be the door to everlasting torment in Hell.

An irrational or stupid faith is a dangerous thing for a person to depend on. It seems uncharitable to take their faith away from them. But would it not be worse if the whole house of straw came falling down with the death of a loved one or some other disaster? What if we had a better alternative for them to believe in?

If it is right to force a bully to stop it is right. If it is right to fix a dangerous bridge then to fix it is right. If the state should be secular, then religion should not be complaining. It should not be moaning that it has secular ideas forced on its members. What can it expect? What else can we do?

And if religion deserves to be thought badly of it should not be objecting when naturalists say it is harmful.

Religion shows its true potential for harm and violence when these take place in its name. The actual harm done is the best proof of the harmful potential of religion. You may object that there are good people in it too. But it is human to be good. They are good as people not as religionists. Good must never be attributed to a religion but to how a person responds to it.

Some Christian and Muslim groups are fond of bloodletting. If they are behaving contrary to the Christian or Muslim religion, the fact remains that the God speaking in the Old Testament and the Koran and Muslim tradition authorises violence.  That leads to the sects thinking, "Okay let us endorse and dish out this violence.  If we are wrong, it is not that big of a deal for violence is endorsed by God in the scriptures anyway."  And it does not matter if the sect is authentically Christian/Muslim or not.  What matters is that it claims to be a religion and we should take it at its word.  Is the religious attitude the problem?  Is religion the problem?  Is the sect merely a symptom of what religion does to people's heads?  Does "good" religion pose a risk? Is it luck or forces external to the religion that we have to thank when nothing has happened?

Religion should not try to influence politics. For example, if Catholics have to legislate for or against abortion, they must think of the pros and cons without letting themselves be influenced by their religious feelings about abortion or by the teaching of the Church. It is hard enough to legislate fairly, without religion coming along to make things even more complicated. And if the Catholic religion really trusts it's God, then why does it try to influence and control the law and stop divorce and abortion? If somebody wants to sin by wishing they could have an abortion, the law banning abortion or allowing it is going to make no difference. And surely God can fight abortion and divorce by grace and not by law?

What we need is more therapy and education faculties everywhere to normalise and encourage people to defect from religions that have violent gods and scriptures. The Koran God, the God of Jesus, even the Book of Mormon God directs people to murder Laban. Such books are a bad example to believers and feed the belief that as God uses evil to work out his good plan he could command us to kill. Murder is not a sin when God tells you to do it for God supposedly owns life.

 

Racism is the irrational tendency to hate and discriminate against people who do not share your skin colour.  As racism is irrational and it expresses how tribalistic we are as a species, anything that creates and us and them mentality such as religion is to be suspected of passive aggression at best.  If you want to discriminate against a class one way to do it is to have a religion that is not theirs.  The members of another religion are seen as composing a class of their own.  Christianity claims to be a race - a chosen race.  Religion then is racism without the skin colour issues.  If it is not racism's sister it is very like her.  The two monsters spring from the same noxious well.

 

Religion be it a force for good or bad is based on some level of loyalty to a group. You identify with the group. You and God become the group.  That is where the problem lies.

Conclusion:  Religion is dangerous. If you do not oppose religion you oppose atheism for religion thrives if it is not questioned or gently challenged. Not taking a stand is taking a stand itself. If you say nothing you invite disrespect for yourself and your right to be seen as not encouraging religion and your right to discourage it. Gently promote atheism with sensitivity. Leave religion because if you stay in it, you make your case against its violations of human rights and truth contradictory and hypocritical and therefore redundant. Do you want to be the one whose religious friend wastes hours in the chapel or Temple, gives his hard earned cash to religion, risks a worse disappointment and faith crisis the deeper she gets involved in her false religion and who gives up marriage and family to waste his life on religion all because you couldn't be a real friend and discuss the matter?