We can oppose religion as in those who are committed to supernaturalist ideas.  We can oppose religion in the sense of a public entity, a social construct, that cosmetically makes a unity seem to exist that does not exist.  Take any Church.  It has practices.  It has buildings.  It labels.  This is an organisation that is about religious ideas and activities on the face of it.  But what is happening is that most of those involved are only playing along and thinking differently from it.  So the unity is only external.

And the religion gives facile answers to questioners. Only a small number of problems are dealt with. 

Nobody asks if Jesus was both God and man and if he had free will what would happen if he sincerely decided there was no God?  If he could not decide that then he was not properly human.  And what if Jesus decided to marry and not start a ministry? What if Jesus chose to have a very low intellectual capacity and ended up worshipping  a garden gnome?  The idea of Jesus being God shows a marked tendency among Christians to look down on people who are secularists or atheists even when they have genetic traits that draw them.  And the ableism is obvious.  The Church would not worship a Down-Syndrome Jesus.

Religious pluralism holds that even if one religion is more right and more beneficial than another we should regard all religions as true enough.  They get past the pass grade.

This is self-defeating if you belong to a religion like Mormonism or Catholicism which claims to be the one true Church and the one true faith.  Church is organisation and faith is the doctrinal content that you end up with when you commit yourself to "knowing" their version of Jesus.  The two are not the same thing.

If you assume religious exclusivism, that is the notion that only one faith is authorised by God and is reliable, that is compatible with the idea that God has given light to other religions.  Nothing can be totally wrong.

There are a huge number of people who claim revelations be it fortune-tellers or prophets.  The number is countless.  If most of these think they really got revelations what then?  It shows that you can be right and think God helped you be right and be wrong about God having anything to do with it.  Arguing that a religion is guided by true prophets overlooks the fact that it is guided by sincere prophets.  Sincerity does not guarantee being right.

Religious exclusivism is statistically unlikely to make sense.

Religion prevents truth from thriving and blocks truth and when that happens real justice is hard to implement.  One set of people who suffer from this are women who need justice for they were raped.  They rarely get it.

Another issue is that most religious people go on as if evils such as fraud and hate and oppression can happen without religion as if that means that when religious reasons are given for such behavior we should ignore them.  They say that bad behaviour in the name of religion is really based on greed and selfishness not faith or religion.  They cannot give you any clear guide as to where religion stops and starts and often mess around with the definition of the word.  There is no excuse if violence and hate are happening for creating another excuse or "reason" to add to it.  Their argument backfires and shows religion should go for there is enough to cause trouble.

The religionists and their allies contradict themselves by advocating for what many call moderate religion.  An online commentator wrote, "But moderate religion still does harm. It still encourages people to believe in invisible beings, inaudible voices, intangible entities, undetectable forces, and events and judgments that happen after we die. And therefore, it still disables reality checks… making people more vulnerable to oppression, fraud, and abuse."

Moderate religion, when you look at the globe, is in the minority.  Plus many moderates cannot be more extreme for they are in a social and political culture that will not tolerate any nonsense.  Or they just don't have the guts.  Staunch hateful religion is best at propagating itself.  It captures those who hate the feeling of uncertainty.  It is effective at encouraging members to reproduce. Every moderate has at least some dangerous extreme positions or is too soft on others having them.  Extremists and moderates are on a spectrum.  It is possible to be moderate in many things and still decide to fly a plane into a building to destroy infidels.  Moderates will harm fundamentalists.  It is all a pack of lies.

What about the moderates, the majority, who do not speak out when some of their number commit religious atrocities? What about how relatively calm they are about it?

To judge if a religion is bad you need the typical representative.  Not everybody regarded as one should be one.  The best test is the top doctrine makers and teachers such as Jesus, Moses or whoever. They are the typical.  They were harmful people.  Being in a bad religion can mean you should be chastised for supporting it or being told that you are better than it and to get out.  Don't let a religion manipulate you to taking good non-typical members as proof that it is beneficial or okay.

Moderate religion makes non-moderate religion possible.  That is why you cannot contain murderous religion.  If religion is wrong and tries to prevent you seeing that, this stops you learning from your mistakes.  For example, prayer can make you feel that turning away from God leads to violence and evil for his protection is eschewed.  This is not far from actually condoning violence in the name of God.  Prayer has a placebo effect where you feed your instinct, "Everything happens for the best in the end," and that is a bad instinct and does not need encouraging.  Many feel that religious violence is ultimately related to the notion that despite its bad effects, it is for some good that God will take care of.  Prayer invokes that evil be used to do good and it is quite extreme to ask say that a child's death be used that way.  You feel good about that and that is improper.  Prayer is trying to feel you control some evil.  It may be indirect but indirect control is control.

Moderate religion in pagan times meant that nobody let the gods tell them what to do but they offered prayers and rites to the gods and expected benefits in return.  People claimed the right to correct the gods and tell them they were wrong.  What moderate religion means today is extremist religion or religion that goes too far but is not blatantly antisocial.

What about atheistic genocide?  It was not conducted in the name of atheism.  And its ringleaders only wrecked their own peace and happiness.  This is not very consistent with a strong atheism that affirms that this life is all you have got so be safe and don't wreck your happiness by wasting energy on war.  It has been pointed out that when systems such as Communism did horrendous things that religion or religious style thinking was still a part of the private lives of many participants and ringleaders. A secular system can have some religious traits or pseudo-religious orientations. It can still depend on the religious to do harm.


No Copyright