Voltaire hated fanatical thinking and actions. He blamed them on the Christian and Islamic religions in particular. The French Revolution came along in the name of secularism and reason and behaved exactly the same way as they did.

What do we make of that?

The Bible says in Romans 1 that people have no excuse for disobeying the faith and the drivers of the French Revolution said people had no excuse for not thinking and being rational in matters of religion. There is an inherent risk of harming people when you judge them like that. It is not just a religious or political problem. It happens everywhere and in everything.

The Revolution was not truly secular as it used religious trappings and appealed to the God of reason.

Plus an entity that tries to replace a cult that has violent scriptures and which used war and evil to rise to power and dominance is afraid of a resurgence and may go too far to prevent it. We know the power of superstition and that is part of the reason why many react to it the wrong way. They get too defensive and start persecuting the superstitious.

And secularists who forsake evil religion may find it hard to forgo the habits of a lifetime.

If a faith based on a vague God and which endorsed what was supposedly best for human nature can harm like the French Revolution shows, it shows that the more complicated and serious religious faiths should be leading to much worse. We have luck to thank not the religions.

Could fanaticism be a permanent feature of human nature? Catholics tend to argue that the Revolution proves just that. So why are they promoting Catholicism if it has a human side and that side could be as bad as say the Nazis? People are less likely to be fanatical if their group is small.  Catholicism tries to be big and tries to seep into everything that is outside of it.  It gives a feeling of safety to the fanatic.

There is a difference between being a fanatic for human reasons and religious ones.  Getting into religion is virtually asking for new reasons to be a fanatic. There are enough.  And you can successfully debunk the human reasons but you are left helpless if somebody says, "I know God has a plan.  I am right to wage this battle regardless of how bad and insane that it looks."

Fanatics act as if they have the great spiritual cosmic insight that their efforts despite the odds will miraculously do good, and the greater good will come. It is subliminally religious at the very least.

Religion traditionally argues that the good plan could be centuries away so we must always try to do good and be patient. Now putting the goal that far off means religion cannot be caught out if it is fooling us.  It is dangerous for that reason.  People will fight wars for centuries and justify that on the basis that in a million years the fruits will manifest and their efforts will be declared beneficial.

And if good results come that does not mean that they show the real goal God has set has been achieved.

The greater good may only be a bit better than the alternative.  So greater good must never be interpreted as always working for some utopia. 

The greater good is a fantasy and an excuse.  It is based on lies as we have seen.  Those who promote it know the risk and are bad simply for putting the risk out there.


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