The "Not all Bad" Excuse when Religion does Harm

Religious freedom is a right. It does not follow that any corrupt religious organisation shouldn't be dismantled. People have a right to exist. Organisations don't.  In a secular state, a religion is just another human grouping.  Not all bad is no excuse for protecting a social struture.  Any group could say that and yet we close some of them down.


A lying or wrong or invalid religion has no authority to own or label you.  Others have even less right to support its labels.  If faith is merely human then it is only a social construct.  Only informed choice is choice.  A misled convert to a religion is not really a convert or a member.


It seems obvious that we should not label or mark a whole group with the properties of select individuals in that group.  So don't slam a group for the horrors that a few members commit in its name.   Sounds reasonable.  But that is what you are doing when you ignore the harm no matter how terrible it is to concentrate on the "good" ones.  If the religion is not able to cure enough evil then the good ones don't count.  And surely we should see people as good as people?  See the good Muslim as getting it from being human not as getting it from being Muslim.


Doing good in a religion's name or doing evil in its name leads to somebody saying, "You may say it is in the name of the faith but that does not mean it is.  Terrorists and bullies can ever act in the name of it."  If the faith is man-made, if it is merely human opinion that has grown arrogant and vain, then it has no authority to tell anybody it does not act in its name.  Leaders disagree on who is bad and good so who decides?  Don't let people get you to dismiss bad people who are in their religion as representative of it.


Smoking causes cancer.  Most smokers do not get cancer.  That does not at all indicate that smoking is not to blame. Most people in a religion may not turn into dangerous fanatics but that does not negate the fact that their faith leads to danger and is the key to danger.  In this view, we oppose religious belief severely but do it for we value the dignity of those swept up into the belief.


If religion is seen as a collection of religious people then it is saying they are linked.  The link has to be real.  This means they cannot take credit for the good the religion does without taking credit for the bad as well.  So the evil others do reflects on you though you are not the one doing it.  You claim the good in human nature as your own in the sense that even if you are completely bad you still are part of a nature of which better is expected and possible.  If human nature were evil it would still be good in the sense that it has the power to do good.  You are the bad person because others are good and can be good.  So human nature makes a link.  It is there whether you are bad or good.  So as regards this human nature link a religious person is linked to what anybody else does regardless of the other being religious or not. 


If human nature is inherently religious and the non-religious are religious but blind to it then the human nature link is a religious one.


So whatever there is a link anyway.


Religion in a generalised way makes a link even between polarised religions.  The acts of say a Christian or Hindu reflect on their religious polar opposites. Don't confuse this with the assertion that human nature is religious inherently.


Specific religion such as Christian or Mormon or Muslim creates another link within each ideology.


So for that reason you cannot use the good deeds of some or many to make a case that they are the religion in its ideal state meaning the religion is good in itself.


As a religion cannot expect everybody who claims to belong to it to be truly converted, it is better for a religion to be virtually continental and be bothered with too many nominal members than for it to be sparse in the world with a devoted membership.  For that reason, nominal members are as much the problem as the devoted if the religion is bad.  Sometimes they are the biggest problem for if there are no nominal members in Xland then there is little chance of any harmful devoted followers appearing.  If there are then they will appear significantly.


Religion as in religious community or belief system are related but they are still separate things.  When a religion is condemned as faith too many start ignoring the harmfulness of the faith and start talking about the good and nice people who are in the religious community.  Religion is not community and more than just a community.


The "They are not all bad" excuse when religion does harm makes people in a religion and out feel that harm is fine as long as only a few of the faithful under discussion do it.  It motivates the terrorists.  The terrorists act in the name of everybody else in the religion and believe that those other believers must assume part of the responsibility.  That makes the terrorist feel not alone - that feeling alone is all the support they need!


And the point is not that some people in a group are okay, the question is: could there be anything in their belief system that makes some people bad?  Should there be more bad in it?  Only the fruits can tell.  So it is not a numbers game.  It is bad and indirectly in some way sanctioning bad to pretend that it is.


People give their children to a religion that will always hold the greatest power. They say some members are evil but the rest are good so it's okay. That is not an excuse in the slightest. We know already that people in a group are not all the same. It's irrelevant. Why are you using the not all bad excuse? It's a distraction. Why do you want to deflect real concerns?  If you really believe it then it doesn't matter what religion or whatever you join. What matters is enough in a religion are bad so you should walk away if there's something better.


Alarmingly, as horrid as members using the excuse is, many of their allies are no better.  Take no nonsense.  Don't let them go unchallenged.


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