Religion is based on alleged revelations from the divine. If those revelations which may take the form of scriptures, enable religious violence (eg by doing nothing about it to challenge it), condone the violence by praising those responsible, or command the violence in the name of God, then the religion is calling you to essential fanaticism or essential extremism. The extremism might be kept inside you but it is no less real. It is opening the door to accepting those in your religion who will murder and persecute others in the name of faith.
What makes it worse is that if God gives a revelation, it is only a revelation as far as those who receive the revelation are concerned. The revelation is given to a prophet. The prophet passes on a testimony that he got a revelation. It is not a revelation to anybody but the prophet. God gives a revelation to the prophet and the prophet gives a revelation that he got a revelation to you. It is his revelation he gives you not God's for God can only reveal directly. So it is the prophet you listen to not God even if God really spoke to the prophet. You might say God has no other way to give the revelation to you but second-hand. If so, then why do no prophets really prove their credentials? The justification for listening to them is weak. The prophet makes hugely important claims and gives no evidence that he should be believed. That is sick when it involves commands allegedly from God to murder people. Even if God really gave the commands, it does not get around the problem that men claiming to speak for God are condoning evil or commanding it. Even if those men speak for God, it does not follow that going against them means intentionally going against God. No decent God would ever reveal a religion or faith that gets involved in war even a just war. It contradicts God's own rule that we must prefer God to human ideas.
The problems when man's word is taken for God's are:
-It is not God's word at all. Errors stop you being able to make your own decisions properly and to be your own person.
-Man gets the honour of his word being taken for God's which is unfair.
-One religion has a different word of God to the others and this leads to errors and danger and division.
-Even if the word is God's, you are still making an idol of what man says. The problem is worse if God has not given this word.
-You are taking "God's" word for it that x and y and z are true - thus you will pay no attention to anything that tells you it is wrong and you end up in a vicious circle and draw others into it too.
-You fail to worship God as he is. You only care about feeling good about taking man's word for it that God has spoken. This is about man not God and is about inventing a God to suit yourself.
People are often persecuted or put to death because of what religion they are thought to believe in. Usually the reason this happens is because the persecutors feel that they are not going to change anyway. They won't abandon their faith or consider a new one. If a religion is man-made, it is a terrible thing to join it when it puts you in danger. The religion is to blame for it as much as the persecutors. The religion is to blame because it is based on deception and error. It is to blame for it makes you immune to any data or evidence that the religion is nonsense or wrong or irresponsible or should be forsaken for a new one. It does this by telling you that there is some authority that tells you what to believe and do and this authority is right even if what it says seems insane because it knows better and sees the bigger picture. People who are not religious can be immune to data and truth too. But religion makes it worse. At least if you embrace the law of cause and effect and keep magic and divine revelations out of your thinking there is reasonable hope that you will come to your senses.
Also religion talks about karma or God both of which threaten you with bad things if you sin. When people are threatened with punishment, they tend to obey outwardly but inwardly they would disobey if they would get away with it. But surely if God wants you to obey willingly you will know that you can't please him with mere outward compliance? But if you think you obey willingly you could be fooling yourself. The threat of punishment makes such self-deception easier.
Our moral values never directly motivate us to do the right things. It is our emotional attachment to those values that does that. Thus it is dangerous if we help others because our hearts are on fire over Jesus. What is wrong with that? What is wrong with it is that Jesus is not the dying baby on the street. Your heart should be on fire for the baby not Jesus. If our feelings are so powerful, it is wrong for anybody to urge us to direct them towards a God or religion instead of the sufferer.
Why do even insincere people make huge effort to evangelise others? Because there is a massive buzz when people accept your testimony to the truth of absurdities and superstitions. People like to feel they have great control over others. They get the best buzz when people believe and follow harmful doctrines just because they influence them to. The worst religious charmers and charlatans do not do it for money at all. People don't like knowing they are liars - so if others seem to believe you it makes it easier for you to imagine that you believe your own lies.
Religion is bad for you because:

1) It does not allow you to think freely. Religion is based on the idea of dogma, teaching that you are obligated to accept and not deliberately question. Some say that atheism is religious - if it is it is not always religious. For a brand of atheism to be religion it would have to make a dogma of atheism. If religion really encouraged you to think for yourself then the pattern would be that each person moves from one religion to the other and religion would not be saying that changing dogma when new light comes along showing up faults in it, is wrong. Religion says you must forget your own mind and follow what God says for God knows better. This attitude is pro-persecution and sanctions deception – a thing religion is very good at.

Jesus condemned anyone who did not trust God. Offensively, he claimed that if you have even a bit of faith it can move mountains to bring about good meaning that the unbeliever cannot and is a blight on the planet. If you believe in God you have to trust him because you believe he is an all-good and all-powerful being. If Jesus had had any honesty he would have said that what such people are doing is doubting not God but what they are told about God. That cannot be wrong. Yet the Church and he make out that doubters or deniers are blasphemers for accusing God of lying! We all doubt so we know from experience that doubt is a part of the learning experience and there is no progress made without it so it is good not bad. If you will not doubt you will not see if you are wrong. A religion that forbids doubt is insincere and has stuff to hide.
Religion tends to take in new members and not inform them properly about what they are doing. For example, the Catholic Church does not tell new converts that the Bible is ridiculed by archaeologists and scientists and philosophers and teaches many vicious doctrines. They are not told things they have a right to know.

2) Religion sanctions persecution of those who disagree with it.

Religion says it is a sin not to believe in its doctrines. Jesus condemned those who did not believe in what he said. He said that his miracles proved to the people who knew him that he was telling the truth about speaking for what God wanted his people to believe. But what right had he to do that for there could have been people who they never heard of who were able to do better miracles? Whatever he did his miracles for it was not in the interest of truth. Jesus was certainly trying to persecute. He cannot complain then if his followers take up arms to destroy “heretics”.

3) Religion advocates cold-blooded hatred and dresses it up so that it still manages to come up smelling of roses. I am referring to its doctrine: “Hate the sin but love the sinner”.
The husband who beats his wife to a pulp because of her adultery will say it happened because he loves her. He will even believe that.
If you hate the sin you must hate the sinner for the sinner freely commits the sin. Sin is a quality a person has and you are your qualities. To hate your sin and wish evil on it is to wish evil on you and hate you. If a person hated your kindness you would know that is only another way of saying they hate you. Sin cannot be treated separately from the sinner for it reveals the sinner, it reveals what kind of person the sinner is. If you hate the sin you are inflicting pain on yourself because of somebody else’s sin and claiming that you love the person. But if you separate the sin from the person like that you are not loving the person for you are treating the person as if the person never sinned so that is hardly loving the person when sin is regarded as an enemy.
They say that God makes loving the sinner possible by some sort of miracle but that would be God doing the impossible – doing something contradictory. No other miracle would have any value as evidence for his power if he can do that one for his power would make no sense. Whatever miracles prove it is not God. When you become a sinner, being a sinner becomes the core of your sense of self. When somebody says they are gay they will argue that gay is them, their gayness is one of the things that define them as a person. They did not make themselves gay. So much more more does something you make yourself to be define you? To say nurses are bad is to say the people who are nurses are bad. Love the sinner and hate the sin is as silly as love the nurse and hate the woman who is the nurse. Or as silly as hate the bark but love the barking dog as a barking dog. The teaching that we must love the sinner and hate the sin because we are sinners ourselves suggests that hating the sinner is good but only if you are not a sinner! It involves wishing you were in a position to be able to hate the sinner!

4) Religion degrades human dignity. It says without being able to prove it that evil results in greater good because God makes sure of that. In fact it is better for us all to be totally evil than for one person to die yet they say death is good when it leads to a greater holiness which shows how totally perverse it is to condone the ways of God. We do not need the God hypothesis and it is pathologically barbaric to condone evil for it. To do that is to have no grounds for being against anyone going out of their way to condone the cruelty of some human tyrant.




A religion that is bad for you needs abandoning.  If rather it is bad for others it is bad for you.  You have to live with them.


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