A placebo is not a cure.  It is about feelings.  It is based on lies.  It should only happen as a last resort but it is very rife.  For every 100 placebos that come your way you only spot one or two.  If religion and faith and God are just placebo devices they are bad for that is not what they claim to be.  If God is a placebo then God is only relevant to people who are lying to themselves collectively.  It is not just the person's own business no.  It is a shame.

Religion says you must love sinners and hate their sins.  That in fact does seem to make people feel better about the sins all around them and their own.  So it is a placebo.

Now the command turns the sins into things which leads to one becoming desensitised to sin and the harm it does. And to deny that the problem is in the person is not helpful. And it is a lie for a sin is not a thing but something that shows what a person is like. It is a placebo for evil. To hate the harm a person does to themselves is not the same thing as hating their immorality. A person hating how you harm yourself means they love you.

"Psychological research has shown that those do the most, and the most exquisite, damage who feel that they are doing good or do not feel anything at all". You don't need to be part of a religion to feel safer and that some divine guardian is doing her best to watch over you. So could it be that religion is ONLY about feeling comforted about the evil you do and enable? As guilt and shame come from our social nature - we feel that we have done something that has damaged our value in society - people will need religion to dull them.

If you do evil best when you try to perceive it as good, imagine how easy it is to feel good now about the terrible things that you have done in the past. Religion offers you ways of retrospectively being evil and adoring the evil you have done. You give it glory.

If you feel that your religion does not really care if you do something terrible to a member of another religion and you are right, then the religion is part of the problem. It is easier to hurt the person when you feel supported. And you can feel supported by God in doing the evil if the people do not support you. Many evil people feel that God judges nobody or that he judges others not them. God being a crutch for evildoers is common enough and always has been.

Both people whose prayers cannot be about pleasing God and those whose are claim to get great comfort and strength in prayer. Christianity teaches that if you deliberately sin and refuse to repent and then pray then your prayers are saying to God, "I will not love you by doing what you want but I will pray". That is a sin and God will not reward such prayer or hear it. But the hypocrites still feel that he does. That makes prayer dangerous. The hypocrites then become blinder and blinder to their own evil because they pray. Prayer makes them feel God is indifferent to their evil or condones it or that the evil is somehow not really evil.

Belief in prayer and its power comes from self-blame. You blame yourself for asking for the wrong thing or for not being holy enough when prayer fails. Or you reason that it is your fault for not seeing how the prayer has worked. You then pray to feel better about this. Prayer becomes a placebo for your guilt.

We could have an explanation why nobody seems to care when a religion invents sins out of thin air. Catholicism for example is full of bizarre sins such as sexual fantasy being a sin or that it is a sin to say God wouldn't give Jesus the death penalty for our sins to get us off the hook. People who support a religion that invents sins and crimes could be doing so because they feel bad about their own misdeeds and a religion that tries to portray people as bigger evildoers than they are makes them feel better or at least that they are not alone. Truly evil people are often surprised when they get punished and meet hatred from others as they reason, "But there are people out there worse than us". Religion has to take the blame for making some people think like that.

If religion is a sin/evil/vice placebo, then it responsible for any evil done by its members in the name of religion no matter how much it says it hates their actions. It carries the hatred that the hypocrite has for the sins of others.

Condoning evil that is done by a tyrant is motivated by a desire to stop fearing and hating the evil so much. You want to protect yourself from those hideous feelings. You feel a sense of control over the evil when you become complicit in it by silence or however. Prayer facilitates and nurtures your ability to condone the evil you think God lets befall people. There is no difference between the person who condones evil that is allowed to happen by his ruler saying it is for an unknown but good reason and one who says it is allowed by God. Prayer is evil. It is about people condoning the horrendous evil they see in order to delude themselves that they are bigger than the evil. They think that their marriage with God in prayer makes them bigger than the evil so that they do not have to fear it much. Christians say that suffering/evil and God can co-exist. Even if they can, it still does not prove that God lets evil happen for the reasons they say. Thus there is a risk that you are condoning a God who will not own up to his responsibility to destroy say viruses that send little babies to a hellish death. There is no excuse for taking such a risk. It is bad in itself. God and prayer and religion are a placebo for they relieve the fear and anger and rage we should experience when the innocent suffer.

Christianity forgives terrible crimes too easily. That mostly and usually applies to crimes done not to you but your brethren!  To reject a person who does not repent for a grave evil, and then to accept him when he does smacks of hypocrisy. The person was rejected for something major that didn't really matter after all! The forgiveness leads to the placebo of, "I don't care about my sins for God will forgive me." Or the person might reason that God does not really care.

People feel better about their sins when they are in a religion that advocates good works. It makes them feel they are part of something bigger than their sins so that the sins are made unimportant.

Bad people feel that the terrible things they do are wrong but still help God's plan so there is a positive side. They feel that if they make people suffer, God will compensate them in the next life. They do not mind them getting compensated for it is life in this world they care about. Such doctrines can lead to a vile person doing even worse. When you plan to do wrong that is the kind of stuff you tell yourself in order to cross the line. You make excuses for the pain you inflict on others. It would be odd to argue that all people are sinners and to act as if it is unreasonable to assume that people usually dwell on the allegedly positive side of the evil they do. It is worse to accuse people of being sinners than of doing evil but in a way that it contains a twisted concern for others.

If you are bad and need religion as a prop to make you good, then is the goodness real? If you are shy and use drink to make you talkative, then the chatty you is not really you. If religion is about hiding our badness then religion is intrinsically dangerous. It is bad no matter how much good it seems to produce.


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