RELIGIOUS TEACHINGS THAT DENY THAT RELIGION IS NECESSARILY GOOD

Decency, not to mention Christianity, says you must not look for praise for any good you do but as far as possible try to keep it secret. If individuals should not court adulation and honour then neither should the religion as a whole for it is a collection of individuals. Thus the religion has no right to use the good deeds and sufferings of its martyrs or anyone to get praise even in the sense, “They, those comprising the religion, are not all bad.” That is abusing the good done to get social leverage, and consequently political leverage, and to silence those who say that there is enough problematic with religion to justify dismantling it.

John Donne said that in some sense we are all owners of our race.  We somehow belong to each other.  He put it this way, "No man is an island - any man's death diminishes me."  You can say that of religion too.  The religionists in a religion are diminished by the wrongdoing of some religionists.  This goes with the idea that the latter should be thinking they have no right to damage or belittle the others instead of doing the bad things.

Action

Action alone is criteria for a religion is good or the best or otherwise. Doctrine is not a test for anybody other than yourself for it can be insincere and usually is. That is why religion must take the blame if members do wrong for it is unfair to keep it all about the good side.

Good v evil?

Good versus evil is the narrative that drives respect for religion and the refusal to see that it is not as good as it wants you to think.  Or as useful!  The good versus evil polarises the two so you forget this is not about good versus evil but about grey or undefined or unclear versus grey or undefined or unclear.  Its an effective trick for it makes it about one or the other and that is useful for driving society into polarised good and bad people.  Religion tries to look not bad so it will be classed as good.  That is how simplistic it gets.

The good can be in conflict with itself. Two values can be vying each one as seemingly good as the other.  The good person can be in conflict with himself or herself for good intentions can lead you astray so you don't know what course to take.  If we care about good this will be very frightening and painful.  It seems that human nature has the same values to some degree and if we search hard enough we will find unity at that level.  Many say that is not true simply because the good though real is not the same in everybody's life.  It is not good for a cancer free society to have good therapy for cancer.  It belongs with those who need it. All we can say is that human nature has needs that need looking after but that is very vague and does not grant us a unified view of human nature and its values.

So if religion is good that admits that it is a cause of conflict for battles between good and evil really amount largely to battles between one good and another.  Values conflict and that leads to conflict.

The whole is greater than the part

Religion is a whole and the member is a part.  Being a member of the religion means you subscribe to it and also create it for without members there would be no religion.  The whole is greater than the part which is why a member cherry-picking doctrine is silly.  The credibility is going to run out.  If you think a religion should affirm abortion rights or LGBT sex then start a new one and don't be damaging the LGBT cause by acting like a parasite.

Each religion says the member must mirror the wider religion.  So a religion is a collection of mirrors reflecting all the religious principles.  For that reason the doctrine reflects on you even if you did not set it. Bad doctrine then damages everybody in the religion and is connected to them.

The whole being greater than the part is not just about religion NOW but religion ENTIRETY.  It is about the religion since it came into existence not just its current balance sheet.

Unit

Religion not only teaches doctrine but is doctrine.  It is the doctrine that religion is not a collection of individuals.  If it is that is not what is religiously important.  It is a unit.  It is a unit that represents doctrine even if it does not mention doctrine or forgets it.

A religion that is a collection of individuals by default has to deny that it is anything other than as good or bad as its members are. So if it has some wife-batterers it cannot claim to be unaffected and and still as pure as snow.  A religion needs to be considered as a unit not as a collection of individuals for it is not a mere collection but a unit. That is why a religion's violent past especially when it had no answer to nobody bigger than itself reflects what we can expect of it maybe one day again.  The tendency to religious violence has to appear in at least some individuals for the fact is the religion as a unit is tarnished and bloodstained.  It has to have an effect however hard it is to find the effect.

Religion messes around with the definition of religion when critics point to it being dangerous.  This is because bad deeds can be dismissed as anti-religious when the doers of the deeds claim to be doing them for spiritual/religious reasons.  The meaning of religion is made vague so that people doubt that the evil actions can be linked to the religion and its brand of faith. They don't know exactly what to link it to.

If the religious doers of evil things in the name of the religion are just liars then why do they spend so much time and energy and conviction on portraying something as religious if it is not?  That does not make sense.

Religion absorbs morality with its ideas of faith and love and justice.  But morality is hard to apply and everybody has moral disagreements about the best things to do all the time.  So this problem with morality helps cloak religion in vagueness too.  The vagueness gives religion a way to dodge the blame and responsibility for what evil members do in its name and in the name of its God.  It tries to deflect the blame and responsibility on those who serve it with violence.  Religion does not disown those who serve it with lies and other misdeeds so it should own the rabidly violent too.

Those who refuse to see the bad side of a religion or how a religion can be a big force for bad as it can for good or even be bad instead of good are not talking about religion.  The doctrine is against them.

The argument is patronising hypocrisy

The argument that religion is good or okay as long as not all in it are bad is insulting religion for implies it is only about the good it does not its being a religion. It is insulting to say Christian theology and worship to take such a stance. It is not respecting religion as religion. Real respect means admitting the truth warts and all. “Some not all” does not matter, and is irrelevant, if the entity is not supportive of truth or in tune with it.

The political world needs the argument as ignorant as it is for it manipulates religion to get good works out of it.  Religion will run schools for the state and the state saves money and does not care that the religion is doing it out of a wish to spread it memes and indoctrinate children.

Jesus

Jesus warned his followers not to expect love and praise from the world and argued that the world is hostile to the things of God.  If the world praises religion then it is insulting it.  It loves it not as godly but because it sees some use in it for its own purposes. 

The world can have no praise for most of what religion is.  The world will not praise lots of prayers, sacraments, holy books and so on.  It only thinks of the hospitals and the schools and the priests who cut ribbons.

Religion and faith see hospitals and education as extras not essentials.  There is no commandment from God to worry about them.  What is essential and seen as the good work that matters more than any other even saving billions of lives is prayer.  When religion thinks of itself as good that is the kind of good it is really foremost thinking of.

It is political laziness and stupidity that leads the world to call religion good.


Finally

Remember that anything that tries to use its wisdom and its doctrines to persuade you it is good no matter how many members do harm in its name is trying to trick you.  Actions speak loudest.  A member doing something catastrophic to hurt others in the name of faith reflects on the whole religion.  It is enough to want the entire system to go.  It is better for the whole Catholic system to go than for one person to push a nuclear button in the name of Catholic faith.