RELIGIOUS SPIN - HOW TO LOOK GOOD AS YOU SPREAD TOXIC FAITH

Politicians only care if they can get good works out of a religion and don't care if the religion is true or not.  Their attitude is the secret of how religion got to be so influential and powerful.  If you are right to deny that a religion is evil that does not make it true. If a religion does remarkable good it can still be an untrue religion that just happens to be taken care of by a good morality.  Or even luck.  An untrue religion has to fight the truth and ignore it to survive.  So when it speaks against evil it ends up with no right to do that until it is also admitting its own hatred for truth.  Hatred for truth leads to hatred for those who have the truth.

How religion looks good even when it does great bad
 
People protect religion by retorting when you complain about how it behaves, "They are not all bad".  The not all bad argument is an insult and an excuse. It is a distortion of the evidence. It is in denial of the truth. Consider how "Sunnis and Shiites are still Muslims, and have the same cultural background. They kill each other for faith alone" (see page 252, Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible). Consider how Catholics and Orthodox have nearly the same faith and the same rituals and a similar outlook but both slaughtered each other. Consider how Protestants slaughtered each other over the meaning of holy communion.
 
Today the religions sometimes apologise for the terrible things they did in the past. They apologise as religions. Thus they admit that religion is not necessarily good.
 
The not all bad excuse makers do not count themselves among the bad! How humble! They are innocent of enabling the bad in any way! Apart from their pride and self-righteousness, we have to observe how their doctrine that people are not bad but sins are has been conveniently forgotten! The bad must get some kind of "spiritual nourishment" from the hypocrisy of the good.
 
Every religion is accused of creating monsters, of harbouring monsters, of condoning the activities of monsters and finally, of enabling monsters. You could substitute monsters for liars or fools as well. Religion chiefly gets its power and influence by saying, "We are not all bad." That is how it gets off the hook. As religion depends on human membership, each religion is the sum of the actions of its members. People in a religion not being all bad does not mean that the religion should exist. It could still be doing more harm than good. It could be a religion of lies or a religion of prejudice and intellectual dishonesty that scorns the truth it pretends to love. The not all bad thing is an excuse. It cannot excuse a religion that abuses women or that hates science so why believe it excuses any religion? The religion that carefully forms its members into good people and cares deeply about truth does not exist. For example, no checks are done to see if the magic rites for enabling sinners to transform themselves into saints. A religion being good is no good if it makes the dictator who blows the world to bits.

The disconnect
 
Most members of a religion do not understand the teachings of the religion that well. A religion as popularly understood tends to be horrendously vindictive and superstitious. The leaders are responsible for that for in the real world you cannot expect the dogs in the street to know a religion as well as its pope might. A religions officials and its official teaching being praiseworthy means little when you consider the religion as a whole. It is ridiculous to regard Catholicism as wise over all if it has some wise popes and nuns and priests. It is ridiculous to regard a religion as good just because a few good people who claim to be members stand out. It is like you cannot see the forest for the little rose bush.

The not all bad argument is risky
 
Your culture and the influences around you can blind you to the harm certain actions do. When you believe your religion and culture is good, it is easy for you to believe you are good for supporting it and being in it. Then it gets harder for you to see the harm you do or can do or you may see but water it down.

Mental illness or pressure from the culture can mean you end up doing evil things but are not morally blameworthy.
 
What if you argue that there is a downside to everything so why not stay in a religion that does harm? If you should set up a pharmacy though many drugs have terrible side effects and unforeseen consequences then why can't you be in a religion that has a toxic side as well? But you need pharmacies. You do not need religion. Even the religious people do not live religion 24/7.
 
Talking about the good is about making the bad look okay
 
The Christian faith says everybody is a sinner and sin is essentially the prideful wish to be free from God. If we are sinners and the essence of sin is pride, then the most attractive sins will be the ones that make us look good though we are not. Religion calls faith a virtue. So the virtue of faith is intrinsically suspect. Some virtue then!
 
A perfectly good religion can be abused. Quite rightly nobody will blame the religion. But to say your religion is imperfect and open to abuse is a different matter. The more imperfect or ignorant a religion is the more prone it is to being abused and it must take responsibility.
 
People do good works - sometimes big ones - but are not really good. A good doctor is not really a good doctor if he has abused a child in his care even once. People point to the good works of Moses and Jesus and call the Bible the good book. That is treated as a justification for not being put off by the violence and the acceptance of violence commanded by God through Moses and Jesus. It is a disgrace. The good is irrelevant. To use the good as an excuse for embracing the bad is a further insult to the people corrupted by those scriptures and to their victims. There is no excuse for not being in a religion with scriptures that abhor violence. Or you could be a secular humanist!
 
Catholicism and Islam have done untold harm and when you talk about the harm people expect you to mention the good too. But this is using the good side as if the bad doesn't matter too much. The same people do not campaign for excellent humanitarian doctors to get off scot-free if they murder a patient. And to say that all religions have faults so you will stay in yours is hardly a ringing endorsement of your religion. You are only in it because you can't find anything better. You cannot expect such an attitude to be much good for inspiring those who look at you for guidance and good example. If you can't find a religion or belief that makes you good and happy it is your own fault.
 
People often point to a religion that has a negative reputation and say the members of the religion are not all bad. You will find likeable people in every group even in the Islamic State. Those who say, "Look how much good that religion does! There are a few bad apples yes but it is such an amazing religion" need to be reminded that they are trying to encourage people to forget the bad members. Evil regimes always use the "we usually do good tactic and some do bad" tactic and it works.

To point to heroes in a religion when people complain that the religion is harmful or potentially harmful is manipulative. The problem is not the heroes. It is the bad results of the religion we are talking about. Religion loves to take credit for goodness that appears anyway religion or not and the credit for heroes though you get heroes in every camp. The heroes are irrelevant and so not to be exploited as being an argument for the excellence of the religion. Their exploitation indicates that religion may be capable of much much worse!
 
Only a tiny minority of people in a religion are remarkably good. The rest are just as good as everybody else. The excuse, "I am in this religion despite the bad people for they are not all bad" is just an excuse. It is terrible how it seeks to get people to praise the religion and blame the "bad" religionists. It encourages those who suffer wrong at the hands of the religion to internalise the wrong and blame themselves. The enablers of bad people are the biggest problem. They portray the bad as victims and thus make them even worse.
 
Some religions have NOBODY who is exceptionally good! Perhaps nothing does.
 
There is something vulgar about people defending a religion that has members who engage in wanton terrorism that no other religion does however bad it is. For example, Islam spawns suicide bombers who love to take out civilians who are not a threat to them. It is not as bad as say Catholicism which with passive aggressive love, urges people to refrain from condoms though they will end up getting AIDS. The not all bad is used to excuse terrible religions and not so terrible alike. It is hypocritical and ignorant.
 
Most believers are actually civil not good. Civil means you may be a waste of space but as long as you don't break the law you are praised as civil. In fairness, most atheists are probably just civil too. It is no compliment to be called civil. Be good.
 
The "not all bad" philosophy is often an excuse for staying in a bad religion or pressure group on the basis that nothing is perfect. If you religion is imperfect you should be on the lookout for a better one even if it will not be perfect either.
 
If say Catholics or Muslims for example are violent, people will say some Catholics or Muslims are violent.
 
Note these things:
 
They admit that the violent are Catholics or Muslims.
 
They need to tell us if they consider a far bigger number of Catholics or Muslims harmful in the sense that somehow they are helping the violence to take place. Perhaps they don't get mad enough about the violence. People can be harmful without being violent. That question is far more important.
 
And how many members have to go bad before you decide the religion is bad?