Ask Yourself Some Questions


I
Is it love to tell people that an all-good God exists? No because it is to say that people should not be valued above all but he should for he is all-good and better than us.
 
That is putting belief before people. If it is okay to do that then how could hurting people in the name of God be wrong?
 
II
Is it love to tell people to give all their love to a God instead of a human being when you will have to be necessarily surer that the human being exists than that God does? Is it not delusion to claim that you know God exists better than you know your neighbour exists?
 
Jesus went as far as to COMMAND that God must be loved with all the heart (emotions) and our entire being - to be loved with all the love we are capable of. A command implies force - obey or suffer. The fact that its a commandment implies that the fact that love can only be asked for - not commanded - is to be rejected. That alone is bigoted and twisted. If God is really the good maker of all good people it follows that they should be valued for his sake and not their own. So he alone is loved in the strict sense.
 
Jesus quoted the command from the Jewish Law which he said was the word of God and in the Law (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) the commandment is treated as the only one that ultimately matters. It is the one that we are told to obsess with. The demand to love ones neighbour is not exalted to that level in the Law. So Jesus agrees with the law but why does he say that love of neighbour is important too? He is indicating that the command to love God alone contains the other commandments the greatest of which is to love neighbour. Loving neighbour is really about loving God only. In other words, love your neighbour not for themselves but because God says so.
 
Lovers say they love their beloved one with all their hearts. They do not. They still feel love for a parent or child or pet or whatever. They keep some love for people other than the beloved. They deprive the beloved. They take the love they could give him or her and bestow it on another. Jesus said the commandment was the greatest meaning that whoever has feelings for themselves or others is the vilest thing this side of Hell.
 
The Catholic Church says in the Catechism of Christian Doctrine that we are to love our neighbour for God's sake - its not about loving them for their own sake. So it is really about loving and valuing God. Thus we must value people only for his sake and not for their own.
 
Jesus clarified that as follows when he embraced little children - "Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me" (Mark 9:37). He is showing that he means welcoming a person in the loose sense. Strictly speaking it is only God that is to be welcomed. That is how the seeming contradiction between loving God alone and loving neighbour is reconciled. He is clear that he does not mean, "Whoever receives a child does not just receive the child but receives me too". "Receiveth not me", makes that plain.
 
Jesus said, "Whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, I solemnly tell you that he will certainly not lose his reward" (Mark 9:41). You are to serve others not out of common kindness but to show love for Christ.
 
These doctrines are so horrendous, that apart from Mother Teresa, most people just water them down. On the bright side, if God is to be loved completely and nobody else then it follows that nothing is to be hated more than belief in God if he does not exist! Opposition is impossible to avoid. To say there is a God is to oppose those who say there isn't or that we are not really sure. To say there is no God is to oppose those who say there is or who say that there is a good chance there might be a God.
 
III
Is it love to be ordered or asked to believe that it is God's concern what you do? Let us examine this. Is evil wrong because God says so or is it wrong whether there is a God or not? If it is wrong because God says so then God can order us to abuse children. Obeying would be right and good. If even God cannot make right wrong or good evil then we can be good without God. Good would be independent of God. It would be his job to discover what is good but he cannot make anything good just by commanding it. Also, even if you believed God condemned something, you would have the right to disagree on the grounds that its only a belief.
 
The Christian reply that good is God's nature so that what he commands is good does not solve the problem. The reply is only a trick to make it appear they have an answer. Both the view that God makes things good by commanding them and the view that good is independent of God are fatal to the notion that we need to believe in a God who commands good in order to have a moral code. The Christian answer is just a rewording and amalgamation of the two views disguised as a third view. So its worse than either of them.
 
The proper view is that we don't need to believe in God to believe in helping people with joy and compassion. In fact, even if there is a God, we should be doing good for it is good and not to please him. Its none of his business. Good is more important than God or prayer. Jesus said that we must love God with all our powers and this is the greatest commandment and the next greatest is to love one's neighbour - thus it is less important to help a leper than to love God. He plainly declared that God and Christian doctrine comes before anything else. We reject such attitudes as the seeds of violence and religious war.
 
Is it love to be asked to keep laws that hurt just because God supposedly made them? Religion claims that God knows what is best and can command what seems to be morally abhorrent from our perspective. For example, he harshly commands that people who divorce and remarry must suffer Hell forever. Religion says, "Doctors and politicians make decisions which seem cruel but which are necessary evils so why can't God do it? So we must obey God." Is the doctrine of divine authority not the reason why we see religious inspired violence and peoples’ lives wrecked by listening to God’s ministers? Oh what power it gives them! Is it any wonder we read in the Old Testament that God wanted homosexuals caught in the act not just put to death but tortured to death? Religion has sinister implications – therefore it is dangerous and no child should be exposed to its seductions. Society needs to start frowning on the baptism of children and stop any form of religious education of children that can be termed abuse. Eg telling a child not to think or that fornicators will suffer in Hell forever if they do not repent.
 
Rules should be kept to a bare minimum for breaking them makes it harder for the breaker to love herself so that she can help herself and others better and produces more fear – fear is the reason we do wrong. Is it love to be asked to keep laws that don’t hurt just because God supposedly made them? No for then you are keeping the laws not because they are harmless but because God made them which means you would observe them even if they were harmful. See what is good and do it. You don’t need a God to be your king.
 
IV
Is it love to tell people that there is a supernatural purpose for evil meaning much suffering should happen? If we really care about people we will not believe that and we will not let people suffer nor believe that they should. Even if you deny that people should suffer, once you believe in God you cannot be as sure of that so it undermines you and insults them. Dentists have to hurt people to help them but we should not believe that the rotting teeth in the first place have a good purpose that only God knows and has planned. The people you see must come before the God you cannot see. The truly good person does not try to find ways to condone what appears reprehensible. The believer is no better than the do-gooder who tries to find excuses for a child torturer's grave depravity.
 
V
Is it love to be asked to follow scriptures, prophets and priests as the mouthpieces of God whose revelations we have a duty to accept for we have no right to contradict God? In practice there is no difference between a person who may really speak for God and one who is just lying to get an undue influence over your life. Maybe the prophet is genuine but you don't know that! Those who are lied to are convinced the impostor is not a fake. Even experts in theology or philosophy are often taken in or pretend to be. To promote faith in God when this faith is not faith in God at all but faith in men and in their alleged authority from God to speak for him is wrong. It is really promoting their interpretation, and their perception which is wrong and bigoted. They make decisions that are supposed to be God’s but there is no practical difference between obeying men who really are from God and men who are not but say they are. Most people are not skilled enough to see through the deception and it is evil to ask them to obey popes and prophets. To follow prophets is to follow men not God even if they claim to speak for God. There are countless versions of the faith even within each religion. There are countless religions and possible scenarios for inventing a new religion. Most people, even experts, must be making mistakes. To follow any religion is really to follow men. End of story.
 
VI
Is it love to promote religion which tells the lie that we can sacrifice? We can’t sacrifice for we do what we want to do depending on the circumstances. If you don’t want to be rich and ignore this desire to take the wealth nobody sees that as a sacrifice! If that isn’t then nothing is. Thus we must be suspicious of saints and altruists! Religion teaches that love is sacrifice and denies that loving others through yourself, ie loving yourself automatically makes you nicer to other people for you are happy to share yourself with them which is egoism is love. Religion is really just getting in the way of goodness. Religion lies in wait to deceive.
 
VII
Is it love to promote religion which tells the lie that to say Adam did wrong freely (wasn’t programmed by nature) is to suggest that Adam is at least partly evil and therefore partly hateful? You can’t love the sinner if you hate the sin (ie despise as immoral and worthy of punishment) or see it as evil any more than you can say you trust the sinner but not his sins with a straight face! To condemn Adam’s sin as evil is as good as saying Adam is evil. To say you make a distinction between blame and responsibility is to add to the hypocrisy. To say somebody is responsible for evil is to blame them - declare them deserving of punishment and condemnation - at least implicitly. It is never the evil action that is the problem but the evil in the person that is shown by the action. It is that that really hurts and awakens our desire for retribution.
 
Religion stop your lies. You do not love the sinner and hate the sin. You say you do. If you hate the sin, you must hate the sinner for the sin only reveals the sinner and says what kind of person he is. It cannot be separated from the sinner. To say John’s homework is bad is to say John is bad - at least up to a point. You may love your evil father but when you think of him as evil or sinful you hate him then. In fact, the true opposite of love is not hate but indifference for you can't really hate a person unless you value or love them in some way. So to call on people to love sinners and hate sins is incitement to hatred. You can't really hate a brick for falling on you. You do feel a personal hatred whenever people hurt you because it is not the deed they have done you hate but them. You can't hate a thing such as a deed but only the doer of the deed! How can religion say it loves when it lies about those who admit that nobody can love sin and hate sinners? Religion even smears them as dishonest people! Religion, your hatred is so sneaky and hypocritical and you have slandered, tortured and killed people through your lies.
 
Let us work against bad deeds but not hate them. We don't need to hate. Be an atheist and joyful in your atheism.
 
To see through, "Judge the sin not the sinner" (you cannot see a person as a sinner unless you judge them as such), is to disprove the notion of a God who loves us in spite of our sins. It demolishes the only reason for wanting to believe in God. And a God that has to love us in spite of our evil is one that in some way has to trick or force himself to like and love us. That's no boost for our self-esteem! The doctrine is harmful.
 
VIII
Is it love to ask or encourage people to join and commit to faith organisations or religions that can be done without and which are too amenable to abuse? If you want faith work out your own needs and invent your own faith to satisfy them and keep it private. Religion gives people an extra and needless excuse to fight and kill and so it is bad.
 
IX
Is it love to promote something that tells you that you have to believe x, y and z? Who cares if people don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God – what matters is how they treat themselves and if they bring joy to others. Humanism only advises people to believe whatever puts people - ourselves included - first and only asks them to be very careful and not to be afraid to change their minds. If religion is acceptable, then why not help people to find the beliefs that work for them and improve their lives? Religion seeks to get people to believe the same things as it believes, not caring if it is best for them or not.
 
X
Is it love to put faith in God and religion above all when all you really have is not faith in God but faith that others have faith in him? God is an idol made out of second hand information and hearsay.
 
Religion is divisive and causes suspicion and trouble and war. It encourages labels and labels whether they are true or not have amazing power to create an us not them kind of system that leads to discrimination.  If God is good and religion is man-made then clearly it is dangerous. Anything human carries risks and it make sense to abandon religion to reduce the risks.
 
Religion likes to preach tolerance but tolerance says, "I have my reasons for having to put up with you. Pity!" There is enough to be intolerant about without religion making it worse.