Evil is a word that some would apply to all religious practices that are antithetical to life, and they would be correct. All religious practices affect the good life that we should be having in one manner or another regardless of how that practice may sound. It doesn't have to be bigotry, or racism, or any feeling/thought that most people would regard as bad, it revolves around the simplest of thoughts that many dismiss.
We might think that a simple practice such as "clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience" sounds like a perfectly good way for humans to behave, and we would be mostly right. In fact, that should be the only words in the bible, but unfortunately, it is not. It does sound a lot like what a humanist might say, but the theist perspective on this is twisted and unbalanced. It has no basis in life, only in the pursuit of the ultimate prize which is life after death.
The problem starts with another daily practice that many theists embrace, especially evangelicals. "Hate what is evil, cling to what is good" and herein lies the problem. You must hate what a malicious and misinformed imaginary god may hate. Besides the absurd interpretations of scripture, that calls for hate against any person or group who does not follow the outlandish and perverse writings of neanderthals, much of what god hates is what makes us better than the old fart.
First off, god hates pride. Since he doesn't make an exception to any type of pride he fails. This could mean he hates accomplishment and being proud of one's work. In the bible, if you are intelligent or compassionate enough to help your fellow man and you are proud of the accomplishment, you will fall. You will be humbled, you will have the religious against you. If you succeed in succoring men you will live your life in hell. Again, remember if you live your life as a humble servant never accomplishing anything but living blind, you will be exalted. Heaven is yours, hell is for thinkers and doers.
Stay stupid my friends, stay stupid.
God hates all thinking. If you are attracted to an individual in a sexual way, that's all it takes to be a sinner. The line goes like this, "Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." There are many problems with the statement, one of the possible worst being if you've already committed a sin you might as well finish the job. The second is that it preys on being human. We are animals, maybe thinking maybe not, but we are part of this world. We are like our brethren roaming the forests, the need to reproduce is strong. If god put it in some form of context that a physical action like rape is horrible, he may have had a point. If he talked about non-consent in any form he may have been correct, but no. He wants you to not be what you are, he wants to control your thoughts with messages that are in direct conflict with life. You will look at those who attract you, you will talk to them, you will want them, heck, you may marry them. But that all starts with desire and desire is not necessarily bad. Molesters in the priesthood are what we get with this thought. Deviants because they are trying to be a thing they cannot be.
What advice would a lying god give his flock to make them more than human? Accept Jesus. "Jesus Christ, if received into your life, can make your tongue so that it will speak only that which is good. Jesus Christ can come into your heart and transform you, change your nature, until you’ll love instead of hate. Gossiping, slandering and maligning will no longer provide pleasure."
There is at least one part of the crazy, of the evil. This is what confuses, and is meant to confuse, bewilder, and leave the believer in a whirlpool of moral ineptitude. At the same time, you must hate what god hates yet love instead of hate. At the same time, you must not slander or malign, but again you must hate what god hates.
The evil is god and his books of cognitive dissonance. You cannot be good following the word of god - at best you can be confused, nothing more. It doesn't matter what flavor of Christianity appeals to you, you are screwed. Religion, because of its conflicting messages, creates mental illness, and that illness perverts the world and keeps humans in a state of ignorance that we refuse to shake.
The prize is more important than the world.
Thoughtful post Neal. "cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs" well this is the American evangelical to a tee. They claim to support goodness and at the same time back trump and his less than Christian ideas.
Good to hear from you my friend. =)
I spent most of my young life hanging my head in shame, because I was breaking some damn rule or other, & was told almost daily, "You should be ashamed of yourself!"....until it was an automatic response.
Then I was doing it over things which had absolutely nothing to do with me or anything I had done, or not done.
There are a lot of mosquitoes spreading malaria in my region, and some neighbors are already sick. But I have difficulties making sure my kids and siblings sleep under the mosquito nets above them. Why? God protects them! They never forget to pray, yet some claim having forgotten to unfold "that thing!" I'm not sure you understand how religion + ignorance + (mental) poverty is destroying this part of the world.
We do understand.
Billions have been donated, but it doesn't appear to do anything other than line people's pockets rather than go where its supposed to go.
I would have thought by now that Africa would be bristling with water purification industries, schools built, hospitals built, etc., but it all seems to go for naught.
Many who have gone over there to help have had their work undone during the night because the citizens don't want things done in any new or better way. I've seen it documented.
My understanding is no vaccine has been developed for malaria. The U.S. military tested vaccines on troops in various areas recently. Many were sickened by it, many others refused it preferring the risk of mosquito bites.
According to the little I've read Mosquito netting and screens are the best way to prevent most mosquito born virus'.
I keep a shirt and other clothing covered with DEET that I wear when mosquitoes are out. I don't wash these pieces of clothing often.
As you know Mosquitoes are drawn to the CO2 exhaled from breath.
Poisons that kill mosquito larvae also kills fish and gets into crops which results in long term health problems for people and other living things.
Sorry, I already wrote about keeping lizards around as mosquito eaters. Cats to keep mice away tend to chase lizard away. It's better to see a squirley lizard tail flopping around that a cat pulled off a lizard than mice, or mosquitoes.
W.T.F. do I know. I invited allowed a Fox to raise her kits in my back yard.
Religion + Ignorance + poverty is destroying all parts of the world.
Great post, Neal. I think a lot of our problems come from this statement "We are animals, maybe thinking maybe not, but we are part of this world." and the fact that the Bible makes it seem we are not animals but the special beings of God. A God who does not exist tells us not to have common sense about the only planet we live on..
Exactly. If we are god's children then we are special and we do not really share the same world as the rest of life, which means we can do whatever the heck we want. Burn it up, no problem.
There is always Mars to pollute.
A society underpinned by widely held, harshly enforced, quasi-religious false belief would create lots of fake news. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pravda