A new study has been making headlines after its authors claimed to have found that religious children are less altruistic than non-religious children. Of course the media was jubilant as commentators all across the country triumphantly claimed that the study proved religion was unnecessary and even harmful. But even if one ignores the myriad problems with the study, there is a much bigger question that lies at the heart of this religion debate.
In any discussion about the merits of religion, one has to clarify exactly what is meant by religion. The study’s authors claimed that religion as a whole is a harmful, but which religions did they study? Our Lord came to Earth to establish His one true religion, so any other religions are nothing more than man-made evil. Of course certain elements of truth can be found in nearly any religion, but this is precisely the problem. The worst kind of lies are those which contain elements of truth. There is no more efficient way to create evil than by taking what is good and true and then perverting it.
The Passion of the Christ movie illustrated this idea by portraying Satan as a parent cuddling a newborn baby. The most beautiful sight of a parent with their newborn was perverted and turned into the most ugly sight of Satan. That image is the exact personification of every man-made religion that is not the one true religion established by God Himself. How could anyone expect anything good to come from these terrible religions? Can anyone honestly be surprised if children in these man-made religions are selfish and mean-spirited? They are simply following the main tenants of any man-made religion–a disdain for the truth and a pride that places themselves above God.
We should not be surprised if adherents of these man-made religions are selfish and mean-spirited because we must realize that their religions are evil. Religion in general can be good or bad, and in fact any man-made religion is arguably worse than no religion at all. But the one true religion which Our Lord Himself came to Earth to establish is rivaled by nothing in terms of the good which it produces. Following this religion, then, is our only hope for salvation. Let us not delay in embracing this eternal truth.
6 thoughts on “Man-Made Religions are Evil”
First I would like to thank you for inviting me to your blog. It has been quite a while since our last intense discussion, so naturally, I am happy to read your perspectives on matters such as these. I believe it was Voltaire who said,” I may dissaprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Now, onto my questions for you regarding this post. You talk about “man-made” religions as if your version of Christianity is the one true religion, but do you realize that there are people in those religions who have the same amount of conviction as you do in your faith? Essentially, there is a Tom Naegele in every religion who feels that the ultimate truth lies in their religion as well. Also, how do you account for those poor souls who have never been exposed to your version of the ultimate truth? Are they intrinsically evil with no hope of redemption just like those who have chosen to practice other religions?
Thanks for the comment, Pete! I love hearing opposing viewpoints so I can broaden my horizons.
Of course I realize that every religion has its believers with enormous amounts of conviction, but luckily conviction has no bearing on truth. I may be completely and entirely convinced that my blog has more subscribers than any other blog on Earth, but a simple check of the facts would prove me wrong. No matter how strong the convictions, the truth does not change. My religion is not true because I so strongly believe it to be true. Rather, my religion is true because it can be infallibly proven true.
“Those poor souls” who don’t know the truth out of pure ignorance are not evil. Those who do know the truth and don’t accept it, however, are the truly evil ones.
Touche my friend,
However, no amount of anecdotal evidence, be it personal accounts (including the Bible) can justify truth. Therefore, no religion, not even the Roman Catholic Church is infallible. Just the same, it is useless for either one of us to prove or disprove the existence of a holy truth. The fact is that if you were born a Muslim, you would undoubtedly be practicing Islam. To you, that would be the infallible truth and nothing else because that what you would have been raised to believe-just like you were raised to believe in Roman Catholicism.
Also, if the truth was so “infallible”, then it stands to reason that more people would submit to it. For example, the book of Revelations is a frightening book. It literally speaks of the end of the world. Don’t you think that anyone who read it would immediately begin repenting? Yet there are even brilliant people who read these scriptures and still doubt. Why? Are they stupid? Or are they simply incapable of comprehending the idea of Heaven or Hell? If this is the case, then God is a cruel being. If he knows the workings of my mind (assuming he is my creator) then he would have known all along that I would reject his word–because I am obviously incapable of comprehending Heaven or Hell. According to the Bible, he would have known this even before he created the universe. So why would he have created me if I was predestined for eternal suffering in Hell? Did I really have a choice? By all accounts, I think not.
I just recently watched an incredible debate between an Evangelical Christian and an Atheist. I have to admit, the christian was more prepared and he brought up a good point. He said that Bible scholars estimate that only 2% of the entire human population existed before the coming of Jesus Christ (he is a Creationist by the way). This would make sense if the goal was to expose the other 98% to the ultimate truth (assuming these numbers are accurate). But here is the problem. How many of that 98% will have ever believed the “truth” the way you say it undeniably exists? Correct me if I’m wrong, but its not going to be a large number when the human race is finished.There are too many other dominating religions out there and apparently they are all objectively evil. So it sounds to me like you are suggesting that God already chose who we wanted in Heaven with him.
Lastly, and I am honestly NOT offended if you confirm this next question because I know that we are friends no matter what. But do you think I am an Evil person because I do not believe? Do you believe you are somehow less evil than I since you do believe? These are honest questions to which I hope you would answer, no.
-Warmest regards and no religious bashing intended
My religion is not true because of any anecdotal evidence. The Catholic Church existed and functioned for centuries before the Bible ever even existed.
You say that it is useless to prove the existence of truth, but I disagree. We’re not existentialists, and people do not get to make up their own personalized versions of the truth. You agree with this every time you study any scientific principles. These principles are ultimate truths—they cannot be altered no matter how hard anyone tries. You therefore have to acknowledge that there is an ultimate truth. We can disagree about what things actually qualify as truth, but the fact remains that some things are infallibly true.
You’re correct that if I was born a Muslim, I would most probably be practicing Islam. But in much the same way that conviction has no bearing on truth, religious upbringing also has no bearing on truth. Let’s use my blog example again. If I raise my children telling them that my blog is the most popular blog on Earth, and you raise your children telling them that my blog is the least popular blog on Earth, does that in any way affect how popular my blog actually is? Of course not.
Now simply because there are ultimate truths does not in any way mean that man is forced to accept these truths. I once heard someone say that if there really was a God who wanted us to believe in Him, He would simply appear to the whole world and tell them to do so. But this line of thinking completely misses the point. God does not force us to believe in Him and love Him because then there would be no reward for doing so! That is the purpose of this Earth—to seek out the truth and then practice it faithfully that we may be rewarded.
It is not mans’ place to judge the evilness or goodness of another man’s heart. We are only permitted to judge human actions and not human hearts. My earnest desire is that you will come to see the truth and then accept it. If a man has the humility to subject his human reason to Divine reason, God will inevitably present him with the opportunity to accept the truth at some point in his life. That choice is an eternal one, and that choice is what will ultimately determine whether you and I are evil or good.
First, I must apologize, I believe you may have misunderstood me when I said it is useless to prove that truth exists. This statement was misleading; however, on the premise that you understood it this way, I thought your response was well developed and clearly thought out. Therefore, let me rephrase my statement. It is essentially useless for me to prove or disprove the existence of God, and subsequently his intentions. But allow me to entertain the teachings found in ancient scripture. Let us assume that events that took place in the Old Testament are in fact true (as these long predate the written Bible). For instance, when God speaks to Moses through the burning bush, or when he parts the Red Sea to allow safe passage for his people, these events were not recorded on parchment until many years later. In fact, it may have been centuries (as you say) before these and other critical events were officially documented.
Here, I feel it necessary to examine Biblical validity and reliability. How many times were these stories passed down from generation to generation? Then in the age of literature (centuries later), how many times were the writings translated from language to language? Take the Four Gospels for example. Their authors originally wrote them in Greek. It wasn’t until the 13th century that a collection of biblical texts were officially recognized in Latin, the language your Priests speak during Mass I presume. Essentially, its like playing a giant game of telephone you played as a child, where a phrase or secret is passed around a circle until it returns to the person who originally uttered it. Now just imagine an arbitrary amount of 100,000 people playing the game. Its it possible that the original story teller would receive the message exactly the same way he first said it verbatim? Maybe, but highly unlikely. Its likely that entire concepts might be lost to misinterpretation or even manipulators.
In regards to your thoughts on scientific principals, the same constructs apply. Would you consult a 13th century medical text book for cancer treatment strategies? Probably not… This is why I will not consult the Bible for truthful (or historically accurate) information. We simply don’t know what actually happened during Biblical times. I cannot accept a so called truth if it were written by people who didn’t have the cosmological understanding of the universe that we have today. So I think we disagree on unchanging scientific principals. They don’t change often, but when they do, we rewrite the textbooks so that they explain puzzling phenomena in greater detail than we had before. To my knowledge, no religious book has ever done this.
On another note, I think you are right in saying their is an ultimate truth regardless of one’s conviction for it. I can see why you would apply this concept in your daily thinking. I can tell you have thought about this a lot and I know too many people who cannot discuss topics like this on your level. Perhaps I tend to have trouble understanding your point of view because we have both made different assumptions about where and how the “truths” came to fruition.
Thank you for the compliments! Always a pleasure debating a gentleman.
I think an important point to make here is that Catholicism is bigger than just the Bible. The Bible is a central part of the religion, yes, but it is only a part. It is not mandatory for someone to read and study the Bible in order to achieve salvation. There are undoubtedly countless saints who never read a Bible verse in their lives.
Since the Bible is so important to Catholicism, though, it is imperative to defend it. One quick clarification is that Moses himself actually wrote many books of the Bible, so centuries did not pass between the occurrence and the documentation. It was centuries before certain writings were selected to actually make up the books of the Bible, but those writings were around for all of those centuries.
As far as the translation problem, this is precisely the role of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the entity which gathered the writings into the Bible, and it has protected those writings throughout the centuries. They have been diligently and meticulously translated and interpreted. If you don’t trust their translations, then there’s really nothing else to say. How do we know Socrates actually said what translators have claimed? If one doesn’t trust the Church’s translations then that same logic would dictate they couldn’t believe anything without seeing it themselves. How do you know this is actually me writing this post? We all are forced to constantly accept things we can’t possibly prove by witnessing first hand.
If you care to hear a much better explanation of the Catholic view on the Bible, this video is an excellent resource.