The Christian Religion is Morally Ineffective

I believe the continuing scandle of child abuse and cover ups in the Catholic Church is yet another reminder the Christian religion does not do an effective, nor efficient, job of causing people to behave decently.   That reminder, by the way, comes contra the often repeated propaganda that religion is necessary to a decent morality.

Morality, we are told — and told again and again — is founded in religion — specifically in a belief in god. 

Well, tell that one to the tens of thousands of children raped by godly priests.

21 thoughts on “The Christian Religion is Morally Ineffective

  1. Morality is absolutely not in the least bit founded in or reinforced by religion.

    Morality has EVERYTHING to do with right and wrong and resisting the urge to fulfill fundamental desires that might feel good but that exceed fundamental rights and therefore cause harm.

    There has always been fundamental desires that exceed fundamental rights.
    Morality is only negatively influenced by belief in FORGIVING “God” character or JEALOUS “God” characters.
    The Christian God made three mistakes and did not learn from the first one and repeated it. Perhaps this was a hope that humans would not choose to sin if given free will? Lucifer choose with his “free will” to rebel against God! Mistake (1)Free Will.
    Humanity was created and placed in a “Garden”. The God character left the Garden open to Lucifer or the first illustration that free will was potentially a mistake that required trust. This could compare to raising a child and exposing him or her to dangerous living conditions. Mistake (2) Child Neglect Now give the human free will and a temptation. Mistake (3) or repeat of Mistake (1) of free will.

    I do not “believe” in God. I know is is there. I have spoken with him. There are religions that are close but there is none that are totally correct. The Roman Catholic Church is not even very close to right and maybe the pedophilia will finally wake Catholics up to realize that no man is needed to ask for forgiveness. A vow of “chastity” is lie by design because it is impossible to keep. No human including that Pope guy will ever get close because the fundamental desire being denied is impossible to completely remove from the mind.

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  2. Not counting children, who make up about 15 percent of rapes, there were 248,300 victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault in the United States in 2007 (U.S. Department of Justice. 2007 National Crime Victimization Survey. 2007).

    That’s one every 2 minutes.

    So it’s not just the Catholic priests.

    As for morality, the atheistic Nazi and communist regimes have murdered, according to most accounts, over 100 million people.

    Perhaps the fault lies in human nature, not the Catholic Church or religion.

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  3. @ Ivan: Welcome to the blog! 🙂

    No one is arguing that the Catholic Church or religion is a cause of rape. Instead, the argument is that participation in the Catholic Church — participation in the religion –does little or nothing to make one a better person. In other words, the Catholic Church is morally ineffective.

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  4. Paul: Thank you for your kind welcome to your excellent blog. I’ve always enjoyed the intelligent, civil discussions.

    As for the effectiveness of religion, it’s not 100 percent. Not 50 percent. Let’s just say that countries with established religions are less murderous than the alternative bloodthirsty doctrines that fill the spiritual void created when religion disappears.

    In my previous post, I cited the murderous atheist regimes that probably mass murdered over 100 million people.

    Since then, Christianity returned to Eastern Europe and Confucianism to China, and the bloodfest has mostly subsided.

    Perhaps religion played a part, because man is a spiritual animal, and that spirit is calmest when tempered by old rituals and traditions that have served their ancestors.

    Perhaps without the Cross, Crescent, or Star of David you get the swastika or hammer and sickle.

    Religious wars or ideological wars? Statistically, the ideological wars and genocide (Cambodia, WWII), perhaps unchecked by religious beliefs, have been much, much worse than religious wars and ethnic cleansing (Crusades and Serbia-Croatia-Bosnia).

    Of course, this is no defense of the Pope’s cover-up, just my perspective on the consequences of tossing out Baby Jesus with the holy bathwater.

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  5. I had a conversation about this last night, though not the catholic church specifically. I know many people who are not religious, or even spiritual, but whom are very moral. And I know people who claim to be spiritual, whom are religious, and act very badly towards others. Yet still, I know morally deficient non-spiritual people and also very upright and kind religious people. It’s a mixed bag, and I agree with Paul that it doesn’t have to do with religion. Religion can either foster something that is already there (namely empathy), or a bad apple can spoil the bunch, so to speak.

    On top of that, if the “rules” of the religion are so constraining that they deny human nature altogether, such as lifelong abstinence, of course its going to introduce problems.

    Anyone with sufficient objectivity should see the Catholic church is not a great place for morality. But the Catholic Church, I realized, has this power to it that exploits people by providing a world outside of reality that can give the individual a feeling of importance while still holding onto the material nature of human beings. I had a conversation with a Catholic man who was explaining the Catholic belief in holy objects. How the church doesn’t REPRESENT the bride of Christ, but IS the bride of Christ, which is why Catholic churches are built to be so ornate. Believing this is what gives the church its magical beauty to him, and every holy object was not a representation but the actual spiritual body the church ordained it to be (on what authority?). It was like truth (to me all things are infused with a spiritual nature of sorts) was twisted into something that could enrapture the believers and so command them. It creeped me out to be honest…

    Wasn’t there a child porn ring just discovered that was financed by the Catholic church? Is that what prompted this post?

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  6. @ Curtis Neeley: Welcome to the blog! 🙂

    I’m unsure why you state, “Morality is only negatively influenced by belief in FORGIVING “God” character or JEALOUS “God” characters.” Could you elaborate for me, please? Why are those god characters negative influences on morality?

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  7. @ Ivan: Thank you for a thoughtful response!

    For the most part, though, I find myself in disagreement with the points you’ve made. For instance, while Stalin was an atheist and the Soviet Union could properly be called an atheist state, I don’t think the same can be said about Nazi Germany. It is my understanding that most of the Nazis were Catholic or Lutheran.

    Perhaps more importantly, there are relatively less religious countries whose people tend to behave morally — such as the Nordic countries of Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. So, I think you still have work to do if you want to establish the notion that religious societies behave much better than non-religious societies.

    My contention is that participation in the Christian religion is no more likely to make one a decent person than a taking a placebo is likely to make one a decent person. I’m not sure to what extent that contention can be proved or disproved by reference to nation states. I’ll have to think about that.

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  8. @ Briana: Thank you for an excellent post!

    This is the first I’ve heard of the Church being involved in a child porn ring. I’ll have to look that up.

    To be fair to the Christians, they are primarily in the business of salvation, aren’t they? I mean as opposed to morality. Albeit many of the clergy do make wild claims about their religion promoting morality.

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  9. “It is my understanding that most of the Nazis were Catholic or Lutheran.”

    You may want to read “The Nazi Master Plan: The Persecution of the Christian Churches,” in Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion, Installment No. 1, Posted: Winter 2001.

    Or fasten your seatbelt and read this except from the Southern Poverty Law Center (http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/1998/winter/the-new-barbarians):

    Odinism, which is closely related to Asatrú, was much favored in Nazi Germany. Its Nordic/Teutonic mythology was a bedrock belief for key Third Reich leaders, and it was an integral part of the initiation rites and cosmology of the elite Schutzstaffel (SS), which supervised Adolf Hitler’s network of death camps. Decades later, Odinism also influenced George Lincoln Rockwell’s American Nazi Party.

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  10. Thank you sir! I will gladly explain why and allegedly forgiving or jealous God/Allah character actually impact morality very negatively. I have read the series of books that are alleged to be inspired by God and I have read the best selling work of Muhammad. Neither book is indisputably the “Word” of the invisible God/Allah character. They are both written by humans

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  11. Ivan, you are correct in starting that Odinism influenced the Nazi party, but so did Christianity. More than one person who read Hitler’s “Mein Kaumpt” (I have not, nor am I sure I spelled that right) have said that Hitler stated in that book that by killing Jews, he was doing the work of Christ. Also, everything the Nazis did to the Jews was originally proposed by Martin Luther in his infamous screed, “The Jews and Their Lies.”

    Most Chirstians in Germany were active or passive supporters of the Nazi party. I know about Deitrich Bonhoeffer’s martyrdom, but he was the exception.

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  12. Thank you sir. Elaborating on the negative impact of an allegedly “forgiving” or jealous invisible God/Allah character is relatively simple and I thought obvious. It makes me sound very anti-theist but I have been in the presence of God/Allah and know so much more than allowed to morally disclose. Baptists believe, in error, that once you are “saved” you are “saved” forever. This is almost an insult to the allegedly “free will” mistake that they assign the alleged God/Allah character. If a person is given the “free-will” to accept/choose God/Allah, it is then an insult to logic to believe the exercise of “free-will” causes a loss of the ability to choose or changing your mind is then prohibited. This belief is a logical error that allows the “logically challenged Religions” to claim freedom to act immorally after getting “saved”. The jealous God/Allah characters who prohibit belief in any other equal and at potentially immoral extremes. The reader is too familiar with the Jihad of today. Curtis J Neeley is sick of the religious believers in another Deity expressing near revelry in claiming a friendlier but similarly “jealous” Creator character described in their Book. These religious and logically challenged forget the crusades. The religious then committed atrocities that tend to make Jihad activities look docile and respectable in comparison by at least waiting till after death for their 99 virgins. Instead of raping the “barbarians” and asking for “indulgences” or permission to act immorally and justifying it. after almost five-hundred years of trying to get rid of believers of the other Creator, the opposing Deity’s followers will soon regret picking five-hundred years to immorally crusade when the other immorality seeks revenge in the nuclear age. Looking purely logically, neither immoral group is thought of as badly as those *danged* atheists. Atheists are wrong and deny a fundamental human drive almost as illogically as the Pope does. I have tried to be an “atheist” and am often angry at the God/Allah character. I read both Books and often wish that atheists were completely correct. I know what happens after death and will never reveal this due to the moral concerns. It could be argued that an irrefutable argument supporting existence of the God/Allah character would compel a true believer? Hardly. I honestly only care about those I already care about. That number grows every day but it remains true that I hope those I dislike do not accept him before they die.

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  13. I’m not sure how precisely this ties into what we’ve been discussing, but there is a new study out that suggests atheist males are more sexually faithful to their partners than both atheist females and non-atheists. If religion had much to do with morality, I would not expect that result. Study

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  14. I do not “believe” in God. I know is [He?] is there. I have spoken with him.

    The mind is a wonderful trickster. You’ve spoken with yourself, mate.

    ‘God’ is simply a hatrack for people who fear or cannot accept the finality of death. An afterlife does not differ from a pre-life, and in the light of nature’s system, it simply makes sense that both are literally non-active states. About spirits: the energy of the mind is a too weak power (scientifically proved) to be able to exist as a fully aware soul after the demise of the body, and certainly not forever. Of course I don’t speak from experience but I like the rationality of science.

    Ah, but there are of course more reasons for wanting to believe in a metaphysical Überruler. Not being able to carry around your own responsibilities -‘My life is in the hands of God/Lord, please help me’- or, and that’s an admirable one, bravery in the face of death and calm submission to it. Or it’s simply a habit, passed on from generation to generation. But I think the fear of -horror! – Being No Longer is the basic one. Isn’t that funny? In a non-existing state you are freed from fear, pain, worries and anything else.

    In the discussions over the Catholic abuse scandals, one seldom connects to the Islam. Is child abuse unknown in the Muslim Church? It seems so. Abuse is practised much more in the family homes. The Islam represses as well. Ever read about forced homosexuality among Afghan men? It’s not a myth and also no restricted to a few. Not the sodomy in itself is chilling, it’s the sheer madness of the convictions behind the practises.

    The Islam knows advantages too- married priests. The Pope can deny as much as he wants, but his treasured Celibacy – an ungodly invention of the Catholic sect – forms the main drive for abuse. It also speaks of haughtiness: not willing to accept that we are biological creatures who once were animals and who are still hardly removed from them.

    (deDeurs is the same one as ‘bloggwonder’ who reacted under the Robert Whipkey article, sorry for the confusement, I’ll stick to ‘deDeurs’ from now on)

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  15. deDeurs,

    Thank you for pointing out that the alleged “God/Allah” character that exists is asexual. I have absolutely no fear of ceasing to exist although my impact will not. If I could believe in ceasing to exist, I would gladly accept that.

    I am proud to still be an animal. The fact that science has not discovered a way to measure the spirit with science is irrelevant. My brain is severely damaged. I could not care less if you die an atheist. I respect that intelligent humans are more predisposed to be atheistic or agnostic. My medical bills were much greater than three million dollars, as I hear. There is no scientific reason or explanation for my recovery. I would not be here if there were no atheists who bring human science forward much more quickly than theists. Many of even the “religious right” are atheists but prefer to appear to ascribe to a God/Allah.
    I say “thank [God/Allah]” for the atheist who fuel human intellect. If it were not for atheists, I would now be dead.

    I was “talking” to myself? In that case, it is a rather pleasant delusion. I remain as open to accept atheism and ceasing to exist if science is somehow able to explain how humans came to exist. Belief in evolution is moronic in my opinion. Why is there one dominant species instead of several similar? Perhaps Africans were one type monkey and Europeans were another? Synchronized evolution? Ridiculous. The evidence of evolution was created by God/Allah to cause atheists to exist so that I could survive now as I am. Atheists, bin Laden and Benedict XVI will eventually exist in the same “place” in the same “way”. That is terribly close to disclosing more than allowed. I admit atheist are not usually wrong and are why I exist today.

    1. Nobody will ever prove evolution!
    2. Nobody will ever prove the spirit exists or does not exist.
    3. Nobody will ever prove “God/Allah” exists.
    4. As science progresses and the intellect of the human species increases, a religion called “atheism” will develop and it will spread as fast as email and BLOG posts.

    You are a decent prophet of this new religion.

    Christians believe that animals cease existing when they die.

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  16. Religious approaches to morality are in general ineffective because moral reasoning follows aesthetics. Authoritarian moral systems do not address the human reality of the feelings and desires that underlie human behavior. Therapeutic approaches that take into account that behavior originates in subconscious processes that are only slightly reflected and controlled by conscious ones are a much better model. A person is much more likely to behave in a manner consistent with sustaining social order and justice when they actually feel a sense of connection to others. In the absence of such feelings, moral reasoning will be dictated by the fear and hysteria created by the sense of egotistical isolation and will easily and regularly be used to “justify” behaviors consistent with the need of pacifying existential angst.

    Aesthetics dictate moral reasoning. It’s not the other way around. Or as Paul Simon put it: “All lies and jest, still a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest.”

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  17. @Curtis,
    So far Man uncovered much more evolutionary facts than facts about a Deity. That boosts my ‘believe’ in science in favour to that of religion.

    There’s this Dutch boy being the sole survivor of a plane crash. Some people see his miracle as an intervention, a descision from God. Does this make sense? Why would God save this particular (but what’s particular about him?) boy, but not his two years older brother? I dislike the Christian defence: ‘Yes but it’s Gods will and His ways are unfathomable’ so much. The biggest and also the easiest excuse that capsulates literally Everything.

    Happenstance makes much more sense, even if there is no visible or measurable logic in coincidence. But every move by everyone of us is changing our surroundings and our future every micro-second. Our fathers spawned billions of sperm cells, the chances that ours would NOT have reached the ovarium, are staggering. And then I have to believe in biblical wisecracks like ‘We are God’s chosen’? I don’t know about you, but me I never made my mark in history and I doubt it will ever happen. This god gave me 6 decades sofar, why should he, what’s my existence to him?
    So I definitely don’t believe in a celestial superman willing and directing our very moves and destinies, it simply doesn’t gel with our rationality. Or at least mine.

    =There is no scientific reason or explanation for my recovery.=

    Now for you and your family your survival was a miracle. But in view of a whole race of more than 6 billion people and uncountable other biological lifeforms, your recovery is ‘just’ luck. You were basically a pawn in a specific game of cause and effect. Ever seen the movie Final Destination? I wish I hadn’t!

    Of course that doesn’t make the recovery experience for you less awesome, but if you felt that you have been in the presence of God/Allah, you suggest that some entity somewhere regards you kindly. I doubt very, very much if that’s how nature (in the sense of cosmic structure/mechanism) works. If the universe doesn’t sport a blind eye, it certainly isn’t focused on the likes of you and me. In human thinking: the universe deals in macro and micro, but there’s hardly to no profit in the isolated culture called Homo Sapiens. On the other hand, is it rational to distinguish ourselves from everything else in that universe? A star explodes, with no other means than to pro-create new stars. It’s what we do also. The one different detail; humans pro-create before their extinction, not after. But the goal is basically the same.
    I don’t think however that this is what sorcerer God in the fairy tale book of Genesis meant, when he shazamed the golems Adam and Eve into being…

    I’ve never been in the notorious tunnel with at the end the bright light and my late granny beckoning, or did I float near the ceiling of the ER, looking down serenely on the hospital bed where my own dying body lies. People say that having had such an experience will change your views drastically. There’s a scientific explanation to it, though. Body & mind traumatized. That’s what I meant with my earlier remark about not talking to God, but to yourself. The mind, playing tricks on the mind. In other words; in the face of a dramatic death, all nerve systems possibly open up more wide than one ever experienced before. The fact that so many people share the same tunnel experience, for instance, is prove to me that this is a typical side effect of the human mind. No bout of miracles, but an overall, instinctive sort of panic causing amplified electro-chemical processes.

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  18. There was no tunnel and I did not actually “hear” God/Allah/Bozo or anyone.I simply awoke with the knowledge that is beyond experiences.
    There was no miracle of God/Allah/Bozo regarding the boy who survived.
    Evolution might someday be proven more acceptably than now.
    When God/Allah/Bozo spoke the Earth into existence, God/Allah/Bozo created every fossil evidence of evolution.
    There will NEVER be evidence of a deity. That would remove the “free-will” of humans like already happened to Angels.
    As humans acquire more knowledge, more intellectuals will accept physical evidence that support scientific beginnings instead of a deity.
    I was in a coma an unresponsive to even pain so I doubt I was scared a bit….Ha
    Eventually the people who do not accept evolution will be a minority.
    Of the highly intellectual portion that exist now, we already are a minority.

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