Today I was working on the door in the local library. It’s an old door, and my poetic mind liked the idea of me restoring the entrance to a lot of knowledge, being an amateur philosopher and all. In front of the library were some evangelicals selling god to people passing by; better get them before they learn something, you might say. While watching this scene of knowledge and ignorance, I was listening to a BBC documentary where an ex-prostitute talked about her life. At one point, she said that a young girl trafficked into prostitution is factually raped 20 (twenty) times in an evening… for several years… every evening… After realizing what I had just heard, I refrained from complaining about a tooth that hurts and from asking these lovely God-loving people why their boss agreed with these pimps or at least hands them all kinds of excuses and ways to ignore this kind of injustice.
Ones home I did go into my library to find some comfort. To read something, from someone much wiser than me to comfort me. The downside of philosophy as a hobby is that all your playmates are long dead or unreachable; only through reading their books can you come close.
Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects
“That is the idea — that we should all be wicked if we did not hold to the Christian religion. It seems to me that the people who have held to it have been for the most part extremely wicked. You find this curious fact, that the more intense has been the religion of any period and the more profound has been the dogmatic belief, the greater has been the cruelty and the worse has been the state of affairs. In the so-called ages of faith, when men really did believe the Christian religion in all its completeness, there was the Inquisition, with all its tortures; there were millions of unfortunate women burned as witches; and there was every kind of cruelty practiced upon all sorts of people in the name of religion.
You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.
You may think that I am going too far when I say that that is still so. I do not think that I am. Take one fact. You will bear with me if I mention it. It is not a pleasant fact, but the churches compel one to mention facts that are not pleasant. Supposing that in this world that we live in today an inexperienced girl is married to a syphilitic man; in that case the Catholic Church says, ‘This is an indissoluble sacrament. You must endure celibacy or stay together. And if you stay together, you must not use birth control to prevent the birth of syphilitic children.’ Nobody whose natural sympathies have not been warped by dogma, or whose moral nature was not absolutely dead to all sense of suffering, could maintain that it is right and proper that that state of things should continue.
That is only an example. There are a great many ways in which, at the present moment, the church, by its insistence upon what it chooses to call morality, inflicts upon all sorts of people undeserved and unnecessary suffering. And of course, as we know, it is in its major part an opponent still of progress and improvement in all the ways that diminish suffering in the world, because it has chosen to label as morality a certain narrow set of rules of conduct which have nothing to do with human happiness; and when you say that this or that ought to be done because it would make for human happiness, they think that has nothing to do with the matter at all. ‘What has human happiness to do with morals? The object of morals is not to make people happy.”