Is the ladder of religious cruelty a complete account of religious development. What about a sacrificing himself for humanity? This doesn't get mentioned. However we could say that Nietzsche rejects that because he obviously doesn't believe in God and insofar as God is 'one of the suffering'. This confirms Nietzsche's negative view of religion / Christianism.
His detest of such actions can be inferred from his suggestions that the worship of such bizarre things as the sacred navel, foreskin, and the dress and milk of Heavenly Mother being more sensible than the great persecutions of people based on religious pretext. Voltaire did not feel that this was what religion was about. He felt the true religion to be 'The Golden Rule';, that is to love thy neighbor as thyself. This becomes evident in Voltaire's Religion. In Religion Voltaire describes one of his meditations.
God is looked upon as an illusion and essentially an alienation. If our anthropology is limiting then our theology may be abusive. We are the problem if that is the case. God does not exist in the minds of atheists. They're saying get rid of all your ideas of God because they are invalid.
The whole concept would sound foolish to Nietzsche, in spite of the fact that he recognized asceticism in religion already. Nietzsche believe that those who lived ascetic lives were “surrounded by such a lavish growth of nonsense and superstition” (Nietzsche, Good and Evil, 60) and thus were absurd and achieved nothing. William James believed that asceticism was based in the “general good intention” (James, Varieties, 384) and that it could eliminate evil in the world. James believed that asceticism was over-all useless, but understood it as a way for religious people to eliminate the negativity in their lives. James would have understood Father Lazarus’ ascetic life just the same way.
David Hume’s “Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion” offers arguments on the existence of God from three different perspectives. Cleanthes, a student of natural theology, offers the infamous design argument. Demea, a priest and a fideist, dislikes this theory because it assumes that God has human like properties; the theory is suggestive of anthropomorphism. Philo, an empiricist and the main voice of Hume himself, opposes this theory because he sees logical flaws. While Philo and Demea both disagree with the design argument, it is clear that their methods of refutation differ significantly.
Many think that he was an atheist, and others wanted to charge him with infidelity. In my opinion, religion is up to those who would like to follow it. However, I see no point in it. It’s a sense of security and hope for humans, but it’s all false security and false hope. Hume states that “We are naturally constituted to share the emotions of our fellow human beings.
“Correct thinking about religion is rather a genuine faith, a personal commitment,” (p. 116). Evans’ explanations and arguments on the Fideist point of view are eye-opening and well argued. The fideist believes that people who choose neutrality are the rebellious humans that do not believe in God and that being neutral is just an illusion. The fideist thinks that a person who attempts to be neutral is, “impious or presumptuous, an arrogant placing of human reason above God,” (p. 117). Evans goes on to point out that his view is that humans can never really be religiously neutral.
Camus uses the theme of religion to show how it truly is absurd. God was created by religious people as a way of giving a sense of fulfillment to a meaningless life. Meursault choses to deny himself of faith because religion only seizes to control others. Camus had said “I don’t believe in reason enough, to believe in a system. What interests me is knowing how we must behave, and more precisely, how to behave when one does not believe in God or reason” (Camus 1965,1427).
There will be chaos without it. Freud is trying to change our reality by saying that religion keeps us ignorant. It is constantly reinforcing us how powerless we are.
On the other hand, if a person is atheist, but is morally just, they more often than not are considered “not good” people. While it is certainly acceptable to believe in a God, it is the actions that you present to the world that make you a moral person. Another problem with Pascal’s Wager was that if people choose to believe in God just so they can go to heaven, they would have to follow the religion untruthfully and pretend to have ties with it just to go to heaven. It would be an immoral thing to pretend to follow a religion for one’s benefit and if God were to be omniscient, he would be aware of the false beliefs of a person. With the problem of evil comes the problem of free will for humans and God’s omnipotence is challenged.