Having been through the religious mill, from complete certainty, through doubting, to agnosticism and finally to atheism, I am fairly aware of the different degrees of religious belief from the fanatical to the dilettante. It is therefore unwise and unfair to openly denigrate belief in whatever God, as there are those who rely on their religious beliefs for their support and the whole balance of their lives, and may be susceptible to persuasion from someone whom they believe to be more experienced.. So I propose to lay out some of the congruities thrown up by fiction, heresy, paganism and pure greed.
Right down the ages, from before Roman times, up to and including the Spanish Civil War, and World War II, those in control have used religion as a goad, or an excuse, to achieve their ends. What I find incongruous about this fact is that the masses allow themselves to go along with these fictions so contrary to the basic aims of the particular religions. The pilots of Germany and Italy during the Spanish civil war, were blessed by the then Pope. Kamikaze pilots of World War II, the suicide bombers so prevalent today, and indeed their families and friends, one assumes, view that their acts will take these chosen people from their mundane world and place them in a Nirvana. There is of course the possibility that over and above the religious belief is a desire for acknowledgement and excitement. The Crusaders, I think, in many cases, were misled, most had actually no idea of the Koran, the religious maxims, nor the history and art of Islam. And most were probably more interested in what they could get out of it materially, than spiritually.
The fact that the creation of the world and all that it containes is so remarkable, so unbelievably complex and yet so logical, creates a mental vacuum which has to be filled in order to explain these complexities, and so from the very beginning, man has invented his own measures of achieving these aims. To some, for no logical reason, they look upon the Creator as a benign, omnipotent, omnipresent deity, who will make everything right, whereas if there is such a thing, it is totally blind, is insensitive to the needs of its charges, and this includes the animal kingdom and the vegetable kingdom, and is totally permissive when it comes to atrocities committed in the name of religion.. And yet this philosophy, called religion, if anything, teaches us how to live together amicably, courteously, and with consideration for others. The fact that religious beliefs probably never were totally accepted, least of all by those expounding their merits, seems to indicate that the social graces are more important than the religious ones.