Does Religion Cause Violence?

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by Blake Bowden, Mar 27, 2012.

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  1. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    When someone uses just one of the Seven deadly sins in a argument I have trouble with it. The other gard rail to Greed is Envy. It takes two to have a conflict and when someone points out Greed I will ask is Envy the reason someone is pointing at Greed. Greed is if someone is not using the resources that they have earned in some manner. Envy is someone calling another greedy because they have earned alot of some thing without looking at the good they do. Like Gov. Romney uses his resources to help others at about 20% but some call him greedy just because he has money.
     
  2. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    Most Religions do not cause violance. Only one that I know of actuly states that everyone shall be converted (now the violance) and if not by there own will be forced to or shall die. Most don't have it writen into there holly book about doing something to those that don't become a beleiver.
     
  3. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    No more than anyone could seriously suggest that religion causes violence.
     
  4. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    Violence seems to be caused by the evil trio; Fear, Ignorance, and Superstition. Sometimes people who possess these traits join religions. Yada, yada, yada.
     
  5. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    I've known some violent people who are not fearful, aren't ignorant, and aren't superstitious. They're simply predatory. It would be nice if a bit of education could fix everybody. Some people have chosen to not be fixed.
     
  6. admarcus1

    admarcus1 Registered User

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    Religion in of itself does not cause violence, but it is certainly used as justification/rationalization. The Hebrew Bible, the Christian Bible, and the Koran have all been used quite effectively to justify the slaughter, oppression, and enslavement of entire populations. It is easy enough to say "Their holy book really does justify it, but those who do it based on my book are twisting/misinterpreting the meaning". If you can define your enemy as Amalekites, then you can Biblically justify killing every last man, woman, child, and even cattle. When I read the Gospels, it seems clear to me that I and all my descendants are guilty of Deicide, surely a capital crime if there ever was one, and one that was used to justify the persecution of Jews for centuries. I imagine that most modern Christians would say that is misinterpretation. Most modern Jews would say that the commandment to eradicate the Amalekites is an allegorical exhortation to eliminate evil Most Muslims I know will say that those passages which are often pointed to as problematic are being misinterpreted or are taken out of context. I have no reason to doubt them, any more than I doubt my Christian friends who don't hold me responsible for killing Jesus or being cursed.

    I think violence is about power, either getting it or keeping it for one's self and one's group. Groups are often ethnic/cultural, and those groups often have shared religions. I don't believe that the religions are the true source of the conflict. I imagine that for the combatants in Northern Ireland during the "Troubles", or for the average Sunni or Shia in Iraq, the differences in theology are not their primary concern.

    That said, I think I need to stop reading this thread. I find the topic very distressing. So much violence perpetrated in the name of God for thousands of years I became a Freemason in part because of the explicit recognition recognition that we are brothers, not to dwell on what divides us. I have both current events and history for that.

    My apologies for the rambling post, Brothers.




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  7. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    The question was "what", not "how much". Your suggestion that as much violence has been committed in the name of science as there has in the name of religion is absurd on it's face. Yes, it is not accurate to say that religion "causes" violence, but to suggest that it is not a frequent catalyst for violence, often of the most extraordinary kind, is simply disingenuous.
     
  8. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    So does the command to commit genocide count as violence?
     
  9. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    You must be one of those science worshipers. Don't worry, most people get over that one, too. I'm a scientist, not a science worshiper. I have only pity for the science worshipers.
     
  10. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    At one time science and religion were the same thing, like two sides of the same coin. It was man who separated them to serve his selfish interests.
     
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  11. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    I would have thought that such ad hominem was beneath you, Bryan. More to the point, you clearly have no idea about my understanding of science.
    Most offensive of all though, is your suggestion that you know what I "worship" and what I don't. That is completely out of line.
     
  12. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    Science, as we and our ancient brethren have always understood it, is the pursuit of knowledge and of an understanding of the way our universe works. To the man of faith, that is pretty much equivalent to, "...understanding the nature of the Great Architect's work...". I don't see that as a "separation".
    The gift of insight and understanding, coupled with an insatiable curiosity, is, IMO, our Creator's greatest gift to us. It is only through eternal pursuit of knowledge and understanding that we can properly honor that gift. An earnest pursuit of such things requires the humility to set aside all pre-conceived notions and to question every "authority" that claims to know how or why this or that thing is so.
     
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  13. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    First, and let me be clear, I do not claim to be in possession of any special insight, "ancient hidden wisdom", or unique knowledge regarding the nature of Reality. I merely put forth my understanding for the purpose of logical debate in the hopes that together we can arrive at better and more accurate understanding of Reality.

    That being said, I am concerned that we are talking about two different things. I would agree with you that in today's world many people, or perhaps most people, view science and religion as being 180 degrees apart. My comment was not intended to be about "what" is happening but about "why" I think it happened. I have read that for millennia there have been people who asked themselves "who am I?" and "what does it mean to be human?". Traditionally they have said that there are four main factors that shape human reality, namely the Mental, Emotional, Physical, and Spiritual. I think that one reason human beings are so divided as a people is the belief that one of these areas can provide the answer, or is superior to the other areas. This belief is what I refer to as separation. Personally I believe that it will be necessary for me, within the limits of my poor human abilities, to integrate all the areas of my life to find anything approaching understanding.

    Here again I think we mostly agree using different words. To me the phrase "set aside" seems to imply "not use". I use all preconceived notions as they give me something to question, which as you said is the path to greater knowledge.
     
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  14. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    You said a key words "justification/rationalization". The only religion that has say to do something is Islam. There are some that use there religous doctran to justification/rationalization but not comeout and say to do it like the Qoran. Justifications are in man mind orders from the supposed word of God is something very deferent.
     
  15. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    I don't know what your point is the only text that talks about genocide in the Bible is old testement and in a spesfice case. Which is reporting history and not know. The Qurain is the only openended book that says to kill untill all are eather converted of dead.
     
  16. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    Please look before replying to my post:
    Qur'an (9:29) - "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued."

    Qur'an (8:39) - “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world ]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.”
     
  17. jjjjjggggg

    jjjjjggggg Premium Member

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    Wouldn't the book of Revelations count as genocide in the New Testament?


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  18. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    No it is not telling someone to do that it is prodicting that.
     
  19. jjjjjggggg

    jjjjjggggg Premium Member

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    And yet it is the armies of god who will do the killing.


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  20. admarcus1

    admarcus1 Registered User

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    There is no translation without interpretation. Even in your translation, I don't see the word to kill. If the Koran is anything like the Bible, I sure one could find other passages that would appear to contradict your assertion. The Muslims I know see thus as an imprecations to struggle for an ideal world where all men recognize Allah. I am assuming that your Old Testament reference is to Amalekites. Here you make two interpretations. One is that it applies to a specific imstance. Not everyone has agreed with that. Some would argue that there have been Amalekites who have arisen repeatedly in history (Haman in the Book if Esther, Nazis in the modern era). The second interpretation is that I'd it is in the Old Testament, it somehow no longer applies. Not all Christians agree with that interpretation of Jesus' words, and to what laws those words apply. I can tell you that in the history of Christianity, many have interpreted spreading the Gospel as meaning that it should be done by force of arms, and they were as certain of their interpretation as you are of yours.

    There is anti-Muslim hysteria in this country which President Bush, to his credit, tried to prevent early in his presidency, but was not successful. More than a decade later, and things ate even worse. We as Masons can rise above the emotions. Jews,Muslims, and Christians sit together in Lodge in Israel. They manage to rise above the rancor. So can we.

    I know I said I wasn't going to jump back in, but people if my faith/ethnicity have been accused of having secret, nefarious designs, with proofs offered from the Bible, Talmud, forged documens, misrepresentations, and presenting the actions of individuals (or groups of individuals) as representative of the whole. Millions paid with their lives. "Never Again" is not meant as a slogan to promote Jewish self-defense, but as a call to all people to not demonize the other, to give in to the temptation of placing the blame for all that is wrong at the feet of those who are different, and therefore threatening. Masons have been on the receiving end of that too, complete with quotations and proofs. Of course, no counter-argument sea to help too much.



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    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
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