Does Religion Cause Violence?

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

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  1. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    So does that make it OK, or not? More precisely, is the adjuration to "kill them all because God said so" ever something worth seriously considering?
     
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  2. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    I can tell you did not understand what I said. In the old testement certain land is the isralites and they have to kill everyone to make it there's. Then they were told to beat the swards in to plows. This is not religion. This is one nation being told to do this one time and one time only. The qurain is never ending and a religion telling them to do this always. The old testement is telling history not what to keep doing.
     
  3. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    But it is not religion rasing the army but God. Religion is not the word of God but the inturpation by man of that word.
     
  4. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    Look at the original question. "Does religion cause violance" and the answer is no. Except one. If you look at all the sacrad text of all religions you will see none execpt one telling people that everyone must convert or die.
     
  5. jjjjjggggg

    jjjjjggggg Premium Member

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    If you would have stopped there, I would have been in total agreement with you.

    I'm no fan of Islam, but it isn't religion that causes violence, it's people. A Koran on a coffee table will never kill anyone, it's just a book. Even without a book, abstract religious ideas still won't kill people.
     
  6. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    This thread has turned into dogpile on the Christians, which is very common. Yes, there are Christians who have done very bad things. You know what, I bet if we went a-digging, we could find Freemasons who have also done very bad things, and where does that leave those here who delight themselves in not being Christian?
     
  7. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    Probably the gentlest man I ever met was a Muslim, and he could show how and was strongly of the opinion that those who used the Koran to rationalize violence were going to be treated very severely by God (Allah).
     
  8. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    Please answer the question. Yes or no will do.
     
  9. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    B.S.
    The particular religious doctrine has nothing to do with the question. There are plenty of examples of other religious doctrine giving rise to violence.

    Let's said aside all the defensive "my religion is not a violent one" whining and answer the question in non-sectarian terms. What is it about religion that makes otherwise reasonable people feel justified in committing violence? Keep in mind that "violence" covers a lot of ground. Suicide bombers, Jihadists, and The Crusades are easy targets, sure, but if you think about it for more than a moment, you'll realize that there's a lot more going on, every day. Just ask an average woman in an Islamist state, or the child bride of some fundamentalist Mormon male.
     
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  10. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    What is it about politics that makes otherwise reasonable people justified in committing violence?
    What is it about an artificial social construction like race that, etc.?
    What is it about SPORTS that makes, etc.?

    Singling out "religion" as one excuse out of many is inherently dishonest. Insisting that religion has some kind of special status as a particularly pernicious evil says far more about the flaws of the accuser than any flaws unique to "religion".

    The great tragedy of actually understanding history is that most people come to hate you. Why? Because you realize that their particular "enemies" or "causes of all woe" aren't fundamentally different from any other when it comes to causing woe. Most people have a harder time tolerating the possibility that the thing they hate may not be any inherently worse than many other things than they do with the possibility that the thing they love might not be the best possible thing in the universe.
     
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  11. admarcus1

    admarcus1 Registered User

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    I think that part of the issue is that in much of Christian theology, the Old Testament has been superceded by the New, so this particular call to violence is not a part of Christianity.

    It doesn't really matter, though, what I believe to be the proper interpretation of Christian teaching. If a Christian tells me that something doesn't mean to him what I think it means, I believe him. When I tell someone that according to Judaism, "an eye for an eye" has never, ever meant that if someone pokes out your eye, you get to poke out his, I expect that person to believe me, because it is true. If a Muslim tells me that Jihad the word for a struggle in a religious context (and not an armed struggle, though it could be that too I suppose), I will take him at his word. When someone asks me if some of the weird things he has heard about Freemasonry are true (and has quotes from Masonic books to back it up), I expect him to believe me when I explain that he is mistaken.
     
  12. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    People cause violence. People use religion, politics, race, sports, location, clothing, noise, money, et cetera ad nauseum as excuses to commit violence.
     
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  13. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    You are right but it is the only religion that "actively" tell the people following it to do something if they want to be in compliance with the religion.
     
  14. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    This is not really a yes or no question. there is nothing absulte except the death of our bodies. The way we execute faith in a religion is in mans hands and man was given freewill to make those determinations. I beleive all real religions have a path to God the includes grace. The profits of the past were compled to to do thing and say things but no one is forced to do them. In the Qurain there is no path to God/nervana or what ever you beleive in that includes grace and forgiveness not just works. We are human and have freewill so we will messup and without grace no one would go to heaven. This is why jahadi bomings think there only way to heaven is through dieing as a martyrdom. They have been bad all there life and being a martyr will get them there.
     
  15. admarcus1

    admarcus1 Registered User

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    I have said before, I will leave it to Muslims to define Islam - I will not define it for them. I will leave it to Christians to define their faith, and I will practice my own as I understand it.

    This thread has been fascinating, frustrating, exciting, and also kind of depressing. More than anything, though, it has illustrated to me the true wisdom of keeping the discussion of religion out of Lodge.
     
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  16. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    It is true that religion is but one thing among many that are used to define "the other" in order to justify violence and any number of other injustices. Race, language, diet, all manner of cultural differences, and even gender have always been thrown up as reasons to treat "the other" differently. Religion however, is unique among these, in that it invokes (alleges) Divine authority, letting out any possibility of considering otherwise. You either believe that yours are the chosen people and what you do to "the other" is not only justified but a matter of God's will, or you don't. Failing to recognize that unique thing about religion is to ignore history, and reason, for history (not to mention current events) is littered with examples.

    I can hear it now, "But religion didn't actually cause..." this or that act of violence. While that is true, it's also true that race, ethnicity, gender, culture, geography, etc. don't cause violence. Those things, and religion, are things without their own will. It is only we mortals who then use those things to justify our (usually selfish) actions, and it is only religion that can be used to absolve our psyche's completely by allowing us the illusion of shifting that will to some Divine authority. Add in the promise of "salvation", rivers of milk, or dozens of virgins, and you have still more reason to just go with the program.

    If you're thinking that all sounds like "atheist talk", you're right. Personally, I believe that the atheists are wrong about the Divine, and I find their refusal to admit that there is no more proof for their beliefs (in nothing) than those of any other believer in the world to be annoying as hell, but they are spot-on in their recognition that an enlightened society should never allow religion to justify discrimination or violence.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
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  17. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Careful Brethren. We might all still be burned at the stake!
     
  18. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    I am not disagreeing with you, but how does that make them different from anyone else? Everyone wants to believe that they are right about God. I think that we all need to admit the possibility that our most cherished beliefs about God are imperfect. Until we can do that we have little chance of solving anything.
     
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  19. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    Because Pol Pot wasn't an atheist?
     
  20. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    Are you maintaining, then that religion can include things like Pol Pot's "year zero", the "great leap forward", "the cultural revolution" and other purely atheistic movements that caused a great deal of death and suffering AND were meant to absolve the psyches of the perpetrators completely? Are you including such explicitly ANTI-religious events/movements as the ones I have just cited as "religion"?
     
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