Saturday, July 11, 2015

Does religion lead to violence? Yeah, and so do lots of other things


One little point about religion and violence. If you are counting up the tendency of religion to lead to violence, don't you have to subtract all the cases where someone REFRAINED from committing an act of violence out of obedience to, say, the Sixth Commandment.


B. Prokop said...

Admitting in advance that it would be impossible to ever gather reliable statistics on such a thing, I think a strong case could still be made that the ledger is definitely in favor of religion preventing far more violence than it may cause. One also has to distinguish between religions. I would imagine that next to zero violence could be laid at the feet of the Quakers or the Doukhobors for instance, whereas the entire history of Islam is one bloody mess from start to finish. So "religion" is way too broad a term.

Also, it must be kept in mind that "religion" often had as little to do with the actual roots of many conflicts as the color of a rose had to do with England's Wars of the Roses. The various parties in a conflict may identify with a particular religion, such as the Catholics and Protestants in Ireland during the Troubles, but the actual causes of the violence on that island were economic and nationalistic, and had nothing whatsoever to do with religion. (If you don't believe me, then why did neither side ever press forward doctrinal differences in their struggle?)

Jezu ufam tobie!

Edgestow said...

"Blessed are the peacemakers"
(Matthew 5:9)

"be at peace with one another"
(Mark 9:50)

"You will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, ... to guide our feet into the way of peace."
(Luke 1:76,79)

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you."
(John, 14:27)

"God has called us to peace."
(1 Corinthians 7:15)

"And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near."
(Ephesians 2:17)

"And the peace of God, which passes all understanding"
(Philippians 4:7)

"through [Jesus] to reconcile to himself [God] all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross"
(Colossians 1:20)

"the God of peace"
(1 Thessalonians 5:23)

"may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways"
(2 Thessalonians 3:16)

"aim at righteousness, faith, love, and peace"
(2 Timothy 2:22)

"Strive for peace with all men."
(Hebrews 12:14)

"the harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace"
(James 3:18)

"He that would love life ... let him seek peace and pursue it."
(1 Peter 3:10-11)

Unknown said...

Yah it does seem like confirmation bias to only site cases where religious people have been violent. Most people are and traditionally have been religious. Is it any surprise then that most violent acts would be committed by religious people? And how do we reliably measure what religions should provoke in people, vs non-religious societies? According to atheists, we've never seen a truly non-religious society until the last half century. Indeed, they are trying to tout that modern Europe is such a society, despite the fact that most countries follow an explicitly Christian ethic, see themselves as at least culturally Christian have, in many cases, state churches. More over, Communist countries are claimed to really be religious because Communism is a religion. So atheists, who see a dichotomy between atheism and religion, want to seriously argue that an ideology which is explicitly anti-theistic is really a religion? This sounds like they are just defining religion as any ideology which promotes violence. If that isn't circular reasoning I don't know what is.

planks length said...

If that isn't circular reasoning I don't know what is.

Almost by definition, all atheism is circular reasoning.