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Religions, Belief Systems, Violence
S. Hein

Which is the most violent religion? - This was a a question I googled today. I found an article in the Washington Times and then left this comment.

I was searching for a serious article on which religion is the most violent. While this was an interesting and, in some ways, well written article, it did not answer my question.

I would say it actually avoided the question. So I feel a bit tricked or "baited," And I feel sad about that. I also feel empathy for AsteroidJesus who also seems to feel baited and deceived.

I do appreciate the facts that the author did present. I learned at least a couple of things, so for that I thank the writer, Chris Ladd.

One suggestion I can offer is that we talk about belief systems rather than religions. We might then look for belief systems which are really based on non-violence. Then we could look at the actions of the people who practice that belief system. We could also compare their actions to the principles and guidelines of the belief system.

I have been studying Marshall Rosenberg's belief system which he called Non Violent Communication. While I disagree with some of what he said and a lot of how it is taught and practiced, I find the philosophy to be pretty solid when it comes to the practical avoidance of violence and other forms of controlling someone else's behavior, such as threats, punishment, guilt trips or rewards.

I am working on my own adaptation of his beliefs and teachings. If anyone is interested I invite you to contact me. I am pretty easy to find online by searching my name or visiting my website.

Thanks for reading.

Nov 30, 2016


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Excerpts

When a Lutheran kid shoots up a movie theater or a Norwegian fundamentalist describing himself as a “modern-day crusader” slaughters kids at a summer camp, we take it in stride. When someone with a connection to Islam commits a crime, every Muslim faces suspicion.

Perhaps this is a good time to investigate the question: Which religion is the most violent?

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Professor Juan Cole casually estimates that Christians chalked up roughly 50 times more violent deaths than Muslims across the past century.

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When measuring violence, should grievances count as mitigating factors? When a Christian Lebanese militia spent two days in a besieged Palestinian refugee camp raping and slaughtering civilians under Israeli supervision, ought they be excused by the previous Muslim slaughter that inspired it? And should the Muslim slaughter be excused by the Christian slaughter that inspired it? Who is guiltier, the chicken or the egg?

A look at each religion’s holy books won’t provide much guidance. Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists will all point out the ways their religion embraces compassion, humility, and humanity. They will all be correct. Their detractors will point out the ways their foundation texts promote violence. They will also be correct.

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The word Islam actually means peace in Arabic, which might imply pacifism. The Qur’an also instructs the believers to “strike off the heads” (Surah 8, verse 12) of the unbelievers...

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Judaism emphasizes justice and humanity, inspiring Jews to become advocates of the oppressed in every society where they have influence

but....

God commands King Saul to deal with a tribe who offended him several generations back: “Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.“ Saul is then cursed for failing to exercise the requisite brutality. Let that be a lesson to you. And a potent lesson it remains, enough to inspire violent Jewish souls today who would advocate hanging Arab children

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You can use Christianity to kill abortion doctors, massacre Muslims in Bosnia or Kosovo , or launch a preemptive war.

More discussion:

Chris writes:

"The most violent religion on Earth is any that have people in them."

This is simply not a factual statement. I feel very discouraged when I read it because I have a big need for the truth. I also have a big need for understanding. For example, understanding cause and effect. If there are some belief systems that are cleary more based in, or clearly result in, more violence, I want to know it and I want everyone in the world to be aware of it.

Chris also says:

"Religion does what people tell it to do."

Or do people do what their religious leaders tell them to do? And is obedience a bigger part of some belief systems than others? For example, are people taught to punish those who disobey?I would like to see a serious comparison of religions and belief systems. I suppose someone has done such a comparision. I feel a little discouraged that this Chris did not do some research on that and present his findings, or at least offer us some links. There is a clear connection between religion and violence – human beings.