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"True" Religion Begets Violence

07 Sep
Hector Avalos argues for the claim in the title of this post:
It is statistically true the vast majority of Christians and Muslims do not commit violent acts.
 
However, claiming opponents don’t hold the “true” version of Islam, Christianity, or any other religion, simply perpetuates a mechanism that can cause religious violence in the first place.
 
That is so because when you proclaim there to be a true form of a religion, you also are making heretics out of those who disagree.
 
So, by declaring bin Laden and Breivik to be heretics, one simply perpetuates this orthodox-heretic model again.
 
More importantly, such a division ultimately is based on faith claims. Since competing faith claims never can be adjudicated by objective means, then violence often becomes the solution in settling arguments. 
Even if monotheism does not breed outright violence, it seems to breed division most of the time regardless. Division, of course, is a necessary precursor to violence.
 
(H/t John W. Loftus at Debunking Christianity.)
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Posted by on September 7, 2011 in economics/sociology

 

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