Thought of the day

Anyone who doubts that religion is a huge dividing force need only look to Nigeria to correct their error in thinking.

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21 Responses

  1. Religion didn’t cause the division of the Russian revolution and dozens of other violent, long term and bloody situations.

    I suppose, than, that anyone who doubts that politics is a huge dividing force need only to look to, well most of the world.

    I fail to see your point with this, that topics that people have disagreements on divide people?

    I’m shocked.

  2. Nations without democracy tend to find themselves in revolutions. So yes, things other than religion can divide people.

    What religion does is pit people against one another who otherwise do not have significant differences, people who wouldn’t be able to come up with good reasons to fight were it not for their religious beliefs. Nigeria is a case in point. Northern Ireland is another excellent example. These people would have zero reason to murder each other, to gather as mobs, were it not for their religion.

    So it isn’t merely that people are divided based upon disagreements. It’s that religion and oppression distinctly have in common the ability to spread violence. The difference, though, is that in only one of those cases – fighting oppression – is there a side which is justified. With religion there is no way to resolve who is right or wrong based upon any reasoning.

  3. And notably, a fight against oppression tends to unite people regardless of ethnicity, race, or religion. A fight against religion tends to only unite a specific group of people.

  4. Hey, anything that people feel strongly about that has more than one side is something that will rally people together, sometimes in violence. There is nothing special about religion in that regard.

  5. Except for all that stuff that has happened in history because of religion.

    And didn’t you recently argue that religion doesn’t affect how people do things day-to-day? If things about which people feel strongly encourage certain behavior, with religion being no exception, then how does your argument here jive with your previous argument?

  6. Did I recently argue that? I don’t recall using those words if I did. You’ll have to be more specific.

    I know you have a fetish about religion, but there are far worse things out there.

  7. You misunderstood. I was saying the truth of evolution or alternately a 6,000 year old earth, makes little difference in (the average persons) peoples everyday lives.

    Whether or not they are an observant Jew of course has a great deal of importance to peoples daily lives.

    Either way it has nothing to do with what I am saying here. People kill each other over things from sports to parking places, but you get all giddy anytime violence even remotely involves religion. Violence has always and will always start up around things people have strong feelings about. Even if you wiped out all religion, I’d place bets on problem areas of the world, still being problem areas.

    The sole problem is religion in exactly none of the worlds problem zones.

  8. Being a San Francisco Giants fan does not in and of itself make one violent. There isn’t any dogma or doctrine or edicts about how a person ought to live which encourages any particular activity. The same can’t be said about religion.

  9. I’m a catholic and that doesn’t make me anymore likely to be violent than being a redsox fan or a fan of you mom. Being religious, in and of itself makes no one violent.

  10. What was the identifying trait in people in Northern Ireland?

    The issue here is that religion has its doctrines and dogmas that provide for arbitrary division; it has historically led to significant violence, being a major rallying cry in countless battles.

  11. Doubtless, but my point is so do multitudes of other things. You just want to find fault with religion here, as if it is exceptional in causing violence above other things. Which isn’t true, it’s not exceptional in any way compared with other beliefs.

  12. And in Northern Ireland it’s as much or more about land than it is religion, although the two sides may be divided by religion, the most recent issues and violence has been political not religious.

  13. The things you’re talking about cause awful things by virtue of being oppressive to freedom or economically devastating. And then there’s religion which does the same thing.

    You’re raising a false equivalence. Being a Giants fan does not cause the sort of strife anything else you’ve mentioned causes. These things are not all on the same level. Not even close.

  14. It’s not in any way false equivalence, I see what you’re doing as putting religion on a false pedestal.

  15. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/michael_rosenberg/06/16/sports.rioting/index.html

    For example. Now while I agree that being a fan of a certain team does not induce violence, I contend that religion doesn’t do any such thing either. It depends on the people involved, plain and simple.

    Several totalitarian governments have actually banned public sporting events as “incitements to violence” at points in history.

  16. You’ll also notice the mix of alcohol in there.

    But I’m not disagreeing that other things cause violence. That’s a South Park-type caricature (see the Richard Dawkins episode). What I’m saying is that history has shown religion to often be a driving force to violence when there otherwise would be no such force. It labels people in a way that a Canucks jersey does not. And it isn’t merely the people involved because we aren’t talking about isolated drives to arms.

  17. You can’t think that everyone involved in that riot was drinking, that’s foolishness. I still don’t agree and you can make excuses for all kinds of other behavior, not just sports, that regularly leads to violence, but it doesn’t change the fact that it happens with at least as great, if not greater frequency, than religious violence.

    I’m not going to keep arguing though. It’s not worth it.

  18. http://tinyurl.com/2g9mqh

    Just to make my point clear.

  19. The link has been blocked for being “spammy or offensive” on Facebook.

  20. bahahahahaha. Take that.

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