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Thread: Why the Abrahamic Religions are So Violent

  1. #1

    Light Why the Abrahamic Religions are So Violent

    Do you ever wonder why the Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam and Judaism) are so rife with violence?

    The violence of Islam is painfully obvious: even today, Islamic theocracies declare jihad (even between different schools of Islam, what to speak of other religions); death sentences for adultery and homosexuality as well as for Danish cartoonists who dare draw the image of Mohammed; even death sentences for those who convert to a non-Islamic religion.

    Christianity's history is not much better, with the death sentences of the Inquisition; the Crusades; the witch hunts in America and Europe.

    Judaism actually has more death penalties (at least 26, according to my reckoning) than any other religion. For example, the death penalty is called for disobedient children (Exodus 21:17); women who are not virgins when they marry (Deuteronomy 22:13-21); and collecting firewood during the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32-36). Any non-Jew entering the Solomon's Temple would be executed. Of course, there is the issue of non-stop animal sacrifices being performed in that Temple.

    One may argue that Christianity and Judaism are no longer violent as they were in the past. Why? Did they find some obscure verse in their scriptures which condemns violence? No. They are no longer violent because these religions do not have the unlimited power that they once had. They now need to appear "warm and fuzzy" in order to attract followers.

    If any country were to become a Christian or Jewish theocracy, rest assured that the violence would resume. A popular school of thought called "Christian Reconstructionism" advocates that returning to the Old Testament (Jewish) injunctions is necessary in order to usher in Jesus' Second Coming. Orthodox Jews wish to rebuild the Temple, and resume the animal sacrifices there in order that their Messiah can appear.

    I believed that I have clearly shown the violence and barbarism of the Abrahamic religions. Now I will show where this violence comes from.

    The Abrahamic religions all come from, by definition, the patriarch Abraham. And what is the defining moment of Abraham? From the 22nd chapter of Genesis, we learn that the minor desert deity, Yahweh, which claimed to be the Supreme God, commanded Abraham to sacrifice his own son, Isaac, as a test of faith. Abraham proceeded to do so, although an angel of Yahweh stopped him at the last second.

    In other words, the test of faith from Yahweh is: "Will you kill for me?".

    Understand this, and you will perfectly understand the violence of the Abrahamic religions since time immemorial.

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    Re: Why the Abrahamic Religions are So Violent

    Namaste: The Abrahamic religions do not have a copyright on violence. It exists in people, called anava, part of the triple bondage, and for some begins at childhood. Violence begets violence. Love begets love. Younger souls on this planet, not evolved much, live in the consciousness below the muladhara, not a whole lot different than the carnivores of the animal kingdom. They eat meat, kill, and are killed. But I do not see this as a direct connect to religion. Peaceful Abrahamics do exist, as do violent Buddhists and Hindus. We who have seen above the muladhara should not look down upon the ones who haven't, just as the university professor is too smart to belittle the kid in the kindergarten class. We should understand them for who they are, young souls. And if you believe in the evolution of the soul from lifetime to lifetime, the slow building of character over many lifetimes, then so too does it follow that you, me, all of us, were once at that point too. Aum namashivaya

  3. #3

    Thumbs Down Re: Why the Abrahamic Religions are So Violent

    Name and date the last Hindu or Buddhist suicide bombing incident. When was the last time a Hindu or Buddhist leader declared a death penalty on someone? Name at least one Hindu temple that will execute a non-Hindu from entering. Name and date a time when a Hindu or Buddhist was executed for converting to another religion.

    Your argument has fallacies. To argue that "all religions promote violence" is meaningless. Just as Krishna says in the Mahabharata, "No good man is entirely good. No bad man is entirely bad", similarly, no good religion is entirely good, and no bad religion is entirely bad.

    Violence is a continuum. There are different points along that continuum. If you think that the Dharmic religions are on the same point on that continuum as the Abrahamic religions, it is time to start reading newspapers.

    To condone violence because "we were there once", is a dangerous philosophy, and reeks of 1960's hippie philosophy.

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    Re: Why the Abrahamic Religions are So Violent

    Namaste: I had no intention of riling up someone's emotions. For that I am sorry. However, you did put words into my mouth that I never wrote. Redarding naming a "Buddhist or Hindu" condoning the death penalty, in Sri Lanka, as we speak, the Buddhist government leaders are 'fighting back' against the 'Hindu' 'terrorists' . All are in quotes as i don't believe they are practising their religion. Nonetheless, they are considered of that religion, and both sides are waging war. The conflicts in India regarding "which temple was first?" between Muslims and Hindus are also there, and there are violent people on both sides. I never said "all religions are the same" You are confusing God and religion. All religions are not the same, obviously. The eastern religions and our leaders definitely promote a more tolerant non-violent path. I agree with your quote from the Gita, which was basically my point in the first place. As to God, I do not see God as dual. Therefore he encompasses 'good' and 'evil'. although these are western terms. I do not believe in evil per se, just anava, which is different. It is the great cloud of ignorance. Obviously, the Aztecs were under it in a substantial way. I do believe in the evolution of the soul via re-incarnation. Perhaps (probably) many lifetimes ago I too was a carnivore violent person. If one does believe in re-incarnation, and since it is a basic tenet of Sanatana Dharma, and the world was not too long ago even more violent than it is today, well, chances are... Aum Namashivaya

  5. #5

    Re: Why the Abrahamic Religions are So Violent

    Yes, you will find the occasional Hindu or Buddhist wacko that wants to kill for his cause. But that attitude is truly common amongst the Muslims... and would be more common amongst the Christians and Jews if they were to attain absolute power.

    The liberalism and inclusivism of Hinduism and Buddhism will lead to their own demise. You will not see any Muslim say, "all religions are the same"... although you, "Eastern Mind", I am sure, will find and quote a few lone Muslim individuals (probably Sufis).
    Last edited by satay; 02 October 2007 at 11:03 PM. Reason: breaking forum rules.

  6. #6

    Re: Why the Abrahamic Religions are So Violent

    Perhaps, the adherents of Abrahamic religions are mired in illusion and do not realize it, while those who practice the Dharmic paths are aware of this and realize it for what it is.
    Om purnam adah, purnam idam, purnat purnam udacyate; purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavasisyate.
    Om Santih! Santih! Santih!

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    Re: Why the Abrahamic Religions are So Violent

    Kaos: Well put. Illusion is to me similar to anava. It is anava. Those under it's bond can't see. It's that simple. In the east, we can see beyond the next war, the last injustice, and always can keep the bigger picture in mind, which is: We are here to attain liberation, (self-realisation, moksha, whatever name you want to put on it) the goal. In Abrahamic religions, the goal is to stay out of hell primarily. Aum Namashivaya

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    Re: Why the Abrahamic Religions are So Violent

    Namaste everyone.

    I think Yajnavalkya dasa has a valid point. It is not the question of violence existing in every religious society, be it Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist or any other. It is a question of the violence coming up because of the teachings of the religion.

    After all a human being is what he is: a bundle of emotions and prejudices. If a human's beliefs are attacked, it is natural he/she will react, even with violence, but it is a reaction, not an original action. Such reaction is necessary, specially for Hindus, against the adharmic forces, though I won't advocate violence of the terrorism type for Hindus.

    Hinduism never teaches violence, in fact the opposite, Ahimsa. The violence found among today's Hindus is a legacy from their Islamic and Christian rulers, since such violence never existed in the earlier times.

    Since the times of Ramayana, Hindus have always fought to establish Dharma but never invaded another's rights or beliefs.
    Last edited by saidevo; 03 October 2007 at 12:39 AM.

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