The most horrifying religious massacre in 20th century

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Mr. Mercurial
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Re: The most horrifying religious massacre in 20th century

Post by Mr. Mercurial » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:56 pm

Patrick, presumably what is meant by “religious” massacres, are massacres which were motivated in whole or in part, by religious beliefs. The fact that people who happened to be atheists have been involved in massacres says nothing about the motivation of those massacres unless it can be shown that there is something within atheist dogma which might motivate someone to kill religious people. Since there is no such thing as an 'atheist dogma', I can't see how this could be accomplished.

(Random: A book I am reading at the moment carries a painting of the massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day on the front cover. I presume this is a perfect example of what is meant by ‘religious’ massacre.)
Patrick Fowke
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Re: The most horrifying religious massacre in 20th century

Post by Patrick Fowke » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:14 pm

M.M.
Mr. Mercurial wrote: Patrick, presumably what is meant by “religious” massacres, are massacres which were motivated in whole or in part, by religious beliefs.
Christianity is referred to in the above 'religious' massacres. But Christianity (Christ, in particular) says:

'Do not kill'
'Turn the other cheek'
'Forgive'
'Be meek' (as opposed to arrogant)
'Love' (including enemies)
'Blessed are the peacemakers'
'The Good Samaratin'

And so on.

This is the direct opposite to the point the guy is trying to make. Therefore religion has to be something else, and people do things 'in the name of religion' for reasons that have nothing to do with the teachings of Christ, for example, but rather twist their teachings for their own, selfish, evil ends.

'Religious' people commit evil. That is one of the aspects of evil: it 'twists' what is true and good into their opposites.

It is 'evil' that is the real problem - for 'religious' people (whether they be atheistic Buddhists, or Christians) or atheists (in the 'massacres' or atrocities / genocides, for example, conducted by Stalin and Pol Pot, that were more strongly associated with anti-theism than other 20th century atrocities / genocides) or agnostics or deists. This is the ultimate cause of war and injustice and cruelty in this world.

So what is evil? Woody Allen's black take (Hannah and Her Sisters) on this:

'What is evil? On a simplistic level why are there Nazis?'

His father responds in his Brooklyn accent:

'How the heck do I know. I don't even know how this can opener works.'

By focusing the problems of the world onto 'religion' atheists run the risk of dualism - focusing on the evil in 'religious' people when this evil exists, naturally, in atheists as it does in any other group of people.

What do you understand by 'religion'? What is the nature and source of this badness (or evil) that you associate with religion? And how does the nature and source of this badness differ to the badness that exists in atheists (or agnostics, deists - whoever).
Ygern
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Re: The most horrifying religious massacre in 20th century

Post by Ygern » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:29 pm

Patrick - It's a mistake to quote the Bible at us. Especially the Old Testament where the Ten Commandments come from.

Christianity also says:

Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. Let me bring them out to you. Have your pleasure
of them, do what you like with them; but don’t do that outrageous thing to this
man. Full story: Judges 19:20-30

Moses said to them, "Have you let all the women live? … now
kill every male among the little ones [children], and kill every woman who has
known man by lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known man
by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves … Full story: Numbers 31:1-35

When you go forth to war against your enemies, and the LORD your God gives
them into your hands, and you take them captive, and see among the captives a
beautiful woman, and you have desire for her and would take her for yourself as
wife, then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head
and pare her nails. Full story: Deuteronomy 21:10-14

Are you claiming this stuff is good? Or are you going to claim that this is "metaphorical"?
And don't go saying that the New Testament is nicer... I have some good quotes from there too.
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Patrick Fowke
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Re: The most horrifying religious massacre in 20th century

Post by Patrick Fowke » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:50 pm

Ygern,

The heart of the teachings of Christianity are the those of Christ.

Christ spoke out against those who interpret scripture in a prescriptive and legalistic way (most famously with 'he who is without sin, cast the first stone' - so I wouldn't take, literally, the examples you give: and let's face it: do you know any Christians who do? Do you really believe that 'religious' people were involved in any of the atrocities mentioned by Esteban because of the types of quotes you refer to here?).

Your examples are side-issues to the heart of Christianity (you raise these parts of the Old Testament to a level of importance / focus that are simply not shared by Christians). It's a bit like responding to a teacher's question about what Shakespeare's King Lear is all about by focusing on, say, allusions in the text to the contemporary Tudor world, instead of focusing on Shakespeare's treatment, if you like, on the nature of sanity / madness, power, evil and unconditional love in King Lear.

Similar to the Bible. The Bible for the Christian is, fundamentally, about Christ - his teachings and life (although, for the Christian The Ten Commandments and the writings of St Paul are of particular importance - but still, not on the same level as the life and teachings of Christ).
Ygern
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Re: The most horrifying religious massacre in 20th century

Post by Ygern » Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:40 am

Patrick, your Tudor analogy is not going to work.

The Old Testament does not say "Pharoah Hatsepshut gives
them into your hands, and you take them captive..."

it says " the LORD your God gives
them into your hands, and you take them captive..."

Nice try. But it's cherry-picking at its most desperate. How do you suppose Jesus's followers justified his supposed godhood?
Lemme give you a clue.
They used the Old Testament texts to establish credentials.

If you are so convinced that the LORD your God of Deuteronomy 21 is a fraud, how can you claim that the LORD your God of Exodus 20 is genuine?
(just in case you are not that familiar with the Bible, Exodus 20 is where the line you quoted "Thou shalt not kill" makes it's appearance.

If you would like more to read on how the Church fathers felt that the Old Testament was indespensible to the establishing the credentials of Jesus, just say the word, and I'll provide.
If you would like some New Testament examples of Jesus being not-so-pleasant or Christ-like, I can provide that for you too.
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esteban
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Re: The most horrifying religious massacre in 20th century

Post by esteban » Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:57 am

Why Rome never wanted to talk about the case in Croatia? Fear of the truth? Why Rome asked the press to mute the Croatian case? Why the pope refused to visit Jasenovac? Why the church has never asked forgiveness for his crimes (Ustasha))? Why the pope Wojtila beatify Cardinal Stepinac, a war criminal?
adamd164
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Re: The most horrifying religious massacre in 20th century

Post by adamd164 » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:22 am

Patrick Fowke wrote:I used the term 'survival of the fittest'. This phrase was first used at the time of Darwin. In fact it was first used after (first edition of) Origin of Species.

And, although, Darwin wasn't the first to use this phrase it was certainly a phrase he used himself (in a later edition of Origin of Species).
Fitness in the Darwinian sense of the word doesn't come close to fitness as you've slyly attempted to use it here in order to mislead, obfuscate, and further your own religious agenda. Fitness - as Darwin used it - referred to the NATURAL potential for fecundity of an individual: NOT by the result of human intervention.
Patrick Fowke wrote:By the bye, I have always spoken in favour of Darwin. I think he was a great man (as stated somewhere else, I think, on this board). It was the Nazis who perverted aspects of Darwin's thinking (not necessarily refering directly to his work, but derivatives of) for their own ends.
I don't buy it for one second. If you had half an ounce of respect for the man or his work, you wouldn't be on here trying to blacken his name using weasel words to contrast "Darwinian" versus "Christian" values.

You've conveniently ignored the fact that so-called Christian "values" have been used to justify all manner of atrocities and attempted to paint a picture of non-religious people as amoral eugenecists.
Patrick Fowke
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Re: The most horrifying religious massacre in 20th century

Post by Patrick Fowke » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:48 am

Esteban,

Haven't disputed the points you made previously in regards to Crotia and Catholicism.

All I'm saying is don't use this to generalize about Catholicism / make generalizations about Catholics. You are only adding fuel to fire to atheists who want to demonize Catholics (and by so doing absolving atheists and others from the terrible crimes and massacres that they have been involved in - and creating and unhealthy, dualistic 'we are the good guys and they are the bad guys' - the very kind of approach that leads to all sorts of problems in the world).
Patrick Fowke
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Re: The most horrifying religious massacre in 20th century

Post by Patrick Fowke » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:55 am

Ygern,

Christ said: the 'two most important commandments are to love God and neighbour' (not claiming that in practice Christians have a monopoly on love at all, nevertheless this is the cornerstone of Christian belief).

This quote, alone, suggests - crucially - that there are different levels of importance / focus to scripture.

It, also, reflects what the Christianity of Christ is: LOVE.

Love - which Christ gives examples of in his life and teachings:

'Do not judge'
Be humble / meek (as opposed to proud / arrogant
Forgive (most famously in the Prodigal Son)
Compassion (most famously in the Good Samaratin)
'Turn the other cheek'
'Be joyful'


And so on.

And as famously expostulated by St Paul in one of the greatest pieces of scripture (Corinthians 13) outside the gospels:

'Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not Love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not Love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not Love, it profiteth me nothing.

Love suffereth long, and is kind;
Love envieth not;
Love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly,
Seeketh not her own,
Is not easily provoked,
Thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things


Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, Love, these three; but the greatest of these is Love.
andrew
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Re: The most horrifying religious massacre in 20th century

Post by andrew » Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:41 am

Dear Patrick,

Jesus didn't say anything. Ever. This is because Jesus didn't exist. He was a construct of a roman / jewish cult in second century Rome. If you can find any contemporary text from the supposed time of Jesus that names and describes him or his teachings then you should publish it, you'll be the first!

Andrew
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