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Thread: Bloodshed, Genocide, Tyrany

  1. #1 Bloodshed, Genocide, Tyrany 
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    There is another thread in a different section about Secular vs Religious law. This is related in a way.

    I am curious about the bloodshed throughout history and whether the people involved were secular or religious. I know it is not so cut and dry, that there are hybrid secular-religious groups, nations and people, and it is sometimes hard to judge motivation. One can say "I did it because god said to" but when you learn all the facts it seems "You did it because you wanted to give your friends and family something to believe in" or "You didn't like what he did, so you did that to him"

    and some religious people will not mention god in their motivation for doing anything, seeing it as belittling to use god to justify human interaction. It is complicated, so please share what you all think using examples from history.

    The main question is about whether the most bloodshed was done at the hands and under command or rule of religious people or athiests.

    I am sure it will devolve into YET ANOTHER argument about the validity of religion vs athiesm, but let me assure you THAT IS NOT THE INTENTION OF THIS THREAD, so please start your own if you want to, and if something is directed towards me, PM me and I will join the discussion. Thanks you, not that I expect anyone to actualy care about the "intentions" of this thread. I do wonder if we were more religious if we would respect identity and spiritual property more than secular law demands.


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    Forum Sophomore kingjacob's Avatar
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    I'd have to say that all violence through out history has been secular and purely human at it's base. Even so called religious wars are mainly just blown up land disputes.

    -The persecution of the christians by the romans was more for treason i.e. not pledging to the emperor than because they believed in their God.
    -The conquistadors were after gold
    -The crusades were after land.

    Now the persecution of religious people by both the Soviet and Chinese communists could be an example of violence purely because of religion but I think that was just a loyalty issue.


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    You have to make a distinction between the people fighting the war and those that are sending them out to war.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    I agree with both of you 100% Although the leaders are to blame for the war, those who partake in the battle are also equally responsible for the bloodshed. An example I've already thought of was Achillies, renowned athiest but a great warrior, teacher and leader on the battlefield. He didn't agree with the state religion, but he fought for the state. How much of this is factual, I do not know, but it is a good example and must have occured many times throughout history.

    I think religion is abused by worldly people. There are two types of true believers, those that don't care about worldly things at all, such as traditional buddhists, and then there are the devouts, such as the samurai, who will charge without even looking, "victory is a matter of faith and destiny"

    The first type don't participate in wars at all, they wont speak for or against war. The second type won't speak for or against war, but they do what their master tells them to and do not judge it as good or bad, but believe that the motivation behind a killing is what makes it honorable or not. Kill someone who makes fun of you, kill someone who gets too drunk and makes a fool of himself. WHatever, it doesn't matter, killing is not wrong, it is the purity of mind, loyalty to the samurai code and honor that makes it right.
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    i dont know all history events but id say atheists and communists killed the most

    Mussolini hated Christianity
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes
    i dont know all history events but id say atheists and communists killed the most

    Mussolini hated Christianity
    Really? How many deaths can actually be attributed to Mussolini? In comparison to hundreds of years of the inquisition following the reconquista in Spain, the mass slaughter of aboriginals by the Spanish, and later by the Americans. The Muslim-Christian conflicts of the Sudan and the Balkans, the Jewish-Muslim conflicts of the Israel region, the Sunni-Shia conflicts between Iraq and Iran, the Hindu-Muslim conflicts of the Indian peninsula, or the Muslim-Buddhist conflicts of Cambodia and Laos.

    And let's not forget that the Italian people were mostly Catholic, and they were hardly blameless in the actions of Mussolini. On the other hand of the fascist you have Franco in Spain who set up a Catholic theocracy, the Japanese who were Shinto Buddhist and deified their emperor, and Hitler was either an agnostic or a weakly practicing Catholic. Moreover, none of these leaders failed to use religion as a rallying point of their people no matter what their personal beliefs were.

    As to Stalinist USSR, the Western Europeans managed to kill more Russians in the World Wars than Stalin ever managed. The communist Chinese are certainly responsible for a fair amount of atrocities as well, but once again it is hardly not comparable to the actions of Americans in Vietnam and the centuries of European colonialism, as well as the bloody and brutal occupation by the Japanese.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes
    i dont know all history events but id say atheists and communists killed the most
    The first half of your sentence is well validated by the second.
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    im reading LIBERAL FASCISM by j goldberg see youtube

    hitler was worse than Mussolini

    hitler wasnt christian he was a theosophist
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes
    i dont know all history events but id say atheists and communists killed the most

    Mussolini hated Christianity
    Really? How many deaths can actually be attributed to Mussolini? In comparison to hundreds of years of the inquisition following the reconquista in Spain, the mass slaughter of aboriginals by the Spanish, and later by the Americans. The Muslim-Christian conflicts of the Sudan and the Balkans, the Jewish-Muslim conflicts of the Israel region, the Sunni-Shia conflicts between Iraq and Iran, the Hindu-Muslim conflicts of the Indian peninsula, or the Muslim-Buddhist conflicts of Cambodia and Laos.

    And let's not forget that the Italian people were mostly Catholic, and they were hardly blameless in the actions of Mussolini. On the other hand of the fascist you have Franco in Spain who set up a Catholic theocracy, the Japanese who were Shinto Buddhist and deified their emperor, and Hitler was either an agnostic or a weakly practicing Catholic. Moreover, none of these leaders failed to use religion as a rallying point of their people no matter what their personal beliefs were.

    As to Stalinist USSR, the Western Europeans managed to kill more Russians in the World Wars than Stalin ever managed. The communist Chinese are certainly responsible for a fair amount of atrocities as well, but once again it is hardly not comparable to the actions of Americans in Vietnam and the centuries of European colonialism, as well as the bloody and brutal occupation by the Japanese.
    i have no time now to type much

    i said he hated Christianity but he didn't persecute too many Christians or jews but hitler did



    you bring up so many issues

    the spanish persecuting indians ? and how many Indians killed each other ? the Aztecs killed thousands

    im part cherokee -i know a little about Indians id say

    Germans killed Russians but that doesnt mean Hitler did it in the name of christ and if he did he was still wrong
    maybe there are very few good Christians but that doesnt mean its invalid

    what is youre point? since there were evil pseudo Christians dont be a christian?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes

    i have no time now to type much

    i said he hated Christianity but he didn't persecute too many Christians or jews but hitler did



    you bring up so many issues

    the spanish persecuting indians ? and how many Indians killed each other ? the Aztecs killed thousands

    im part cherokee -i know a little about Indians id say

    Germans killed Russians but that doesnt mean Hitler did it in the name of christ and if he did he was still wrong
    maybe there are very few good Christians but that doesnt mean its invalid

    what is youre point? since there were evil pseudo Christians dont be a christian?
    No, my point was that your statement that atheist have killed more people is simply wrong. I don't think religion or secularism has anything to do with any of those deaths. It's all human greed and our tendency towards xenophobia.

    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes
    the spanish persecuting indians ? and how many Indians killed each other ? the Aztecs killed thousands
    This is also hardly a rebuttal, since the Aztecs were theist as well
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  12. #11  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes
    i dont know all history events but id say atheists and communists killed the most

    Mussolini hated Christianity
    Indeed, and malaria is an atheist

    Are there rules as to which arbitrary categories we can compare?

    must they be humans, must they be religions?

    if so, then how can you prove a claim wrong? you can only consider whether someone is religious or not religious, as though this is the only factor in choices we make, which it is not; it is a choice we make, to be religious or not to be religious, which proves that there is some other factor allowing us to make choices, beyond religious and non-religious influences.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes
    i dont know all history events but id say atheists and communists killed the most

    Mussolini hated Christianity
    Indeed, malaria is an atheist
    I heard that it was a devout Mormon.
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  14. #13  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    and also thousands is not a spectacular amount of murders... try millions at the hands of Nazis and Roman Catholics; communists did kill a lot of people, mostly during their revolutions and to defend themselves from democracy, but I don't think this is very significant compared to the number of African's killing each other constantly, for thousands of years.
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    Stalin killed at least 15 million people before WWII. During the war, his ruthless approach led to about 20 million more Russians dying.

    Mao Ze Dong killed 30 million people in the 1960's through his application of idiotic dogma.

    Both those men were ostensibly atheist. But Hitler was supposedly Christian, and his war resulted in a total of about 55 million people dying.

    However, I seriously doubt that the religious or non religious beliefs of anyone led to killings. Human are terribly good at rationalising, and religion is often used to rationalise actions after the event. My own view is that people start wars, or carry out mass murder, or even genocide, for utterly selfish reasons, and then try to rationalise it all later.
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    I find it hard to believe the Aztec's tendency for human sacrifice had nothing to do with their religious views.

    Religion is not the only motivation and source of justification people use to do things that could be viewed as questionable. However, I think it is foolish to deny that a person or society's religious views can't ever to be said to play a part in the decision making process.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucius Cornelius Sulla
    I find it hard to believe the Aztec's tendency for human sacrifice had nothing to do with their religious views.
    The Aztec's (more appropriately the Triple Alliance) religion demanding constant conquest and bloodshed was still a fairly recent development when the Spaniards made contact. It had only been around perhaps 50 years and is believed to have been tailored to bolster the empire's expansion.
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    But that's not surprising, since it's likely religions (or spiritually in general) have been created and revised by humans for a variety of reasons since before recorded history.
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    hitler Stalin mao and the the turks who killed Christian Armenians were not christians at all

    mussilini hated christianity

    pol pot was not a christian

    jim jones was not a real christian but started a "church"
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes
    i dont know all history events but id say atheists and communists killed the most

    Mussolini hated Christianity
    Indeed, malaria is an atheist
    I heard that it was a devout Mormon.
    where did you heard that? youre trying to be funny?

    the Mormons did kill people in the mountain meadows massacre

    Hitler was not a Christian really he was into eastern religion and theosophy

    no church from Mormons to Russian orthodox to baptist would say he was Christian and those doctrines he had were Christian and you know damn well he is condemned by all people and religions
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes

    where did you heard that? youre trying to be funny?
    No, I really believe that Plasmodium spp. regularly read the Book of Mormon, and there are rumors that they may even be involved in those polygamous sects.

    Also, I'm not exactly sure what you're responding to, the discussion wasn't have Christians killed more people than atheist, although it is debatable, but whether theist have... Unless, you want to get into some sort of prejudicial argument about Christians being less inclined to mass slaughter, which doesn't really hold up. What with all that colonialism, native murdering, world wars, and such.

    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes

    no church from Mormons to Russian orthodox to baptist would say he was Christian and those doctrines he had were Christian and you know damn well he is condemned by all people and religions
    I don't get how this is relevant? He certainly is condemned in current culture, although I think Iran might be quite fond of Hitler. Moreover, those Christian masses in Nazi Germany seemed quite willing to follow Hitler at the time. Finally, I'll reiterate that I'm not even attempting to demonstrate that religion, or atheism, leads people to be more violent. Just debunking your original claim that atheist have killed more people.
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  23. #22  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    i'd assume, evolutionarily, atheists kill more, based on the fact that there are less of them, and assuming that they do not differ from theists in any other way. but of course atheism is increasing in commonness(in all senses of the word), which is an intriguing indication of environmental changes.

    i was semi serious in pointing out that malaria is an atheist, I don't know if it's literally correct, but diseases, and most biological life forms(all except humans) do not have any recognizable religion, is this what makes atheism atheism, or is atheism it's own ideology?

    also for the sake of discussion, in the case of an atheist mercenary hired by religious general, or the other way around, who's responsible and why?
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    i was semi serious in pointing out that malaria is an atheist, I don't know if it's literally correct, but diseases, and most biological life forms(all except humans) do not have any recognizable religion, is this what makes atheism atheism, or is atheism it's own ideology?
    Atheism is not an ideology. It is the lack of a specific one. Atheism is no more an "ideology" than is a lack of belief in unicorns or the tooth fairy. My lack of belief in leprechauns does not inform my decisions or worldview... It's just that I don't believe in leprechauns, and that's all there is to it. Same with my lack of belief in Yahweh, or any of the other countless gods laying dead in the graveyard of human mythology. My lack of belief in Zeus or Thor does not define my worldview or inform the decisions I make in life, so why should my lack of belief in an Abrahamic God?

    [/rhetorical questions to covey my point adequately]
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    i don't know if your implying that atheists can have vague ideologies, or if "specific" has some other meaning I'm not familiar with.

    so malaria is an atheist?
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    I really don't think your question makes sense since the concept of a worldview tends to be limited to humans. It's like you're asking if my dog is capitalist or if my fish are existentialists... Which, when coupled with the fact that atheism is not itself an ideology or religion, makes me sort of wonder why/what you're asking. (also, note that I added slightly to my post above during the time you were creating your response. cheers).
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    I agree with iNow. Atheism is not an ideology. However, humanism is, and lots of atheists are humanists. So if you want to talk about ideologies, address those comments to humanism.
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  28. #27  
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    i don't want to talk about ideologies, that is my point

    atheism is not an ideology, it is a lack of an ideology; thus a rock is an atheist, as it lacks an ideology

    a dog is not a capitalist because capitalism is an ideology; a dog is an atheist because atheism is not an ideology, but a lack of one, and a dog lacks an ideology

    I understand this is not accurate, I'm just having some fun with literary ambiguities
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    A rock is atheistic, not an atheist. An atheist by definition requires a conscious being, because it is a conscious rejection of belief or a position of lack of belief, not lack of belief in and of itself.
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  30. #29  
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    To the OP, I reckon peoples' concept of mortality is going to make a difference. Theists, at face value, should both fear death less, and less mind killing. Since every body has a sort of astral escape pod that pops away at moment of death. Atheists are more inclined to deeply value life (since they have to find that themselves), yet no one would accuse an atheist of hypocrisy for suicide or murder.
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    i don't want to talk about ideologies, that is my point

    atheism is not an ideology, it is a lack of an ideology; thus a rock is an atheist, as it lacks an ideology

    a dog is not a capitalist because capitalism is an ideology; a dog is an atheist because atheism is not an ideology, but a lack of one, and a dog lacks an ideology

    I understand this is not accurate, I'm just having some fun with literary ambiguities
    Atheism is not lack of an ideology in general. It's just lack of a specific ideology. Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, and maybe Stalin were all communist idealists, and that's part of what led them to kill so many people.

    Idealists in general are always dangerous in this way, because human beings are not ideal. We're flawed, imperfect creatures (at least when measured relative to an abstract ideal), and that often motivates a misguided idealist to start trying to purge us off the face of the Earth.

    Islamic and Christian idealists are no different than communist idealists. They all see the world through a certain set of glasses, and are all very dissatisfied with what they see. Angry enough to kill over it, because it's all got to be somebody's fault their perfect world doesn't exist already. I think for the purpose of this discussion, they are absolutely perfectly identical, in every meaningful way.
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