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Featured Genocide

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Good Boy, May 3, 2021 at 9:57 PM.

  1. Good Boy

    Good Boy burp

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    Were there more people killed for non-religious than religious reasons in atrocities in history?
     
  2. aketo

    aketo Active Member

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    That's very likely.
     
  3. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    That is a good question.
    Mainly, IMO, because religion is often used as an excuse when religion had absolutely nothing to do with it.
     
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  4. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    When is genocide not genocide?
     
  5. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Often the fight to impose a version of god on some other group is the reason for war. And hundreds of millions of people have been killed under that pretext. However i am not sure how many have been killed for non religious reasons.
     
  6. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    1. In a simple sense, vastly more. It's highly probable that more people died under the Communist regimes alone than died in all "religious" wars combined. Never mind if we add in the World Wars.

    I'd estimate fewer than 50 million have been killed in "religious" wars and violent episodes.

    Of the major wars that can potentially be deemed "religious" (and even these numbers may be significantly too high and were mostly caused by disease and famine rather than direct violence)

    Taipeng rebellion (maybe 20 million dead)
    Mahdi Rebellion (Maybe 5 million)
    30 Years War (maybe 5 million)
    French Wars of Religion (maybe 3 million)
    All Crusades (maybe 3 million)
    Panthay rebellion (maybe 1 million)

    As the numbers are very dubious and definitions of what is "religious" or not, a range the toll is likely to be between maybe 15 million to 100 million died as a direct or indirect effect of religious conflict.


    2. In a more substantial sense, even talking about wars as being religious/not religious is often a pretty meaningless distinction.

    There is no meaningful way to differentiate religious from non-religious beliefs and ideologies, and almost al; "religious" wars were deeply entwined with "secular" causes too.

    So the Taipeng Rebellion had a "religious" cause, but also occurred at the time where there were numerous other rebellions against a hated, oppressive but weakening dynasty. Fighting against an "outsider" seen as oppressive hardly requires a religious cause, and once you get a 'spark' people will join in for many different reasons.

    The 30 Years War was really multiple different wars, some fought for more"religious" reasons, other for more "secular". For example, Catholic France was on the side of the Protestants because it helped weaken Spain.

    Perhaps the most meaningful question is therefore:

    Is there something we can easily identify called "religion" that makes people more or less violent than if they are "not religious"? No.
     
  7. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Advaita Vedantin
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    Between 7:69 and 7:73am on February 29th of a non-leap year.
     
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  8. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist You are safe

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    I guess war.
     
  9. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know but I do know/presume is that when people have been killed for religious reasons they are not doing what their God or prophet etc has said to do and not to do, they are are really anti religious reasons posing as religious reasons.
     
  10. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Have you read the OT?
     
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  11. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    You do realize that reason and pretext are different, right?

    BTW: how did you come to know that "often" religion is the reason while being unsure how "often" it was not? :D
     
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  12. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Condescending as usual, never mind, i knew exactly what was writing

    You want a list of known religious wars throughout history, this i have. I have no such list for none religious wars, i am not even sure one exists. However religious folk are fond of citing atheism as a reason. Never heard of a war fought because the opposition doesn't believe i god in the same way atheists dont.

    But perhaps you could correct me.
     
  13. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    Impossible to say I'd suggest. There will be far too much fuzziness around the definition of "atrocities", determining whether religion was a significant enough causal factor, directly or indirectly, plus the fact that for the vast majority of human history, there won't be anything like enough information available to be sure.

    Why does it matter?
     
  14. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    We should all agree to use the term 'Casus Belli'. The term does a better job of separating something used to justify commencement of hostilities with any need to be an objective reason war is required.
     
  15. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    I'm not sure it actually matters. Does it?
     
  16. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    The main fuzziness is that there is no way to define religion transhistorically and transculturally.

    Even the "Western" idea of religion dates only to about the 18th C or so give or take.

    In most societies there hasn't been any distinction between the "secular" and the "religious" anyway so the question is often nonsensical without a great deal of anachronistic projection of Western modernity onto pre-modern and non-Western societies.
     
  17. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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  18. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    Which parts of the OT?
    There are parts where God was exercising His authority and bringing justice.
    There are parts where the law was being broken and people were killed under the law.
    There are parts where political action was being taken for the protection of Israel.
    I guess there could be other parts also. Which parts are you thinking about where religion the reason to kill people?
     
  19. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    Genocide is a term which is used to a greater or lesser extent depending upon whether or not those killed are "worthy vistims" or "unworthy victims" in the eyes of the perceiver, obviously for propaganda reasons. So the Chinese killing a lot of people may be called attempted genocide, whereas the same number of deaths perpetrated by, say, Saudi Arabia probably isn't genocide.
     
  20. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Justice to those who don't believe n a bronze age myth is not justice

    Who's law, gods law which only applied to believers. So actually murder and genocide, not justice

    ??? So a group of desert nomads claim someones land own because their god (no anyone elses god) said do it???
     
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