The fatal consequences of religious books

Posted: May 25, 2009 in reflections
Tags: ,

Rembrandt Abraham-Isaac

… well, at least of most of them. We are all familiar with the millions having been, still are and will be killed in the name of Jesus, Allah, various Hindu gods and many other religious figure heads past and present (curiously: I haven’t heard of mass murder in the name of Buddha). The Judaeo-Christian religions, Islam and parts of Hinduism seem to be particularly efficient in conducting acts of barbarity; in this context I came across what I would consider a true aphorism.

Dany Miessler, whose reflections on atheism and religion I have begun to enjoy, wrote a post on testing the origins of morality (does it come from god or from within the person?). [I think the question is wrong; it doesn’t seem to take into account a god that is seen as being immanent. But that’s beside the point I want to make here].

Responding to Miessler’s scenario of whether a person would kill those of other religions if god appeared on his/her doorstep demanding it, a guy called Kevin pointed out the following:

And do not forget that god ordered abraham to kill his own isaac as a test of his faith and that abraham was preparing to do so until god yelled “psych” at the last second. A person with a moral compass of their own would have refused but the abraham considered it moral to kill anyone if it pleased god.

the descendants of abraham have been killing kids in gods name ever since.

Well, while this comment doesn’t represent the total picture, it certainly says a lot about the State of Israel, most of its people and those Jews and Christians worldwide supporting its acts of barbarity, brutality, cruelty, inhumanity and savagery levied against its fellow Semite brothers and sisters who happen to believe in a god called Allah [1].

Religious thought is often seen as a sign of that part of civilisation that stands for sophistication, enlightenment  and humanity. Many parts of the Old Testament though (as many parts of other books of so-called divine wisdom) unfortunately represent civilisation’s darker side: barbarism, giving birth to barbarity. That of course is no surprise given that those books were written by humans [2].

[1] I am not condoning similar acts committed by the other side out of desperation and fanaticism.

[2] No matter what there followers might claim; even they have to admit that it was the human hand doing the writing and that they cannot prove that it was their god who took over the writer’s mind.

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