Tackling Violence Committed in the Name of Religion

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Thomas, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    I rarely cite texts at such length, but in the spirit of Interfaith may I commend the following to you. (The fifth paragraph is notable, in that regard.)


    Pope Francis to the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, February 2, 2018.
     
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    JP II and Francis.... shining lights as leaders...
     
  3. OrtaYol

    OrtaYol Member

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    Isn't this ignoring the fact that sometimes violence is appropriate? David didn't take down Goliath with flowers and a nice poem.
     
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  4. Cino

    Cino Big Love

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    It is about taking responsibility for one's own actions, be they violence or poetry. It is about never saying, "I was just following orders."
     
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  5. OrtaYol

    OrtaYol Member

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    If that's the case then I can fully agree with it however that's not the impression the text left me with.
     
  6. Cino

    Cino Big Love

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    I understand the text to say, "I the Pope don't like it when religion is used to justify violence."

    I understood your post to say "But sometimes violence is justified, and my justification is a religious scripture".

    I then addressed your reply, not because I am a big fan of religious authorities, but because I am a big fan of taking personal responsibility.

    Did I misunderstand you?
     
  7. OrtaYol

    OrtaYol Member

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    I just don't see which part of the article "is about never saying, "I was just following orders.""

    Don't get me wrong, I agree with you, that this is how it should be.
     
  8. RabbiO

    RabbiO הרב יונה בן זכריה

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    1) Very foolish? Why?
    2) What things continue?
    3) Make of what?
    4) What people? How do we stay away? Better choices than what?
    5) Please explain, I have no idea what you are talking about.
     
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Really?

    I'd take another look at the paragraph beginning: "Violence promoted and carried out ... "
     
  10. OrtaYol

    OrtaYol Member

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    "Violence promoted and carried out in the name of religion can only discredit religion itself. Consequently, such violence must be condemned by all, and especially by genuinely religious persons, who know that God is always goodness, love and compassion, and that in him there is no room for hatred, resentment or vengeance. The religious person knows that among the greatest blasphemies is to invoke God as the justification for one’s own sins and crimes, to invoke him in order to justify killing, mass murder, enslavement, exploitation in whatever form, oppression and persecution of individuals and entire populations."

    The text says to me that "without exception religion considers all use of violence as evil", if you accept this then sure I guess it could be interpreted as saying to take responsibility for your actions(since the implication is that God never approves of violence, for Abrahamic religions this is demonstrably false). Another problem is I can commit violence in the name of religion and take responsibility for my actions so it doesn't make much sense when interpreted that way.

    All you need to do is come up with a situation where an act of violence is the best course of action(hurting someone evil to save someone good for a very basic example) to show this reasoning is flawed. Even things like violence, hate, fear, things largely considered negative have their appropriate uses. Some things should be feared/hated/fought. Problem is most of us apply these incorrectly.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hmm. Argue that point with a rabbi.

    It's the human reasoning that's flawed, not the Divine.

    Quite. Flawed human reasoning again.

    The Divine is under no obligation to change Its nature because of flawed human nature.
     
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  12. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Deus Pascus Corvus

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    The Pope --imo -- means, don't use your scripture to justify evil murder/violence especially against innocent people?
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  13. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Deus Pascus Corvus

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    Yes.

    The Israelites were ordered to murder and drive out the native inhabitants of the promised land: man, woman and child, and God gave strength to their arm. Moses was punished for allowing a few to live. Nasty stuff.

    The only possible justification nowadays is that back then everybody was behaving that way. Difficult stuff to explain.

    However Christ came to do away with all that. Imo?
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  14. Cino

    Cino Big Love

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    That's a very strange understanding of "taking responsibility", to me.

    Either I take responsibility - then I act in my name. Or I act in someone else's name: in their behalf, on their responsibility.

    Acting in the name of a religion, is saying, "the religion (or its god) made me do it".

    Apparently, the pope is tired of people using this trick to get rid of the responsibility for their actions, thereby giving his religion, and him by virtue of being its figurehead, a bad name, apart from any theological considerations.

    That's how I understand his speech.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
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  15. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Deus Pascus Corvus

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    Perhaps his comments are mostly addressed to that religion some of whose followers have been using their scripture to justify the most horrible atrocities during this early part of the 21st Century? Will they listen to him?
     
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Archaeology and other social sciences have demonstrated such claims in Scripture are somewhat, er, excessive.

    The Jews never actually wiped out anyone, nor were they actually wiped out ... there's questions now as to whether the Jews were bonded slaves to the Egyptians, as the Hollywood epics would have it, or whether they were a minority living within the community who eventually broke away and moved off (albeit much to the anger of the authorities who look badly on such happenings in all places and all times).

    Having said that, the highly polemical language of Scripture has to be read in context something which the contemporary reader is generally ill-equipped to do, and very poor at anyway. With most of the more noisesome and 'sensationalist' (read 'bestseller') critics being notoriously short on 'nuance' or 'subtlety'.

    I would require any self-declared commentator on scripture (anybody's scripture) to pass an exam on the parsing of poetry by a contemporary poet, before being let loose on any genre of text that falls into the category of 'scripture'.

    The Book of Deuteronomy, the Second Book of the Law, emerged in the wake of the Assyrian conquest (8cent BC), adapting to promote a nationalist agenda, the final form emerging in the return from Babylonian captivity (6cent. BC). What is evident is that the Jewish diaspora were not quite so desirous or willing to abandon everything to return to Israel as was hoped, having become assimilated into the local culture. Many scholars see the book as reflecting the economic needs and social status of the Levite caste trying to rebuild the state around themselves, and who are believed to have provided the authors and editors of the final gloss.

    Or put another way, history is never quite so black-and-white as we would like.
     
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  17. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Deus Pascus Corvus

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    @Thomas

    Exactly. It probably didn't happen quite like that. Nor perhaps Noah's ark. But there are those who will adopt the words of scriptures literally -- as we know?

    EDIT: And leaders and generals willing to use the words of scripture to justify conquest and killing?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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  18. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Deus Pascus Corvus

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  19. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Be easy on the contemporary reader, Thomas. Uh, Simon bar Kokhba? Supported by Rabbi Akiva, the leading sage of his day? Attacked Romans based on their understanding of religious texts, didn't they?
     
  20. OrtaYol

    OrtaYol Member

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    I can believe my religion obligates me to do something, but still accept responsibility in that I accept that I am carrying out my interpretation of the religion and its obligations.
     

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