Is religion responsible for most murder?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.

Is religion responsible for most murder?

Post Number:#1  Postby philoreaderguy » March 3rd, 2007, 11:50 am

I've heard it said that more people have been killed in the name of god than for any other reason. Is that true? Is religion responsible for most murder?
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Is religion responsible for most murder?



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Re: Is religion responsible for most murder?

Post Number:#2  Postby calenture9 » March 6th, 2007, 1:55 am

philoreaderguy wrote:I've heard it said that more people have been killed in the name of god than for any other reason. Is that true? Is religion responsible for most murder?


I don't think so...People are responsible for most murder.
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Post Number:#3  Postby Bk2Kant » March 6th, 2007, 2:59 am

What you heard is absolutley true. Religion is statistically the number one cause for killing in the world. People have always had dissagreements based on religion and there is very little that someone is more apt to fight for. (well in general not as individuals necesarrily).
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Post Number:#4  Postby Johannes Climacus » March 6th, 2007, 8:57 am

What stats? I think it's greed that's the number one cause. Greed for power and property. (Ala Machiavelli/Hobbes/Locke/Rousseau)
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Post Number:#5  Postby captain_crunk » March 6th, 2007, 1:16 pm

Yeah I wouldn't doubt that religion is the number one reason given for the act of murder. Religion itself isn't "responsible" for murder though. Religion doesn't kill people, people kill people seemingly for the sake of religion. Religions (generally) don't instruct their followers to kill either, at least not in the cold-blooded murder sense.
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Post Number:#6  Postby Bk2Kant » March 6th, 2007, 6:55 pm

Ok here's the part where I admit I might be wrong. I say might becasue I simply cannot find the stats they might still exists. I am quite certain I read something about religion being the number one casue of war and I think from that is assumed a number one casue of murder. I don't know I thikn I may have read something a number of years ago. If anyone can find the statistics or information confirming or denying either of my claims I would be very interseted to know.
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Re: Is religion responsible for most murder?

Post Number:#7  Postby MyshiningOne » March 8th, 2007, 11:52 pm

philoreaderguy wrote:I've heard it said that more people have been killed in the name of god than for any other reason. Is that true? Is religion responsible for most murder?


Well, it is true that most murders have been committed
for the sake of religion. Many "heretics" in the
medieval period were executed for their failure to submit to the Roman Catholic church. Also, the
witch hunts were performed for the sake of religion.
The Crusades were another incident. The world is
filled with religious fanatics, but of course, the
people are the ones who are doing the killing, not
the religion itself...
For instance, in the Bible, there is no evidence
that God encourages Christians to cram religion
down peoples' throats and then executing them
if they don't accept it. What kind of a God would
that be? Would people want to serve such a cruel being, who claims that murder is the answer to
everything? Would God condone Christians to fly a
plane into an abortion clinic or to mercilessly
kill homosexuals?

Religion should not be a means to hurt someone else
who does not accept it. It should be a way to
lead people into a more hopeful existence.
No one wants to follow a leader who is a tyrant!
Is religion about tyranny or about love?
It's not what you know that makes
you smart, it's knowing what you don't know.
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Post Number:#8  Postby MyshiningOne » March 12th, 2007, 8:17 am

Johannes Climacus wrote:What stats? I think it's greed that's the number one cause. Greed for power and property. (Ala Machiavelli/Hobbes/Locke/Rousseau)


People are always striving for greed and power. Too
bad they're not as great as what people imagine
them to be.
It's not what you know that makes
you smart, it's knowing what you don't know.
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Post Number:#9  Postby DanteAzrael » March 14th, 2007, 8:35 pm

I do not think religion is the cause for the most murders or people killed. To me, religion is often the noise that is covering the people and so many people are often seeing the religious aspects and going "I cannot believe religions would do this" that they do not recognize the causes that initiated it.

People have carried out strange trials for the sake of God...wars...such as the Crusades...or Inquisition...and the Salem Witch Trials. All of them, definitely, due to religion (though, I would go against the Crusades being purely for religion...it probably helps if there is a lot of money and land that can be appropriated from the wars.) Greed...Irrational Greed...in general...Irrationality is the cause for most deaths involving humans v.s. humans. Then, it really doesn't matter what the supposed cause covering it is...it is simply irrationality. Granted, some wars are just...and should be faught. Some, on the other hand, are just stupid wars faught for the sake of religion with the purpose being land and money (I do not think money is evil...but if one doesn't pay attention, it can drive them to irrational ideas.)
When a man declares: "There are no blacks and whites [in morality]" he is making a psychological confession, and what he means is: "I am unwilling to be wholly good—and please don't regard me as wholly evil!" - Ayn Rand
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Post Number:#10  Postby MyshiningOne » March 14th, 2007, 9:36 pm

DanteAzrael wrote:I do not think religion is the cause for the most murders or people killed. To me, religion is often the noise that is covering the people and so many people are often seeing the religious aspects and going "I cannot believe religions would do this" that they do not recognize the causes that initiated it.

People have carried out strange trials for the sake of God...wars...such as the Crusades...or Inquisition...and the Salem Witch Trials. All of them, definitely, due to religion (though, I would go against the Crusades being purely for religion...it probably helps if there is a lot of money and land that can be appropriated from the wars.) Greed...Irrational Greed...in general...Irrationality is the cause for most deaths involving humans v.s. humans. Then, it really doesn't matter what the supposed cause covering it is...it is simply irrationality. Granted, some wars are just...and should be faught. Some, on the other hand, are just stupid wars faught for the sake of religion with the purpose being land and money (I do not think money is evil...but if one doesn't pay attention, it can drive them to irrational ideas.)


I agree. I think religion is a convenient cover term
for greed and power. People hide behind religion
because they think that that will bring more
support to their cause. Most wars are not
fought with good intentions. I'm not trying to
be cynical, I'm just being realistic. Some are fought
over just causes, but most are fought for thee two things that make the world go round. It's the way it's always been.
It's not what you know that makes
you smart, it's knowing what you don't know.
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Post Number:#11  Postby kyle22 » November 23rd, 2007, 4:17 pm

I think religion is used to rationalize murder and violence, but it is not the real cause.
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Post Number:#12  Postby Patrarch » November 24th, 2007, 11:20 am

The Roman Catholic church justified all of their killing by saying "It's God's will." It's true, religion doesn't kill people, people kill people. But religion gives people a reason to kill people, a justification, a motivation. Millions were given the choice to either die quickly if they admit they believe, or be tortured until they do admit it by the catholic church. One cannot deny the responsibility of religion in these occurences. If religion had never existed, would these innumerable horrific events have ever taken place? One cannot know for sure, but I would be able to confidently so no, I don't believe they would have nearly to the extent they did. Nothing in humanity gives people more motivation and justification for killing than religion. Saying religion doesn't kill people, people kill people is the same as saying Guns don't kill people, people kill people. They are both a tool used by man in order to kill more easily; religion is a gun in the hands of man.

The Bible doesn't promote senseless killing?

"Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies." (Psalms 18:7-11)

"And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows." (Mark 13:7-8)

"Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." (Luke 12:51-53)

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." (Matthew 10:34-37)

"And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering. . . . And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; . . . And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed." (Judges 11:30-39)

"And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that God cast down great stones upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword." (Joshua 10:11)

"Then the fire of God fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench." (I Kings 18:38)

"AND Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before God, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from God, and devoured them, and they died before God." (Leviticus 10:1-2)

"For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith God, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch." (Malachi 4:1)

"And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith God." (Malachi 4:3)

"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of God: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." (Malachi 4:5-6)

"And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And God sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died." (Numbers 21:5-6)

"Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to God: whoseoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day." (Exodus 35:2) For the chilling application of this law, see Numbers 15:32-36, where a man who picked up sticks on the sabbath was stoned, "and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses."

"If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them; Then shall his father and mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of the city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear." (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

"And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death." (Exodus 21:17) "For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he that cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him." (Leviticus 20:9)

"If any man take a wife, and go in unto her . . . and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid . . . and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die . . ." (Deuteronomy 22:13-21)

"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." (Exodus 22:18)

"And God spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment . . ." (Numbers 16:20-21) ". . . And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation . . . and there came out a fire from God, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense. . . ." (Numbers 16:31-35)

"But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the Lord. . . . And God spake unto Moses, saying, Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces . . . for there is wrath gone out from God; the plague is begun. . . . Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah." (Numbers 16:41-49)

"And he [Elisha] went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of God. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them." (II Kings 2:23-24)

"O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones." (Psalm 137:8-9)

"And the booty, being the rest of the prey which the men of war had caught, was 675,000 sheep, And 72,000 beeves, And 61,000 asses, And 32,000 persons in all, of women that had not known man by lying with him . . . of which the Lord's tribute was 32 persons. And Moses gave the tribute, which was the Lord's heave offering, unto Eleazar the priest, as the Lord commanded Moses." (Numbers 31:32-41)


I would say it does.
The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.
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Post Number:#13  Postby TheProfessor » November 25th, 2007, 3:41 pm

MyshiningOne wrote:
DanteAzrael wrote:I do not think religion is the cause for the most murders or people killed. To me, religion is often the noise that is covering the people and so many people are often seeing the religious aspects and going "I cannot believe religions would do this" that they do not recognize the causes that initiated it.

People have carried out strange trials for the sake of God...wars...such as the Crusades...or Inquisition...and the Salem Witch Trials. All of them, definitely, due to religion (though, I would go against the Crusades being purely for religion...it probably helps if there is a lot of money and land that can be appropriated from the wars.) Greed...Irrational Greed...in general...Irrationality is the cause for most deaths involving humans v.s. humans. Then, it really doesn't matter what the supposed cause covering it is...it is simply irrationality. Granted, some wars are just...and should be faught. Some, on the other hand, are just stupid wars faught for the sake of religion with the purpose being land and money (I do not think money is evil...but if one doesn't pay attention, it can drive them to irrational ideas.)


I agree. I think religion is a convenient cover term
for greed and power. People hide behind religion
because they think that that will bring more
support to their cause. Most wars are not
fought with good intentions. I'm not trying to
be cynical, I'm just being realistic. Some are fought
over just causes, but most are fought for thee two things that make the world go round. It's the way it's always been.


I agree.
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Re: Is religion responsible for most murder?

Post Number:#14  Postby KY420 » November 26th, 2007, 3:25 am

philoreaderguy wrote:I've heard it said that more people have been killed in the name of god than for any other reason. Is that true? Is religion responsible for most murder?



I don't think it is fair to say that religion is the cause of most murder, though a lot less people would have died. But that is assuming that you believed many of the things that are said in the bible.
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Post Number:#15  Postby tolex » June 30th, 2009, 5:18 am

DanteAzrael wrote:I do not think religion is the cause for the most murders or people killed. To me, religion is often the noise that is covering the people and so many people are often seeing the religious aspects and going "I cannot believe religions would do this" that they do not recognize the causes that initiated it.

People have carried out strange trials for the sake of God...wars...such as the Crusades...or Inquisition...and the Salem Witch Trials. All of them, definitely, due to religion (though, I would go against the Crusades being purely for religion...it probably helps if there is a lot of money and land that can be appropriated from the wars.) Greed...Irrational Greed...in general...Irrationality is the cause for most deaths involving humans v.s. humans. Then, it really doesn't matter what the supposed cause covering it is...it is simply irrationality. Granted, some wars are just...and should be faught. Some, on the other hand, are just stupid wars faught for the sake of religion with the purpose being land and money (I do not think money is evil...but if one doesn't pay attention, it can drive them to irrational ideas.)



sinners hide under the cover of religion and religion cover there sin relifion is the cause of misfortune that befall humanity religion need to be examine and criticize so that the evil in it can be exposed
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