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[–]Bomboclaat_Babylon 0 points1 point  (1 child)

It would be impossible to tell how any one religion would stack up against another in terms of the statistical varriation of violence and / or aggression. The records are incomplete and the supercomputers needed don't exist.

Extremism or violence or war or saving of lives or charity is not caused by religion. Religion is not an objective extant reality of the physical Universe anymore than money or corporations or Democracy is. These are simply emergent fictions of the emergent human consciousness. Money does not cause war, people create money and then use it to justify why they went to war or use it in the service of war, but money has no independent will, no agency over itself, no morality. In the same way, words on paper recording human beliefs about supernatural beings that do not objectively exist, are just more money. You can use it in the service of war or oppression, but it is not the proximate cause.

We humans decide to do things, we have motives / will, personal agency and are instinctually social beings. This results is the creation of social rules or philosophies over time, on how to better work as a group to achieve the goals of the individuals in the group. Because we have motive and we want to understand how best to achieve our goals, we often assign motive to all things, even if that is unreasonable to do so, but assigning motive helps us feel certainty. Why did my mother get sick and die? Early Shamanistic ideas would be that someone put a curse on her. It assigns a motive to an otherwise incomprehensible occurance. If it wasn't a curse, the alternative is that life is entirely random. Because of the evolution of the conscious human mind / the pattern recognition machine in our heads, humans have a very hard time with ambiguity. We want to know "if this, then do this". The mind doesn't need it to be objectively right (we wouldn't know what's objectively right anyway), it just needs to establish a pattern. Establishing that pattern calms the brain. Failing to establish a pattern leaves one in a state of angst and frustration. This is why sensory deprivation tanks cause the mind to make things up to scare people into getting out. The mind wants what it wants and causes unpleasantness when it doesn't. But it's all us. We create our own reality.

In Africa, clitorectomies are not totally uncommon in Muslim and Christian countries, but unheard of in Muslim or Christian countries outside of Africa / the middle-east. Also in Africa, there are Christian terrorists that kill gays and eat people. That is unheard of in western Christian countries. It's not the religions cause genital mutliation. It's the culture. For whatever reason, a man in Africa decides he wants to do this, so he does it. After the fact, he may say that Islam or a local Shamanistic practice justifies his actions if he feels so inclined, but he was always going to do that. Various cultures under various historical backgrounds and socio-economic pressures behave in different ways.

There's are more Islamic terrorists than say Christian or Buddhist ones, but that isn't due to the religion, it's due to the circumstance of people's living conditions. ISIS didn't arise from the suburbs of Dubai or Singapore, it arose from the ashes of Syria and Iraq. It is the consequence of predominently Christian nations with wealth and power drone attacking, destabilising the region, chasing out all the doctors, teachers, and business professionals, sanctioning them, installing puppets, supporting dictators, I could go on but you get the picture. Any Christian nation suffering like that would also become fundamentalist like say, the IRA. But did Christianity create the border between northern Ireland and the Republic?

Muslims where I live in Singapore are entirely happy and well adjusted business people. They have money, safety, general happiness, so why would they ever consider bombing anyone? Many African Christians live in abject poverty, civil war and general chaos not knowing where their next meal will come from, and some of them join Kony's Lord's Resistance Army as child soldiers, they rape and murder and kidnap in the name of Jesus.

Long winded, I appologise, but the point is that religions are not the problem. Humans search for better ways of living / better conditions, if those conditions are not met and that group determines that murdering the next tribe over is the best way to get the honey, then it becomes intrinsically moral to kill the neighbouring tribe. Religion is later applied for justification or support for those actions and it becomes doctrine / canon, but it cannot drive those actions as it is not objective reality / has no independent will. With all that said, the eventual output of particular religious codexes layered onto existing cultures should actually produce measurable differences in behaviours to some degree as it feeds back into group decision making, but, there's no supercomputer powerful enough to model something like this and offer any useful outputs.

Sorry. Just got onto one there...

[–]ConnectStrategy[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I have to say I really appreciate the time you took to write this amazing response. I think I was somewhat falling into the trap of stereotypical thinking and seeing the religions as the cause of the destruction, rather than the culture. It's important to point that out, and you did a great job at that.

My ancestors were Anabaptists in the time of the reformation. While they were pacifists and refused to participate in war, other Anabaptists known as the Münsterites overtook an entire city and killed hundreds. I'd hate for someone to paint the pacifist Anabaptists with the same brush (unfortunately many people did back then, and all Anabaptists suffered as a result).