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Old 2008-02-17, 22:14   Link #330
Ledgem
Love Yourself
 
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Northeast USA
Age: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
This argument has bothered me for a very long time, the idea that individuals without religion have no ability to distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil. I can tell you quite confidently today that this argument is categorically wrong, for the simple reason that I know the distinction, and yet I have no religion.
Note also that the reverse holds true. The Jewish oppression over the Canaanites, the Christian Crusades, and the more recent Islamic Jihadists are all historical examples of where religious groups went as a majority force to oppress and bring violence to others. It has been said that the only religion to not cause war and strife is Buddhism, so I presume that there are other examples that I'm simply not aware of. With the exception of the Jewish acts (and probably only because these happened so long ago that the only historical accounts of it are in the religious texts themselves), the Crusades and the current Jihad are waved away as not being part of the religion itself. That is, the religion does not dictate that these should occur, but the religious organization instruments them. That hand-waving does nothing to alleviate the fact that the devout tend to partake in these activities, believing that they must be right because their organization dictated them to occur. Both the Crusades and the Jihad are today recognized as being relatively atrocious acts. If those with religion on their side can truly distinguish the difference, they wouldn't have participated. In fact, it would have been their duty to speak out against such acts.

I am aware that not everyone who participated in the Crusades were Christian. The Church basically announced an open-game session on the Middle East, and even non-Christians attended. It doesn't change the fact that the Church itself was the driving force behind the Crusades, and that Christians did participate as well.
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