Human evolution News

Philosopher John Gray goes after fatuous claims that war and violence are declining

Spread the love

Christians around the world would say: If only.

The current exponent of that view is Steve Pinker:

The Harvard psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: a history of violence and humanity (2011) has not only been an international bestseller – more than a thousand pages long and containing a formidable array of graphs and statistics, the book has established something akin to a contemporary orthodoxy. It is now not uncommon to find it stated, as though it were a matter of fact, that human beings are becoming less violent and more altruistic. Ranging freely from human pre-history to the present day, Pinker presents his case with voluminous erudition. Part of his argument consists in showing that the past was more violent than we tend to imagine. Tribal peoples that have been praised by anthropologists for their peaceful ways, such as the Kalahari !Kung and the Arctic Inuit, in fact have rates of death by violence not unlike those of contemporary Detroit; while the risk of violent death in Europe is a fraction of what it was five centuries ago. Not only have violent deaths declined in number. Barbaric practices such as human sacrifice and execution by torture have been abolished, while cruelty towards women, children and animals is, Pinker claims, in steady decline. This “civilising process” – a term Pinker borrows from the sociologist Norbert Elias – has come about largely as a result of the increasing power of the state, which in the most advanced countries has secured a near-monopoly of force. Other causes of the decline in violence include the invention of printing, the empowerment of women, enhanced powers of reasoning and expanding capacities for empathy in modern populations, and the growing influence of Enlightenment ideals. More.

Look, the situation is way worse than this pussy report from the UN. It’s more like we have to cater to our new atheist commenters, to prevent aggressive tax audits by … okay, if you think you live in a free society, go on the Internet and look for yourselves, and decide. What do YOU think is happening? What matters to YOU?

Follow UD News at Twitter!

28 Replies to “Philosopher John Gray goes after fatuous claims that war and violence are declining

  1. 1
    Zachriel says:

    Did the philosopher forget to include a discussion of the statistics about declining violent deaths upon which the claim is based?

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    as to: “Did the philosopher forget to include a discussion of the statistics about declining violent deaths upon which the claim is based?”

    No.

    The “Long Peace” (of Pinker) is a Statistical Illusion – Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/pinker.pdf

  3. 3
    Zachriel says:

    bornagain77: No.

    Thanks. So we can safely ignore the rest of the philosopher’s essay as they don’t address the topic. Here is Pinker’s reply to Taleb.
    http://stevenpinker.com/files/.....pinker.pdf

    As for Taleb, we were somewhat suspicious of his claims from the beginning of his essay when he repeatedly made statements that seemed contrary to any reasonable reading of Pinker, most particularly that Pinker, whose book was primarily descriptive, was claiming that the trend towards lower rates of violent death must necessarily continue. ETA: Thermonuclear annihilation seems to be the crux of the different interpretations.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Ignore at your own peril: Ignore is the first part of the word ignorance

    Pinker’s Rebuttal of This Note – Taleb
    Pinker has written a rebuttal (ad hominem blather, if he had a point he would have written something 1/3 of this, not 3 x the words).
    He (Pinker) still does not understand the difference between probability and expectation
    http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/pinker.pdf

    also of note:

    Steve Pinker’s bogus statistics (against Christianity being a force for good in the world): – August 2013
    Pinker’s Claim:: World War I, as I recall, was a war fought mostly by Christians against Christians. As for World War II and its associated horrors, see my answer to the previous question.
    True or False? Utterly irrelevant to the question of whether religion is a force for violence. Matthew White has this to say on the matter:
    Q: Is religion responsible for more violent deaths than any other cause?
    A: No, of course not — unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century — Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union — no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-part-one/

    Steve Pinker’s bogus statistics: A critique of The Better Angels of Our Nature (Part Two)
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....art-one-2/

    Moreover, the atheistic claim that violence has decreased is especially ironic coming from atheists since atheists were responsible for the bloodiest century in human history:

    The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris, And Hitchens – pg. 240
    Excerpt: “There have been 28 countries in world history that can be confirmed to have been ruled by avowed atheists at the helm.,, The total body count for the ninety years between 1917 and 2007 is approximately 148 million dead at the bloody hands of fifty-two atheists…..The historical record of collective atheism is thus 182,716 times worse on an annual basis than Christianity’s worst and most infamous misdeed, the Spanish Inquisition.”
    http://books.google.com/books?.....38;f=false

    The unmitigated horror visited upon man, by state sponsored atheism, would be hard to exaggerate,,, Here’s what happens when Atheists/evolutionists/non-Christians take control of Government:

    “169,202,000 Murdered: Summary and Conclusions [20th Century Democide]
    I BACKGROUND
    2. The New Concept of Democide [Definition of Democide]
    3. Over 133,147,000 Murdered: Pre-Twentieth Century Democide
    II 128,168,000 VICTIMS: THE DEKA-MEGAMURDERERS
    4. 61,911,000 Murdered: The Soviet Gulag State
    5. 35,236,000 Murdered: The Communist Chinese Ant Hill
    6. 20,946,000 Murdered: The Nazi Genocide State
    7. 10,214,000 Murdered: The Depraved Nationalist Regime
    III 19,178,000 VICTIMS: THE LESSER MEGA-MURDERERS
    8. 5,964,000 Murdered: Japan’s Savage Military
    9. 2,035,000 Murdered: The Khmer Rouge Hell State
    10. 1,883,000 Murdered: Turkey’s Genocidal Purges
    11. 1,670,000 Murdered: The Vietnamese War State
    12. 1,585,000 Murdered: Poland’s Ethnic Cleansing
    13. 1,503,000 Murdered: The Pakistani Cutthroat State
    14. 1,072,000 Murdered: Tito’s Slaughterhouse
    IV 4,145,000 VICTIMS: SUSPECTED MEGAMURDERERS
    15. 1,663,000 Murdered? Orwellian North Korea
    16. 1,417,000 Murdered? Barbarous Mexico
    17. 1,066,000 Murdered? Feudal Russia”

    This is, in reality, probably just a drop in the bucket. Who knows how many undocumented murders there were. It also doesn’t count all the millions of abortions from around the world.
    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM

  5. 5
    Zachriel says:

    bornagain77: He (Pinker) still does not understand the difference between probability and expectation

    Taleb apparently thinks Pinker is under-representing the threat of thermonuclear annihilation. While the threat is real, Pinker provided data pre-atomics that show the same trend. Furthermore, the threat of thermonuclear annihilation is lower today than it was even a generation ago.

    bornagain77: Utterly irrelevant to the question of whether religion is a force for violence.

    First of all, you conflate two different claims; “against Christianity being a force for good in the world,” and “whether religion is a force for violence.” Nor is it utterly irrelevant — it clearly is, though it can be argued it is not as indicative as Pinker suggests.

    While some wars had a strong religious component (e.g. Thirty Years’ War), generally, wars are fought when people determine, rightly or wrongly, that it is advantageous to do so.

  6. 6
    Zachriel says:

    bornagain77: Moreover, the atheistic claim that violence has decreased is especially ironic coming from atheists since atheists were responsible for the bloodiest century in human history

    These nations were religious:

    6. 20,946,000 Murdered: The Nazi Genocide State
    7. 10,214,000 Murdered: The Depraved Nationalist Regime
    8. 5,964,000 Murdered: Japan’s Savage Military
    10. 1,883,000 Murdered: Turkey’s Genocidal Purges
    13. 1,503,000 Murdered: The Pakistani Cutthroat State
    16. 1,417,000 Murdered? Barbarous Mexico
    17. 1,066,000 Murdered? Feudal Russia

    To make these relevant to the topic, you have to put these in context with world population. The Soviet State killed about 2% of the world’s population. By comparison, the Mongol Conquests killed nearly 10% of the world population. Most Mongols were religious, though they allowed religious pluralism, and showed interest in all forms of religious wisdom. Genghis was Tengrist, as was Ögedei.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    “Is religion responsible for more violent deaths than any other cause?
    A: No, of course not — unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless”

    for instance, you define Nazi’s as ‘religious’. I guess you could be right if you admit that Darwinism is a religion instead of a science!

    How the Nazis mandated and used evolution and Darwin in the textbooks – November 7, 2013
    Excerpt: The authors then asserted that the three main human races – European, Mongolian, and Negro – were subspecies that branched off from a common ancestor about 100,000 years ago. They argued that races evolved through selection and elimination, and the Nordic race became superior because it had to struggle in especially harsh conditions. Throughout this pamphlet the terms “higher evolution,” “struggle for existence,” and selection are core concepts that occur repeatedly.” (p.550) Weikart
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....textbooks/

    The German Fuhrer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consciously sought to make the practice of Germany conform to the theory of evolution.
    – Arthur Keith

    National Socialism is nothing but applied biology.
    – Rudolph Hess

    “The law of selection exists in the world, and the stronger and healthier has received from nature the right to live. Woe to anyone who is weak, who does not stand his ground! He may not expect help from anyone.”
    – Adolf Hitler
    http://www.wnd.com/2014/09/cha.....rld-war-i/

    Recalling the Wannsee Conference – Michael Egnor – January 24, 2015
    Excerpt: Last week marked the 73rd anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, which was the meeting in 1942 held in a villa in a Berlin suburb where Nazi officials planned the Final Solution.
    The SS representative at the meeting was General Reinhard Heydrich, one of Himmler’s top deputies. Although genocide was already underway in the occupied portions of the Soviet Union and in Serbia, Nazi officials discussed the need for a more comprehensive program to exterminate European Jews. From the article published by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum:
    Heydrich announced that “during the course of the Final Solution, the Jews will be deployed under appropriate supervision at a suitable form of labor deployment in the East. In large labor columns, separated by gender, able-bodied Jews will be brought to those regions to build roads, whereby a large number will doubtlessly be lost through natural reduction. Any final remnant that survives will doubtless consist of the elements most capable of resistance. They must be dealt with appropriately, since, representing the fruit of natural selection, they are to be regarded as the core of a new Jewish revival.”
    Despite the evidence that Darwinism profoundly contributed to informing Nazism, Darwinists persist in denying the documented links between the Darwinian understanding of nature and man and the Nazi policies to take control of natural selection and breed a master race along explicitly Darwinian lines.
    SS General Heydrich was a key figure in the planning of the Holocaust, and was the leading voice at the Wannsee Conference. The argument that Darwinists have is not with modern critics of Darwinian anthropology, but with the Nazis themselves, who were clear about the Darwinian motivations for their policies.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92991.html

  8. 8
    daveS says:

    BA77,
    Pardon the intrusion, but:

    “Is religion responsible for more violent deaths than any other cause?
    A: No, of course not — unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless”

    Like when atheists are labeled as “religious”?

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    as to: “Like when atheists are labeled as “religious”?”

    Funny thing is that atheists adamantly deny being ‘religious’, and claim they are merely being ‘scientific’, but Darwinian ‘science’ is absolutely dependent on (bad) Theological presuppositions:

    Methodological Naturalism: A Rule That No One Needs or Obeys – Paul Nelson – September 22, 2014
    Excerpt: It is a little-remarked but nonetheless deeply significant irony that evolutionary biology is the most theologically entangled science going. Open a book like Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution is True (2009) or John Avise’s Inside the Human Genome (2010), and the theology leaps off the page. A wise creator, say Coyne, Avise, and many other evolutionary biologists, would not have made this or that structure; therefore, the structure evolved by undirected processes. Coyne and Avise, like many other evolutionary theorists going back to Darwin himself, make numerous “God-wouldn’t-have-done-it-that-way” arguments, thus predicating their arguments for the creative power of natural selection and random mutation on implicit theological assumptions about the character of God and what such an agent (if He existed) would or would not be likely to do.,,,
    ,,,with respect to one of the most famous texts in 20th-century biology, Theodosius Dobzhansky’s essay “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (1973).
    Although its title is widely cited as an aphorism, the text of Dobzhansky’s essay is rarely read. It is, in fact, a theological treatise. As Dilley (2013, p. 774) observes:
    “Strikingly, all seven of Dobzhansky’s arguments hinge upon claims about God’s nature, actions, purposes, or duties. In fact, without God-talk, the geneticist’s arguments for evolution are logically invalid. In short, theology is essential to Dobzhansky’s arguments.”,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....89971.html

    Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of theology? – Dilley S. – 2013
    Abstract
    This essay analyzes Theodosius Dobzhansky’s famous article, “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution,” in which he presents some of his best arguments for evolution. I contend that all of Dobzhansky’s arguments hinge upon sectarian claims about God’s nature, actions, purposes, or duties. Moreover, Dobzhansky’s theology manifests several tensions, both in the epistemic justification of his theological claims and in their collective coherence. I note that other prominent biologists–such as Mayr, Dawkins, Eldredge, Ayala, de Beer, Futuyma, and Gould–also use theology-laden arguments. I recommend increased analysis of the justification, complexity, and coherence of this theology.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23890740

  10. 10
    Zachriel says:

    bornagain77: for instance, you define Nazi’s as ‘religious’.

    Germany was religious, and religion was certainly a driving force of antisemitism in German history. The other examples, such as Feudal Russia and Turkey should be non-controversial.

    Again, to address Pinker’s point, you have to put the deaths in the context of world population.

  11. 11
    daveS says:

    BA77,

    as to: “Like when atheists are labeled as “religious”?”

    Funny thing is that atheists adamantly deny being ‘religious’, and claim they are merely being ‘scientific’, but Darwinian ‘science’ is absolutely dependent on (bad) Theological presuppositions:

    Atheist does not imply “Darwinist”.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Zachriel, for lack of a better word, it simply insane for you to claim that Christianity, not Darwinism, drove Nazi Racial Ideology to the horrid extreme that it reached in the holocaust. But holding insane beliefs is part and parcel with maintaining your atheism I guess!

    From Darwin to Hitler – Weikart
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_5EwYpLD6A

    In fact the dark shadow of Darwinism was instrumental in the first world war also

    The Biology of the Second Reich: Social Darwinism and the Origins of World War 1
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9n900e80R30

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    “Atheist does not imply “Darwinist””

    Hmmm, this video of Dawkins, Myers, Provine, starting at the 47:00 minute mark, disagrees a little with you:

    Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0DTVpPiADE&feature=player_detailpage#t=2843

  14. 14
    daveS says:

    BA77,

    Hmmm, this video of Dawkins, Myers, Provine, starting at the 47:00 minute mark, disagrees a little with you:

    Expelled?? That’s scraping the bottom of the barrel. lol

    I watched a few minutes and didn’t see anything supporting your claim. I have things to do today and don’t feel like watching the remaining 90 minutes.

    How about you explain in your own words, with no links, why all atheists must be “Darwinists”?

  15. 15
    News says:

    Zachriel at 1: There may not be a decline in violent deaths so much as a decline in reporting. If the deaths of no-longer-wanted women, unborn children, identified gays, enemies of the people are not counted – well, how DOES one do the stats anyway?

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    well daveS, since your response is to label Expelled ‘bottom of the barrel’, and since you don’t have time to see what Dawkins, Myers, and Provine have said in their own words, then I guess any further discussion with you is rather pointless isn’t it?

    I will grant a caveat that hairs can be split on your point. But, as like you, I have better things to do today than watch you split hairs on what I view to be an inconsequential matter.

    Such as watching ‘splitting hairs’ comedy show
    http://www.cc.com/splitting-hairs

  17. 17
    Zachriel says:

    bornagain77: for lack of a better word, it simply insane for you to claim that Christianity, not Darwinism, drove Nazi Racial Ideology to the horrid extreme that it reached in the holocaust.

    Sure, Europe never experienced antisemitism before Darwin.

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    Zachriel, Christians never claimed that humans are not inherently evil in their prejudices, i.e. in their carnal nature. The claim is that Darwinism, unchecked from Christian morality, gave ‘scientific justification’ to those latent prejudices. For example, check out this ‘spooky’ 1831 ‘prophecy’ by Heinrich Heine:

    “Christianity — and that is its greatest merit — has somewhat mitigated that brutal German love of war, but it could not destroy it. Should that subduing talisman, the cross, be shattered the frenzied madness of the ancient warriors, that insane Berserk rage of which Nordic bards have spoken and sung so often, will once more burst into flame. …
    The old stone gods will then rise from long ruins and rub the dust of a thousand years from their eyes, and Thor will leap to life with his giant hammer and smash the Gothic cathedrals. …
    … Do not smile at my advice — the advice of a dreamer who warns you against Kantians, Fichteans, and philosophers of nature. Do not smile at the visionary who anticipates the same revolution in the realm of the visible as has taken place in the spiritual. Thought precedes action as lightning precedes thunder. German thunder … comes rolling somewhat slowly, but … its crash … will be unlike anything before in the history of the world. …
    At that uproar the eagles of the air will drop dead, and lions in farthest Africa will draw in their tails and slink away. … A play will be performed in Germany which will make the French Revolution look like an innocent idyll.” –
    Heinrich Heine – Religion and Philosophy in Germany, 1831

    Pseudo-scientific Darwinism unleashed a horror on the human race during World War II that mere words will forever fail to capture.

    holocaust images
    https://www.google.com/search?q=holocaust&biw=1280&bih=610&site=webhp&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=0LgFVYv2AcS5ggSSpoDQCA&sqi=2&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ

  19. 19
    daveS says:

    BA77,

    well daveS, since your response is to label Expelled ‘bottom of the barrel’, and since you don’t have time to see what Dawkins, Myers, and Provine have said in their own words, then I guess any further discussion with you is rather pointless isn’t it?

    If Dawkins, Myers, or Provine actually made an argument, then yes, I would be interested in reading it. Just summarize it here. I’m sure it’s not a very complex argument if it made it into the final cut of Expelled.

    If it’s just assertion, why should I care what they said “in their own words”?

  20. 20
    Zachriel says:

    bornagain77: Christians never claimed that humans are not inherently evil in their prejudices, i.e. in their carnal nature.

    Sure, but the discussion concerned your conflation of “against Christianity being a force for good in the world,” with “whether religion is a force for violence;” then claiming that atheists were inordinately responsible for violence while ignoring the role of religion in that violence and ignoring other historical examples that would tend to undermine your position.

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    Zachriel and Dave, since you guys are just throwing whatever you can think of on the wall to see if it sticks, I rest my case and let the unbiased reader judge for themselves who has made their case and who hasn’t.

  22. 22
    Seversky says:

    No one is denying that atheist regimes of the 20th century killed a lot of people.

    What you can’t ignore is that for thirty or more centuries before that all the regimes in the world were religious to a greater or lesser degree. Over that time they managed to kill a lot of people as well. In fact, as Zachriel has pointed out, in some cases they killed more when measured as a percentage of total population at that time.

    And do we need to point out that top scorer in this regard is God according to the Bible? In the Great Flood, He’s supposed to have wiped out well over 90% of all life on Earth, an achievement the dictators of the twentieth century could only dream about.

    If you take the long view of history rather than just cherry-picking results from the twentieth century, religion doesn’t look any better than atheism when it comes to mass-killings

  23. 23
    ppolish says:

    There is s TV commercial for an Investment Co in the USA that asks people to list events of the last 10 or so years and then list predictions for the next 10. The past was about 50/50 mix of good & bad, the future was skewed towards good.

    Their point? It’s Human nature to think about the future more optimistically. Steven builds his case accordingly. And being an Angry Atheist, there is probably a bias somewhere – but I have not the book.

    The Bible predicts the wolf will lie down with the lamb someday, but not before a fair amount of nastiness. Choosing between Biblical Prophets and Pinker – I’m going Prophets.

    That was kinda the point of the Investment Co advert.

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    As to the claim that atheism is no more violent than any other religion, I would like to point out a few facts. First is this fact: Although Muslims have a long history of attacking the Christian west in an unprovoked manner,

    The So Called Golden Age Of Islam (and the supposed ‘Dark Ages’ of Europe) was an Age of Cruel Barbarity against Christians by Islam- video (12:12 minute mark outlines the relentless attacks throughout history by Muslims against the Christian west) – Dr. Bill Warner
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=t_Qpy0mXg8Y#t=732

    Christians in the eleventh century were not paranoid fanatics. Muslims really were gunning for them.
    By the time the Crusades started, Muslims had already captured two-thirds of the Christian world. The Crusades were a direct response to more than four centuries of Muslim aggression. Fantastic article re: The Real History of the Crusades:
    http://www.catholicculture.org.....ecnum=4461

    And although the cruel barbarity inherent within fundamental Islam is making headlines on almost a daily basis, as cruel as fundamental Islam has been throughout history and still is today, fundamental Islam is still not as violent as atheism/naturalism has been:

    The Myth that Religion is the #1 Cause of War
    Excerpt: An interesting source of truth on the matter is Philip and Axelrod’s three-volume Encyclopedia of Wars, which chronicles some 1,763 wars that have been waged over the course of human history. Of those wars, the authors categorize 123 as being religious in nature,2 which is an astonishingly low 6.98% of all wars. However, when one subtracts out those waged in the name of Islam (66), the percentage is cut by more than half to 3.23%.
    That means that all faiths combined – minus Islam – have caused less than 4% of all of humanity’s wars and violent conflicts. Further, they played no motivating role in the major wars that have resulted in the most loss of life.
    The truth is, non-religious motivations and naturalistic philosophies bear the blame for nearly all of humankind’s wars. Lives lost during religious conflict pales in comparison to those experienced during the regimes who wanted nothing to do with the idea of God – something showcased in R. J. Rummel’s work Lethal Politics and Death by Government:
    https://carm.org/religion-cause-war

    I would also like to point out a radical difference between Islam and Christianity. Islam seeks to convert people to Islam by force. For instance:

    ISIS to Christians in Mosul: convert, pay or die – July 2014
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/.....lee-mosul/

    Which should not be surprising since Islam was founded by, basically, a warlord who established his ‘religion of peace’ through violent conquest.
    Christianity, on the other hand, is the most widely persecuted group in the world:

    Knowing our world: The three major reasons for persecution of Christians worldwide – Denyse O’Leary
    Excerpt: The world-wide picture is sobering. Pew Research Center, Newsweek, and The Economist all agree that Christians are the world’s most widely persecuted group.
    Marshall and team offer information about three quite different reasons for persecution by different types of regimes (pp. 9–11):
    First, there is post-Communist persecution, following the collapse of Communism in the late 1980s, where the regimes
    ” … have since retreated to an onerous policy of registration, supervision, and control. Those who will not be controlled are sent to prison or labor camps, or simply held, abused, and sometimes tortured.”
    The most intense persecutor is the still Communist (not post-Communist) regime, North Korea (pp. 9–10). There, “Christians are executed or sent to prison camps for lengthy terms for such crimes as the mere possession of a Bible.”
    Second, in some countries, “Hindu or Buddhist religious movements equate their religion with the nature and meaning of their country itself.” They persecute minority tribes as well as religions (pp. 10–11). These countries include Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan.
    Third, of course the Muslim world where
    “Even though the remaining Communist countries persecute the most Christians, it is in the Muslim world where persecution of Christians is now most widespread, intense, and, ominously, increasing. Extremist Muslims are expanding their presence and sometimes exporting their repression of all other faiths. … Even ancient churches, such as the two-thousand-year-old Chaldean and Assyrian churches of Iraq and the Coptic churches of Egypt, are under intense threat at this time. (p. 11).”
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....worldwide/

    And this should not be surprising either, for Christianity was founded by Jesus Christ Himself, whom died on a cross rather than resorting to violence to save his own life.

    Matthew 26:53
    Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?

    John 18:36
    Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

    Detailed Forensic Evidence of The Shroud – video
    Excerpt: “it is definitely an anatomically and forensically correct depiction of a victim of a Roman crucifixion.”
    http://www.shroud-enigma.com/w.....ology.html

    Shroud Of Turin – Photographic Negative – 3D Hologram – The Lamb – video
    http://www.tunesbaby.com/watch/?x=5664213

    Also of note: All the apostles, save for John, are said to have died a martyr’s death:

    What Happened to the 12 Apostles of Jesus – How Did Jesus’ Disciples Die?
    http://biblenest.com/?p=192

    Music:

    Casting Crowns – Courageous [Official Music Video – HD]
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  25. 25
    humbled says:

    Seems the wealth of data provided by ba77 refutes all and any attempt by the atheist who says religion is the no.1 cause of war and that religion is responsible for more deaths than atheism.

    This is important because these two atheist propaganda tools are used often in an attempt to paint religion in a bad light.

    It is plainly obvious that atheism, not religion, is responsible for the worst atrocities our world has ever seen. Denying such in light of the overwhelming evidence is not only dishonest but highly disrespectful towards the many victims who suffered and perished at the hands of these atheist regimes.

  26. 26
    vjtorley says:

    Hi everyone,

    I took down Steve Pinker’s claims about declining violence on this Website a couple of years ago, here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-part-one/

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....art-one-2/

    Even Mark Frank was convinced by my take-down, as I recall. The claim that religious regimes prior to the 20th century killed a greater percentage of their people is historically unwarranted.

  27. 27
    Mark Frank says:

    #26

    I agree that while Steven Pinker’s book is very interesting and worthwhile it doesn’t make a convincing case for a general decline in violence.

    The debate over whether atheist or religous regimes kill more people is one of the crudest (and therefore most meaningless) debates on UD. It requires much more reflection on:

    * What counts as a religous or atheist regime?
    * What kind of deaths is the state responsible for?
    * What are the links between the religious/atheist aspects of the regimes and these deaths?
    * Are we counting absolute numbers or percentages, and, if percentages, percentages of what?

    One way of thinking about it is to differentiate between failing to restrain evil and causing evil.

    Religion (including Christianity), being a positive belief and often a call to action, has sometimes restrained mass murder, sometimes failed to act as a restraint, and sometimes been a cause of mass murder.

    Atheism, being simply the absence of belief, has certainly failed to restrain mass murder but has not been the cause of mass murder.

  28. 28
    Cross says:

    Mark Frank @ 27

    “Atheism, being simply the absence of belief, has certainly failed to restrain mass murder but has not been the cause of mass murder.”

    Not so, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.....80%9341%29

    extract from USSR anti-religious campain – wikipedia “The main target of the anti-religious campaign in the 1920s and 1930s was the Russian Orthodox Church, which had the largest number of faithful. Nearly all of its clergy, and many of its believers, were shot or sent to labour camps. Theological schools were closed, and church publications were prohibited.[1] More than 85,000 Orthodox priests were shot in 1937 alone.[2] Only a twelfth of the Russian Orthodox Church’s priests were left functioning in their parishes by 1941.[3]”

    Cheers

Leave a Reply