The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It must be true, everyone I know believes it

From time to time, I read myths. That is, I read
(and hear) comments from people that contain myths but present them as facts.

For example:

More people have been killed because of religious beliefs (their own or someone else's) than for any other reason.

This is a widely held belief. It's also blatantly false. And easily refuted. The last world war is estimated to have caused the deaths of some 50 million to over 70 million. The estimate of civilian deaths alone range from 40 million to 52 million. In case you don't know, World War II was not a religious war in any way, shape, or form. Some argue that Hitler's persecution of Jews make it one, if only tangentially, but I would argue that he saw Jews as a "race" with a religion and did not persecute them for their religion. You could be a Jew who converted to Christianity and still be subject to persecution. See the Nuremberg Laws.

Some might argue that, at its heart, the racial aspect was a cover for religious intolerance. Which, of course, doesn't explain the persecution of Eastern Europeans, the disabled and mentally retarded, or black people.

In any event, it was Hitler's racial theories which drove the persecutions. And he set out to conquer the world not to convert people to some brand of religion but because he believed that Germans were the "Master Race" and destined to rule all other people.

Now, I know people don't consider Wikipedia as a reliable source but they do have a list of wars and their death totals, along with notation of type of war.

As my regular readers know, I am atheist. But that doesn't mean that I am anti religion. And it doesn't mean I will accept myths because of their anti-religious basis.


Tom Sightings said...

Hi. Been a while, and I'm glad to be back. I just finished reading "Canada," Richard Ford's new book, which is all about what you know for sure, and what you don't know at all. "Everything someone assures me to be true might not be," says his main character Dell Parsons.

I won't argue whether or not more people have been killed b/c of their religious beliefs than for any other reason. But it sure has been a lot -- from the Crusades to the Inquisitions to the Witch trials to the current Muslim terrorists. And as for World War II, well, it didn't help to be Jewish. (I myself am not an atheist, not Jewish.)  But I think you're fundamentally right. It's not religious intolerance, per se, that brings on the violence, but intolerance of other people's whole way of life.

I agree with what poor Rodney King once said:  Let's just all try to get along.

Douglas4517 said...

 I think more people have been killed because of greed than anything else.

Tom Sightings said...

 Ha, ha. A lot of us kill OURSELVES with greed!