[extropy-chat] Islamic morons win yet again.

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Mon Oct 2 05:36:22 UTC 2006

John Clark writes

> > How do you know what history would have
> > been like in the absense of religion?
> It rained an hour ago and now the street is wet. I deduce that if it hadn't
> rained the street wouldn't be wet.

Surely you don't think that this is a satisfactory analogy. We know
the cause and effect in the case of wet streets from time immemorial.

> > So far as *I* know, we don't have a lot of data.
> Unfortunately we have an avalanche of data, as terrifying as it is
> depressing.

Well, I wish that you'd mention some of it---in other words, for
every instance that you can find that religion *may* have added
extra suffering to the history of humanity, I believe that I can 
provide an example where just as much misery occurred with
religion playing no role.

For example, in Europe while the 16th and 17th centuries are
well know for their religious wars, the 18th and 19th centuries
for their nationalistic wars, and the 20th century for its
ideological wars.

Granted, on the whole there is an improvement per-capita,
but I suspect that the greater ferocity of the religious era
was simply due to it being further back in time. (One can
easily tell many stories about ancient Rome, Mesopotamia,
central Mexico, Japan, India, and China that prove the 
undeniable advance of the human race in this regard.)

>> The 20th century did seem to indicate that the fervently anti-religious
>> socialist regimes of the Soviet Union and Red Chinese killed people
>> at at least the same rate if not much greater.
> A good point I readily concede. But I never said religion was the root of
> ALL evil. I would estimate that in general about 2/3 of all mortal combat is
> religious based. Less than that in the 20th century in Europe because Europe
> is the one place on Earth where nobody takes religion very seriously
> anymore.

It's possible.  But how do you explain, to pick a hemisphere at random :-)
the wars of the western hemisphere?  The worst by far was the Lopez War,
fought entirely by Catholics and not at all for religious reasons. Next comes
the U.S. Civil War that had only a little to do with religion.

Now, let's take a breath and note that we have replaced your original
claim about religion being the worst cause of humanity's trials and 
tribulations, with the claim that it's the cause of most of the wars. 
Maybe they're the same; maybe not.

> I think people just got tired of killing each other over  about whether
> you should open an egg at the big end or the small.

I simply cannot believe that---rather, you really aren't really explaining
anything here.  (Yes, I realize that it may have been a flippant remark.)
Humanity has fewer and less ghastly wars (per capita and per century)
simply because, I assert, we are so much richer now, and it is now easier
and more profitable to create wealth than to seize your neighbor's.


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