Religious Riots - Criticism of Religion As Being Violent

Criticism of Religion As Being Violent

Tanner asserts that many who have no particular religious beliefs would even argue that violence is a highly likely if not inevitable consequence of the "irrationality" of religious precepts. Similarly, Hector Avalos argues that religions claim "scarce resources" for themselves over and against other groups. Consequently, this may lead to violence because conflicting claims to superiority are based on unverifiable appeals to the supernatural which cannot be adjudicated objectively.

Some general critics of religion and polemics such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins go farther and argue that religions do tremendous harm to society in three ways:

  • Religions sometimes use war, violence, and terrorism to promote their religious goals,
  • Religious leaders contribute to secular wars and terrorism by endorsing or supporting the violence, and
  • Religious fervor is exploited by secular leaders to support war and terrorism.

Amartya Sen adds that political leaders frequently use religious differences to initiate or perpetuate violence:

"Although the wars were ostensibly initiated to counter terrorism, religious differences are stressed just as often by American politicians and pundits as the reasons to continue the violence."

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Famous quotes containing the words criticism of, criticism, religion and/or violent:

    The critic lives at second hand. He writes about. The poem, the novel, or the play must be given to him; criticism exists by the grace of other men’s genius. By virtue of style, criticism can itself become literature. But usually this occurs only when the writer is acting as critic of his own work or as outrider to his own poetics, when the criticism of Coleridge is work in progress or that of T.S. Eliot propaganda.
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