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Sat Dec 22, 2012, 06:13 AM

Does the Bible Make Americans More Violent?

http://www.alternet.org/does-bible-make-americans-more-violent



My friend Li is an Evangelical Christian and, in keeping with her family values she keeps an eye on what her children view and read. In the summer, she took her 12-year-old daughter to the Hunger Games. “It’s the perfect movie for her,” Li commented. “No swearing and no sex.” No swearing; no sex. Just people stalking and killing each other.

The Motion Picture Association of America agrees with Li’s priorities. So did the writers of the Bible. Our love-hate-love affair with violence goes way back.

It goes way back, and it also appears to be changing. In his 2011 book, The Better Angels of our Nature, Stephen Pinker lined up information from a wide variety of sources to show that human societies are less violent now than ever in recorded history. Violence dropped precipitously with the agricultural revolution, and then again with the Enlightenment and more recently, with the emergence of universal human rights. In the U.S., recent decades have seen a decline in murder rates and gun ownership. This finding is counterintuitive for several reasons. We have become more sensitized to kinds of violence that once were accepted as normal, like child and wife abuse; modern weapons of war have made killings more dramatic; we forget how brutish our ancestors really were; and thanks to media, modern incidents of violence produce shockwaves of trauma that once were impossible. All of this obscures a long and vast trend line toward—it sounds weird to say it—a kinder, gentler world. A medieval British man was fifty times more likely to die at the hands of another man than is his modern descendant.

We might be even farther along this path were it not for a love affair with fantasy violence that, if anything, appears to be growing.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 06:18 AM

1. Does the Koran make (insert whatever nationality here) more violent?

I so dislike this kind of puerile crap.

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Response to cali (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 06:35 AM

4. I agree; humans could find justification for violence in any text

and if its not there, they'll twist, warp and spin until they make it look like it's there

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 06:30 AM

2. the Christians obsessing on the Old Testament without any concept of its context

while ignoring the stuff Christ did and said in the New Testament

I have a hard time dealing with these type of Christians sometimes

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 06:32 AM

3. What a stupid, disjointed, piece of crap article.

Talk about a "reach."

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 06:39 AM

5. does it make europeans more violent?

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 06:51 AM

6. while it has been useful for riling people up for crusades, it wasn't the source of the

push for violence. that came from influential humans

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Response to Bad_Ronald (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 07:00 AM

9. post doesnt say anything about belief, and europe wasn't any more violent say, in the 60s, when

 

it had a higher proportion of believers.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #9)


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 06:57 AM

8. Yes

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 07:04 AM

10. Does the Koran make Arabs more violent?

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Reply #8)


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 09:37 AM

13. I don't know, but it seems to make them more stupid.

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Response to CanonRay (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 09:48 AM

14. +1 Was just going to post this myself.

 

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