Gods Don’t Kill People

Obviously it depends what one means by a “god.” If the universe is divine, then it obviously brings us into being and also brings our lives to an end, in one sense.

It is interesting that one finds in the Bible both the view that people need not defend their gods – if Ba’al is a god, let him defend himself (Judges 6), but also admonitions to fight on behalf of one’s own deity.

And so there is a parallel to the old “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” line. Religion can be a dangerous weapon, especially in the wrong hands. But unlike guns, religions have other legitimate uses. And anything that lets those inclined to do harm do more harm than they would have been able to otherwise needs to be considered closely and legislated carefully.


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  • Michael Wilson

    Yes it does depend on how one views gods. Its really silly bumper sticker philosophizing. I had arguments in my cap stone class on apocalyptic beliefs on this subject. I really think the line between religion and secular are tenuous and ultimately it isn’t the kind, religious or secular, but the type, absolutist, or liberal. When people think their ideology or group is the only worthy one and all others are threats, that is when the killing starts. It doesn’t matter if it is Christianity or communism. Julius Caesar did not kill all those Celts because he thought Jove was true and Tarranis was false, he did it because he thought his interest trumped the lives of the Celts. Was their religion in Caesars war? Of course, but when you break it down Caesars religion was little different from the practices of our own army with its flags, emblems and patriotism. Its just we don’t call America a god and we salute the flag rather than offer incense. Functionally it’s all the same.

    • Chad Blakeandchad

      You’re missing the point. Leaders don’t do the killing. Their soldiers do.

      Simply because other ideologies are used to justify and motivate killing does not mean that religion is not also used to to motivate killing. Constantly.

      If you look at the world today, religious rhetoric is what motivates the majority of people to slaughter others.