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July 1, 2013 / compassioninpolitics

The Christian God K and religious violence

Does this ultimately mean that one should avoid reading re- ligious canon for fear that the violent episodes contained therein will cause one to become more aggressive, or that individuals who read the scriptures will become aggressive? Not necessar- ily. Violent stories that teach moral lessons or that are balanced with descriptions of victims’ suffering or the aggressor’s remorse can teach important lessons and have legitimate artistic merit (e.g., Stossel, 1997). Moreover, Nepstad (2004) argued that ‘‘religion has historically played a significant role in curbing violence, constraining aggression, and promoting reconciliation and understanding between groups’’ (p. 297), presumably be- cause the overriding message of the scriptures is one of peace and love. Taking a single violent episode out of its overall con- text (as we did here) can produce a significant increase in aggression. To the extent that religious extremists engage in prolonged, selective reading of the scriptures, focusing on vio- lent retribution toward unbelievers instead of the overall mes- sage of acceptance and understanding, one might expect to see increased brutality. Such an outcome is certainly consistent with our results: People who believe that God sanctions violence are more likely than others to behave aggressively themselves.

So its not the religion does this. Its selective reading of a text. You can selectively read ANY TEXT.

This card is actually comparative.
1) Suggesting that ONLY a selective reading would result in such acts.
2) On balance that Bible advocates peace and love
3) Even violent stories = peace & more ethical action–and presumably more loving.
4) Exposure results in reconciliation & conflict resolution.

And you can set up a try or die based on violent media (which is the real internal link in the evidence) and violence in the status quo. The Bible and religion are actually a solution to ongoing violence. Only warping the text and the religion itself is the ONLY thing that results in harm.

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