Religion and Violence

Topics: Religion, Islam, Major religious groups Pages: 4 (1361 words) Published: May 12, 2006
Religion and Violence

Religion, which is a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices, serves the purpose of establishing rules and principles in a society. When studying various religions, it becomes apparent that the principles instilled are those that are morally just. Each major religion specifically addresses the issue of violence, and the vast majority condemns such actions. Individuals following a particular religion are expected to follow the rules and principles established which theoretically should create a world that is morally righteous and free from violence. Such is not the case, however, and society must constantly correct immoral actions performed by certain individuals. These individuals originate from diverse backgrounds and religions, and therefore no specific religion can be solely liable. Therefore, it becomes necessary to determine how violence and religion can simultaneously exist because the natures of these two elements seem to be contradictory. Two particular explanations, which introduce historical examples, illustrate how these two entities can coexist. One explanation states that certain individuals feel that violence is relatively harmless, and therefore feel no remorse in performing violent acts. This explanation incorporates classical historical texts, which imply that violence is an essential element of life. Another explanation states that certain individuals feel that violent acts are justified as a means of propagating faith. This explanation points out that survival and expansion of religion through violent acts is acceptable. These two rationalizations help explain how such variance can exist between religious dictation and the actual practice of individuals in society.

The concept that certain individuals regard violence as relatively harmless provides one explanation of how these two issues concurrently exist. These individuals feel that violent acts are not as immoral as perceived by other members of...
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