8 Answers

  1. It would be great if it was enough to find some correct religion, and everyone would live happily and stop hurting each other. Unfortunately, this is hardly possible.

    As for Buddhism, during World War II, for example, Japanese Buddhist teachers supported Japanese politics and theoretically justified Japanese chauvinism and militarism. There is a whole book about this: Brian Daizen Victoria, “Zen at War”, the author of which (himself, by the way, a Zen Buddhist) reflects on the dark pages of the history of Zen Buddhism.

    The division into” friends “and” strangers ” is originally inherent in religion and is one of its social functions. This means that every religion has the potential to cause harm: the whole question is whether the social conditions in which it exists allow it to do so. And it seems that this question is external to religion.

    This is not just about religion. For example, in the 18th century, one of the arguments in favor of atheism was that, they say, religious wars and persecution led to many deaths, and atheists did not kill anyone. But after the 20th century and the experience of Stalinism and Chinese communism, these texts seem naive.

    Therefore, it seems that the question of causing or not causing harm is no longer a question of the content of a particular religion, but of the structure of the social structure that would not allow any particular religion or other social institution to have sufficient power to cause harm.

    Political scientists have an interesting theory of “democide”. It is like genocide, but not necessarily committed against a specific ethnic group. American political scientistRudolf Rummel put forward the theory that any government that gets enough unlimited power will definitely start doing just that. Moreover, Rummel believed that if you compare the number of victims of democides with the number of victims of wars in the 20th century, then democide claimed more lives than war.

    I think this concept applies to religions as well. In the absence of deterrence mechanisms, any religion will become a repressive mechanism, especially if it has enough resources and gets carte blanche to do so from a government with broad powers.

    On the other hand, any religion has a significant constructive potential. Its efforts can be directed to charity, peacemaking, education, protection of the weak, etc.

    Which side of religion will manifest itself is largely a matter of the social environment in which it exists.

  2. Well, excessive generalizations are always harmful. Buddhists can and do like to cut down non-Buddhists, too. Therefore, the attitude towards religions should be more or less even: all of them sooner or later lead to the massacre of non-members of this religion. In our time, history has accelerated very much, and the White Brotherhood of Mary Devi Christ has gone all the way from the first proclamation of the doctrine to the enmity with the “Gentiles” in just a couple of years. In principle, this is one of the good criteria for determining a religion (more precisely, a religious community). If it does not preach the carving of non-believers (like Pastafarians, for example), then it is not a religious community, but a community of games, parodies, carnival (cosplay) or some other. In religion, this urge to exterminate non-believers is laid down ontologically. This is done in two main ways: terror (when the religious community is not dominant and is subject to persecution) or repression (when it occupies a dominant position in society).

  3. First of all, I want to say that I love all religions, even if they are not alien to violence, sacrifice, and so on. Our world, alas, is designed in such a way that the inspiration to live is also the inspiration to die and take life.

    The religion that is most committed to nonviolence and non-harm to sentient beings is Jainism. It is for him, and not for Buddhism, that this value is by far the highest.

    However, even Jainism is not without its negative consequences. So, making up about half a percent of the population of India, Jains control almost 80% of the country's economy. Because they are mainly engaged in trade and usury. And they are criticized for the fact that they are responsible, even indirectly, for poor people's children dying from unsanitary conditions and malnutrition.

    My observations lead me to believe that there is no religious or ideological system in general that does not contain contradictions, including ethical ones.

  4. I respect all religions. But if you look at religious historical events and harming someone, then people can kill without any faith, and all religions were created to make it more convenient to manage people based on the commandments and sins, only the Vedic one did not require anything…

  5. Buddhism is not so harmless as it may seem at first glance. Rather the question should have sounded like this:

    How do you feel about religions that do not seek companions, such as Buddhism?

  6. I personally have a normal attitude for the reason that I don't care about them and why would I treat them not normally … However, as long as they behave decently and do not interfere with their sermons in public life and in my personal life… And so I can charge in a tambourine….

  7. Religions in general do not cause evil, evil is caused by their carriers. So I treat the religions themselves, all of them, with interest and respect (I believe that religious texts are collections of the wisdom of the ages, although I don't always agree with everything, but they also provide very “satisfying” food for thought), but I always judge native speakers by their words and actions, because they can think of themselves as servants of God, but in fact be

  8. In addition to Buddhism, only Shinto, the Chinese cult of ancestral worship, comes to mind… and somehow I can't remember anything else.
    I have a normal attitude, even with respect.�
    They all have one thing in common: they are not necessarily imposed on others.
    This does not make them highly spiritual or constructive, but at least they do not lead to an escalation of hatred among their followers. And this is not so small.

    There is, however, still Hinduism, but this is a fairly wide group of different cults, so it is impossible to generalize them. It seems like they don't do much harm either, though… if you include Hare Krishnas in this group, you can find quite different opinions about them, so it is quite a controversial religion in terms of causing/not causing harm. However, as far as I can remember, I have never seen any mention of someone being beheaded for refusing to worship Krishna or Shiva, for example. But if you take the risk and include Hinduism in the list, then I have a moderately negative attitude towards Neem: this immersion in their past/future lives has had a rather negative impact on India.

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