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Blackberry's avatar

What if the bible, qur'an etc. didn't have so much violence and discrimination in them and actually just preached peace, love, and worship? How would people be affected by it then and now?

Asked by Blackberry (29398 points ) October 1st, 2010

How much of the bible was actually used to justify things in the past on present now?

If these religious texts were written differently in a manner that was more benevolent, would there have been less violence and chaos?

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20 Answers

TexasDude's avatar

The Bible and Qur’an were products of their time. It’s really difficult to imagine them through a modern, more civilized, feel-good lens without causing them to depart from what they were originally intended to be.

Jaxk's avatar

I tend to agree with @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard. The world was quite different when they were written. Slaves were common, women were property, violence was the norm, and few lived beyond thier 30s. Judging these texts by today’s standards, simply doesn’t work.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

It would be too much like a chick flick, and not enough men would subscribe to it (in the admittedly male-dominated culture on Earth today) to make it effective.

TexasDude's avatar

@Jaxk sums up what I was trying to say much more effectively than I did.

Blackberry's avatar

Oh I see what you mean, it wouldn’t matter how it was written today because people already disregard this stuff.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard @Jaxk I just feel like that the world isn’t any more civilized in some places, these days.
@Blackberry Violence and horrid stuff would still occur and given different excuses.

TexasDude's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir, and you’d be right. But overall. we’ve made leaps and bounds as a species. The world is still a very rough place. But the violence, terror, slavery, etc. that was prevalent in the Biblical and Medieval world is no longer nearly as pervasive.

LuckyGuy's avatar

A bible written for today would have things like “always use virus protection”, and “don’t spread email viruses”. There would be diatribes about how one woman sent an email to her friends and they sent to their friends and how the world servers were flooded and there was darkness in the land.
It would have writings and story lines about pollution, radiation, nuclear weapons, drugs, human trafficking. Stories of fame overload and facebook overexposure.
It would not be printed on a printing press. You’d just down load from Apple and Amazon.

Of course the basic Golden Rule you learned in pre-school still applies.

crazyivan's avatar

I don’t think it would make much of a difference. Most of the things I see modern Chiristians railing against (gay marriage, abortion, gun ownership, stem-cell research, euthenasia) aren’t mentioned in the bible at all. One could be forgiven for believing that most religious people don’t pay much attention to what’s written in their holy books.

kess's avatar

There is no fault with the writings themselves, but with the heart of the one who caused them to be what they are.

And to take away all one eyed hypocrisy , it is also true that these very same writing also motivated much good in this world.

There are writing far more cruel than those you mentioned and none of them have the effect on the massed as these simply because they were not placed is a place of importance as the one mentioned.

Where then do you lay blame?
The hearts of people my friend and start with the only one you actually know.

Jeruba's avatar

It could be argued that you have to establish common ground and speak to people where they are. Where they are is and has always been turmoil and conflict. It’s not always on the scale of armed warfare; it could just be a quarrel with a neighbor or a spouse.

The texts of the Bible are partially works of history. It’s hard to tell history without recording wars and conflicts.

The warring tribes of the Bible have probably been interpreted as analogues for the battling sides in just about every kind of dispute you can imagine; and people invariably see themselves as God’s chosen and the other guys as the enemy. Recounting God’s supposed role in those conflicts is a way of asserting his power and also of defending a claim of righteousness: if it’s us against them and God sides with us, we must be right. (Bob Dylan covered this point nicely.) People are always more interested in justifying their own positions than in seeing justice in the claims of the opposition.

Consider books that do preach only peace, love, and worship. How effective have they been at changing things?

everephebe's avatar

No, you can’t think about it that way. It doesn’t work well from a marketing standpoint: violence, slaying, smiting, total destruction, incest, gore, and you know “action” sells. Sells/converts, whatever.

Good doesn’t sell, love isn’t enough of a plot point for the male readers (a sizable demographic)... unless it comes with pictures.

All of these books have been used to justify things, you can quote anything in a holy book to make whatever you did “ok,” at least in your own mind.

Ok, ok, to be honest…. Actually peace, love and understanding might work, but apparently either no one has thought of writing such a text or it wasn’t popular when they did.

How would people be affected, well, positively I should think. Less violence and chaos? Yeah probably…. I guess.

Jaxk's avatar

@everephebe

Actually peace and love are not very inspiring. They used it in the 60’s and 70’s but mostly as a line to get someone into bed. The flag burning and riots had the biggest impacts. That’s what got people on their feet. Peace and love got them on the backs.

Jabe73's avatar

They were books written by ancient people with a primitive mindset. There were some individuals back even before the time of Christ that speculated the earth may actually be a sphere (not flat or a circle) but this was a minority viewpoint at the time that ended up being proven correctly later on. If you ever read the Old and New Testiments God seems to have bi-polar disorder.

Well trying to answer your question here doing onto others as you would have them do onto you along with sowing what you reap are peaceful messages already described in any bible you would read but they always get overruled by faith over works so no one can boast and no one coming through the father but by me (Jesus). I don’t know much about the Quran. I do not think much would change however, people will always find a way to justify their hatred of something they don’t agree with, example here would be homosexuality. If antigay bigots could not use religion to justify their already pre-existing hatred than they would find another way (such as through scientific research, etc). Same with all the other issues. Nothing would change here. People will always find a way to pull a rabbit out of the hat whether through religion or other means.

ratboy's avatar

They would have been forgotten long ago.

Aster's avatar

@Blackberry You don’t think the Bible preaches love? No mention of loving your neighbor? Or loving children?
I can see now how you’d look at it as an instrument of hate and violence!

everephebe's avatar

@Aster Read the first half, that will answer your questions.

MilkyWay's avatar

i strongly suggest you try to read the full quote from those two books that made you think they spread violence.
sometimes people just read a bit of it and think ’ hell this books practically evil!’
like for example if it said john go and kill that man for he raped and killed your mother, you might just read the part john go and kill that man.
wont blame people for reading just that part though, these books can be difficult to read lol

crazyivan's avatar

But study after study does show that the atheists and agnostics tend to know more about the actual verbiage of holy texts than the people who actually believe that they are the word of God.

mattbrowne's avatar

Jesus triggered violence because he was a benevolent reformer challenging the status quo. At the time societies weren’t ready for this. But the idea survived. Societies evolve. Religions evolve.

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