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Eggie's avatar

Why do the people who claim to be closest to God kill one another?

Asked by Eggie (5737points) April 8th, 2011

I am referring to the people of Israel and Afganistan, the Jews and the Christians and the Muslims. They all seem to kill each other in the name of God who represents good. Also on that topic, why does people of the Muslim religion always want to destroy the United States? What is the real story behind that? I fully respect people of all religions, if I am offending anybody I apologize, I am just looking for answers.

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29 Answers

marinelife's avatar

@Eggie In English, the plural of does is do, i.e., “Why do the people . . . ” and “Why do people . . .”

People who have religious zeal justify killing as part of their religion, whether it is OK with the tenets of that faith or not.

Eggie's avatar

@marinelife thanks…how embarrasing.

tedd's avatar

They’re murders and criminals who try to justify their actions with god.

Personally I think god would not be happy about that.

CaptainHarley's avatar

People tend to paint their religion with all their own personal baggage. It’s sad, but true.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I’ve never killed anyone “in the name of God”. But I have ruthlessly murdered spiders in the name of my sanity…

cbloom8's avatar

It’s all a matter of religious superiority – who’s right. I’m not sure which if any religions support killing non-believers, but when you devote your life to something you believe exists on a basis of faith, killing those that don’t believe can easily become a very simple, rational solution.

filmfann's avatar

Even different branches of the same religion do this. Shias kill sunnis, southern baptists rage against penticostals. It’s like the mafia. They always seem to be trying to kill the competition.

flutherother's avatar

Because if you imagine God is on your side you think you can get away with murder.

LuckyGuy's avatar

The University of Michigan has a searchable copy of the Koran on line. (There are many others avaliable.)
Search for the word unbeliever You will find 125 references.

Here are a few quotes for you.

[3.28] Let not the believers take the unbelievers for friends rather than believers; and whoever does this, he shall have nothing of (the guardianship of) Allah, but you should guard yourselves against them, guarding carefully; and Allah makes you cautious of (retribution from) Himself; and to Allah is the eventual coming.

[2.191] And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.

[9.29] Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.

There are too many to mention. You can make up your own mind.

JLeslie's avatar

I think they are afraid. They get so brainwashed that other religions are evil, or enemies, that they feel the need to exterminate those in otherreligions. They believe they are preserving the word of God. The leaders of these groups are murderous criminals, and they get their followers to do the killings. I bet Osama Bin Laden has never personally killed someone with his own hands, he lets the people he brainwashes do it.

Eggie's avatar

But what do they have against the United States?

nicobanks's avatar

Oof… you’ve asked some questions that have very complicated answers, not to mention you’ve revealed some of your own ignorances and prejudices in your questions which must be unravelled before you can begin understanding the answers…

I think it’s great you’re thinking about these things, but there’s no easy answer for you. Please continue to keep an open mind about these questions for your whole life and continue to search for the answers even after people have apparently told you the answer.

My answers are coming up…

Eggie's avatar


nicobanks's avatar

@Eggie Okay, I see I have offended you, and for that I’m sorry. I believe you took what I said in a way I didn’t mean it. Please understand, everyone has prejudices. More important than not having prejudices is recognising your prejudices so that you don’t act on them. But yes, you do have prejudices. “Why do people of the Muslim religion always want to destroy the United States.” That is a clear prejudice, and it’s also incorrect. Of course, you are not the only one guilty of this prejudice. So, get over your pride, because you have nothing to be ashamed of. Denying your guilt in the face of your guilt, however, is something to be ashamed of. Life is a learning experience. Don’t stand in the way of it.

Eggie's avatar

@nicobanks you are right, im sorry. I just got defensive because I dont want to make enemies here. Do you have another answer otherwise.

JLeslie's avatar

@nicobanks I think maybe @Eggie is fairly young, so the language he uses might be less careful, and I also think possibly English is his second language? Which would put him at a distinct dissadvantage in conveying his thoughts (or maybe the mistake a the top was just simply a mistake, goodness knows I make them). Prejudice might be harsh, lets say it was a generalization that you quoted. The OP did try to clarify that he respects all religions, and hopes he did not offend.

nicobanks's avatar

@Eggie It’s okay, I understand, because the word “prejudice” is so often used as an insult but rarely talked about in terms of what it really means, so it makes sense you’d be defensive. On the other hand, I really appreciate that you took the time to read my response, and I’m impressed you were able to get over your emotions so quickly. Most people, myself included, aren’t often able to do that. Congrats!

@JLeslie I don’t think that going easy on the young or uneducated in the way you suggest is a good idea at all. Of course we all make mistakes and we all have limitations but how are we ever to improve or grow if people don’t point out our mistakes and limitations? Maybe “prejudice” is harsh but it’s also the truth in this situation – why water it down? I was really quite offended when I read that statement, but did I yell, insult, swear, rail on, mock? No, I think I was fair, calm, and clear. Not everyone would be so kind – would you rather I let Eggie repeat this mistake in the future and see what reactions he gets that time?

nicobanks's avatar

To answer your first question, “Why do the people who claim to be closest to God kill one another?”

“God” and “good” probably mean very specific things to you. That’s fine, probably it’s even unavoidable: after all, how can you believe in something you don’t have specific ideas about?

But different people have different ideas about what “God” and “good” mean. Even people who share a basic worldview or heritage (like how Jews, Christians, and Muslims are all Abrahamic faiths) can use these words to mean different things. Even people who share the same religion can use these words to mean different things! -just look at Christians who bomb abortion clinics versus, say, Mennonites.

So, on one hand, for some people, the words “God” and “good” mean something close to universal love and acceptance and, if not pacifism, then at least something like non-violence except in cases of self-defense. Point being, evil should be avoided. Maybe you’re one of these.

On the other hand, “God” and “good” for other people can mean righteousness and purity, and that evil should be eradicated. This can even depend on a justification of self-defense, depending on how you conceive of sin and eternal blame/reward. I mean, if you believe that the existence of evil in the world stains all people living in the world, and the only way to remove that stain from yourself – the only way to be rewarded by God – is to do your best to remove the stain from his Creation by killing evildoers, wouldn’t you do that?

In both cases, there’s a shared goal: love from God, acceptance/reward, doing what God loves, etc. It’s the characterizations and internal logic that differ.

Of course, there’s also the possibility that people are lying, insincere. I think it’s safe to say that some people killing in the name of God are insincere, but it would be narrow-minded and foolhearty to assume they all are.

nicobanks's avatar

To answer the question “why do people of the Muslim religion always want to destroy the United States”

They don’t. Aside from news about Al Quaeda, none of the Muslims I’ve encountered in my life want to destroy the U.S. A truer version of this statement might be “Why do some Muslim people and organizations want to destroy the U.S.?”

There have been hundreds of books written on this subject; you could take university courses or even entire degrees on this. You’d have to go back at least 2,000 years to really understand. I haven’t read those books or taken those courses, and my understanding of history is spotty at best, so I’ll give you a short, but true, answer:

The U.S. is very rich and wields power over the rest of the world, particularly over Asia (by which I mean the continent), Africa, and the rest of America. If someone has power over you, and there’s a big disparity between your quality of life and theirs, it’s natural to resent them. While most people in the world are living in such poverty they have no time to think beyond where to get the day’s meal, the Middle East is comparatively comfortable, so they have time to think about it: to build up resentment, to organize dissent. So they do.

crazyivan's avatar

Because religiosity and insanity are closely linked.

And to follow up on @nicobanks point, the hatred for the US is regional, not religious. It just so happens that the region we like to screw over the most (you know, the one with all the oil reserves) is predominantly Muslim. Keep in mind that Iran (a largely secular nation) leads the way in America hating. It’s not a religious thing as much as a geo-political thing.

nicobanks's avatar

@crazyivan What do you mean by that first statement?

crazyivan's avatar

I mean that extreme religious fervor is often an indicator of mental instability. Extreme religiosity is a symptom of a number of mental disorders.

That’s not to say that religious people are insane, of course, but many of the same disorders that can make somebody insane can also make them extremely religious.

Now, I think a strong argument can be made that anybody who believes an invisible space man helped them find their car keys is insane, but that’s a topic for another thread.

Qingu's avatar

Because it’s often exactly what their god supposedly commands.

If anyone secretly entices you—even if it is your brother, your father’s son or* your mother’s son, or your own son or daughter, or the wife you embrace, or your most intimate friend—saying, ‘Let us go and worship other gods’, whom neither you nor your ancestors have known, any of the gods of the peoples that are around you, whether near you or far away from you, from one end of the earth to the other, you must not yield to or heed any such persons. Show them no pity or compassion and do not shield them. But you shall surely kill them; your own hand shall be first against them to execute them, and afterwards the hand of all the people. Stone them to death for trying to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. Then all Israel shall hear and be afraid, and never again do any such wickedness. —Dt. 13:6

When you draw near to a town to fight against it, offer it terms of peace. If it accepts your terms of peace and surrenders to you, then all the people in it shall serve you in forced labour. If it does not submit to you peacefully, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it; and when the Lord your God gives it into your hand, you shall put all its males to the sword. You may, however, take as your booty the women, the children, livestock, and everything else in the town, all its spoil. You may enjoy the spoil of your enemies, which the Lord your God has given you. Thus you shall treat all the towns that are very far from you, which are not towns of the nations here. But as for the towns of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you must not let anything that breathes remain alive. You shall annihilate them—the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites—just as the Lord your God has commanded, so that they may not teach you to do all the abhorrent things that they do for their gods, and you thus sin against the Lord your God. —Dt. 20:10

The Quran does a little better, in that it doesn’t explicitly command genocide and even tells you not to start hostilities. (“Little” is rather an understatement) But if those infidels start shit? Kill them all!

Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors. And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers. —Sura 2:190

Pandora's avatar

Personally I will never believe it really has to do with any God or religion. Most of these crimes done in the name of their faith has more to do with them being a fanatic and easily infuenced by other fanatics who feel they need a mission and purpose to exist. The only thing that really matters to them is their own ego. God and or religion is the scape goat they choose to use. I truly believe that if there was no God or religion to build upon for them to commit their crimes, they would find another way to justify their insanity.

josie's avatar

If they believe in ghosts, they must be stupid. Stupid people will do anything and are thus dangerous.

Qingu's avatar

@Pandora, do you think good people are influenced by the content of their religion?

More broadly, do you think the content of any ideology matters, at all, in influencing how people behave?

Berserker's avatar

A lot of people, especially in some of those places you mentioned grow up in a society where religion is prominent everywhere. It becomes their morality, virtues and tradition. Their way of life. This is what defines them, and opposition or difference is not welcome. The same can be said of Western Christianity not even 500 years ago.

ddude1116's avatar

narcissism and desperation

JLeslie's avatar

@nicobanks My point is the OP had some awareness in his original statement that it could be offensive. If you wanted to help him with his wording, make a suggestion, but you sort of came after him I felt.

People use the word prejudice in different ways, the word is tricky. Some use it almost synonmously with being racist or hateful, which I feel is an incorrect usage, but the word prejudice can be loaded for some. I feel in your orginal statement you threw the word out there without clarifying specifically what you meant.

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