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History of Religious Book Banning





BinahZ
The history of book banning and burning on religious grounds is an interesting one. Makes one appreciate the current freedom of literature we currently enjoy. It personally makes me very aware of how important it is to protect it. Book burning after the advent of the printing press became symbolic as the large volume of books produced diminished the possibility of total eradication of the offensive prose.
Prapproval of all books by govt was one method used to deal with this issue. The church and the reigning govt were usually intertwined in power and purpose. The roman catholic church created the first
"list" of banned books called the Index Librorum Prohibitorum or Index of Prohibited Books in 1559. The list provided a guide to publishers as to what should and should not be printed. It may be suprising many to know this list was not put aside until 1966 at which time it contained over 5,000 titles. On this list were various "outlaw" versions of the Bible, many were considered to be basically of demonic influence with the intent of undermining the "true church". The writings of Martin Luther, Tyndale, Calvin all visited this list. Needless to say most Jewish writings, including the Jewish Bible, Talmud and many writings of the sages were forbade and/or burned. It was a crime to posess such writings. In 1239, Pope Gregory IX ordered all Jewish books burned.
Bald, 1998, p.277
Quote:
The Talmud was on the original list of the Church's Index. A revision was later added in 1564 by the Council of Trent that read, "all works of Jewish doctrine were banned, except those permitted by the pope after the Jewish community offered a substantial financial "gift." ." Western Christianity attitudes towards the Talmud changed after the Second Vatican in 1965 that emphasized the common connection between Christianity and Jews.
Indi
BinahZ wrote:
It may be suprising many to know this list was not put aside until 1966 at which time it contained over 5,000 titles.

That's actually true, crazy as it sounds. ^_^; And it's not like the Galileo apology, where they'd stopped calling him a heretic centuries before, but never got around to a formal apology until 1992.* No, they were still updating the Index as late as the 1940s and 1950s.

Most of the stuff on the list was pretty stupid - various religious pamphlets and writings that contain claims and ideas about religious crap that is counter to the officially accepted religious crap of the Holy See.

But there was some stuff on the Index that was... interesting:
  • Les miserables, Victor Hugo (added 1864)
  • Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert (added 1864)
  • Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant (added 1793)
  • Principles of political economy with some of their applications to social philosophy, John Stuart Mill (added 1856) (LOLWUT?)
Sartre is on it, too, and Jeremy Bentham and Diderot (big surprise there ^_^; )

* Incidentally, while Pope JP2 was officially apologizing to Galileo for his treatment, one of his cardinals was justifying it! Yes, even in the 1990's, a cardinal was justifying the Church's treatment of Galileo. Sound wacky? It is. Unfortunately... that story has a... somewhat disturbing ending. The cardinal that, in the 1990s, justified the torture and abuse of an old man for speaking the scientific truth... that cardinal is now Pope Benedict XVI.)
farmerdave
BinahZ and Indi,

Thanks for the info - interesting stuff. I don't think the title for this discussion is accurate, though. It should probably be entitled "A History of the Roman Catholic Church's Book Banning" because these bans are not representative of all religions (it is hard to find much that is representative of all religions). Therefore, lumping all religions together in this discussion is not fair to any of them. Likewise, it is not representative of all Christianity (or even the majority). I personally disagree with the papacy on a very long list of items. My list is longer than Martin Luther's 95 because I have the benefit of another 500 years or so of history of the Catholic church misrepresenting Christ and His followers in deed and creed. So, I would suggest that the word "Religious" be replaced with "the Roman Catholic Church's".

But, thanks again for sharing what you have learned.
BinahZ
farmerdave,
The reason I chose the term "religious" is that the RRC did it as a religion, and prior to martin luther, they were the only show in town basically. You may have had a few radicals , but for the most part when u spoke of christian religion it was the catholic church. Protestantism came from Catholicism as much as some would like to dispute the fact. The church of England likewise came from the catholic church.
As is said:
Quote:
All roads lead to rome

I believe this is an ancient proverb that remains true when speaking of christianity.
ocalhoun
BinahZ wrote:
Protestantism came from Catholicism as much as some would like to dispute the fact.

Nobody disputes that fact.

The protestants split off from the Catholic church to protest the many problems of it, and to create a new, less corrupt, church. Though there have been a few protestant abuses, they have a much better record than the Catholic church.

BinahZ wrote:

Quote:
All roads lead to rome

I believe this is an ancient proverb that remains true when speaking of christianity.

It would be better to say "all roads lead through Rome" in that case. The church didn't start in Rome, after all.
BinahZ
Perhaps a better term would be [like to forget] rather than "dispute" Idea
I also differ that the christian church did come from Rome, not through it.
ocalhoun
BinahZ wrote:

I also differ that the christian church did come from Rome, not through it.


What makes you think the church started in Rome? That is, perhaps, the first place it began to take on its 'modern' form, though, I suppose.
And I guess you might mean that it started within the Roman empire? The capitol of Rome, itself, however, surely wasn't the location of the first 'church'.
BinahZ
I say it started in Rome as the Nicene creed, Constantine etc. are all the foundation of what we call christianity today. Disputing its existance prior to that is another subject for another forum post, if you would like to go there, I would be happy to comment at that time. Cool
deanhills
BinahZ wrote:
I say it started in Rome as the Nicene creed, Constantine etc. are all the foundation of what we call christianity today. Disputing its existance prior to that is another subject for another forum post, if you would like to go there, I would be happy to comment at that time. Cool
To me common sense would say Jerusalem. When Jesus was crucified and his apostles had to go out and spread the word?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_history
BinahZ
deanhills said:
Quote:
To me common sense would say Jerusalem. When Jesus was crucified and his apostles had to go out and spread the word?

[/quote]

Common sense is subjective in this case. Many do not believe there is much if any connection to any religion that came out of Jerusalem and chrisitianity.
As is referenced in my post re: James the brother of Jesus, I and many others view what was practiced by those other than Paul in the nt as not anything other than a messsiah focused form of Judaism. Torah observant (Frum) Jews did not all suddenly become Baptist ( or any other christian denomination).
Christianity as it is known today most definately came from Rome and was founded after 326 ad. Perhaps a seperate thread could lead to further discussion if u so choose.
Edit:FYI not trying to backseat admin or anything by suggesting a seperate thread. I just thought of it as a suggestion to further a topic that might be of interest to others , but hidden under this thread heading. Im still learning the exact etiquette here.
Indi
You know, all this Roman Catholic focus is a red herring. The first exampled that happened to pop up happened to be Roman Catholic. So what? It's not like book-banning is something rare to religious groups.

Here is a study done in 1996 about Protestant book-banning. To add insult to injury, the study's conclusion is that the reason the Protestant groups ban books is not political - as some religious apologists like to claim ("Oh, they ban those books to maintain the Church's power, not because of their religious beliefs.") - but was, in fact, entirely religious.

There was one interesting observation - at least i found it interesting. Whereas the Roman Catholic Church put books on the ILP due to dangerous theological claims, the American Protestant book banners apparently do it for dangerous moral claims. To me, that suggests the Roman Catholic book banners have a level of sophistication that is a cut above the Protestant book banners. Why? Because - if you're a religious person - real threats to your belief are theological threats. They cut right to the very foundation of the entire belief system. Moral threats are just an annoyance - peripheral threats at best - and if your theology is solid, you don't need to worry about them. The Roman Catholic Church was smart enough to understand this (read up on what the criteria to get on the ILP was - it wasn't always followed intelligently, but at least it was stated clearly). Apparently the Protestant book banners aren't.
deanhills
Indi wrote:
There was one interesting observation - at least i found it interesting. Whereas the Roman Catholic Church put books on the ILP due to dangerous theological claims, the American Protestant book banners apparently do it for dangerous moral claims. To me, that suggests the Roman Catholic book banners have a level of sophistication that is a cut above the Protestant book banners. Why? Because - if you're a religious person - real threats to your belief are theological threats. They cut right to the very foundation of the entire belief system. Moral threats are just an annoyance - peripheral threats at best - and if your theology is solid, you don't need to worry about them. The Roman Catholic Church was smart enough to understand this (read up on what the criteria to get on the ILP was - it wasn't always followed intelligently, but at least it was stated clearly). Apparently the Protestant book banners aren't.
Aren't theological claims moral claims as well? What would the difference be? I would say that the Catholics have much more stringent rules of obedience seated in ancient catholic dogma and rigid rules, that being the reason that Protestants broke away hundreds of years ago, it however to my mind does not make the Catholics more sophisticated, rather more stringent, dogmatic, and inflexible. For obvious Catholic theological reasons, as per your explanation above.
Indi
deanhills wrote:
Indi wrote:
There was one interesting observation - at least i found it interesting. Whereas the Roman Catholic Church put books on the ILP due to dangerous theological claims, the American Protestant book banners apparently do it for dangerous moral claims. To me, that suggests the Roman Catholic book banners have a level of sophistication that is a cut above the Protestant book banners. Why? Because - if you're a religious person - real threats to your belief are theological threats. They cut right to the very foundation of the entire belief system. Moral threats are just an annoyance - peripheral threats at best - and if your theology is solid, you don't need to worry about them. The Roman Catholic Church was smart enough to understand this (read up on what the criteria to get on the ILP was - it wasn't always followed intelligently, but at least it was stated clearly). Apparently the Protestant book banners aren't.
Aren't theological claims moral claims as well? What would the difference be? I would say that the Catholics have much more stringent rules of obedience seated in ancient catholic dogma and rigid rules, that being the reason that Protestants broke away hundreds of years ago, it however to my mind does not make the Catholics more sophisticated, rather more stringent, dogmatic, and inflexible. For obvious Catholic theological reasons, as per your explanation above.

Theological claims are claims about theological ideas, like, "God exists", "Heaven is a real place/state of being" or "If you lie and have lots of sex you go to Hell".

Moral claims are claims about morality and which acts are moral, like, "Morality is subjective", "Lying is immoral" or "Immoral acts warrant punishment".

Religious folk have always tried to co-opt morality into religion, but it really has nothing to do with it. And it certainly has nothing to do with theology.

There are rare cases where a statement could be moral or theological, and you have to look at context to know what is being talked about, like "God says lying is immoral." Whether that's a theological statement or a moral one depends on whether you're talking about God or the immorality of lying. For example, if you are telling me about God - "God is great. God likes cheese. God says lying is immoral. God plays guitar left-handed" - then the statement is a theological one, because you are telling me a fact about God (you're not saying that lying is immoral, you're just saying what God thinks about it). On the other hand if you are telling me about the immorality of lying - "Lying is immoral because it causes harm. Lying is immoral because if everyone did it, civilization could not exist. God says lying is immoral. There are no situations where lying is moral" - then the statement is a moral one, because you're telling me a fact about morality (you're not telling me about God, you're telling me about the immorality of lying, and just mentioned God's opinion to support your claim). To my knowledge, there is no statement that is both moral and theological.

The fact that Catholics burn theological texts rather than moral ones has nothing to do with them being more stringent or dogmatic, it has to do with them being smarter. Suppose that you were very concerned with protecting capitalism, and you were in charge of deciding which books to ban. Would you ban books that advocated communism? Or would you ban books that advocated swinging ("open marriages")? Clearly the logical choice is to ban the books on communism - they are the books that threaten the foundation of what you hold dear. You may think swinging is abhorrent, but it's just that - abhorrent - it's not dangerous to capitalism.

The Catholic censors are smart enough to realize this, and they went after books that threatened the fundamentals - books that challenged the very nature of their religion. The Protestants mentioned in that paper are dumb. Going after books that are just dirty, and not dangerous, means they are wasting their resources fighting the wrong targets.
BinahZ
The catholic list was only used as a convenient example.
I in no way think they are the only ones guilty of book banning or burning.
But I do stand by the premise that they are the root of christianity and
protestants dont fall all that far from the tree. So not suprising they would follow the catholic patterns.
farmerdave
BinahZ wrote:
The catholic list was only used as a convenient example.
I in no way think they are the only ones guilty of book banning or burning.
But I do stand by the premise that they are the root of christianity and
protestants dont fall all that far from the tree. So not suprising they would follow the catholic patterns.


Sorry, but deanhills had it right for 100 points. Christianity started in Jerusalem and spread all over the world. Read the book of Acts, 1st and 2nd century historians, the early church fathers, and the New Testament letters. The Catholic church was a late comer to the scene. Their claim that Peter was the first pope is entirely bogus. The Bible doesn't say that Peter is the rock on which the church is built, but that Jesus is (you would have to be able to read koine Greek or detailed articles about it to get it). Nor was Peter ever affiliated with anything like that. This is their claim which they use to state that the Catholic church started with the apostles. The Roman Catholic church didn't come along until the 2nd or 3rd century. There have always been Christians not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church who held to the Bible as their rule of life and faith. Even when the Roman Catholic Church seemed to rule the world there were many such Christians. The problem is that due to heavy persecution from the RCC, they met in private. It wasn't until the reformation that these Christians became a lot bolder and came out of hiding.

As for book bannings. I don't really care. When a panel of 12 people decide they don't want a book, so what?? That doesn't mean that they represent me or you. We may agree with them. We may not. They simply are not representative of the whole.
deanhills
Indi wrote:
The Catholic censors are smart enough to realize this, and they went after books that threatened the fundamentals - books that challenged the very nature of their religion. The Protestants mentioned in that paper are dumb. Going after books that are just dirty, and not dangerous, means they are wasting their resources fighting the wrong targets.
I'm sorry Indi, I have to disagree with you on this one. I can see real sense in banning "dirty books". I can't figure out what the Catholics are doing. Fortunately the rest of the world can't get burnt at the stake as they used to do in old days.
BinahZ
farmerdave wrote:

Quote:
Sorry, but deanhills had it right for 100 points. Christianity started in Jerusalem and spread all over the world. Read the book of Acts, 1st and 2nd century historians, the early church fathers, and the New Testament letters. The Catholic church was a late comer to the scene.


farmerdave I disagree on this unless your speaking of the gnostics , the jewish followers of jesus (James), or one of the other many sects that existed at that time. But what we call christianity today had its origins in rome. I know the nt story and have read many of the early church fathers (apologist), Tertullian,Eusebius, clement, polycarp etc. I also know Philo who was a contemporary of the time. The varied forms of messianic religions existing prior to the council of Nicea were in no way comparable to christianity as we know it.
Klaw 2
farmerdave wrote:
BinahZ and Indi,

Thanks for the info - interesting stuff. I don't think the title for this discussion is accurate, though. It should probably be entitled "A History of the Roman Catholic Church's Book Banning" because these bans are not representative of all religions (it is hard to find much that is representative of all religions). Therefore, lumping all religions together in this discussion is not fair to any of them. Likewise, it is not representative of all Christianity (or even the majority). I personally disagree with the papacy on a very long list of items. My list is longer than Martin Luther's 95 because I have the benefit of another 500 years or so of history of the Catholic church misrepresenting Christ and His followers in deed and creed. So, I would suggest that the word "Religious" be replaced with "the Roman Catholic Church's".

But, thanks again for sharing what you have learned.


Hmm why? Almost all religions (or rather members of them) have burned some books or took part in censorship.
pick your favourite religion from here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_burning
A very well known and recent example the burning of harry potter books.
farmerdave
Klaw 2 wrote:

Hmm why? Almost all religions (or rather members of them) have burned some books or took part in censorship.
pick your favourite religion fro here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_burning
A very well known and recent example the burning of harry potter books.


The big assumption our culture makes is that all religions are essentially the same. I entirely disagree. Rather than argue point by point through everything with you, I'm just going to post this satirical poem called "Creed" by Steve Turner. I like the whole poem, but the part in bold immediately applies to the discussion.

Quote:
"Creed "
by Steve Turner


We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin

We believe everything is OK

as long as you don't hurt anyone

to the best of your definition of hurt,

and to the best of your knowledge.



We believe in sex before, during, and after marriage.

We believe in the therapy of sin.

We believe that adultery is fun.

We believe that sodomy’s OK.

We believe that taboos are taboo.



We believe that everything's getting better

despite evidence to the contrary.

The evidence must be investigated

And you can prove anything with evidence.



We believe there's something in horoscopes

UFO's and bent spoons.

Jesus was a good man just like Buddha,

Mohammed, and ourselves.

He was a good moral teacher though we think

His good morals were bad.



We believe that all religions are basically the same-

at least the one that we read was.

They all believe in love and goodness.

They only differ on matters of creation,

sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.



We believe that after death comes the Nothing

Because when you ask the dead what happens

they say nothing.

If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then its

compulsory heaven for all

excepting perhaps

Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Kahn



We believe in Masters and Johnson

What's selected is average.

What's average is normal.

What's normal is good.



We believe in total disarmament.

We believe there are direct links between warfare and

bloodshed.

Americans should beat their guns into tractors .

And the Russians would be sure to follow.



We believe that man is essentially good.

It's only his behavior that lets him down.

This is the fault of society.

Society is the fault of conditions.

Conditions are the fault of society.



We believe that each man must find the truth that

is right for him.

Reality will adapt accordingly.

The universe will readjust.

History will alter.

We believe that there is no absolute truth

excepting the truth

that there is no absolute truth.



We believe in the rejection of creeds,

And the flowering of individual thought.



If chance be

the Father of all flesh,

disaster is his rainbow in the sky

and when you hear



State of Emergency!

Sniper Kills Ten!

Troops on Rampage!

Whites go Looting!

Bomb Blasts School!

It is but the sound of man

worshipping his maker.
SonLight
BinahZ wrote:
farmerdave wrote:

Quote:
Sorry, but deanhills had it right for 100 points. Christianity started in Jerusalem and spread all over the world. Read the book of Acts, 1st and 2nd century historians, the early church fathers, and the New Testament letters. The Catholic church was a late comer to the scene.


farmerdave I disagree on this unless your speaking of the gnostics , the jewish followers of jesus (James), or one of the other many sects that existed at that time. But what we call christianity today had its origins in rome. I know the nt story and have read many of the early church fathers (apologist), Tertullian,Eusebius, clement, polycarp etc. I also know Philo who was a contemporary of the time. The varied forms of messianic religions existing prior to the council of Nicea were in no way comparable to christianity as we know it.


How about the Orthodox (Eastern churches)? They developed quite independently of Rome, and represent at least one third of Christians in the world today. Unfortunately their history and culture are not well known in most parts of Western Europe and America, where we still suffer to a certain extent from the long-lasting cencorship of the Roman Church.

Of course Christinity was much different due to the power of Rome. Some may feel that they invented the "real" Christianity, but others feel that what John was supervising in Ephesus was as real as it gets, and that Rome greatly damaged Christianity.
Klaw 2
farmerdave wrote:
Klaw 2 wrote:

Hmm why? Almost all religions (or rather members of them) have burned some books or took part in censorship.
pick your favourite religion fro here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_burning
A very well known and recent example the burning of harry potter books.


The big assumption our culture makes is that all religions are essentially the same. I entirely disagree. Rather than argue point by point through everything with you, I'm just going to post this satirical poem called "Creed" by Steve Turner. I like the whole poem, but the part in bold immediately applies to the discussion.

"Creed "
by Steve Turner

We believe that all religions are basically the same-

at least the one that we read was.

They all believe in love and goodness.

They only differ on matters of creation,

sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.


I'm not saying that all religions are the same but they do have in common that members from al religions have taken part in censorship.
And I still think the title shouldn't be changed. And frankly a poem by someone is not really a strong argument.
On a other note perhaps it would be better if you put the poem in quote tags and made the non essential parts smaller it takes up a lot of space on my screen...
BinahZ
SonLight siad
Quote:
How about the Orthodox (Eastern churches)? They developed quite independently of Rome, and represent at least one third of Christians in the world today. Unfortunately their history and culture are not well known in most parts of Western Europe and America, where we still suffer to a certain extent from the long-lasting cencorship of the Roman Church.

Of course Christinity was much different due to the power of Rome. Some may feel that they invented the "real" Christianity, but others feel that what John was supervising in Ephesus was as real as it gets, and that Rome greatly damaged Christianity.


The Orthodox Eastern Churches were not seperate actually till a thousand years ago."The Great Schism"
wikipedia says:
Quote:
The East-West Schism, or the Great Schism, divided medieval Christendom into Eastern (Greek) and Western (Latin) branches, which later became known as the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, respectively. Relations between East and West had long been embittered by political and ecclesiastical differences and theological disputes.[1] Pope Leo IX and Patriarch of Constantinople Michael Cerularius heightened the conflict by suppressing Greek and Latin in their respective domains. In 1054, Roman legates traveled to Cerularius to deny him the title Ecumenical Patriarch and to insist that he recognize the Church of Rome's claim to be the head and mother of the churches.[1] Cerularius refused. The leader of the Latin contingent, Cardinal Humbert, excommunicated Cerularius, while Cerularius in return excommunicated Cardinal Humbert and other legates. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East-West_Schism


Actually history says that the Eastern Church developed as part of the Roman one, and then a division came at a later date. They have a shared history of several hundred years.
liljp617
farmerdave wrote:
Klaw 2 wrote:

Hmm why? Almost all religions (or rather members of them) have burned some books or took part in censorship.
pick your favourite religion fro here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_burning
A very well known and recent example the burning of harry potter books.


The big assumption our culture makes is that all religions are essentially the same. I entirely disagree. Rather than argue point by point through everything with you, I'm just going to post this satirical poem called "Creed" by Steve Turner. I like the whole poem, but the part in bold immediately applies to the discussion.

"Creed "
by Steve Turner


We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin

We believe everything is OK

as long as you don't hurt anyone

to the best of your definition of hurt,

and to the best of your knowledge.



We believe in sex before, during, and after marriage.

We believe in the therapy of sin.

We believe that adultery is fun.

We believe that sodomy’s OK.

We believe that taboos are taboo.



We believe that everything's getting better

despite evidence to the contrary.

The evidence must be investigated

And you can prove anything with evidence.



We believe there's something in horoscopes

UFO's and bent spoons.

Jesus was a good man just like Buddha,

Mohammed, and ourselves.

He was a good moral teacher though we think

His good morals were bad.



We believe that all religions are basically the same-

at least the one that we read was.

They all believe in love and goodness.

They only differ on matters of creation,

sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.



We believe that after death comes the Nothing

Because when you ask the dead what happens

they say nothing.

If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then its

compulsory heaven for all

excepting perhaps

Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Kahn



We believe in Masters and Johnson

What's selected is average.

What's average is normal.

What's normal is good.



We believe in total disarmament.

We believe there are direct links between warfare and

bloodshed.

Americans should beat their guns into tractors .

And the Russians would be sure to follow.



We believe that man is essentially good.

It's only his behavior that lets him down.

This is the fault of society.

Society is the fault of conditions.

Conditions are the fault of society.



We believe that each man must find the truth that

is right for him.

Reality will adapt accordingly.

The universe will readjust.

History will alter.

We believe that there is no absolute truth

excepting the truth

that there is no absolute truth.



We believe in the rejection of creeds,

And the flowering of individual thought.



If chance be

the Father of all flesh,

disaster is his rainbow in the sky

and when you hear



State of Emergency!

Sniper Kills Ten!

Troops on Rampage!

Whites go Looting!

Bomb Blasts School!

It is but the sound of man

worshipping his maker.


That would be nice if it represented most people this forum.

You may be right, our culture/society may think religion is relatively the same across the board. That's because most people in our culture do not question their own religion, they don't research other religions, they don't even research their own. Of course they're going to think they're mostly the same, because they're too ignorant of their own religion and other world religions to make distinctions...mostly because they're lazy and think they have it right.

I do recall though, on a couple of occasions here, people writing in their post that all religion is the same; and those people immediately had multiple replies saying they were, quite plainly, wrong.
Vrythramax
Can people please stop quoting long scrolling posts with out editing a little...it makes it very hard to follow the thread.
deanhills
farmerdave wrote:
The big assumption our culture makes is that all religions are essentially the same. I entirely disagree.
I agree with you. If they were, we would not have had as many wars as we had in Europe, nor our current major differences of opinions. There is much more tolerance than during the dark ages in Europe, but the major differences are still there.
farmerdave
deanhills wrote:
farmerdave wrote:
The big assumption our culture makes is that all religions are essentially the same. I entirely disagree.
I agree with you. If they were, we would not have had as many wars as we had in Europe, nor our current major differences of opinions. There is much more tolerance than during the dark ages in Europe, but the major differences are still there.


deanhills,

Thanks for the agreement. However, I would disagree with your next assumption that religion has been the cause of many wars. Atheistic regimes (primarily from the last century) have caused a lot more bloodshed than has ever been seen in the history of man. The main cause for war has been greed for land or resources or egotistical mania or belief in a political system or clash of cultures (religion being only one of many components that make up a culture), not "we worship this way and you worship that way". What I would like to see from somebody who disagrees with me is a list of all of the supposed religious wars with a breakdown by date, religion, and body count for each one. Is it possible that these alleged religious wars could even come close in bloodshed to what atheism + totalitarianism + authoritarianism has brought to the world? I doubt it (if you disagree, please prove it).

I think it would also be important to note that bloodshed is readily found within Islam. It has been spilling blood ever since the days Mohammed and his fellow thieving, murderous terrorists were ambushing caravans as they traveled through the desert. So, if we are able to compile a thorough list, we should find this theme didn't stop with Mohammed.

David
farmerdave
Klaw 2 wrote:

I'm not saying that all religions are the same but they do have in common that members from all religions have taken part in censorship.
And I still think the title shouldn't be changed. And frankly a poem by someone is not really a strong argument.
On a other note perhaps it would be better if you put the poem in quote tags and made the non essential parts smaller it takes up a lot of space on my screen...


Klaw 2,

Perhaps members from all religions have taken part in censorship (though we haven't proven this point, so it is only an assumption as of now). Maybe the title is fine, but a breakdown of censorship by religion would satisfy me and anyone else who may find the grouping a little too broad. What would also be nice to see is the censorship atheists in history have brought. Although many believe that freedom from religion (in particular Christianity) results in more liberties and less prejudices and an improvement in society at large, I believe the opposite to be true. Atheism has brought unparalleled violence and oppression

In my original quote of the poem, I didn't say the poem was a good argument. I presented it as a cultural critique, one that I believe is fairly accurate, but a cultural critique and not an argument. You don't have to believe it, but we live in an utterly confused culture that can't think straight on much of anything of importance. Sorry, though, for the excessive spacing that was in it.


David
liljp617
farmerdave wrote:
deanhills wrote:
farmerdave wrote:
The big assumption our culture makes is that all religions are essentially the same. I entirely disagree.
I agree with you. If they were, we would not have had as many wars as we had in Europe, nor our current major differences of opinions. There is much more tolerance than during the dark ages in Europe, but the major differences are still there.

What I would like to see from somebody who disagrees with me is a list of all of the supposed religious wars with a breakdown by date, religion, and body count for each one. Is it possible that these alleged religious wars could even come close in bloodshed to what atheism + totalitarianism + authoritarianism has brought to the world? I doubt it (if you disagree, please prove it).


If anyone is to take the time to create such a list, perhaps you could do the same for your claims? Perhaps not even a comprehensive list, just some of it.

Atheism =/= Totalitarianism or Authoritarianism.

I'd like one example of a war or mass act of bloodshed done in the name of atheism. And war being done "in the name of" is the important detail, not what the background theological views of the people committing said actions are. Please don't say Stalin either, whatever you do, just please don't say Stalin (or Hitler).
Klaw 2
farmerdave wrote:

Klaw 2,

Perhaps members from all religions have taken part in censorship (though we haven't proven this point, so it is only an assumption as of now).

I gave a link to a list and it ain't an assumption as of now, it's like common knowledge. But since you are not looking at it ... I can't make a list right now maybe later... after 3 months it will be ready by then the list with "everything" will be so frigging long... but seriously there is no plausible way to make such a list without spending an enormous amount of time on it.

farmerdave wrote:
Maybe the title is fine, but a breakdown of censorship by religion would satisfy me and anyone else who may find the grouping a little too broad. What would also be nice to see is the censorship atheists in history have brought.

Atheist's most likely also have burned books and if it were to be discussed here on this forum it would be fine by me. And if you have an example feel free to discuss it here.

farmerdave wrote:
Although many believe that freedom from religion (in particular Christianity) results in more liberties and less prejudices and an improvement in society at large, I believe the opposite to be true. Atheism has brought unparalleled violence and oppression.

Really? How many times have atheist killed and oppressed people because they didn't stop being religious? And compare that to the amount of killing has been done in the name of gods? I doubt there will be an evidence in favour of this statement.
An example in the US the most religious states have the highest crime rate, I think you can draw an entirely different conclusion about it.
As for oppression there have been some recent states that have oppressed and had atheist leaders (communists). BUT the did it because they wanted power and for example in Russia the tsar was the religious leader and priest conveyed the message from the tsar to the people, and some communist therefore saw priests/monks/nuns as enemies and so a lot of them got killed.

farmerdave wrote:
In my original quote of the poem, I didn't say the poem was a good argument. I presented it as a cultural critique, one that I believe is fairly accurate, but a cultural critique and not an argument. You don't have to believe it, but we live in an utterly confused culture that can't think straight on much of anything of importance. Sorry, though, for the excessive spacing that was in it.


David
ocalhoun
Klaw 2 wrote:

An example in the US the most religious states have the highest crime rate, I think you can draw an entirely different conclusion about it.

So, are you trying to say that religion causes crime, or that crime causes people to be religious?


On a note to connect this to current events, the new government of Iraq is working on censoring the media, including books, and including things 'derogatory towards Islam'.
Klaw 2
ocalhoun wrote:
Klaw 2 wrote:

An example in the US the most religious states have the highest crime rate, I think you can draw an entirely different conclusion about it.

So, are you trying to say that religion causes crime, or that crime causes people to be religious?

On a note to connect this to current events, the new government of Iraq is working on censoring the media, including books, and including things 'derogatory towards Islam'.


Perhaps;
Religion causes crime
Crime causes people to be religious
Perhaps the genetic make-up off some people is that they are more likely to be violent.
Like low IQ or something...

Hard to tell, perhaps someone should study it...
deanhills
Klaw 2 wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Klaw 2 wrote:

An example in the US the most religious states have the highest crime rate, I think you can draw an entirely different conclusion about it.

So, are you trying to say that religion causes crime, or that crime causes people to be religious?

On a note to connect this to current events, the new government of Iraq is working on censoring the media, including books, and including things 'derogatory towards Islam'.


Perhaps;
Religion causes crime
Crime causes people to be religious
Perhaps the genetic make-up off some people is that they are more likely to be violent.
Like low IQ or something...

Hard to tell, perhaps someone should study it...
I've often thought about this with Catholics, as well as other similar type religions where one can sin away during the week, and then on Sunday get to repent your sins, ready for a fresh start of sins in the next week. Maybe responsibility for crimes are diminished in this way? So one could say that religion does contribute to crime in this way? Would probably be a good topic for another thread? Think
farmerdave
Indi wrote:
You know, all this Roman Catholic focus is a red herring. The first exampled that happened to pop up happened to be Roman Catholic. So what? It's not like book-banning is something rare to religious groups.

Here is a study done in 1996 about Protestant book-banning. To add insult to injury, the study's conclusion is that the reason the Protestant groups ban books is not political - as some religious apologists like to claim ("Oh, they ban those books to maintain the Church's power, not because of their religious beliefs.") - but was, in fact, entirely religious.

There was one interesting observation - at least i found it interesting. Whereas the Roman Catholic Church put books on the ILP due to dangerous theological claims, the American Protestant book banners apparently do it for dangerous moral claims. To me, that suggests the Roman Catholic book banners have a level of sophistication that is a cut above the Protestant book banners. Why? Because - if you're a religious person - real threats to your belief are theological threats. They cut right to the very foundation of the entire belief system. Moral threats are just an annoyance - peripheral threats at best - and if your theology is solid, you don't need to worry about them. The Roman Catholic Church was smart enough to understand this (read up on what the criteria to get on the ILP was - it wasn't always followed intelligently, but at least it was stated clearly). Apparently the Protestant book banners aren't.



Indi,

Surprisingly, I agree with your assessment. Banning due to theological problems is much more sophisticated and wise than simply the moral problems. Theological error breeds moral error more often than the reverse. So if this is so, more power to the Roman Catholics.

You and I seem to have similar interests, even though opposing viewpoints on almost everything. To study theology, which you appear to have done, a person normally has a positive drive to learn more about God. What about you? What led you to study these things?

Respectfully,

David
miacps
Klaw 2 wrote:
farmerdave wrote:
Maybe the title is fine, but a breakdown of censorship by religion would satisfy me and anyone else who may find the grouping a little too broad. What would also be nice to see is the censorship atheists in history have brought.

Atheist's most likely also have burned books and if it were to be discussed here on this forum it would be fine by me. And if you have an example feel free to discuss it here.


I find it hard to imagine people getting together through a disbelief and burning books over it. When was the last time non-believers in ghosts all got together and burned ghost stories?
Klaw 2
miacps wrote:
Klaw 2 wrote:
farmerdave wrote:
Maybe the title is fine, but a breakdown of censorship by religion would satisfy me and anyone else who may find the grouping a little too broad. What would also be nice to see is the censorship atheists in history have brought.

Atheist's most likely also have burned books and if it were to be discussed here on this forum it would be fine by me. And if you have an example feel free to discuss it here.


I find it hard to imagine people getting together through a disbelief and burning books over it. When was the last time non-believers in ghosts all got together and burned ghost stories?


I don't know probably some people who hated religion and tried to destroy it? I don't know if it happened, perhaps with communism?
ocalhoun
Klaw 2 wrote:

I don't know probably some people who hated religion and tried to destroy it? I don't know if it happened, perhaps with communism?

Also Nazis?

Though they were burning 'un-German' books... which may or may not have been religious.
liljp617
ocalhoun wrote:
Klaw 2 wrote:

I don't know probably some people who hated religion and tried to destroy it? I don't know if it happened, perhaps with communism?

Also Nazis?

Though they were burning 'un-German' books... which may or may not have been religious.


Of course, not done in the name of atheism or to "protect" atheism which, to me, is the important factor in this discussion.

Also unlikely that many atheists were actually involved in that, given the theological background of the Nazi party itself.
Indi
liljp617 wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Klaw 2 wrote:

I don't know probably some people who hated religion and tried to destroy it? I don't know if it happened, perhaps with communism?

Also Nazis?

Though they were burning 'un-German' books... which may or may not have been religious.


Of course, not done in the name of atheism or to "protect" atheism which, to me, is the important factor in this discussion.

Also unlikely that many atheists were actually involved in that, given the theological background of the Nazi party itself.

True. In fact, there was very little religious inspiration for the Nazi book burnings, positive or negative. The books burnt were mostly burnt based on four criteria: foreign influences (books by Hemingway, H. G. Wells and Jack London were burnt, for example), poor morality, pacifism or Jewish writers (and in the last case, remember that Nazi criteria for "Jewish" was racial, not religious).

If you want an idea of how messed up the Nazi Party was by the time of the book burnings in 1933, consider this: the Nazi party was... by name... a socialist party, right? Yet, they burned books by Marx and dozens of other major socialist thinkers of the time. In fact, one of the books burnt was How I Became a Socialist by Helen Keller. Go figure.

If you want to talk about religious book burnings, the Nazi burnings are a red herring.
ocalhoun
Indi wrote:


If you want to talk about religious book burnings, the Nazi burnings are a red herring.

They are an excellent example of non-religious book burning though.
liljp617
ocalhoun wrote:
Indi wrote:


If you want to talk about religious book burnings, the Nazi burnings are a red herring.

They are an excellent example of non-religious book burning though.


Sure, but I'm not sure that's what people above were talking about.
ocalhoun
liljp617 wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Indi wrote:


If you want to talk about religious book burnings, the Nazi burnings are a red herring.

They are an excellent example of non-religious book burning though.


Sure, but I'm not sure that's what people above were talking about.

Of course it isn't, as a quick reference to the topic title suggests.

It does, however, provide a good counterpoint to contrast religious book burning to.
It lets you know that book burning probably isn't actually caused by religion, but by a dogmatic and totalitarian culture, which is sometimes associated with religion, and sometimes not.
Indi
ocalhoun wrote:
It does, however, provide a good counterpoint to contrast religious book burning to.
It lets you know that book burning probably isn't actually caused by religion, but by a dogmatic and totalitarian culture, which is sometimes associated with religion, and sometimes not.

While that may be technically true, it's very poor logic. ^_^; What you're basically arguing is similar to this:
Cancer kills people. But here is an example of someone who died that didn't have cancer. Therefore, cancer probably doesn't actually cause death.

(For comparison:
Religion causes book burning. But here are the Nazis burning books for non-religious reasons. Therefore, book burning probably isn't actually caused by religion.
It may be true - just because an argument uses a logical fallacy doesn't mean it's wrong... but it's a horrible argument because it does use a fallacy.)

Like i said, the Nazis are a red herring. i don't imagine anyone here is crazy enough to claim that only religion causes book burning... which would be the only reason to introduce a non-religious example to refute the claim. Of course non-religious regimes burn books. That is a platitude that does nothing but distract from the topic at hand.

The fact that the Nazis burnt books for non-religious reasons doesn't mean that religion, or something about religion, isn't responsible for book burnings. The Nazi example tells us nothing interesting or useful (beyond the obvious platitude that religious groups aren't the only people that burn books).
ocalhoun
Indi wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
It does, however, provide a good counterpoint to contrast religious book burning to.
It lets you know that book burning probably isn't actually caused by religion, but by a dogmatic and totalitarian culture, which is sometimes associated with religion, and sometimes not.

While that may be technically true, it's very poor logic. ^_^; What you're basically arguing is similar to this:
Cancer kills people. But here is an example of someone who died that didn't have cancer. Therefore, cancer probably doesn't actually cause death.

Your analogy draws the wrong conclusion.
My conclusion (in keeping with the analogy) is "there are other things that cause death, other factors involved."
Would you rather have me say, "Some people die of cancer. Some people with cancer die. Therefore, cancer is the only cause of death." ?


Let me put it this way:
A: Some books are banned for non-religious reasons.
B: Some religions don't ban books.
Therefore, C: There's no absolute link between religion and book banning...

What about applying that to a different subject though?
A: Nearly all books are banned because of the dogma of a totalitarian regime.
B: Nearly all totalitarian regimes ban books.
Therefore, C: There is a strong link between totalitarian regimes (be they political or religious) and book banning.

Basically, my point is that totalitarianism should be blamed for book bans, not religion. (Though religion does have a disturbing tendency to promote totalitarianism...)
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Basically, my point is that totalitarianism should be blamed for book bans, not religion. (Though religion does have a disturbing tendency to promote totalitarianism...)
So does that then mean that the Catholic Church is totalitarian? Protestants are not, since they are only banning books on moral grounds .... ? Smile
liljp617
ocalhoun wrote:
Indi wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
It does, however, provide a good counterpoint to contrast religious book burning to.
It lets you know that book burning probably isn't actually caused by religion, but by a dogmatic and totalitarian culture, which is sometimes associated with religion, and sometimes not.

While that may be technically true, it's very poor logic. ^_^; What you're basically arguing is similar to this:
Cancer kills people. But here is an example of someone who died that didn't have cancer. Therefore, cancer probably doesn't actually cause death.
Let me put it this way:
A: Some books are banned for non-religious reasons.
B: Some religions don't ban books.
Therefore, C: There's no absolute link between religion and book banning...


C. There is a very strong (I don't care for the term absolute) link in specific cases. I think most people were talking on a case by case basis, not claiming that religion inherently promotes book burnings or that book burnings only occur because of religious organizations. Most people here seem to think on at least a moderately high level, and I'm doubtful that's a conclusion anyone here would come to.

Quote:
What about applying that to a different subject though?
A: Nearly all books are banned because of the dogma of a totalitarian regime.
B: Nearly all totalitarian regimes ban books.
Therefore, C: There is a strong link between totalitarian regimes (be they political or religious) and book banning.

Basically, my point is that totalitarianism should be blamed for book bans, not religion. (Though religion does have a disturbing tendency to promote totalitarianism...)


But again, I think people were discussing specific cases where religion was directly involved. If you want to say the actual force causing the book burnings was the force of totalitarianism, okay. But I don't see how that relieves responsibility and blame from the specific religion/religious organization directly promoting the totalitarianism.

Although I agree that the Nazi book burnings are somewhat of a red herring in this specific topic, they're an example that's easy to handle:

You would say that the force of totalitarianism is why the books were burned in that case, yes? Does the Nazi Regime itself and the people in charge who were handing out the orders on what books to burn hold no (or even less) responsibility for their promotions of the totalitarianism, which directly led to the book burnings?
ocalhoun
liljp617 wrote:
Does the Nazi Regime itself and the people in charge who were handing out the orders on what books to burn hold no (or even less) responsibility for their promotions of the totalitarianism, which directly led to the book burnings?

Of course not. They are still responsible. I'm just providing a counterpoint... something to contrast the subject of the topic against.

Ultimately, I'm hoping that instead of ending in "how wonderful the world would be without religion", this topic would end in "how wonderful the world would be without totalitarianism."



deanhills wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Basically, my point is that totalitarianism should be blamed for book bans, not religion. (Though religion does have a disturbing tendency to promote totalitarianism...)
So does that then mean that the Catholic Church is totalitarian? Protestants are not, since they are only banning books on moral grounds .... ? Smile

No, banning books on moral grounds is also totalitarian.
Indi
ocalhoun wrote:
Indi wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
It does, however, provide a good counterpoint to contrast religious book burning to.
It lets you know that book burning probably isn't actually caused by religion, but by a dogmatic and totalitarian culture, which is sometimes associated with religion, and sometimes not.

While that may be technically true, it's very poor logic. ^_^; What you're basically arguing is similar to this:
Cancer kills people. But here is an example of someone who died that didn't have cancer. Therefore, cancer probably doesn't actually cause death.

Your analogy draws the wrong conclusion.
My conclusion (in keeping with the analogy) is "there are other things that cause death, other factors involved."

Yes, but that conclusion is only useful in a discussion were people were claiming that only cancer causes death. No one here has said anything even remotely related to the notion that only religious groups ban books or that books are only banned for religious reasons... and it seems to me to be a little silly to assume that someone might, hm?

Or to put it another way, someone started a thread about cancer causing death, and then you stepped in and said "there are other things that cause death". What help do you think that is to the discussion? Under normal circumstances, if it were me hosting the discussion, my only response to a comment like that would be "no shit, Sherlock", and then move on.

However, that was not your conclusion at all. You said: "It lets you know that book burning probably isn't actually caused by religion, but by a dogmatic and totalitarian culture, which is sometimes associated with religion, and sometimes not." That, in the language of the analogy, is "death probably isn't caused by cancer, but by other factors". You can't conclude that book burning probably isn't caused by religion just because the Nazis did it for non-religious reasons (any more than you could conclude that death probably isn't caused by cancer just because other things kill, too). All you can conclude is that book burning can be caused by other things beside religion... no shit, Sherlock.

Forget about the Nazis - the whole thing is a red herring. What you want to do is try to figure out why religious book burnings happen. Look at the similarities between religious groups that burn books, and the difference between them and religious groups that don't burn books (but be careful with that last part there! that's another fallacy waiting to happen if you don't watch your step!). Look at the things that lead a religious group to burn books, both from their own perspective and from the perspective of outsiders. THEN, assuming you find the right evidence and make the right arguments (which, i suspect, you probably will), you'll probably have a case for your claim that authoritarianism is the cause of the book burning in religious book burnings, not the religion.

ocalhoun wrote:
Would you rather have me say, "Some people die of cancer. Some people with cancer die. Therefore, cancer is the only cause of death." ?

But that's the thing. ^_^; No one's saying anything like that. No one's even implying anything close.

ocalhoun wrote:
Let me put it this way:
A: Some books are banned for non-religious reasons.
B: Some religions don't ban books.
Therefore, C: There's no absolute link between religion and book banning...

Yes, but no one's claiming there's an "absolute link" between religion and book banning. ^_^;

Basically, BinahZ says "i want to discuss religious book banning", and your reply is that "there's no 'absolute link' between religion and book banning". Your reply is a non sequitur. It's as if someone said "i want to talk about Chinese lanterns" and you said "some lanterns are not Chinese, some Chinese things are not lanterns, so there is no absolute link between them". Or as if someone said "i want to discuss political hypocrisy" and you said "some politicians are not hypocrites, some hypocrites are not politicians, there is no absolute link between the two". There's only one appropriate response to your conclusion, and it's the Holmesian reference i mentioned above.

ocalhoun wrote:
What about applying that to a different subject though?
A: Nearly all books are banned because of the dogma of a totalitarian regime.
B: Nearly all totalitarian regimes ban books.
Therefore, C: There is a strong link between totalitarian regimes (be they political or religious) and book banning.

Tsk, that's a different argument than the one above... and it's a logical fallacy unless you're just pointing out an interesting correlation that has no relevance to the discussion (which i don't think was your intention). The response to this one isn't the Sherlock one, but instead: "OK... whatever? *shrug* Moving on...."

Even if your correlation does imply causation, then... so what? All you've shown is that book banning is usually caused by totalitarian regimes. So what?

Using the same analogy, it's as if the discussion was "let's discuss death caused by cancer", and you stepped in and said "statistically speaking, most death is caused by heart attack". OK... whatever? *shrug* Moving on....

ocalhoun wrote:
Basically, my point is that totalitarianism should be blamed for book bans, not religion. (Though religion does have a disturbing tendency to promote totalitarianism...)

Yes, but you went about making your point all wrong. You can't argue that totalitarianism causes religious book burning just because most book burning is caused by totalitarianism. And then to make the next big leap to say: therefore, religions that burn books are totalitarian is waaaay out there. The structure of that argument looks like this: "Some people die of cancer. Most people die of heart disease. Therefore, cancer deaths are caused by heart disease. And, therefore, everyone who died of cancer had heart disease."

You're probably right that religions that burn books are totalitarian, and that it is the totalitarianism of those religions that causes the book burning - not the religion. But your argument for that claim is flawed. You can't introduce third-party correlations (totalitarianism and book banning), to a phenomenon (religion and book banning), unless you show justification for that (for example, by showing a relation between religion and totalitarianism).

So forget the Nazis - look at the religions. i know it's comfortable to pick on the Nazis as the übervillian, but they don't really help the case here. It may be uncomfortable to face the fact that religions that you may support (or at least, believe should be tolerated) do evil things, but that's the only way you can find truth here. You have to look at the religions and their evil deeds in order to find out what the cause of those evil deeds are - and whether it is actually something fundamentally flawed about the religion, or whether they just picked up some bad traits along the way.
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