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A religious explanation/justification of violence - Essay Example

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A religious explanation/justification of violence

The three monotheistic religions are all created on peaceful values; however, using their teachings this paper will analyze their explanation and justification for violent actions. The topic is very broad; hence the religion that will be mainly used in this paper is Judaism. Numerous leaders often condone violence camouflaged under religious messages. The attack on the Gaza strip in the 2008-2009 period was carried out as a religious attack, resulting the loss of millions of lives (Davis, 2012). Some religious leaders have made statements that were horrifically pro violence. For example, Shapira is infamous for publishing a book that supported the killing of babies, if there was a possibility that they could grow up to harm people. Furthermore the Gaza attack has been referred to as just and necessary. In Judaism, two phenomena in connection with violence will be discussed. These are the paradox associated with violence and metamorphosing violence into peace. Violence can be noticed through out the Torah, from the cold blooded murder of Abel to the vicious homophobic fire cast upon Sodom and Gommorah (Shapira, n.d). The violence in these books however is not a mode of justification but rather a way of teaching the readers and believers (Moss, 2007). These violent acts were typical for the pagan world the existed before salvation occurred. Jewish children are raced on these stories and are expected to learn the negativity and adverse effect of violence. Moses beat an Egyptian man to death

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for assaulting a Hebrew. However, the following day he asked one of the two men who were fighting why he was beating his neighbor (Exodus 2). Moses, in the first case defended his neighbor which shows the quality of protecting the people close to you. However, the contrast between the murder and the fact that he didn’t do the same to the Greek men fighting shows that his violent act was not the appropriate mode of intervention. We also see an instance of violence when Jacob’s daughter Dinah was raped (Sachs, n.d). Jacob remained silent whilst his sons took out their swords and killed every man from the town of the rapist. We also see a transformation of violence into peace when Elisha ordered the King to give the prisoners food and water and let them return to their masters. The Bible also shows the existence of a counter violence voice. In the Bible, Saul ordered his guards to beat the priests from Nob (Deffinbaugh, n.d). However the guards refused to perform this act as the priests were men of God and the guards felt it would not be righteous to beat these priests. This shows that the Bible does not condone violence even in situations when it is supported by the authorities. In addition, it encourages individuals to judge for themselves whether the act of violence is justifiable or not. The Bible also encourages people to intervene if they see an individual inflicting harm on another. This is known as ‘not standing in your brother’s blood’ (Gefen, n.d). It says the people should not stand idly if they are in an area where people are doing harm upon others. An individual has the moral obligation to help in such situations. The bible contains numerous stories of violent behavior. However, each of these stories has an underlying message of peace behind it. In some way or another, all the stories show alternative measures to violent
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A Religious Justification of Violence [Name] Religion and Theology [Date] A Religious Justification of Violence Religion has been the centre of attention in many of the conflicts across the world today (Juergensmeyer et. al, 2012). However, one must consider the teachings in various religious beliefs and the extent to which they condone violent actions in the lifestyle of their followers…
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