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« Links Mentioned on the 2/17/16 Show | Main | God’s Glory Is United with Love, Not Selfishness »

February 18, 2016


I first saw this ridiculous claim debunked back in 2004 by Theodore Beale, writing as "vox day" on WND.

A more recent post from his blog;

A more complete treatment can be found in his book, The Irrational Atheist.

Even if it were the case that the majority of wars throughout humanity have been religiously motivated that has nothing to do with the truth claims of theism or Christianity per se.

Personally, when I hear an atheist make this claim I like to quote Socrates for them and then ask whether they are now going to abandon their belief in social justice, beauty, and the good.

"...Examine as I tell you whether these subjects are the just and the unjust, the beautiful and the ugly, the good and the bad. Are these not the subjects of difference about which, when we are unable to come to a satisfactory decision, you and I and other men become hostile to each other whenever we do?"

- Euthyphro, Plato (trans. GMA Grube)

A slight detour:
I just want to know why people lock their doors at night? Is it because of religious folks living next door?

Thanks for the links, Brett.

Phillips and Axelrod didn't actually do any such calculation. Author Vox Day was the first to do so, in his book The Irrational Atheist.

He also notes in the book that the Inquisition didn't kill "millions" as is claimed:

"In light of its nightmarish reputation, it will surely surprise those who believe that millions of people died in the Spanish Inquisition to learn that throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, less than three people per year were sentenced to death by the Inquisition throughout the Spanish Empire, which ranged from Spain to Sicily and Peru.399 Secular historians given access to the Vatican’s archives in 1998 discovered that of the 44,674 individuals tried between 1540 and 1700, only 804 were recorded as being relictus culiae saeculari.400 The 763-page report indicates that only 1 percent of the 125,000 trials recorded over the entire inquisition ultimately resulted in execution by the secular authority, which means that throughout its infamous 345-year history,401 the dread Spanish Inquisition was less than one-fourteenth as deadly on an annual basis as children’s bicycles."

Day, Vox (2008-02-01). The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris, And Hitchens (p. 219). Perseus Books Group, Kindle Edition.

Thanks for the minor correction. We're always happy to give credit where credit is due! We added a link to Vox Day's book.

I appreciate the research and statistics, and most of all, your mission statement and honest, earnest approach. However, if you change the the numerator of this challenge to "The number of people killed in the name of God" I think you will agree that the percentage is greater than 7%. In addition, when warfare is conducted on a religious basis, generally speaking, the hostilities towards your fellow man do not cease at the retreat of the armed forces on the field of battle. It is "Total War." To wit: The Thirty Year's War, 1618-1648, fought between the Catholics and Protestants throughout most of Northern Europe. That war ended up killing over 30% of the population. One out of every three. It decimated Europe, and lasted for, well, 30 years... It might be better, once the challenge is given, depending upon the level of knowledge of the challenger, to admit that the number of 7% is of wars started for religious purposes, not necessarily the casualties that resulted.
My Socratic challenge back to you: "Does the 7% number delineate between just and unjust war? What is the percentage of all wars fought for religious purposes when compared against the denominator of all "unjust" wars? Why is religious warfare classified as "unjust?"

Though neither being the “winner” nor being the “loser” on the world stage in this odd category is ultimately any sort of full and final truth-referent by which to settle God / No-God questions, by all metrics the “winner” is always, as noted in the opening piece (OP), when such is unpacked the non-religious per se. As it happens, this link to non-religion’s victory is from a more interesting approach than the usual monotone cataloging of stats. As for Just War / Unjust War, in a universe constituted of irreducible indifference such terms are painfully mutable.

If ever the book which I am not going to write is written it must be the full confession by Christendom of Christendom’s specific contribution to the sum of human cruelty and treachery. Large areas of ‘the World’ will not hear us till we have publicly disowned much of our past. Why should they? We have shouted the name of Christ and enacted the service of Moloch. (C.S. Lewis, “The Four Loves”)

In the process of unpacking the questions of God with respect to Hidden/Revealed it is the case that pushing past any and all Evil and breaking through into the light of Man’s true Good and Man’s final felicity finds us discovering that the trio of [Mindset, Action, Philosophical Necessities] need to all cohere, that is to say, not violate one another necessarily.

That is why all Non-Theistic appeals to cosmic justice, cosmic valuing of each of us, or to any other contour of good and evil – in any degree – ultimately fail as actual truth-referents. Why? Because *IF* it is the case that “those ends” are factual truth referents *THEN* we are expressly and intellectually obligated to reject any and all paradigms which eventually, at some ontological seam somewhere, eliminate that sort of terminus of explanation with respect to our accounting.

Obviously love’s ontology need never apologize for love is the very Sum, the very Context from which all lesser sums, all lesser contexts subsume the very thing we call definition. Though, many of us who ascribe to the truth of such do need to apologize (perhaps daily, as I), or did need to apologize (perhaps more globally, as C.S Lewis alludes to). The good news is that Christianity actually has something left at the end of such a process of contrition: Love’s Ontology, that innately and unavoidably triune geography of E Pluribus Unum. Whereas, we find in Non-Theism and even in Pantheism that at the end of any such process the very acts of cruelty we (rightly) despise are left fully intact within the throes of irreducible indifference (on the one hand) and perhaps even as “part of the good” (on the other hand), and so on within ontological necessity.

Such is not the case within the unavoidably triune topography of E Pluribus Unum which Reason as truth-finder discovers instantiating / transposing in and by and through the simplicity of ceaseless reciprocity constituting the irreducible and immutable love of the Necessary Being.


Lest those of us who are Christian begin to panic at the descriptive / prescriptive (herein) of “E Pluribus Unum”, be assured that such is *not* an express referent to that which *is* “Father, Eternally Begotten Son, Spirit” and so on. *Rather*, such is to help address (in part), among other things, the painfully misinformed presuppositions about Christianity and about Reality which seem to fuel our Non-Theist friend’s struggle with equating “Being Itself” to that which is, irreducibly, “Goodness Itself”. Such carries us into necessary interfaces within all that is perception and within all that is mind and within all that is love and within all that is reciprocity amid the elemental substrates of personhood and thereby force both reason and logic into the embrace of the true over inside of the contours of (stay focused), first, the unavoidable interfaces of Self/Other [ in personal interfaces… I/You….Self/Other…. Me/You… those interfaces and elemental substrates constituting two of our three inescapable distinctions….]. Then we keep moving for we have not accounted for the whole show just yet as all moral semantics converge within perception’s and within mind’s and within love’s third and inescapable distinction in unicity’s E Pluribus Unum there in the “Singular-Us” embedded in Scripture’s God from A to Z from Whom streams all conceivable means/ends related to Self-Other-Us. No claims upon Goodness Itself are even possible but for the uniquely Christian Archetype which “is” the categorical and unavoidably triune set of interfaces comprising Trinity’s irreducible reciprocity amid the elemental pouring/filling discovered within the simplicity that is the immutable love of the Necessary Being.

I believe that problem is not just the religion, but the person itself. To build a better nation, politicians must think of nation as equal apart from race, colors, and ethics. Practicing of one or particular faith does not harm anyone and nor any religion promotes violence. All humanity must have right to their faith at least! As far as American Laws go the very first Amendment is all about freedom of religion and speech so, every American citizen should feel free to use their rights as loyal to this country.There should not be wars anyways based on the religions. According to an article,In fact, religious elements played no role at all in 14 (40%) of the 35 armed conflicts in the research, and only five (14%) had religious elements as their main cause, the report showed. All of the wars had multiple causes, and the much more common motivation was opposition to a government, or to the economic, ideological, political or social systems of a state, which was named as a main factor in nearly two thirds of the cases studied".

You're not going to convince many skeptics (certainly not women) by citing Vox Day.

"The women of America would do well to consider whether their much-cherished gains of the right to vote, work, murder and freely fornicate are worth destroying marriage, children, civilized Western society and little girls."

Brett, do you know the number of estimated dead from teh 7% of religious wars?

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