This topic is intersting to me because it competes with my suspicions of Determinism though I don't like the idea.
1. Is Man Determined, a man is either good or bad from the start and determined to kill or not, therefore religion doesn't cause good or bad, but there are good and bad people.
2. If we aren't Determined, then any "world view" could be dangerous, since you can always claim that you are protecting the "good" world view (a Humanist goes on a Xian killing spree - to "save" the world from "evil").
3. The wrench in my thinking. If a man is Determined or not and kills for religious beliefs - and SOCIETY accepts those beliefs, then while he may be killing for good (according to society) (and we assume he is 'objectively' not good) then the support of religion is by accounts bad.
That is, counter #2, Man may not be Determined and chooses good or bad. Religion, which is a codified set of social rules may encourage someone to kill a "witch" (we can all agree he would be factually wrong about their being witches, but still believe that the person was a witch). The religion would have been the catalyst and support the act.
If Man is Determined, then religion STILL provides a "cover" since society would be leinient, since the religious text opens the door for the existence of witches, and thus, even if later shown to be untrue, sympathetic to the act.
I need to step away from this. THe problem I am having is how much we are determined or not. I see a guy like Fred Phelps and realize that he would have been a Fundi no matter what Era or country he was born. He would have hated something.
However, the fact that he hates "fags" is because of the religious text (I wager), and if he was born a Buddhist he would have hated... whatever Buddists hate (two hands clapping?).
Or, am I wrong - If gay bashing wasn't in the Bible, would he have been a great, loving guy?
Either way, it is obvious that the problem with religion is the factual errors. (e.g., witches don't exist). To suggest they do gives fodder to people who, Deterministically or Not, are going to believe they do once they hear that they should be killed.
"Der, kill witches?! I don't know what dem things are, but I gotta look out fer them suckers!"
Does this compel a peaceful person to kill? I don't think so, but it may make a peaceful person in a society accept "witch" killing. It, at least, gives a violent person a target that wouldn't have existed otherwise. Plus, the call for violence AND the presumed authority from God gives extra justification that Humanism, or other religions/Philosopies just don't give.
Are Jainists peaceful because Jainism has a doctrine of non-violence, or do non-violent people become Jains?
(I have never heard of a Jain going on a killing spree, bombing an abortion clinic, gay bashing or hanging a witch. Thouugh, they may have equally dangerous doctrines, e.g. no medicine a la Xian Scientists - I don't know)
"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful." Seneca the Younger
"SUCK IT, JESUS!" Kathy Griffin