Lawrence Krauss: Is Xenophobia Inherent in Organized Religion?

Lawrence Krauss: Is Xenophobia Inherent in Organized Religion?


It’s hard to lump religion which comes in
many different forms, shapes, sizes and viewed many ways by different people in a single
framework. Ultimately, I think religion is a negative force for humanity because what
it does – at least organized religion around the world is it implies things about the real
world that are just not true. That are in disagreement with the evidence of empirical
testing in science. And while they may provide comfort to people inevitably whenever you
make decisions based on something that’s a myth, the decisions lead to bad consequences.
Whether you’re teaching children or subjugating women. So religion of course at various times
in human history for individuals provides comfort. It has provided opportunities for
groups to sometimes do progressive things. But inevitably it’s based on myth and superstition
based on ideas created by Iron Age peasants who didn’t even know the Earth orbited the
Sun. And ultimately why we should view that as wisdom is beyond me. The saddest part that’s characteristic of
everything including the Koran and I don’t want to label just the Koran in this regard
because I think it’s characteristic in the Old Testament and the New Testament in the
Abrahamic religions. Is the xenophobia that religion introduces, it’s us versus them.
We are absolutely right because we believe this or because we follow these traditions
and other people are absolutely wrong because they don’t. And then the question is what
do you do to the people who are wrong because they’re not part of your group. Well in
many cases you kill them or you ostracize them or you send them to hell. No one mentions
hell more than Jesus. Supposedly he was a loving savior but he uses the word hell more
than anyone else in the Bible. So that’s the same kind of xenophobia. In fact it’s
worse in my mind. As my late friend Christopher Hitchens would say, you know, Saddam Hussein
only condemned his victims to violence and death, you know, until they died. What about
a god who condemns you to eternal pain forever. Far worse than Saddam Hussein in the sky.
So I think the kind of xenophobia, the fact that people who don’t conform are to be
ostracized or killed is prevalent in every religion and I can understand it because these
religions were based in some sense a preserving order within a tribe. They’re all outgrowths
of tribal behavior. To preserve order with a tribe it’s always us versus them. Here
are rules that define you as a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim. You do those rules and
you’re distinguishable from the other and the other is to be swept away. Now in the current world I think there’s
no doubt that right now Islam is a source of more violence than a number of the other
organized religions. It’s not the unique source of violence. But I think the problem
is just one of timing. Islam is 500 years younger than say Christianity. And 500 years
ago Christianity was producing far more violence than Islam ever is today from the Crusades
to the Inquisition. And so it’s not surprising that a younger religion in some sense is coming
through its growing pains in that regard. The problem is we live in a time where there’s
access to much more destructive forces so you’ve got to worry a little bit about that.
Ultimately the real problem – the real difference that I see between Islam and say Judaism,
I mean the Old Testament is every bit – it’s more violent than the Koran. It’s full of
violence, oppression, genocide, hatred. It’s an awful book and it’s amazing that we present
it as a moral standard. If you actually read the Bible it’s a disgusting, disgusting
document. There’s beauty in the psalms and the poetry of the psalms perhaps but it’s
every bit as violent if not more so than the Koran. The fundamental difference it seems
to me is that we’ve learned even highly religious people take the Bible allegorically.
They take it – they don’t – when it says you can stone your children if they disobey
you, no one takes that seriously anymore. The difference is that many people take the
Koran every word of the Koran as not only divine but literally. And therefore when it
exhorts you to violence they take that literally. That’s not done any more in the older religions,
in the Abrahamic religions. The Bible still says to do those awful things but people don’t
take it seriously. In fact, when we talk about religion in general many people call themselves
religious because they think if they don’t they’re not good people. There was a – my friend Richard Dawkins
has his foundation in England did a poll. It looked after the most recent census in
England which happens to ask what your religious affiliation is. For the first time only 53
percent of people said they were Christian or about that number. They took the people
who listed Christian in the box and said do you believe in the virgin birth? Do you believe
in transubstantiation? Do you believe in – the whole list of things that are sort of standard
parts of Christianity. Most of those people said no. And then they were asked why did
you check the tick that said you’re a Christian? And they said we like to think of ourselves
as good people. And that’s the – what seems to me the thing that we have to overcome
the most is people recognizing that you can be a good person by accepting reality for
what it is and questioning everything including questioning the existence of God. There’s
nothing wrong with that. I get letters from kids all the time who say, you know, I’m
happy to read your books or see the movie you’ve just done because it tells me I’m
not alone. I’m not a bad person for questioning what my elders or pastor or teachers say.
In fact we should be encouraging our children to question everything. It’s part of education.

100 Replies to “Lawrence Krauss: Is Xenophobia Inherent in Organized Religion?”

  1. Stick to your subject. Why the hell should I listen to you talk about religion?

    Any why do you think xenophobia is particularly acute to religion? Did it ever occur to you that it's a human trait? Communism/Capitalism, French/English, those dirty German/Irish/Mexican immigrants, the tribes of Arabia? Do you know the FIRST THING about history?

  2. Xenophobia is inherent in human beings, they just find it easier to express in a religious environment where they can twist and distort things they don't understand and get support for it from their other fear stricken fellows, and, of course, God.

  3. No, you are completely wrong! You are either a liar, or an ignorant, indoctrinated fool. Every myth is founded in an original truth. That knowledge is simply lost to the common man or intentionally suppressed in our modern era. Also, Yeshua's original teachings never said anything about "hell", the modern bible was rewritten for political reasons. All scripture is written as poetry and meant to be read in the same way, it is allegorically encrypted physics knowledge. Knowledge of Hermetic alchemy, the only true science that has ever existed (your physics is phony). It uses clever metaphor and hyperbole to relate an underlying truth. It is encrypted in the same way that all alchemical texts are, symbolically. Scripture is very accurate, if you know how to read it. Back then, just as today, the average person was incapable of comprehending a majority of the concepts that religions were originally intending to relate, which is why they were written that way. They simply were not educated enough to understand the reality in which they live. So they were written as stories that would be impossible for people to forget, something they could relate to. These days, their true interpretation is completely backwards, mostly by design. Just as modern physics is an orchestrated lie designed to be nothing more than a modern creation myth for the ignorant masses. Physics verses faith is "their" system of control, a scheme of duality pitting people against one another. Both were institutionalized and are dogmatic in nature for a specific reason. To control your system of belief. That way people are too busy fighting amongst themselves to organize against the powers dominating our planet who should not be. You graduate college in order to learn how to become a debt slave, like a good little citizen, nothing more. Degree holders have zero education, all they have is indoctrination. All of the knowledge obtained within the modern education system beyond basic mathematics and linguistic skills is blatantly and intentionally inaccurate to reality. All of human history as it is commonly known is nearly a complete fabrication, and you are not helping anyone by continuing to spread this nonsense.

  4. The bible is 100 times crazier and violent than the Qur'an. The trouble with Islam is not the holy book, but that every Muslim is a fundamentalist literalist

  5. Good Without God

    Christians assert that you cannot be good without god. I assert the opposite. You cannot be good while holding Christian delusions. How do I know?

    Nearly every human culture, including ones without gods, has a common core morality. No killing, rape, theft, false witness… It comes from our common sense and common humanity. Religion later adopts it. Do you seriously think it was news that murder was wrong when Moses displayed his tablets?

    Consider the murder, rape, teen pregnancy etc. rates in the Christian USA vs the atheist Sweden. Sweden is dramatically better on every measure. In the USA only a minute fraction of atheists are in jail compared with Christians. It is almost negligible. Why would that be?

    Christians believe they are doomed to eternal torment. They might as well hang for a sheep as a lamb.
    Christians believe in confessions undoing the effect of sin. This delusion encourages wrongdoing.
    Christian morality is absurd. It is 3000 years out of date. Killing someone for eating a lobster or having a same-sex relationship is just plain nuts.
    The bible not only condones rape Deuteronomy 22:28-29, it makes it mandatory Numbers 31:17-18 and Isaiah 3:16 etc. How can a Christian behave well with a defective objective (aka externally imposed) moral code like that?

  6. Krauss is a physicist. He's right, of course, but he's getting on my nerves. Let better science communicators like Tyson or Nye handle this.

  7. You are talking about the monotheisms in the world. They tend to be intolerant of everyone else. There are other religions that don't have this issue. This speech is filled with unsubstantiated, broad stroke condemnations. Exactly what he is accusing religion of.

  8. Brilliant Dr Krauss forgets, as many scientist do, the BRAIN creates thought and religion, which is composed of bizarre metamagical false beliefs which I define as IFOFIBA ( Imaginary Friend or foe irrational belief acceptance) has concepts produced also by the schizophrenias, TL epilepsy ,bi-polar disorder, mania, and many other brain disorders. This makes religion a form of organized schizophrenia, where 2+2 is perceived by the dysfunctional brain ( the universe within that we create thoughts with) to be equal to any number the neural array dysfunction says it is, but 4, which is the truth.

    A sick Brain can only produce Sick deluded irrational concepts. Religion is, IMHO, a dangerous Brain HIV like Virus ( destroys rational thought ) that spreading in all places of worship of Imaginary Friends could render our primate species extinct.

  9. No just organized ideology all together. The content is irrelevant. The problem is "WE" has usurped "I." Once again only the surface has been scratched. The fool says,"we___believe___." The wise man says,"I believe___."

  10. From what I have seen, there are still pockets of Christians today who still want to be violent in the name of their god. Then there are those other pockets of Christians who still want to force everyone to into interpreting everything in the bible as literal. There are those who still want to invoke hatred in the name of the god (cough)WestboroBaptistChurch(cough). Etc.

    So even though Islam is the youngest of the three major religions and thus still inherently violent like the Christians were centuries ago, Christians still have to deal with a few bad eggs within their ranks who often go out of their way to do things that make Christianity look bad. Sometimes the bad eggs don't even need to be violent to make their religion look bad. The Vatican still has a major problem with pedophile cardinals within their ranks. Churches all across the United States are given ridiculous tax exemptions and only a few churches were ever audited by the IRS during the past 10 years while their priests, especially those who run megachurches, get away with luxury homes and jets using only church donations while the jets and homes get used privately most of the time. So much for giving to Caesar what is Caesar's and giving to God what is God's.

  11. But you can simply convert to Islam and avoid being ostracized or killed, how can we be more tolerant? Remember, we are the ones who know the truth, not you.

  12. Religion is like a bottle of red wine, drink one glass and you become social, understanding, interactive and can have pleasant conversations. Drink the whole bottle, and you become repulsive, annoying and aggressive. Religion should be consumed with moderation and only after 18 years of age., for a better society.

  13. You should have stopped after your first statement about the difficulty in making broad comments about religion. Like some other anti-religious atheists, you are characterizing all religions by the acts of some extremists. Also you seem to be using a "straw man" argument when referring to comdemning people to hell or "eternal pain". You clearly don't believe that such condemnations are real or have any effect, yet you use this as a point against religion. I'm not Christian or even religious, but I have some respect for those following moderate sects in their religion or spiritual path.

  14. "We should teach our children to question everything, it's part of everything". Indeed that also includes some of the things you have to say. There is a good reason why the Inquisition occurred, and it has nothing to do with Christianity and why it happen is Spain of all places. Spain was ruled by the Muslims for some 700 years. When the Muslims entered Spain, the Jews opened the gates that allowed the Muslims to conquer the Iberian peninsula, Spanish catholic and muslim chroniclers at the time both agree and state this. The Jews had made this a deal with the Muslim in exchange to being placed in vice-royalty positions. When the Spanish took back what was finally theirs and expelled the muslims, then they moved on to the Jews that betrayed them in the first place and that is the origins of the Inquisition. The inquisition was a good thing as it expelled the traitorous Sephardic Jews to join their pet muslims. Really there is no such thing as "xenophobia" as phobia means irrational fear. There are always good reasons to fear foreigners and thousands of years of human history proves this. I always wonder what Krauss thinks about questioning the holocaust?

  15. Christianity appeared as the first universal religion, that's why they murdered him… because Judaism is the first xenophobic religion.
    .
    I don't think there is another single religion that claims only a group of certain ethnicity would be favored by their God. Judaism is the most xenophobic religion. And let me say this, if they weren't united by this special religion and mindset, they wouldn't be the oldest culture on Earth.

  16. Is it just age? I mean hinduism is much older than even judaism but still in the 20th century it supported a caste system and claimed women to be inferior. Christianity five hundred years ago might have been somewhat backward but Europe still held the most innovative civilization of the world at the time in terms of science, technology and art. The inquisition was actually pretty progressive when it came to courts, and it was known for people to rather be judged by it than civil courts because they were more lenient and worked under the "Presumptio of innocence" principle. It's not that simple in my opinion.

  17. >Iron age peasants who didn't know the earth orbitted the sun.
    Bro do you even science? Cuz that's complete bullshit.
    >tribal religion, lists Christianity.
    Yes the religion that was specifically against judaisms tribalism was tribal.
    >Crusades were example of violence, not legitimate defense against violent islam which has been violence since founding.
    Holy shit this guy is ignorant.
    >OT is more violent than Koran.
    Dear. God. The idiocy continues.
    >Transubstantiation and Virgin Birth are Christian.
    Catholic. Filthy protties (sarcasm) don't believe that.

    I've rarely seen 7 minutes packed with so much bullshit.

  18. Lawrence Krauss has a rather simplistic and naive view of world religions. This is going to make it hard for me to take him seriously in the future. He blames Islam for violence, but not American Imperialism or Predatory Capitalism. You can't just compare Islam to Christianity and say 'oh well Islam is violent now because that is naturally what religions do at this particular phase in their development.' That is BS and can not be mapped for any other religion. It's particular to the development of Christianity in a particular cultural and historical context. Islam developed differently to Christianity. The development of Islam didn't plunge the Arabic world into a Dark Age but a Golden Age of development. The current Dark Age the Islamic world is experiencing has a lot to do with Western influence (and particularly exploitation and warfare) in the region. For example, how different would the region be if the CIA stopped training and arming Islamic Fundamentalists? or America (and Israel) stopped bombing civilians, thus sowing the seeds of deep hatred in the region, burning cultures to the ground and leaving young minds ripe for fundamentalist indoctrination?
    Lawrence Krauss needs to stick with what he knows or at least pick up a history book that isn't intent on portraying the white people as always being the good guys.
    NB: I am not defending Islamic violence, or pretending that Islam is innocent. I just think that his understanding of the cause of the violence is overly simplistic and even (ironically) xenophobic.

  19. His position as an academic here is ironic. We know a great deal about the ancient middle-eastern world as a result of the careful study of the Hebrew bible (the old testament is christian in both content and implication).

    Saying that Qu'ran or the Hebrew Bible is a force harmful to society is like looking at the Odyssey or the Illiad in the same fashion. These were stories told in a context wherein heroes were religious figures yet we view them merely as mythologically inspired literary classic. To look at them realistically is to view them as a product of their times, not created in a vacuum. They reflect elements of the societies they came from and the values they adhered to.

    Studying Mesopotamian civilization for example shows there were a number of conflicts over which god in its pantheon was superior. The assertion that there was one god before others originally distinguished Judaism. Gradually the Jews ceased to acknowledge the pantheon and recognized a single god which brought about a degree of cohesion among them. A similar case is found for Islam where the Ka'aba held many idols. Christianity and Judaism existed and had limited influence, Islam came to dominate the region. Its dogma incorporated the previous Abrahamic faiths and society. Islamic civilization went on to maintain the records of the ancient Greeks during the Europe's theatrical dark ages and early works of mathematics (including those of Euclid and Pythagoras) were preserved by their records.

    Excusing the mistakes of institutionalized religion is not what I'm advocating. Rather viewing it as a group of people some of which used their religion as a rationalization for what many consider good as well as for bad.

    Alleging only criticism brings you into the same dogmatic haze as the zealots you despise.

  20. ALL religions NEED to be stopped, it is harmful for the planet and future of humanity.
    Look at all these radical muslims that immigrate to Europe! 9 outta 10 will play by the laws of their stupid religion and totally disrespect the laws of the country they are in!

  21. I think this arguement stems from an incredible ignorance of religious teaching and the inability to understand geopolitical problems vs religious problems.

  22. Even though i agree with most of the things he said i hated the way it was narrated. Full of gross oversimplifications and quotations without citing sources. and only focusing on, i guess 3 of the more mainstream religions in this side of ot the globe… and all of that makes it sound quite biased and not considering a bigger picture 🙁

  23. "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters."-Jesus, Luke 11:23

  24. No religion in USSR gave the world the Leninism religion. No religion in the USA gives us anti-free speech Progressivism. Religion is inescapable, no matter how hard we try. I'm an atheist btw.

  25. Doctor Krauss expresses precisely what I think, not because of conformity, but because of rationality which is our greatest attribute we too often ignore.

  26. Yes, 92% of society's experts on the origin of the universe (astrophysicists), and 95% of society's experts on the origin of life (biologists) do not believe in god. But it's not just science that disproves god. Art does as well. Most great artists do not believe in god. I'd like to see a big think on that.

  27. Agree with most of what he says, but he's wrong about "most" Muslims taking Quran literally (and not allegorically). For example, Quran, like Bible and Torah and so forth, suggests a very childish tale about the origin and nature of the universe. The majority educated people living in the Muslim world, do not of course take "skies are heaven" and "the universe was created in seven days" literally. True that some extreme factions such as ISIS, not only take Quran literally, but also completely distort it through arbitrary interpretations, but it's not the case with the majority of one billion Muslims around the world.

  28. This video has several "glitches" in it that make it appear to be sending subliminal messages. I'm fairly certain that Alex Jones was right, and the Illuminati reptilian space aliens are trying to brain wash us.

  29. What we say about religion is also true of philosophy where the arm chair conjurers would try to espouse sense about the world and call it wisdom without going through a process of ongoing empirical systematic observation. This is why philosophy has declined and almost disappeared as a discipline and completely supplanted by science that made no pretions about wisdom and simply proceeded to study nature one minuscule item at a time. And look at the impressive body of evidence collected and the theories created, verified (or discarded as needed) so far. The process has accelerated constantly and has left all other branches of 'wisdom' in dust.

  30. Remember, most of the time its not racism or xenofobia…
    We just arent AT ALL interested in spending time on foreign cultures…
    For most of us, one familiar culture is enough, and solves our problems and enriches our lives just fine…

    I only love MY parents, but that doesnt mean I HATE or FEAR other parents… I just dont give a fuck about all 7 billion people….
    Thats why people are free to travel! So if you love islam, or communism, you can be a part of it, without fucking up MY HOME in the process……..

    Its a brilliant idea, the freedom to travel…. USE IT!

  31. Tribal behavior is a little more polite than Xenophobia. Makes me wonder if your oxytocin level goes up singing hymns or shouting back to a minister… https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=oxytocin+levels+singing+shouting&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C21&as_sdtp=

  32. It's amazing how religious programming has associated religious people with being "good", as if non-religious people are bad by nature. What if scientist and atheist went around associating religious people with being "stupid"? Harmful tactics like that only slow down our development as a planet. Time for a new age of accepting reality for what it is, obtain moral reasoning that stems from logic and not from a fear of god.

  33. I love that opener. "It's almost impossible to generalize about religion.
    Here are a bunch of generalizations about religion."

  34. I became an atheist when I was 11. One day at Sunday school, I told the pastor that I didn't think that Jesus was perfect. I never got a chance to tell him why, because as soon as the words left my mouth, I heard the kid next to me say, "Uh oh". As I turned to look at him, I felt something whiz past my ear (turned out later that it was a King James Bible, about the size of my head) . I turned back toward the pastor, and saw him making his way towards me, tossing folding chairs out of his way as he did so. It was apparent that he meant to do me physical harm, so I ran. It was a long, hot walk home, (Phoenix in summer) most of which I spent confused. What would make him react like that? By the time I got home I'd figured it out. It was a scam, all of it. He was lying, and I blew his cover. As I grew older, education and observation only confirmed it. Armed with the ability to think critically, I read the Bible cover to cover. It read like a horror novel – a badly written one. How could anyone worship the monster contained therein? If such a being were to truly exist, it would have only my contempt.

  35. Again with the insistence that Christianity is not violent. Yet the decade and a half of warfare was openly declared a religious war by President Bush. Must we AGAIN show the pictures of so called witch children in Africa who have had their heads cut off or split open a the direction of CHRISTIAN pastors? We need only look at those trying to derail the Iran deal so as to force war… who are they? The fanatical religious right. A poll just this week showed 51% of Republicans would favour a military coup to remove Obama after the gay marriage decision. WAKE THE FUCK UP!

  36. Sigh. There is an underlying false premise in the argument that Krauss is propounding, and that is that Krauss is misusing the word xenophobia. Xenophobia does not correctly describe such a purported behavior. Ethnocentrism would be a better word to describe such a phenomenon if one were so inclined to pass such an indictment.

    Xenophobia – fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners
    Ethnocentric – characterized by or based on the attitude that one's own group is superior
    Source( Merriam Webster)

  37. Just goes to show that no matter how brilliant one may be within a specialized field, they can prove themselves a complete ass just by opening their mouth on a subject about which they are ignorant.

  38. Whaaaat? Howbout calling the greed for oil as a source of violence, and since that is happening those people resist that violence or get aggitated, by secret services, to commit violence are mostly from the islamic faith. That it correlates in this case is not related to islam being a voilent faith!

  39. "It comforts people" is a lousy argument, because it assumes that nothing else can comfort people. I, for one, find a lot more comfort by existing in symphony and harmony with what actually exist (by definition) than any short-term promise of comfort I'd get from pretending that things are true because I choose not to understand it.

    Also, whether I view myself as a good person or not is completely irrelevant. All that matters is whether my actions actually have a good effect on things or not.

  40. Your next video should be is Violence inherent in African-Americans? Can't fathom how this channel got to 1 milllion subs, you know what…..Never mind.

  41. Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. —— Steven Weinberg

  42. I don't believe that Islam is any more violent than it has in the past. And certaining not anymore than the other forms of religion. However, "MEDIA" of all sorts has dramatically increased for a variety of reasons. The U.S is predominantly Christian and certainly monolithic. The media has a credo where as if it bleeds it leads. The covering and reporting of a heinous crime will always be dropped in the event of one deemed more heinous. Because it is not covered any longer, is the battle in Ireland between the Orange and the Green any less. No, it hasn't changed, it still just as heinous as the issues going on in the Mid East countries, but it old news.

    It is not a matter of if, but when Theist or Creationist or how ever one wants to classify non-atheist which apparently have various classification today also accept the so called big bang theory, it will be on account that God caused it. Should there be a multi-universe, it was a dude by the name of Jehovah etc. that pushed the button setting in motion the particles that collided which caused our universe to exist. Hence the "G" particle, that Higgs foretold. Making him a prophet, recon?

  43. this dude is talking about religions and religious books, yet something tells me a theoretical physicist doesn't spend most of his time examining these religious books or examining the complex history and linguistic evolution necessary to expound on these religions with any sense of authority. If you want to put up a video with criticisms of religion why not put up actual religious scholars who do specialize in the field instead of Sheldon's real world analogue ? there are real substantive questions to address with religions, but putting a guy on who goes back to the old trope about people who didn't know about modern cosmology writing about the origin of the earth is just too facile. He is too used to talking to children to engage adult audiences who don't share his prejudices.

  44. Big Think equals big mouth, I know it's hard to stay on topic but try not to start with one topic and then mix your subjective world views into other topics and then backpedal back to the first topic even though they are different topics and then name drop for no reason, and then just mention a lot of examples of of what you don't like about religion and call it a day.
    FFS take this a little more serious, if you were asked to write a paper about this, you would under no conditions say all that shit.
    You would pose that question "Is xenophobia inherent in organized religion?" and then you'd make reasonable points for or against or both for that question. You would not ask, is xenophobia inherent in organized religion? old and new testament don't make sense nor does the Koran, be atheist because you can still be good people, being good people is achievable by us(atheists) too.
    You have a platform to reach a lot of people here with your message please respect that and don't just use it to say whatever you feel like, fucking disgrace you're not 17 years old, you should know better.

  45. It's fun to hear Lawrence on this issue because he's a top rate thinker in his field and yet one can feel smarter than him on this one point outside his field: At 3:45-ish he uses the popular talking point that "Islam is younger than Christianity, so if we gave it time it would stabilize… " ("We don't have that kind of time" is his welcome add-on point but not the point itself, which I treat right here) One can easily figure out that actually there is no reason to assume that all religions have this kind of radioactive half-life of 1,500-years after which they stop being violent and start becoming stable. It's an erroneous point which he should discard is favour of a fresher and better point: Ideas like inalienable human rights have entered the body of available knowledge, so there is no longer among the educated an excuse for sympathizing with tribalism. The excuse "Islam just needs more time like Christianity did" is a failed excuse. The sound barrier has been broken, so to speak. The wheel has been invented. The rest is straighforward: teach these ideals and stand by them without flinching. Refute in open public discourse all those fake and insidious tribalist doctrines — like Islam itself (having first emphasized the separation of persons and the ideas they entertain). Hey everybody, scratch the metallic sun-shiny gloss of any given religion, tiny or monolithic, and you notice it's Pb82, not Au79.

  46. I mean yea overly closed cultures or systems do tend to get rigid and more fearful of the other, but a collective belief and moral compass can help us work together as one organism no matter if the belief is true or not. Looking at our cities today i feel we are also becoming too self indulgent like cancer cells.

  47. I do have to disagree with Larance, we see plenty of xenophobia and violence in Israel, and amungst Christian extremists around the world who commit hate crimes against the LGBT community against various ethic groups,
    and other segments society

  48. I don't think Islam is more violent because it's a younger religion and is going through "growing pains". Most Muslims in 1st world countries are just as peaceful as anyone else. It is the extremists who are the problem, and most of them are violent because they come from war-torn, impoverished, or developing countries where education is insufficient and hateful propaganda is easily spread. While it is true that they will likely keep to themselves a great deal, the more advanced the society in which religious people live, the more likely they are to tolerate the differences of others' beliefs. And while it can have negative results, I would not call that behavior xenophobia.

  49. And xenophobia isn't inherent in Krauss' Marxist ideology? This is quite the narrow context of xenophobia to be operating on. If we accept the definition of the term as "an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange", this allows a number of contexts for which it applies. Particularly, 'strange'. This could refer to an out group as well as one's in group.

    As an atheist, I've watched over the years every single debate Krauss ever engaged in and basically every public lecture or appearance he's ever given. Very recently, I've noticed that he's begun dedicating about 10 minutes of every introduction to commiserating with and placating misandrists regarding women's, supposed, under-representation in STEM. At one event even outright, literally apologizing as if it was the result of a personal choice. I think it follows that, to be an apologist, one has to believe a victimization has occurred. For a victimization to occur, an imbalance is required. For one to assume an imbalance, one must assume that there is an objective 'truth' to compare against reality, and one must find it strange that the two are are different. In this way, marxism breeds xenophobia; it argues that it is strange that societal reality doesn't map to 'objective', absolutist statistics.

    The Marxist looks at society and applies the absolutist argument "if half the population is female, then women should represent 50% of any sample collection or field." This is in error. Comically, Marxism has no issue applying statistics to the collective, however they fail miserably at applying them to the divisions that comprise that collective. In fact, it's not actually a 'failure,' It's a willful refusal to apply statistics, averages, or discriminators to any metric of sub-groups on the assumption that sexual and ethnic differences don't exist and everyone has identical aspirations. Without invoking this fundamental idea, Marxism is a pointless ideology .

    Take for instance the STEM lie Krauss drones on about, marxists refuse to accept the possibility of women's individual choices in favor of *their* ideological 'truth'. And claim that a victimization is afoot.

  50. I don't know of any religion that doesn't want new members, even atheism. Anyone who thinks this dipstick has a point is not playing with a full deck.

  51. Jesus doesn't condemn people to hell. They choose it by rejecting love and choosing evil. Your life now determines your life later.

  52. Big Think, huh?  I didn't hear him say anything that Sam Harris and others haven't said much better.  Still, it's good that he's saying it.

  53. In America people may think that they can only be good people if they believe in god, but here in europe there are alot of people that dont believe in god

  54. Xenophobia is inherent in human beings. If you would look at brain reactions of Lawrence Krauss you would notice that when he sees pictures of black people or muslims or whatever, he will show an amount of fear. This fear is inherent Xenophobia.

    What religion does is giving rationalisations that this xenophobia is right.

    The 'conscious' Lawrence Krauss, however, knows it is not right even though his own brain gives away he too has a xenophobic ideas. He just cannot hide against a God or a religious text, he has to take responsibility for his own xenophobia and literally has to fight it on a conscious level.

  55. I don't think this guy knows very much about Christianity or Islam. He states that the major difference between Christianity and Islam is in the age or maturity between the two. This line of reasoning is seriously flawed when you consider the teachings of the two core figures their respective religions are based upon, Christ for Christianity and Muhammad for Islam. Christ spoke of turning the other cheek, Muhammad spoke of killing those that did not follow him. Christ voluntarily gave his own life as a sacrifice, while Muhammad founded a religion of conquest. Fundamentally different. 500 years from now, those that follow Muhammad's words will still be beheading unbelievers while those that strive to strictly follow the teaching of Jesus Christ will hopefully be evolving into a more peaceful, tolerant people. That is, unless the Muslims kill us all first.

  56. Thou I agree that the old testament is just as violent as the quran, not to mention the life of Muhammed (Hadith), there is one point one seems to miss. Islam is partly founded on the idea that the old monotheistic religions (Judaism/Christianity), has been corrupted by human needs. From my reading, it also seems to have a stronger emphasis that it should be taken literally. We are after all talking about the "literal, timeless and perfect words of god".

    With these things in mind, then no, they are not equally bad. Islam has a much harder time getting off its violent chains that drags it back, thou it is doable. Having said that, some seem to disregard completely what is written in some strange form of relativism or political correctness, where quran could have been "Harry Potter" and the end result would be the same.

    At least people these days are starting to seeing religions individually, and not dumping them all in one. They are different, at they leads to different results, both good and bad. Some better, and some worse, thou that is still to controversial to say in some places.

  57. the big problem with religious violence is that it is motivated more by poverty, inequality, and a lack of education. This is no more unique in the Muslim world of the modern era, than in the Middle ages, or indeed in certain states in the US. Take a look for example in the middle ages, the Arab world was much more cosmopolitan, scientific, wealthy and influential than now. Europe meanwhile was poor, agricultural, and isolated from heavy influence of much of the world, and much more homogeneous ethnically than the Islamic world. This had been the case for a long time, until Europe of course began founding colonial empires. Meanwhile the radical fundamentalism people associate with Islam today of course really originated in the aftermath of French and English colonization of much of the middle east, and the decline of the ottoman empire, as well as the movement away from the middle east as a center of trade. This decline in trade really reached a nexus by the 18th century and correspondingly the Wahhabi movement originated in Arabia. If you read much of the mission statement of Al Qaeda, they are overwhelmingly reacting against their perceived humiliation during the 20th century, and what they view as Islam no longer being a powerful political force since the decline of the ottoman empire.

  58. The violence in the crusades is exaggerated a lot… around the time, nobody in the islamic world really seemed to care about it.

  59. What about the Tradition of staying in your own Race and not mixing? I find it crazy how you have Immigrants being flooded into only the White Nations. The people pushing this Agenda are shoving mixing propaganda down most White Women's throats… also promoting Diversity and Feminism to destroy relationships between White Men And White Women. The people doing this sound like the real Racists and are trying to kill the White Race off.

  60. I've heard people think of Atheists as people who don't believe in anything so they're capable of doing horrible things without fear of a higher power condemning them. I find that ironic because I've never heard of an Atheist terrorist or soldier. I'm sure there are but I only hear about someone (who may be mentally ill) change their religion to Islam and take the steps to perform a terrorist act like blowing themselves up.
    I think people hold on to religion because they're terrified that they're here with no purpose and when they die they won't continue on. They need the fantasy of going to heaven to keep sane.
    I've heard from enough religious people trying to indoctrinate me to believe that's the reason.
    I've had two people from my work try to get me to become a Muslim. One even gave me a Quran. It was very wordy and couldn't be bothered. One guy would keep telling me Bible/Quran stories thinking I've never heard of them before. He told me about a man named Yusif who was swallowed by a whale who prayed to Allah until the whale barfed him out. I'm sure you've all heard that story.
    That man was very upset when I wasn't interested in visiting his mosque or listening to him talk about the Quran anymore.
    What's up with Muslims evangelizing so much? Where I live, they're far more aggressive than any other religious groups.

  61. Jesus was considered a rebel and an anarchist by most people of his time. He spoke against religious heads like the Pharisees, exposed them and called them hypocrites. "If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." A self proclaimed prophet who was not formally educated in the Law (religious) saying this to powerful men of the time is no laughing matter. In fact he payed the price with his life. If Jesus were from the 20th or 21st century, we would see him in a different light.
    So I think Lawrence Krauss, whom I agree with on many of his points, would also benefit from looking at things from a different point of view.

  62. I think one could say all forms of tribalism breeds xenophobia. Be it religious, political, etnic, national or other forms of tribalism. Its bound to seperate people och create tension and hatred.

    Pherhaps it is evolutionary baggage that helped to secure the survival of our tribe and gene pool in times of resource scarcity. But today when we have enogh resourses for everyones needs tribalism only leeds to needless suffering. We should of course aspire to get civiliced by widening our circle of compassion.
    Human nature is not fixed, our behaviour is dependent upon envirionment and over the very long term Steven Pinker has shown that there has been a decline in violence.

  63. Ok mr I am the smartest atheist in the world. Why they hell is xenophobia wrong? Seriously it makes sense in terms of survival, yea various people groups view other groups as a threat be it for resources territory whatever. Xenophobia fits perfectly with the survival of the fittest hypothesis, so why is this man claiming that religion causes xenophobia, as if that makes religion bad, when he has not yet even shown why xenophobia is bad in the first place? This is something bashing religions atheists always do, and yes I mean always, they proclaim something to be wrong based on their own personal convictions (you know since morality is relative) and then they try and prove religion is bad for supposedly promoting whatever it is they personally believe is wrong. No one with common sense should accept such irrational arguments. This video is plain dumb.

  64. Is dishonesty, fear of engaging in fair debate and overall lack of common sense inherent in the scientific establishment? Because Krauss has proven himself to be one of the finest examples of them all.

  65. It's funny because Krauss begins by saying its wrong to lump religions into one framework and then precedes to do exactly that.

  66. Krause, I'm a big fan of, but he is totally wrong about the Old Testament being more violent than the Quran. The opposite is true, and in a significant way. The Quran not only has a greater quantity of violence. The way I which it expresses it is significant. The Biblical violence is descriptive. It tells a story of atrocities. The Quran is prescriptive. It commands violence to Muslims for all time.

  67. I have nothing against spirituality and universal moralism. Yet I agree, theoretical religion is obsolete today. Too often people use it to control others. Then we have the issue of fundamentalists and fanatics. Yet I question, is it the religion causing the xenophobic behaviour or is xenophobic behaviour instinctively natural and magnified by religious doctrine? The other question we must ask is, since religion is a set of rules based on the fear of repercussion, does that not imply that it is merely a tool that keeps us from ascending beyond our fear based instincts. Instead we should be teaching respect and compassion regardless of religion. This in itself, in my belief and experience, grows conscience, not fear of repercussion.

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