Violent Scripture Increases Violence

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[Mean People]
So much for the Good Book, it seems...or at least the bloody parts of it.

According to a study done concurrently by Brigham Young University in Utah and Vrije University in the Netherlands, exposure to violent Bible passages (and presumably, similar passages in other holy books) increases aggression in those exposed to it. In particular, religious believers were more willing to commit aggressive acts when they knew the violent passage had come from the Bible.

One interesting detail about this experiment was the pool of subjects. The experiment was performed on two groups: one composed of Brigham Young students, of whom 99% reported believing in God and the Bible, and one composed of students from the Netherlands, of whom only 50% reported believing in God and 27% in the Bible.

The two groups were then exposed to a violent passage from the King James Bible. (If you can't think of any violent passages, you haven't been reading your Bible very closely.) For both groups, half were told that the passage came from the Bible, and half were told it was a story found on an ancient scroll.

Participants read a passage about the savage murder of a woman and her husband's revenge on her killers, with some also reading a command from God to take up arms, and were then allowed to expose a partner to a painfully loud noise after winning a simple game.

Both groups were more willing to commit aggressive acts (blasting a louder noise) after reading the passage when they knew about its Biblical source, but the believers in the study were more violent than the nonbelievers after reading the passage.

The moral of the story? The only thing worse than a violent, aggressive nut is a violent, aggressive religious nut.

The researchers noted that they did not think their results would be the same if these passages were studied in context, as part of a more wholistic study of the Bible, focusing on the more palatable messages of love and peace found in other sections. However, they didn't actually do any research into THAT question. I mean, they want to keep getting funding, after all.

And why were they doing this study at all? In part, to help them understand terrorists who quote from holy books to support their actions. Could religious sources increase violent tendencies? It would seem that they could.

More details.

Photo source: The Brick Testament. Check out this faithful version of the Bible presented visually through the world of Lego.


Posted by interesting on 2007-03-20 12:47:47
Apply a study like this to violent video games, and you've got a call to arms to have "Grand Theft Auto" banned world wide. The Bible, meanwhile, is protected under freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
Posted by wizeGurl on 2007-03-21 10:50:18
"Grand Theft Auto" is also protected under freedom of speech--at least, it should be. (And who knows, it could be part of someone's religion.)

But yes, it's interesting how the calls for censorship ("to protect the children!") never quite appear when the subject is the Bible, or the violent, bloody gore-fest in question is The Passion of the Christ. Even if you're opposed to censorship, the silence from those who aren't is deafening.
GTA and the Bible
Posted by Pile on 2007-03-21 15:52:36
There's a difference between recognizing a pattern and suggesting that the Bible be banned. That kind of sensationalistic fearmongering does absolutely no good.

There is no doubt that GTA probably does contribute towards potential violent and anti-social behavior. I think the game is interesting and I am not in favor of banning it, but at the same time, I think it would be irresponsible to let young, impressionable children below a certain maturity level play the game. I'd say the same thing about the Bible. No need to ban it, but you don't teach people about the Bible until they've reached a maturity level whereby they can recognize that, like GTA, it's a fantasy and not to be applied as a literal influence on how one should live one's life.
piss on it all
Posted by stupid on 2007-09-11 13:07:25
They had to wast money on a study, f*ck I could have told them for free, look at all the so called holy wars going on, f*cktards.


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