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5/17/17

Violence and religion: 'Violence more common' in Bible than Quran, text analysis reveals in "misleading study"- by Samuel Osborne

An analysis into whether the Quran is more violent than the Bible found killing and destruction occur more frequently in the Christian texts than the Islamic.

Investigating whether the Quran really is more violent than its Judeo-Christian counterparts, software engineer Tom Anderson processed the text of the Holy books to find which contained the most violence.

It took just two minutes for his software to read and analyse the three books.

 In a blog post, Mr Anderson explains: "The project was inspired by the ongoing public debate around whether or not terrorism connected with Islamic fundamentalism reflects something inherently and distinctly violent about Islam compared to other major religions."

Using text analytics software he had developed, named Odin Text, he analysed both the New International Version of both the Old and New Testaments as well as an English-language version of the Quran from 1957.

By categorizing words into eight emotions - Joy, Anticipation, Anger, Disgust, Sadness, Surprise, Fear/Anxiety and Trust - the analysis found the Bible scored higher for anger and much lower for trust than the Quran.

Further analysis found the Old Testament was more violent than the New Testament, and more than twice as violent as the Quran.

However, he adds: "First, I want to make very clear that we have not set out to prove or disprove that Islam is more violent than other religions.

"Moreover, we realize that the Old and New Testaments and the Quran are neither the only literature in Islam, Christianity and Judaism, nor do they constitute the sum of these religions’ teachings and protocols.

"I must also reemphasize that this analysis is superficial and the findings are by no means intended to be conclusive. Ours is a 30,000-ft, cursory view of three texts: the Quran and the Old and New  testament.

Note EU-Digest: the original headline of this article in the Independent is misleading and so is the study, specifically when it comes to the focus on violence, 

Case in point: has the bible ever inspired Christians to strap explosives to teenagers and have them walk into crowded market places and detonate themselves, causing their own death, and many other casualties, or inspired Christians to drive trucks or other vehicles into public gatherings and kill as many people as possible shouting "Jesus is great" ? 

On the other hand, one must also admit that in times of war, Christian nations military forces have killed millions of innocent civilians, afterwards calling the people killed by their indiscriminate bombings, "collateral damage".    

Maybe the conclusion is that evil things happen when people start interpreting their religious beliefs to fit their own needs and not the other way around?

Read more: 'Violence more common' in Bible than Quran, text analysis reveals | The Independent

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