As far as killers go; where does religion rank?

I know there is no definative answer here. I’m just wondering if we could get a “Ranking” or maybe a ballpark figure by compairison.

For example: You know how some studies will claim that drunk driving has killed more people than all the world wars combined… etc.

(I’m speaking of ALL religions here…)
Thanks for any input.

I think that this has been done a bit in Great Debates before, usually in reference to the idea that religion has killed more people than anything else. The problem I see with this idea is that it’s hard to tie a direct connection between religion and a murderous outcome. I would say that most things that claim religion as the cause can also equally claim a desire for power, wealth, or land as well. Can you define your question a bit more?

I haven’t actually thought of it like that to be honest.

I’d guess I’d define it under anything that was done under the diferct influence of spiritual leaders.

I know that probably leaves it still pretty vague but that’s as close as I can come I guess.

The problems you run into here may be illustrated by the Taiping rebellion which killed around 20 million people. Would you mark that down as Christian?

I very much doubt that anything like a factual answer to this question is possible, for a number of reasons, including[ul]
[li]the difficulty of defining “religion” or distinguishing what counts as religion for the purposes of a question like this[/li][li]the difficulty in determining a killer’s (or perpetrator of violence’s) true motivation or cause[/li][li]the fact that things like wars and persecutions have complex, multiple factors causing them[/li][/ul]

If anybody can provide a GD link I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

Right. Take the situation in Northern Ireland. “The Troubles” are ostensably a religious conflict, but in reality it’s an ethnically-based fight for political dominance: the native Irish people versus the British/Scottish latecomers.