This is a controversial topic even among staff of this blog so writing about it will probably cause certain amounts of outrage.
The topic, which I'm about to introduce, was prompted by a comment I read on Planck's Constant:
"And if we're going to deport people on religious grounds, why stop with the Muslims? Christianity is just as bad as Islam. It's not Islam per se that is the problem, it's Islamic *totalitariansm*." - Valda RedfernWell Valda, that's where you're wrong. Christianity is not "just as bad as Islam" - that's just perverse political correctness. I wish it was only her that shared that opinion, but quite frankly its a widely believed myth.
Let me take you back to ancient Greece for a while - togas not required. We're going to visit three very important figures in philosophy, mysticism and science(but we'll forget the latter for today).
Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are our subjects - they were all titans of the mind and their philosophy all originated in the same place. They all had schools and many people who followed their particular branch of thought, they all had digressed significantly from their common root.
Examine these men for a minute, they all had philosophies that told you how to live and what to believe. So even though we just call them philosophers now, their philosophies answered the same questions that religions answer today. They had religions.
Humor me and imagine that Socrates and Plato's branches had reformations, they abandoned a lot of the principles in their original guiding texts, they condemned the misdemeanors committed in their names. What they had now was what they believed to be a clean, more perfect, more humanitarian guide to life. It was effectually neutered of all its dangers.
Let's dissect the believers of all three of these religions. The religions are a guide for their lives and all believers try to keep as close to them as possible. In all of these religions there are people who selectively believe(or pick and choose which parts they commit to) , and the proportion is much larger in Socrates + Plato's branches. There are also many people who vehemently think a minor deviation from the philosophies is a crime, and these people are much larger in proportion in Aristotle's branch. There are also many people in the middle who follow almost completely the things that their local religious leaders tell them.
In Aristotle's branch the radicals are the ones that control the local and global religious leaders. In Socrates' and Plato's branch the religious leaders are generally in the middle or to the selective beliefers' side, and yes, there are still a large number of radicals in charge of local affairs.
Aristotle's branch was forged out of a time that necessitated brutality and great violence, and so it incorporates it into the philosophy. There was no and for the immediate future will be no reformation in this religion.
These branches are embroiled in bitter conflict with each other throughout the world.
Aristotle's branch generally views itself as perpetually embattled and persecuted, there are a very large number of them. They are at war.
Which sounds more dangerous to you? Socrates? Plato? Aristotle?
Aristotle's is Islam, Socrates' is Judaism and Plato's is Christianity. There is no equality among them because they happen to be religions from the same branch.
Thanks perverse political correctness, but you can leave - and never come back.