Whereas it is simple common sense that having the majority of people on the side of just law and order is the only way to prevent the oppression of minorities.
I burst out laughing at this. Really. How can people be so oblivious and naive to have very recent and clear examples laid out before them yet still have these childish notions about how society works. "Law and order" gets you internment/concentration/labor/death camps. All you have to do is pass laws, whereby it becomes legal (tautological, I know), and then in order to be a law-abiding citizen you must comply. Law is not morality, which is exactly why a majority cannot just vote minorities be harmed and be right even if that vote creates a law which makes it "legal".
Not only that, but you're extremely naive if you think that most people want what you want. You'd get a very rude awakening if a real democracy were put in place, North Africa is learning that the hard way right now. The urban liberals in Egypt thought that democracy would make things better, but they're learning that what the majority wants is in fact a society based on oppressive religious conservatism. Large groups of people are ruled brutally by the bell curve. They are of average intellect and average wisdom, and in a place where averages are lower, so goes the entire effect. And as Polybius and contemporaries documented long ago, such simplistic political forms fall inevitably into ochlochcracy. Study history.
He was as human as any, but his near-saint status is not unearned, and those would claim it was are likely oblivious to what he really did with his life.
I'm prepared to grant that Jainism and Bahai are exceptionally not murderous. They're also very small groups, so it would be rather like trying to judge computer users based on the population that uses BeOS. They're wildly atypical of religious practice in the world.
And Daoism... whose Daoism? Daoism is frequently used interchangeably to denote either the philosophy of Laozi and his disciples or Chinese folk religion or both. The Boxer Rebellion was quite violent I assure you, and though frequently viewed through a political lens, the boxers were fundamentally a Daoist mystical sect. Far earlier characters like Zhang Yu did quite a lot of violence in the name of Daoism, and I'm sure there are others but I have only so much time to devote to obvious patterns.
Religions can't start killing until they reach a certain critical mass. The first stage is always persecution from the pre-existing majority, during which they usually preach peace and tolerance (surprise, surprise). Islam followed this curve very rapidly, and Mohammed wrote all sorts of nice, high-minded peace and love bullshit in the Quran while he was leading a persecuted minority in exile. It wasn't until he turned the tables and was leading Mecca itself that he started writing the "kill them where you find them" convert or die shit in the Quran. Christianity took more time to get to that point, but after the various councils of bishops started labeling heresies and stoning/burning/crucifying/beheading "heresiarchs" and their followers, that's when things began in earnest. Critical mass was reached, and killing could and did commence.
Oh, and 'the religion of women and slaves'? Please. I know that this was a derogatory phrase to the Romans that modern Christians think lionizes (snicker) them as progressive, but it's anachronistic fantasy. No less than half a dozen times in the New Testament alone is slavery endorsed and slaves commanded to serve their masters as though they were serving Christ himself. Women were explicitly barred from teaching men, and their second class status in society was not repudiated but reinforced by New Testament teachings. They were told not to ask questions in church but defer to their husbands' opinions, etc. etc. It's all there in black and white. Christianity in many ways became popular through ultimately conforming more and more to Greco-Roman norms and usurping its traditions and morals. If it had remained simply what Christ taught and didn't contain all the Pauline doctrines it probably wouldn't have been nearly as successful. All this syncretism aside, which is a far deeper and more complex topic, as soon as Christianity was accepted by Roman society after Constantine, it was open season to kill.
I'm not going to play more what-if games about history since if religion were not a component in human society history would necessarily be completely different from what it was. While there would be conquests of the Levant, as there were before any Abrahamic religious societies contested for it, there would be no "Crusades" because a) there would be no Islam b) there would be no "holy land" c) there would be no concept of a "holy war". Just war. And it would probably be over quickly and decisively, instead dragging on for generation after generation because of some concept of divine will.
And sure, other things kill besides religion, but religion is superfluous. There is nothing that religion does that cannot be done just as well by secular organizations. Removing religious motivations for killing would result in a net reduction of killings, even though killings would still happen for other reasons.
And while I know you're being facetious, freedom, democracy, security and whatnot, but there's a real point there. These sorts of abstract concepts can result in killings, but they do not, as a matter of logical imperative, cause killings. There is not an inherent logical path of 'freedom... therefore kill' or 'democracy
Lastly, the Taiping Rebellion has more to teach than I think you're willing to learn. The Taiping Rebellion failed because it was religious. Many Chinese wanted to revolt against the Qing since it was a foreign occupation that had terrorized Han people (e.g. the que order), albeit with a significant Han collaboration. The Taiping Rebellion lost steam because a) the leadership were complete whackadoodles as is common among messianic movements b) the religious foundation was ostensibly foreign and had limited appeal among the broader Chinese society as a replacement for a foreign occupation, indeed it was a testament to their desperation that as many signed on as did, but I think a lot of them just saw it as a vehicle for change c) the movement was seen as untrustworthy and hypocritical because it preached morality and virtue but acted out debauchery. The corollaries to these things should be obvious a) if the leadership were practical, disciplined and prudent b) if the motivating vision was native rather than foreign c) if the actions of the movement were consistent with its message then the Taiping Rebellion would probably have been called something else and would also have been successful in establishing a domestic Han Chinese dynasty (which is what most of them wanted anyway).
Once you leave the 20th century behind, you'll find a lot more is possible than you've probably thought about. And this is without even considering what we might be able to do in another century. We're still practically infants when it comes to quantum effects and how to use them.
While you make excellent points, and indeed resources are likely more or less the same from one stellar system to the next, finite resources are still finite, and if a civilization wants to grow it must expand. (Not to mention any advanced civilization would understand that staying on one planet or within one stellar system would be risking destruction by a planetary or stellar level disaster. Eggs in one basket and all that.)
Fundamentally I think its a matter of the 'apes or angels' hypothesis. It's unlikely that sentient beings are likely to cross paths at anything like similar levels of development. As a species we haven't even been working with practical electricity for much more than a century, and yet we're already at the point where we can send more information between two computers than an individual human being can know or understand. Eventually we will merge with computers in some way (continued development virtually requires this), at which point language of mere words will become completely obsolete. A "word" in the future might well be a "Library of Congress" today. A civilization like that might even "forget" how to communicate at low bandwidth levels, and the things it might learn from such communication might be so unimportant as to make it worthless. For instance many small organisms communicate using pheremones, and while we can synthesize said pheremones, communicating "scared" or "horny" to tiny creatures isn't worth the time. Similarly superintelligences that might communicate all of humanity's knowledge in a single "word" might be unwilling to stoop to "hello, how are you?" It would be far, far worse than somebody raised on a dedicated OC3 having to use a 2400 baud modem.
Really the only hope in terms of analogous behaviors is that some people study lower forms of life quite diligently. If any contact has occurred or might occur, it's most likely going to be with an extraterrestrial equivalent of a microbiologist. However even human scientists don't (usually) talk to their petri dishes, so I think meaningful contact is still unlikely until we raise ourselves to a high enough bandwidth.
The sociopolitical and economic power that religion once offered was prize enough that many people convinced themselves of messianic nonsense (Taiping Rebellion anyone?) even though failure meant death by the established community/culture. The murderous attitude of religious societies is only dulled and restrained when those societies realize how harmful their intolerant doctrines are and start ignoring the harmful parts. Religion indeed is only good when it becomes less religious. The problem with pluralism is that it sows the seeds of its own destruction by allowing intolerant sects to rise (which is exactly what happened with the pagan world vs. the Judeo-Christian world, and indeed may be happening again with the reformed secular Christian world vs. the Islamic world). It is necessary, no matter what, to be intolerant of intolerance in the same spirit as never initiating force, but responding always to force with force.
Quotes and high-minded ideals mean nothing to the piles of bones in mass graves. Religions need to be judged on their deeds, not their words, and religions have shown themselves in culture after culture, time after time, to motivate people to murder.
New religions are disruptive countercultures, look at any time and place where a new or foreign religion takes hold in an area with a different long standing belief system (which is to say, everywhere, every time, because we don't have historical accounts of any society that went from a truly areligious state to a religious one). You would do well to study the history of the rise of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism (especially in China), Mormonism, etc. It's all culture clash, violence, distrust etc. It takes generations for things to normalize, and only after the deaths of countless people caught in between.
Your attitude of 'look at religion now' is completely meaningless and obtuse through the lens of history. Look at how religion comes to be, from that you'll actually learn something.
In Memoriam: Hypatia of Alexandria
Ancient slavery and the meaninglessness of 'sins of the father' scenarios aside, you do realize also that the slave trade was catalyzed by Africans right? Africa wasn't even significantly colonized during the height of the slave trade, it was almost entirely Africans themselves who were capturing and selling slaves at the first stage of the market. It is also worth noting that it was Africa too that was the last to abolish slavery. Mauritania *still* has problems with outright slavery since it was legal there just a few decades ago, and not actually criminalized until the 21st century. But yeah, keep blaming evil white guys. White people were neither the first, nor the last, nor the worst slave owners in the breadth of world history. Indeed, if anything white people should be getting the credit for being the ones who worked to end slavery most significantly.
Additionally an acquaintance of mine shot a guy who was attempting to rob him at gunpoint. He faked the guy out about getting his wallet, drew down on him instead and hit him several times. The guy fired off a couple of random shots, but he was too surprised to aim.* Dumbass lived though, and was duly convicted of his felony after learning the hard way that violent crime doesn't work out well in Virginia. This is why we have less of it than our may issue neighbors to the north.
These are just the people I know. If you go on keepandbeararms.com you can see stories of personal defense every day. I have pages and pages of self-defense stories from the "Armed Citizen" pieces in NRA magazines like America's First Freedom. So no, saying you have a gun to protect yourself is not stupid. It's saved lives, up to and including my wife.
*(Turns out the guy had just acquired his gun and didn't really know how to handle it, and just happened to target a guy who has put in years of time at ranges. It was a lucky scenario, since it's hard to get the upper hand on anybody who's already drawn, and indeed I would not recommend drawing on anybody who's already drawn unless there is no other choice, which in fact in my acquaintance's case there was not since the would-be robber was literally jamming his gun into the guy's side. Seeking cover, which is generally the first best move, was not an option.)
The reality is that every state that has enacted shall issue concealed carry systems has seen violent crime either stay the same or go down, even over decades. Take off your ideological blinders and look at facts. The anti-carry groups said over and over how carry would lead to crazy shoot outs, and in every state it didn't happen. Now even the barely informed look at that bullshit and roll their eyes. Reality simply doesn't bear our your assumptions.
Meanwhile all the highest crime and the most violence occurs in places where concealed carry is illegal or effectively illegal (because nobody but celebrities, politicians, and moguls can grease the palms necessary to get 'may issue' licenses). Stop peddling this nonsense, it's getting more people killed than concealed carry has or will.