Theory: Religion Causes War



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Original post

Posted by {aud}devil, 19.09.2007 - 04:05
Before you opened this forum, I bet you were scratching your head over the title. well, I wouldn't create this if I didn't do my research. Here is my theory:

For millions of years, there have been wars. Difference of religion, i believe, is the cause of all major wars.

for example, The American Revolution. People have immigrated to the united states to rid themselves of religious prosecution.

also, the war in iraq. The american troops are merely aides in reform. The real war is between the sunnis and the shites.

Does anyone agree with my theory or am i nuts?
15.01.2013 - 02:37
FourMechALYX
Account deleted
I think that it is not purely religion that causes war, but intolerance of different religions. Any religion that does not teach its followers to be violent cannot cause violence by itself, but it is people not accepting others or wanting to live peacefully that causes war. That intolerance, though I'm not going to make any over-arching statement, I think is the cause of a large percentage of wars, because if people accepted each other peacefully you wouldn't have any border wars, religious wars or quite of few other kinds of wars. That does leave out energy wars though, those are their own thing. The world would be very different if we were not in need of new fuel sources at all times or fearing that we may run out.
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07.10.2013 - 03:50
Nemo Atkins
I don't necessarily disagree with that theory, but it's not the way I see things. The way I see it, war can be started by any person, no matter whether they are religious or not. The only reason the religious connection is far more prominent with history is because, in those times, religion was a big thing. In some countries today, it still is, but it was a life and death thing back then: if you weren't religious, you could be completely cast out of society. So, the religious connection is really a bit of a coincidence on some of the famous conflicts, as those times were far more grounded in religion. I stress "some" here: there are conflicts out there which genuinely can be traced down to one side not liking the other for religious reasons and I am not going to deny that (for example, the inquisition, the crucades and, technically, the Holocaust: the nazis didn't like the Jewish community and wanted them exterminated). I just feel that there is often more to the theory of religion being the cause of all war than some people give credit for, since the times they usually bring up are very different from our own and, because those times were very religious, it is easy for us to read into them from our modern (and noticeably less religious) outlook and come out with something that was legitimately not what the thing was really about.

(Also, for the sake of throwing out one of my own theories: I always felt that the negative aspects of religion were not caused by religion itself, but mankind abusing religion for various reasons. I'm not religious myself, but I do try to follow most Christian values and I do find that, in times of great need, praying can make me feel more comfortable, as it allows me to think that there is someone out there who can hear what I say and hopefully make things better. So, I know that religion, when kept strictly as a personal thing, can be beneficial in some ways to people, as it can give them something to keep hoping for when things get too tough for them to manage on their own. Organised religion is where I get a bit concerned, but that's more because I feel that you shouldn't need someone to tell you what to believe. I feel that anyone having power over another person needs the morales of a person who knows the power he can wield and the humility to not abuse it, which is where religion can get a bad name when people without those morales get high ranking roles (or, at least, not the second half of that). So, in a way, my issue with religion is not actually religion, but mankind. Maybe I'm being really pessimistic there, but it's the way I see things.)
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09.04.2014 - 00:14
Dentura
Shadow King
Religion itself doesn't cause war, it's the people who warp the original intentions of their respective religions to suit their own ends, as a way of gaining power (look to Constantine for example), which inflates self-righteous beliefs that their faith is "the one true faith" and that others are heresy, thus resulting in impending conflict.
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...And so death to the falsity of thy former rulers. Thy kingdom of "heaven" burns in a field of fire, and Dentura is the one true God thou must yield thy hearts and souls to in absolute submission. It is his ultimate decree and will unto thee..
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22.06.2014 - 18:58
Ganondox
Written by {aud}devil on 19.09.2007 at 04:05

Before you opened this forum, I bet you were scratching your head over the title. well, I wouldn't create this if I didn't do my research. Here is my theory:

For millions of years, there have been wars. Difference of religion, i believe, is the cause of all major wars.

for example, The American Revolution. People have immigrated to the united states to rid themselves of religious prosecution.

also, the war in iraq. The american troops are merely aides in reform. The real war is between the sunnis and the shites.

Does anyone agree with my theory or am i nuts?


You are nuts. The American Revolution has nothing to do with religion whatsoever. Yes, some people came to America to escape religious persecution, but that was long before the war started. People came to American for a wide variety of reasons, many of them economically based. The war was based on economic divisions between Britain and America, not religious ones. While the conflict going on in Iraq is based in religion, the US intervened because of oil.
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25.06.2014 - 05:14
JayMo4
Allowing political leaders to manipulate us into fighting causes wars. It just so happens that religion is an outstanding tool of coercion. Political loyalties often operate in very much the same way religions do, of course. It's just one more dogmatic belief system for most people.
You wield immense power as a leader once you understand how to tap into those dogmatic impulses that come with religion, that come with politics, that come with culture. Tap into our fears and insecurities and we're yours.

All that said, sometimes these leaders have religious motivations of their own, so yes: Sometimes it's still about religion in a direct way. Sometimes it's about money/power/land/that type of stuff. Sometimes its about political and economic ideology, which I suppose is somewhat of a combination of the two (again, because political ideology operates so much like religion. If you have a system that is unquestionably what is best for everyone whether they realize it or not, it doesn't matter if you're trying to save souls or run a nation, the results are often much the same.)

Preventing war requires logic and skepticism (and perhaps a bit of compassion is always helpful,) plus the will and organization necessary to resist war-mongering politicians.
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26.06.2014 - 16:18
Dead Eternity
Written by deadone on 28.04.2014 at 08:55

People cause war. Religion's just one of those handy reasons for going to war.

I agree with you. Even if all religions were to disappear, mankind would still need an excuse to cause wars. To me, war is part of the human condition. The only way to end all wars is by destroying humankind itself. But who would want to do that?
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26.06.2014 - 16:22
IronAngel
Written by Dead Eternity on 26.06.2014 at 16:18

To me, war is part of the human condition. The only way to end all wars is by destroying humankind itself. But who would want to do that?


I agree. Furthermore, you could replace "war" with "religion" in that statement, and I would agree even more.
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07.07.2014 - 23:10
Stoned Crow
Perhaps war causes religion.
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I'm very serious about not being serious.
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08.07.2014 - 05:35
Stoned Crow
Written by deadone on 08.07.2014 at 01:48

Written by Stoned Crow on 07.07.2014 at 23:10

Perhaps war causes religion.



Or not. What do you have to back that assertion up especially when Judaism, Islam, Shintoism, Hinduism or Buddhism do not have their origins in war (though Islam certainly was rife with armed conflict in early days). Christianity is perhaps the only main religion born directly out of conflict - i.e. Roman occupation of Palestine/Israel.


When did a statement beginning with "perhaps" become an assertion?
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I'm very serious about not being serious.
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08.07.2014 - 06:01
Stoned Crow
Written by deadone on 08.07.2014 at 05:36

Written by Stoned Crow on 08.07.2014 at 05:35


When did a statement beginning with "perhaps" become an assertion?



So it's a pointless throw away line then!


Perhaps everything is impermanent and that which is the cause of the other is trivial, at best.
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I'm very serious about not being serious.
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30.07.2014 - 17:58
Angry Soul
Religion has nothing to do with spirituality. In fact, it's created to institutionalize genuine spirituality. The real journey is always individual, as many greats including metal bands have indicated. If you see collectivized entities, be it religion or government, you can be hundred percent certain that there is a poisoner and a poisoned.
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"The valor that struggles is better than the weakness that endures." - Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

"Art is the Tree of Life. Science is the Tree of Death." - William Blake
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15.12.2016 - 21:32
tuerda
Pretty much all wars can be traced to political, economic and social factors. Most wars happen for really selfish ugly reasons. Those who start the wars would never want to admit these reasons. In those cases, they must find some kind of excuse to give the world for the awful thing they are doing. Religion is a common, handy, default excuse for when they are not feeling particularly creative. They use the hell out of it.

Most obvious example I can think of: The crusades. The European monarchies would become a lot wealthier and more powerful if they could control important trade routes around Turkey, Jordan, etc. It just so happened that that area includes Israel, where Jesus came from. There really did not exist any concept of a "holy land" in Christianity, and the area had pretty much *never* been christian. Most of Europe had been christian for centuries, and nobody really cared that Israel was not. When the trade routes became more and more important, however, they decided to invent the concept of a holy land, and begin a large war in order to "take it back for Christianity". This was total nonsense, but it was all the excuse they needed to send massive armies there. The crusades were clearly and obviously not about religion, but a religious excuse was invented and used. A lot of people believed it at the time, and history textbooks to this day will often cite this absurd excuse as the motivation.
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26.04.2017 - 02:32
Heathen Heavy
Religion doesn't directly cause war unless we're talking about the specific people involved in the religion who start the war. Religions with deities seem to be the biggest religions to start wars, however. Religions without deities, such as taoism, seem to have good enough views so as to dissuade arrogance, greed, and selfishness, while also allowing the betterment of oneself, all without the need of a god. However, a religion such as christianity includes a god, akin to a king/overlord. Religions with deities that function as an overlord seem to have the most trouble avoiding violence and war, but are also the most popular (due to strong faith in their deities), while godless religions have no deity to go to war with. With invisible entities (such as the Tao), it's about living life as best as possible, not following the will of a god.
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Power metal incarnate.
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26.04.2017 - 13:09
IronAngel
Written by Heathen Heavy on 26.04.2017 at 02:32

Religions without deities, such as taoism, seem to have good enough views so as to dissuade arrogance, greed, and selfishness, while also allowing the betterment of oneself, all without the need of a god.


Are you implying that China is a particularly peaceful and benevolent nation in the history of mankind? Of course you cannot equate China and Taoism, but that's just the point. A comparison between two societies on roughly the same level (in terms of organization, material circumstances and internal and foreign problems), where one society has adopted a single state religion and the other has several that work on various levels is bound to distort the picture. How is "Taosim" (insofar as it's a distinct agent) in a position to start wars (even before communism), and conversely, if it does play a part, isn't that easy to mistakenly attribute to something else (Chinese culture and politics, or whatever), given the religious diversity in China?

I could go on about the particularities of Taoism, but I am not an expert. The point is that you're bound to come up with false or unhelpful generalisations if you don't look at things in their actual, immediate historical context.
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28.04.2017 - 05:07
Heathen Heavy
Written by IronAngel on 26.04.2017 at 13:09

Written by Heathen Heavy on 26.04.2017 at 02:32

Religions without deities, such as taoism, seem to have good enough views so as to dissuade arrogance, greed, and selfishness, while also allowing the betterment of oneself, all without the need of a god.


I could go on about the particularities of Taoism, but I am not an expert. The point is that you're bound to come up with false or unhelpful generalisations if you don't look at things in their actual, immediate historical context.


I might be wrong in saying that religions without deities are more peaceful than religions without, but I've never done enough research on China and wars in China to draw a good conclusion. I just know that many of the most destructive wars have taken place in Europe over the last two hundred years. In this case, we might even attribute this senseless violence to nationalism.

Religion was a big cause of a lot of wars (under God, the crusades occurred), but it certainly hasn't caused every war. And I might, with enough evidence, argue that religion without a god is a life philosophy instead. I don't know of anyone who has caused wars over a life philosophy. Political yes. Religious, yes. Under a certain viewpoint on the basis of living life in the best way? No.
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Power metal incarnate.
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