Religion and war

A common criticism of religion is that it is often a cause of war. People often say religion has caused more wars than any other factors. The article in the link below argues it is a myth religion is a cause of war. Do you feel religion is a cause of war or is the article correct in saying is not often a cause of war.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/is-religion-the-cause-of-_b_1400766

 

Do you feel religion is a cause of war or is the article correct in saying is not often a cause of war.
I don't think the article says quite what you think it does, @northwalian, and there is no yes-or-no answer to this question. It is overly simplistic.

It IS an overstatement that “religion is the cause for all (or most) wars”. However, like most pithy phrases, there is a truth behind it.

The problem is in defining “a religious war” or any “holy” conflict fought “in the name of religion.”

Beyond the Crusades, Muslim conquests, and other EXPRESSLY religious_wars, you have the tribalism, violence and prejudice that religions cause and inflame, but these are not labeled “religious wars.”

For example, between Columbus voyage in 1492 and the end of the 19th Century, European settlers had wiped out so many Native Americans their population had dropped from between 5 and 15 million to only 238,000. There had been 15 wars, raids and attacks, as well as the spread of disease. They were slaughtered like animals. And a huge factor in why they were seen as “animals” by the Europeans was the fact that they weren’t Christian. They were pagans. They had weird beliefs. And Christians have often believed that non-Christians are less fully “human.”

So some number of those dead were killed over religion. But not expressly. Not specifically.

To come up with a full accounting for all the human beings killed in part because of religion would be impossible, but you probably would have to include most wars in that.

All that said, it is also true that there have been many, many evil atheists throughout history, including Stalin and Pol Pot.

The problem is in equivocating “Killing over religion” and “Killing over atheism.” The first happens, the second does not.

People have been killed FOR gods (Yaweigh, Allah etc) and FOR religions (Catholicism, Islam, etc.)

People have NOT been killed FOR ATHEISM. Because atheism literally means “without a belief in god,” and that is ALL it means.

Communism is not “atheism,” even though Communist leaders have opposed religions. Communism is a political/economic ideology. Many Christians are Communists.

Same for Socialism, Naziism, etc.

See the problem?

 

 

I think that some ppl have indeed been killed by certain religious types, specifically because they are atheists.

But I guess you mean that ppl are not killed in the name of Atheism.

Ian - why do you think articles like this always quote the 100 million killed by communism but never bring up the reciprocal figure for capitalism?

@Timb

I think that some ppl have indeed been killed by certain religious types, specifically because they are atheists.
Yes, obviously.
But I guess you mean that ppl are not killed in the name of Atheism.
Oh, yes ... I see why what I said was confusing.

I wrote:

People have been killed FOR gods (Yaweigh, Allah etc) and FOR religions (Catholicism, Islam, etc.)

People have NOT been killed FOR ATHEISM. Because atheism literally means “without a belief in god,” and that is ALL it means.


When I said “FOR” here, I was drawing an equivalency between two things.

I should have said IN THE NAME OF, or ON BEHALF OF, in both cases.

It is quite clear that many are killed FOR BEING atheists…in the name of religions.

Clear now?

 

I think people will always find an excuse to kill one another or simply invent one when they can’t. Religion is a common scapegoat much of the time. There are times, however, when religion plays an undeniable role. I would imagine it would be difficult to get people to fly airplanes into buildings without first convincing them that they’re going to get something out of it after they’re dead.

But I think it’s actually far more common, and far more undeniable, for religion to be a major factor in smaller scale, individual atrocities such as murders and maimings with some religions being far more likely to produce much worse monsters than others. These days, mentally ill people aside, physical violence leading to life-altering injuries at a minimum is almost exclusively a Muslim problem while Christians lean more to making anonymous threats, disturbingly usually involving rape when made to an attractive female, that they never actually intend to carry out.

If both sides pray , why don’t they both win?

@widdershins

I think you are right. Religion is not the cause of all violence, but certain religious beliefs have led to violence that simply would not have happened otherwise.

There always would have been murders and wars over jealousy, money and land. However, without religion, there would not have been the Inquisition and witch burnings.

Re. Islam … liberals who do “whataboutism” (“What about Christianity though?” “Abortion clinic bombers?” “The American Taliban?”) should compare two examples of what happened in 1987 when religious people got offended:

Piss Christ

The American artist Andres Serrano’s image of a Crucifix submerged in his own urine was on display in various galleries for two years without incident.

It finally caused a hullabaloo when a pastor complained because the artist received funding through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Senators D’Amato and Helms passed a law requiring the NEA to consider “general standards of decency” in awarding grants. In some areas, people protested this image, along with some of Maplethorp’s.

Vs

The Satanic Verses

UK author Salman Rushdie published a book with dream sequences that altered some of the history of Muhammad, suggesting he may have gotten some things wrong. There were angry, violent demonstrations worldwide, and Iran’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa ordering Muslims to kill the author. He was forced to go into hiding for a decade.

 

The same thing happens today on Twitter and Facebook with offensive memes. An anti-Christian meme gets angry comments that someone is disgusting, or pathetic, or maybe will go to hell. An anti-Islam meme gets something else. Recently someone posted a photo on Facebook of a woman standing on a Qur’an. There were literally hundreds of comments underneath threatening to find her and kill her.

 

 

 

 

A common criticism of religion is that it is often a cause of war. People often say religion has caused more wars than any other factors.
Not only that, religious fanaticism enables good people to evolve into absolutely vicious monsters.

1/2

@citizenschallenge

Not only that, religious fanaticism enables good people to evolve into absolutely vicious monsters.
Yes.

Some people are just violent. Violence is a thing that would have happened, even if religion had never existed.

However, religion exists. And violent people have used religion as an excuse for their violence.

This is true…sometimes. But religious people claim it’s true all the time. And it’s not.

We need to talk about how many “good people have evolved into absolutely vicious monsters (specifically) because of religion.

 

@citizenschallengev3

We need to talk about how many “good people have evolved into absolutely vicious monsters (specifically) because of religion."
I have an illustration of how this happens, but am creating a separate post.
Some people are just violent. Violence is a thing that would have happened, even if religion had never existed.
I think you missed a nuance here. Religions breed self-certain absolutism like few other things - this enables self-justification of the most atrocious thinking.

Just look as our President of the United States who’s supposed to be secular fact based rational thinker - this time around it’s someone that has about as low a score on honesty, integrity, basic human character as one can imagine - yet he’s being turned into a religious figure - where his actions mean nothing - all that matters is displaying absolute unquestioning faith in him - and if you don’t have faith in him - the faithful are ordered to ignore all the facts and figures others have - and with scorn and contempt to boot.

This topic has become pretty heavy. I don’t mean anyone is saying anything wrong. Just that the emotional tone seems to have gradually become more… heavy.

Might it be in reaction to the news of the nation?

 

Can anyone explain what Trump’s good qualities are?

Some good points made. While “people are people” generally speaking, religion can be and has been used by monstrous people to “turn off” the normal conscious checks which would otherwise keep these people from doing vile thing or things against their own interest. But it’s not just religion which is used for that. There are similar nonreligious ways of doing that which we see every day these days. For example, let’s say you don’t like Mexicans, but you’re not a blatant white supremacist. In fact, American Nazis make you sick. So you don’t go around demanding to see the papers of every Mexican you see. Then some charismatic guy starts telling you that he doesn’t hate Mexicans, they’re just all murderers and rapists and we need to protect our borders. NOW you have an excuse to demand to see their papers OTHER than the inherent racism you are normally ashamed to acknowledge. It’s essentially the same mental processes.

The MAGA Bomber, once he could no longer go to Trump rallies, actually became “deprogrammed” automatically. He stated that Trump Rallies were like a religious experience and an addiction. Once the addiction could no longer be fed he started to understand that what he did was wrong and the severe mental illness which caused that behavior. He “drank the Kool Aid” of Trump’s rhetoric and it made him nuts. Or so his defense claims, anyway. Take that with a grain of salt.