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  • Religion & War

    Throughout recorded history (present included) these two appear hand in hand. Some look at it as Good vs. Evil, but I shudder to classify or paint an entire populations as good or evil based on their religion. So why does the institution of religion (in general) breed so much violence?
    Last edited by Laura005; 10-10-2018, 05:20 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Laura005 View Post
    Throughout recorded history (present included) these two appear hand in hand. Some look at it as Good vs. Evil, but I shudder to classify or paint an entire populations as good or evil based on their religion. So why does the institution of religion (in general) breed so much violence?
    Your question is loaded. It presupposes that war is related to - or contingent on - the existence of religion. In other words you seem to be saying, "Religion breeds war" or, on the positive side, "if religion did not exist, nor would war."




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    • #3
      Indeed the question most certainly is loaded. Are there cases your aware of where Religion was not a factor in a war?

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      • #4
        Where humanity is involved (in general) you may find violence as the paint brush on the canvas of existence...religion is just one of the outlets which allows humans to "justify" their violent tendencies.

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        • #5
          There is a correlation, but religion is a casus belli like any others only... The onyl thing is that Religion had been a very good casus belli, easy to use, powerful to convince a population.

          War actually exist in populations of chimpanzees, which don't have religion or they are compeltely unknown to us. Else, for Humanity, some wars started because of Republic/monarchy clash as well like in Europe, or for independency.

          Another famous war is the Trojan War that finally start because of a woman getting kidnapped.

          There are plenty of reasons for a human to beat another human, if religion didn't exist, be sure that they would have find some others excuses like how ugly is the neighbour.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Laura005 View Post
            Indeed the question most certainly is loaded. Are there cases your aware of where Religion was not a factor in a war?
            Civil wars, such as the American Civil War, the Rwandan genocide, the Cambodian genocide under Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge. Then there is violence and murder for purely ideological reasons such as the Soviet Gulags, Mao's Cultural revolution...I could go on! (Ideological wars & violence actually killed more people than all the other wars put together.) So while religion is obviously a source of great evil (and some good) it can't be saddled with the responsibility for war. That responsibility lies elsewhere...perhaps in our thirst for power, our desire to lord it over those we consider weak or detrimental to our cause/our ideology/our religion.

            What is it about us that we act in ways we know to be despicable? Why do we keep repeating the same pattern over and over again irrespective of culture or ideology?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RogerCarmel View Post

              What is it about us that we act in ways we know to be despicable? Why do we keep repeating the same pattern over and over again irrespective of culture or ideology?

              What is it about us that we act in ways we know to be despicable?

              It differs if you're the defender of the assailant.
              An ideology isn't really able to swap those both standings. Nevertheless if you're under fire such philosophical thoughts are irrelevant, you kill or you get killed.


              Why do we keep repeating the same pattern over and over again irrespective of culture or ideology?
              As far as elites gain influence and power while their side is winning a war, but are losing nothing in case of a defeat, changed nothing. See WWI, despite millions of dead soldiers on both sides, elites have been ready for a war just with new cannon feed generation. Japan was determinate to fight till last man against US while WW2, but wasn't willing to fight till the last city. Why?

              Nuclear weapons which can contaminate huge land areas for several decades and the modern distant warfare that aims industry and infrastructure as primary targets. Changed the face of war into controlled proxy wars in less developed regions.
              War is business, ideology is for those who have to pay for it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Hades91 View Post

                What is it about us that we act in ways we know to be despicable?

                It differs if you're the defender of the assailant.
                An ideology isn't really able to swap those both standings. Nevertheless if you're under fire such philosophical thoughts are irrelevant, you kill or you get killed.


                Why do we keep repeating the same pattern over and over again irrespective of culture or ideology?
                As far as elites gain influence and power while their side is winning a war, but are losing nothing in case of a defeat, changed nothing. See WWI, despite millions of dead soldiers on both sides, elites have been ready for a war just with new cannon feed generation. Japan was determinate to fight till last man against US while WW2, but wasn't willing to fight till the last city. Why?

                Nuclear weapons which can contaminate huge land areas for several decades and the modern distant warfare that aims industry and infrastructure as primary targets. Changed the face of war into controlled proxy wars in less developed regions.
                War is business, ideology is for those who have to pay for it.
                Ah...OK. War is good for business, that’s true but it’s also cynical. I would say that some wars are fought for causes that the aggressors thought were “right” or “noble”. Wars motivated by religious or ideological zealots are considered just by their own standards. It isn’t always about profit or gaining territory.

                (Of course, it’s always better to kill than to be killed, even if you are evil and immoral ...!)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by RogerCarmel View Post


                  Of course, it’s always better to kill than to be killed, even if you are evil and immoral ...!

                  Obama's a monkey like you, Kennedy's a great man. Even Soviet propaganda admitted the greatness of Kennedy.
                  Last edited by dmitri11; 10-11-2018, 05:37 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RogerCarmel View Post

                    Civil wars, such as the American Civil War, the Rwandan genocide, the Cambodian genocide under Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge. Then there is violence and murder for purely ideological reasons such as the Soviet Gulags, Mao's Cultural revolution...I could go on! (Ideological wars & violence actually killed more people than all the other wars put together.) So while religion is obviously a source of great evil (and some good) it can't be saddled with the responsibility for war. That responsibility lies elsewhere...perhaps in our thirst for power, our desire to lord it over those we consider weak or detrimental to our cause/our ideology/our religion.

                    What is it about us that we act in ways we know to be despicable? Why do we keep repeating the same pattern over and over again irrespective of culture or ideology?

                    Good points. I agree, the desire for power is the ultimate root of all violence. That desire for power manifests itself in numerous ways, Religion being one.

                    I think your questions are the ones most pertinent and central to the survival of humanity as our planet "shrinks" in the wake of Globalization. Thanks for your perspective.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RogerCarmel View Post

                      Ah...OK. War is good for business, that’s true but it’s also cynical. I would say that some wars are fought for causes that the aggressors thought were “right” or “noble”. Wars motivated by religious or ideological zealots are considered just by their own standards. It isn’t always about profit or gaining territory.

                      (Of course, it’s always better to kill than to be killed, even if you are evil and immoral ...!)

                      I would argue that many Religious or Ideological wars were, in fact, about money and thus power. They use Religion and Ideology as their cloak of righteousness.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dmitri11 View Post
                        Obama's a monkey like you, Kennedy's a great man. Even Soviet propaganda admitted the greatness of Kennedy.
                        Obama? You’re still living in the past, Dimitri. The USSR no longer exists and Obama isn’t president any more.

                        :cool,

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Laura005 View Post

                          I would argue that many Religious or Ideological wars were, in fact, about money and thus power. They use Religion and Ideology as their cloak of righteousness.

                          Well, then, you’ve said it all. I can only affirm that money is a form of power.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Laura005 View Post
                            Indeed the question most certainly is loaded. Are there cases your aware of where Religion was not a factor in a war?
                            You can always find an element of religion in wars, but it is highly questionable whether religion was a contributing factor in quite a number of wars.

                            The Napoleonic Wars had very little to do with religion.
                            World War I is an interesting case. The cause of the war was the Bosnian identity. The question then is whether certain nationalities that are also divided by religions abused a general discontent.
                            World War II was caused by dissatisfaction of the German population about the reparations Germany had to pay for a war it had started.
                            In the Netherlands, we refer to 1672 as the "disastrous year" when we were attacked by the Catholic French and Protestant English. The Dutch counted on the Protestant English to side with them, but that is exactly where religion did not play a role.

                            Originally posted by Laura005 View Post
                            I would argue that many Religious or Ideological wars were, in fact, about money and thus power. They use Religion and Ideology as their cloak of righteousness.
                            You can always drag money into the equation. The 100 years' war was very much a war in which religion played a decisive role. Looking at my own country, the war was caused by the demand for religious freedoms. The efforts of the King of Spain to retain what it called Flanders was not generally supported by the general population of Spain. The King of Spain considered himself the protector of the Faith. It cost Spain a lot of money, caused hunger and poverty. Power may have played a role, but it is generally accepted that religion was at the forefront in this case. Still, you may question whether the Low Countries would have fought a full-blown war if the King of Spain would not have confiscated the possessions of the Prince of Orange.
                            Last edited by Boliches; 10-11-2018, 09:23 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Boliches View Post

                              You can always find an element of religion in wars, but it is highly questionable whether religion was a contributing factor in quite a number of wars.
                              Very thoughtful reply. This is what my feeling, in general, was as well. I think "element" is a good word for it. For example, even if Germany's impetus for WWII was economic, they certainly used Christianity to unify their base against the Jews and generate a general sense of justification in their persecution.

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