Religion is the Source of Wars


#1

Could someone please direct me to a good and concise article rebutting the claim that religion is bad since so many wars and deaths have been caused in its name?


#2

Try looking at these websites, but don’t take everything at face value. If anything at these peaks your interest, research it more before taking it as the Gospel truth.

routledge-ny.com/religionandsociety/war/warhome.html

bbc.co.uk/religion/ethics/war/index.shtml

teach12.com/ttc/Assets/courseDescriptions/8247.asp


#3

While it may be true that religion has been the cause of many wars over the centuries, the death totals of all of them put together would not even come close to equalling the 100,000,000 killed in the Twentieth Century by those two atheistic movements, Communism and Nazism.

Prior to the Reformation, most of the European religious wars were limited by the fact that on over half the days of the year fighting was prohibited by the parties because the Church had declared them to be feast days.

Perhaps the worst “religious” war in Europe was the Thirty Years War (1618 -1648) and that war, largely fought in Germany was about territory and the emerging nation-state as it was about religion.

Prior to the Twentieth Century, I believe that the bloodiest conflict was the Tai Ping Rebellion in China between about 1850 - 1865. It is said that 30,000,000 were killed. I would like to see the documentation of those numbers. The leader of the Tai Ping movement was a Chinese Christian convert who believed that he was the younger brother of Jesus.

I’m also suspicious of the numbers of the slain in the battles of the Old Testament. Israel is about the size of New Jersey or so. It would have been caked with blood had so many died in battle.

Just some thoughts off the top of my head. Hopefully someone else might be able to give better documentation.

The claim that religion is the cause of wars stems largely from those who have no religion.


#4

[quote=Ray Marshall]While it may be true that religion has been the cause of many wars over the centuries, the death totals of all of them put together would not even come close to equalling the 100,000,000 killed in the Twentieth Century by those two atheistic movements, Communism and Nazism.

Prior to the Reformation, most of the European religious wars were limited by the fact that on over half the days of the year fighting was prohibited by the parties because the Church had declared them to be feast days.

Perhaps the worst “religious” war in Europe was the Thirty Years War (1618 -1648) and that war, largely fought in Germany was about territory and the emerging nation-state as it was about religion.

Prior to the Twentieth Century, I believe that the bloodiest conflict was the Tai Ping Rebellion in China between about 1850 - 1865. It is said that 30,000,000 were killed. I would like to see the documentation of those numbers. The leader of the Tai Ping movement was a Chinese Christian convert who believed that he was the younger brother of Jesus.

I’m also suspicious of the numbers of the slain in the battles of the Old Testament. Israel is about the size of New Jersey or so. It would have been caked with blood had so many died in battle.

Just some thoughts off the top of my head. Hopefully someone else might be able to give better documentation.

The claim that religion is the cause of wars stems largely from those who have no religion.
[/quote]

Religion has not caused one war. Men have caused and fought war.


#5

Why do you come to a Catholic website looking for Catholics to support your conclusion that religion is a bad thing because it *causes * war? There are plenty of atheists out there who could help you make your argument, but they would all be wrong.

Original sin was visited upon this world by Adam and Eve’s disobediance, and war is but one effect of that sin. Wars have been made in the name of religion, but in name only. Men will war for any reason and religion seems a most convenient excuse, but it is not a cause. If anything, religion has helped prevent even more wars - just take a look at the damage caused by the athesists of the 20th Century, like Stalin and Mao.


#6

[quote=buffalo]Religion has not caused one war. Men have caused and fought war.
[/quote]

But men have started and fought wars over their religious beliefs.


#7

[quote=wabrams]But men have started and fought wars over their religious beliefs.
[/quote]

See my post above. I disagree with your assertions. Men fight for good reasons and for bad reasons. Sometimes those reasons coincide with religious beliefs. Men have fought wars over women. Does that make women bad, too?

Man have fought wars over: territory, power, greed, boredom, ideology, science, techonology, tribalism, race, calendars, food, water, and so on. In fact, I can’t think of a single thing that men have NOT fought over.

To that list I’m sure you will add oil.


#8

[quote=Ray Marshall]While it may be true that religion has been the cause of many wars over the centuries, the death totals of all of them put together would not even come close to equalling the 100,000,000 killed in the Twentieth Century by those two atheistic movements, Communism and Nazism.
[/quote]

Oh boy, here we go again…

Unlike religion, those people where not killed in the name of atheism, but of the state. They banned religion because they wanted the state to be the religion.


#9

[quote=The Barrister]See my post above. I disagree with your assertions. Men fight for good reasons and for bad reasons. Sometimes those reasons coincide with religious beliefs. Men have fought wars over women. Does that make women bad, too?

Man have fought wars over: territory, power, greed, boredom, ideology, science, techonology, tribalism, race, calendars, food, water, and so on. In fact, I can’t think of a single thing that men have NOT fought over.

To that list I’m sure you will add oil.
[/quote]

I didn’t allude that religion was bad, just one person’s idea clashing with another, even in the same religion. You say that you cannot think of one thing men haven’t fought over, but you KNOW they haven’t fought over religion. Sure, whatever you say scooter. And by the way, nice try throwing out that bait about oil. I’m not going to fall for your little troll tactic.


#10

[quote=Auntie]Could someone please direct me to a good and concise article rebutting the claim that religion is bad since so many wars and deaths have been caused in its name?
[/quote]

I apologize for my previous post - I misread your post and inferred an intent that was not present.

Sorry! :o


#11

Religion is not the source of wars.

Religion is only an excuse to fight wars.

Power and greed are the reasons for wars.


#12

Stalin, Mao-Tse Tung, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, Hitler & Nazism, Mussolini’s fascism, Communism, ethnic cleansing—none of these had anything to do with religion, and these 20th century primarily atheist ideologies caused so many deaths as to make the “religious” wars of previous centuries pale in comparison.


#13

[quote=The Barrister]See my post above. I disagree with your assertions. Men fight for good reasons and for bad reasons. Sometimes those reasons coincide with religious beliefs. Men have fought wars over women. Does that make women bad, too?

Man have fought wars over: territory, power, greed, boredom, ideology, science, techonology, tribalism, race, calendars, food, water, and so on. In fact, I can’t think of a single thing that men have NOT fought over.

To that list I’m sure you will add oil.
[/quote]

You forgot one of the most important reasons from your list, Mr Barrister. Barbeque Sauce. Sheesh, you’re slipping.


#14

[quote=JimG]Stalin, Mao-Tse Tung, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, Hitler & Nazism, Mussolini’s fascism, Communism, ethnic cleansing—none of these had anything to do with religion, and these 20th century primarily atheist ideologies caused so many deaths as to make the “religious” wars of previous centuries pale in comparison.
[/quote]

While it may be true that in the past, some have used religion as an excuse to wage war, the 20th Century, hailed by some as an “enlightened” era when compared to previous historical epochs which many secular humanists deride as “barbaric”, is in truth the bloodiest, most violent and barbaric of all centuries, surpassing all previous centuries in terms of deaths and material destruction. Yet while these secular “humanists” and “liberals” are busily denouncing all the ancient and medieval wars fought in the name of religion, and ridiculing the Christian Church for fighting un-Christian wars, yet curiously in the same token, we hardly hear them denounce with the same fervor and consistency the bloodstained gulags and artificial famines of Stalin.

What supreme irony.

Gerry :slight_smile:


#15

I agree that more wars have been fought in the name of anything other than religion. But what if someone argued that those most of the wars fought in the name of religion took place in the past–when weapons were far less deadly and combatants were far less many. The other wars–those fought in the name of anything other than religion–took place in recent times–when weapons are far more deadlier and combatants far more numerous?

Peace, so be it.


#16

[quote=preyoflove]I agree that more wars have been fought in the name of anything other than religion. But what if someone argued that those most of the wars fought in the name of religion took place in the past–when weapons were far less deadly and combatants were far less many. The other wars–those fought in the name of anything other than religion–took place in recent times–when weapons are far more deadlier and combatants far more numerous?

Peace, so be it.
[/quote]

Point well taken. However the discussion revolves around the idea that religion IS the source of wars, and hence since it is the source of wars, therefore religion is bad. If religion is bad, then having no religion is better. But this argument fails simply because the 20th Century can be regarded as the **most **secular and the **least **religious when compared to all the eras that preceded it: The Middle Ages, the Renaissance, The Reformation, the Enlightenment…

Religion is indeed no longer a major factor motivating 20th century wars yet 20th century wars, supposedly a secular, humane and civilized century were fought with weapons far more destructive and brutal than all the weapons of the previous centuries combined, and easily refutes humanist claims that we are far more “humane” and “enlightened” now, as compared to the “barbaric” Inquisition or the “uncivilized” or “superstitious” medieval Crusaders. The power of the weapons used in “modern” warfare disproves, rather than proves the secularist claims against religion.

Gerry :slight_smile:


#17

[quote=RobedWithLight]Point well taken. However the discussion revolves around the idea that religion IS the source of wars, and hence since it is the source of wars, therefore religion is bad. If religion is bad, then having no religion is better. But this argument fails simply because the 20th Century can be regarded as the **most **secular and the **least **religious when compared to all the eras that preceded it: The Middle Ages, the Renaissance, The Reformation, the Enlightenment…

Religion is indeed no longer a major factor motivating 20th century wars yet 20th century wars, supposedly a secular, humane and civilized century were fought with weapons far more destructive and brutal than all the weapons of the previous centuries combined, and easily refutes humanist claims that we are far more “humane” and “enlightened” now, as compared to the “barbaric” Inquisition or the “uncivilized” or “superstitious” medieval Crusaders. The power of the weapons used in “modern” warfare disproves, rather than proves the secularist claims against religion.

Gerry :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Very good. And I also thought about other evils besides war that the absence or abolition of religion would introduce.


closed #18

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