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"Religion is the cause of all wars"


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19 replies to this topic

#1
Donnadogsoth

Donnadogsoth
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For the record this saw is false, misleading, and a slander against Christianity and I'll prove it just from memory of every war I can think of fought by or in Christian nations.
 
Hundred Years War 1337-1453
Wars of the Roses 1455 – 1485
English Civil War 1642–1651
American Revolutionary War 1775-1783
French Revolutionary War 1789-1799
Napoleonic Wars 1803-1815
Russo-Japanese War 1804-1805
War of 1812 1812-1815
Crimean War 1853-1856
American Civil War 1861-1865
Spanish American War 1898
Boer War 1899-1902
First World War 1914-1918
Russian Revolutionary War 1917-1918
Spanish Civil War 1936-1939
Second World War 1939-1945
Cold War 1947-1991
Colombian Civil War 1964-2016
US-Grenada War 1983
First Gulf War 1990-1991
Afghan War 2001-2014
Second Gulf War 2003-2011
 
The exception to this list I can think of are
 
Thirty Years War 1618-1648
The Crusades
and...?
 
"Religion" and certainly Christianity, is not the cause of all wars or even most.  We must look elsewhere if we want to find the source of war in Christian nations or, I conjecture, anywhere else.  Though there is a particular Religion that  does seem to be associated with vast amounts of grievous war and belligerence, on account of itself...

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#2
Rventurelli

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I know this is kind of off topic, but:

I think the only just wars are the ones fought over land. Land produces wealth and opportunities, not talking about farms only, you can build anything over land. It is the only thing that is worth fight and dying for other than self-defense, of course.

People who say religion is the cause of all wars clearly do not know what they are talking about.


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#3
themortalgod

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The title is a bit misleading as it claims to disprove that all wars are caused by religion, but instead you are aiming to show that Christianity is not responsible for all wars. Which is absolutely true and easily provable as war predates Christianity. That said, on the original topic I suspect it would be very difficult to name many wars that don't have some religious component to them throughout the entirety of human history. I wouldn't go so far as to say religion causes all wars but it is certainly and always has been a factor in them.

That said, given that there has never been a nation, that I know of, that wasn't made up of a majority of religious individuals that suggests correlating religion to war might be as insane as say correlating oxygen breathing war. 

 

I think religion certainly has fuelled many wars though. Not all, but many. 

 

I always like to think of the famous Steven Weinberg quote: "With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion."

Its not that religion is inherently bad and its not that religion is inherently warlike. Its that religion often looks to replace individual morality with its own contruction of morality which means faithful individuals often accept the gospel of that morality above their own common sense. This becomes a tremendous problem when a moral doctrine is warped or altered in a nefarious way. 


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#4
Rventurelli

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The title is a bit misleading as it claims to disprove that all wars are caused by religion, but instead you are aiming to show that Christianity is not responsible for all wars. Which is absolutely true and easily provable as war predates Christianity. That said, on the original topic I suspect it would be very difficult to name many wars that don't have some religious component to them throughout the entirety of human history. I wouldn't go so far as to say religion causes all wars but it is certainly and always has been a factor in them.

That said, given that there has never been a nation, that I know of, that wasn't made up of a majority of religious individuals that suggests correlating religion to war might be as insane as say correlating oxygen breathing war. 

 

I think religion certainly has fuelled many wars though. Not all, but many. 

 

I always like to think of the famous Steven Weinberg quote: "With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion."

Its not that religion is inherently bad and its not that religion is inherently warlike. Its that religion often looks to replace individual morality with its own contruction of morality which means faithful individuals often accept the gospel of that morality above their own common sense. This becomes a tremendous problem when a moral doctrine is warped or altered in a nefarious way. 

In all of us, even good men, there is an unruly beast waiting to take over if the circumstances are right. Quoting Plato here, but cannot remember which page of The Republic or if that is the exact quote.


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#5
Donnadogsoth

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In all of us, even good men, there is an unruly beast waiting to take over if the circumstances are right. Quoting Plato here, but cannot remember which page of The Republic or if that is the exact quote.

 

Christianity calls it "original sin".

 

Freud called it "the id".

 

It's in there.


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#6
Rventurelli

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Christianity calls it "original sin".

 

Freud called it "the id".

 

It's in there.

 

Agreed. 


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#7
RoseCodex

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Jordan Peterson talked about this with Stef.  He made the point that different tribes of chimpanzees will war on each other, and actually Christianity and religion can also bring tribes together.  Of course the danger is that this creates a "super-tribe"; nations or alliances of nations that can then escalate into military conflicts with other nations with different belief systems.  But to blame this on religion I agree is short-sighted and incorrect.


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#8
Tyler H

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I know this is kind of off topic, but:
I think the only just wars are the ones fought over land. Land produces wealth and opportunities, not talking about farms only, you can build anything over land. It is the only thing that is worth fight and dying for other than self-defense, of course.
People who say religion is the cause of all wars clearly do not know what they are talking about.

I'm unsure how this makes war just, could you explain?
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#9
Mishi2

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Allow me to play devil's advocate here. The phrase in question is "religion is the cause of all wars".

 

Religion in its contemporary sense according to Webster is:

1a :  the state of a religious <a nun in her 20th year of religion>b (1) :  the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) :  commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance

2 :  a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices

3 archaic :  scrupulous conformity :  conscientiousness

4 :  a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

 

​War according to Webster:

1a (1) :  a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations (2) :  a period of such armed conflict (3) :  state of warb :  the art or science of warfarec (1) obsolete :  weapons and equipment for war (2) archaic :  soldiers armed and equipped for war

2a :  a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonismb :  a struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end <a class war> <a war against disease>c :  variance, odds 3

 

Ethymology of the Word "religion": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religio

In short, it can be traced back to the Romans, but in its modern use, it was made prominent by St Augustine.

 

Religion may not have been the direct cause every time, but it was certainly one of the causes. If all religions had taught that absolutely no human can be killed under any circumstance, then perhaps there would have been no war ever. The sorry fact is, however, that a pacifist religion would not last long in the real World.

 

The question now is: "Is the solution to have no religion at all then?"

In my opinion, atheism is still in its incubation phase. There has not been too many testing done with atheist cultures, although every single early testing resulted in a catastrophic failiure: Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Sweden, France... (Still awaiting results from Chechia, Japan, Spain, Netherlands, Canada, Estonia, Latvia...)


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#10
Rventurelli

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I'm unsure how this makes war just, could you explain?

As a manner of self-preservation. The logic goes like this: the only guaranteed way of having something done is doing it yourself. The only guaranteed way of having food for your country/people is producing it yourself. So, if a country has an extremely high population density, like 300+ persons per square kilometer, it would be justified from their point of view to acquire land. And there you have a big part of the reason why tribes originally expanded.


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#11
Tyler H

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As a manner of self-preservation. The logic goes like this: the only guaranteed way of having something done is doing it yourself. The only guaranteed way of having food for your country/people is producing it yourself. So, if a country has an extremely high population density, like 300+ persons per square kilometer, it would be justified from their point of view to acquire land. And there you have a big part of the reason why tribes originally expanded.

Perhaps I'm still misunderstanding your argument, but I fail to see how this line of reasoning does not also justify me murdering someone for food or any other possession I deem necessary for my own survival.


Edit: Also Germany justified their invasion for the same reason - Lebensraum. Was WWII a just war? Does that mean the countries who oppose this territorial land grab are doing so unjustly?
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#12
Varain

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Not all wars have had a religious cause to them. This worked more as a facade in order to cover up the natural tendencies to overtake other states due to exclusive economical reasons. If we need more to consume, we need more places from where to pick our goodies from, whether food, geographical rarities or geostrategical landmarks. If we need more places we need more wars. If we need a good excuse, let's make it about religion, since it's been the opiate of the masses and nobody wanted to get off it. Just like TV these days. If God said then it's God's will. If TV said it's TV's will and both never lie.


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#13
Jpendl10

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If you look at the reasons why people or groups of people go to war, I believe you will find the reasons to come from the oragins of the devil. If satanism or socialism as Stephan has made the correlation is a religion then I would have to agree religion meaning satanism, socialism, the State is the cause of all wars.
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#14
Donnadogsoth

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If you look at the reasons why people or groups of people go to war, I believe you will find the reasons to come from the oragins of the devil. If satanism or socialism as Stephan has made the correlation is a religion then I would have to agree religion meaning satanism, socialism, the State is the cause of all wars.

 

Since not all States at all times cause wars, it seems more accurate to say that the State is the vehicle of all wars.  Hard to have a war without some kind of organisation whose power approximates that of a State's.

 

It would be more reliable to say that the cause of all wars-as-evils must in some sense stem from the root of all evil:  the love of money or worship of Mammon.  That is, sin proceeds from false idols, and false idols proceed from the love of money as force-concept, the idea of the irresistibility of the dollar obsoleting the need for rational persuasion.

 

Still, a specific cause of war needs to be found, between State and Mammon, which we can locate as the wicked principle of oligarchy, or the few Olympians ruling over the many Greeks, and ruled over entirely for the former's benefit with the latter being as livestock.  Oligarchy is not the root of all evil, it is merely an evil, but I surmise we would be hard-pressed to find any example of a war that didn't depend on this false principle of human relations, this false idol of human rulers.

 

The difference between oligarchy and the State is that the State is a machine, the oligarchy are people organised to use the machine for their benefit against the interests of mankind.  A Stateless country, if such a thing could be brought about, would have to have all the organs of the State distributed and absorbed into its fabric, even taxation, reduced to the extent that a Stateless economy would be more efficient than a State one would.  The question is, what would the Stateless country do if attacked by a neighbouring State?


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#15
Jpendl10

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 A Stateless country, if such a thing could be brought about, would have to have all the organs of the State distributed and absorbed into its fabric, even taxation, reduced to the extent that a Stateless economy would be more efficient than a State one would.  The question is, what would the Stateless country do if attacked by a neighbouring State?


The definition I use for 'the state' or a state, is any organization that uses force or coercion to accomplish social goals.

Depending on what your definition of 'the state' or a state is I would argue that the United States was a stateless country. At that point in time under the constitution and the bill of rights it did not establish any organization that used force or coercion. That came latter.
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#16
Donnadogsoth

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The definition I use for 'the state' or a state, is any organization that uses force or coercion to accomplish social goals.

Depending on what your definition of 'the state' or a state is I would argue that the United States was a stateless country. At that point in time under the constitution and the bill of rights it did not establish any organization that used force or coercion. That came latter.

 

It's my understanding that the US federal State came into being to protect the 13 Colonies from the rapacity of British free trade, thereby allowing domestic American industries to flourish.  Force or coercion?


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#17
RichardY

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If king George III hadn't sent in any troops, then I wonder how a federal government would have developed. 


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#18
Kikker

Kikker
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For the record this saw is false, misleading, and a slander against Christianity and I'll prove it just from memory of every war I can think of fought by or in Christian nations.

 

Don't you think you're beating a dead horse at this point? since even extreme leftist organizations like theyoungturks don't think "religion is the cause of all wars" or even in it's milder form: "religion causes significantly more war than atheism".

 

And shouldn't you attack first the notion that all religion can be generalized under one banner against atheism or non-believers? Since there are vast differences between religions and the effects they have on behavior and/or policy.


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#19
Donnadogsoth

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Don't you think you're beating a dead horse at this point? since even extreme leftist organizations like theyoungturks don't think "religion is the cause of all wars" or even in it's milder form: "religion causes significantly more war than atheism".

 

And shouldn't you attack first the notion that all religion can be generalized under one banner against atheism or non-believers? Since there are vast differences between religions and the effects they have on behavior and/or policy.

 

Fair points.  I defend against attacks on Christianity which is what is usually being absently referred to when people use the saw.  But, I've met people in real life who still utter it.  My OP was more of a probe to see if anyone believed it.


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#20
Rventurelli

Rventurelli
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Perhaps I'm still misunderstanding your argument, but I fail to see how this line of reasoning does not also justify me murdering someone for food or any other possession I deem necessary for my own survival.


Edit: Also Germany justified their invasion for the same reason - Lebensraum. Was WWII a just war? Does that mean the countries who oppose this territorial land grab are doing so unjustly?

About World War II, the reason it came to be was because Britain and France gave a war guarantee for Poland, which encouraged them not to give Danzig back to the Germans or solve the "Polish corridor" question.

Danzig was an almost entirely ethnic German city that was given to Poland when the country was again created after the Versailles Treaty. The Treaty also gave a big chunk of Prussia to the Polish, which literally cut of East Prussia from Germany, creating this absurdity that you can see in the map: https://upload.wikim...ermany_1937.png

Even Winston Churchill, who really hated Germans and Germany said that something had to be done to fix this problem (East Prussia being disconnected from the rest of Germany). What is even more absurd, is that the Soviet Union also invaded Poland, just a week after Germany did, and the Allies did not declare war to the USSR because of a loophole in the war guarantee agreement -- it only covered an attack from Germany.

The Polish were extremely foolish in that way -- Hitler made a non-aggression pact and a friendly agreement with Stalin, and even after that, when Poland knew they could be attacked from both sides, Hitler sent three ultimatums to Poland to give Danzig back and negotiate a solution for the "Polish corridor" and they answered none. Then Germany had soldiers dressed as Polish soldiers attack an outpost of them to justify the war, however, that is a minor detail, it was the fact the Polish did not went to the negotiating table at all.

What probably would have happened if Poland had given in to the demands, would be that Hitler would seal an alliance with Poland, and they both would invade the Soviet Union. By 1939, so right before the war, Germany was already the Großdeutschland (greater Germany), which included Austria and the Sudetenland, also having the Bohemia and Moravia protectorate -- the population density had therefore decreased considerably and other than Danzig and the Polish Corridor, most of the Germans were united under the same country, which was Hitler's main goal. Why do I think that Hitler would get an alliance with the Polish? Simple, Italy had/has a significant German majority in South Tyrol and Hitler gave up the claim in South Tyrol in exchange for an alliance with Mussolini.


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