Writing and Communication
May 12, 2014
Does Religion Cause War?
It has been a question of great concern that whether religion is the cause of all conflicts between humanity. Most of the today’s think tanks, philosophers and independent analysts are of the opinion that religion is the “primary” cause of war. But their unjust opinion and vague analysis loses importance without any sound and reasonable proofs. They merely rely on the “surface evidences” and never incline towards those facts beneath the surface. Before criticizing the teachings of any religion, it is paramount important that one must have sound knowledge about it. If one looks through the critical lens then it becomes crystal clear that all religions of the world like Islam, Christianity and Judaism preach peace and love to its followers and believers. It is also evident that all factors which sponsors war include the greed of man to gain more power and control, unequal distribution of wealth and resources, and above all ethnical and racial hatred. In fact these are the undesirable results of staying away from the true teachings of any religion. Because the purpose of religion can never be to annihilate or exterminate humanity rather than to unite humanity. Thus, one can say that one’s perception about the religion can be conflicting but the religion itself is not the cause of war.
Before one goes for the analysis of religion, whether it is a cause of war or not, one must have the sound knowledge about the concept, teachings and purpose of religion. It can be defined in many ways but the actual concept and real definition of religion is given as, “(It) originates in an attempt to represent and order beliefs, feelings, imaginings and actions that arise in response to direct experience of the sacred and the spiritual. As this attempt expands in its formulation and elaboration, it becomes a process that creates meaning for itself on a sustaining basis, in terms of both its originating experiences and its own continuing responses.” (darc.org) Here it is clearly stated that religion takes into account everything related to human life, from very first imagination to ultimate action. It conveys an idea of religion, being a supreme authority to be consulted in case of crisis, whether being spiritual, social, legal, economic or political. Because it has the solution to all the problems that are being faced by mankind. Therefore the basic idea and concept of religion is to give “meaning” to an individual life through a spiritual process. Similarly, the teachings of all religions of the world are all centred towards formulating a well-balanced society. For instance, Judaism stresses the value of peace even in war times as Prophet Isaiah says, “And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword upon nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Bible, Isaiah 2:4) 1 These words are also inscribed on the wall of United Nations. It is the prime goal and teachings of Judaism to avoid war in all circumstances. It preaches that war should be as a last option when there is a clear danger of attack from enemy. The teachings of Rabbis, a Jewish scholar, include a very brilliant message, “In God's eyes the man stands high who makes peace between men. But he stands highest who establishes peace among the nations.” 2 Thus, it is evident that “peace” has been the main objective in Judaism even in serious conditions. Moreover, in Christianity, the whole faith is centred on the belief that “God is love, and forgives sins.”(Keith Ward). It is mentioned in the new American Standard Bible, “Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.” (Luke, 6:29) now one can realize the beauty of religion by going through sacred verses. These verses are teaching humanity...
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