Religion and War

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One often hears the lazy argument that "Religion" is responsible for Man's wars, the assumption being that if we got rid of religion all would be peace and harmony. Presumably then, if all men abandoned the notion that they are spirits inhabiting a material body and conceived of themselves as mere animals fashioned by chance from mud our troubles would be over and we'd all be a lot happier. This is of course untrue and does not correspond with an observation of history, nor of present reality.

It also displays a degree of fogginess about what one means by the word "religion" Religions vary considerably. There are pantheisms (the belief in many gods) monotheisms (the belief in one God who created all) and religions that worship no gods at all, such as Buddhism or modern Scientology.

At the far end of the spectrum there are even religions that do not conceive man to be an immortal soul even while life is considered to be nevertheless spiritual in essence.

Some religions such as Christianity stress faith, while faith has no place at all in others -Scientology and Buddhism being cases in point.

One should note too, while one is discussing paradigms based on Faith, that materialism remains unable to produce conclusive evidence for its basic assumption. That spirituality does not exist is a matter of belief, not evidence. One can of course produce evidence that the material universe exists and one can establish and prove its laws but this is not proof that that the material universe is all there is. The assertion that the material universe is all there is is neither scientific nor logical and is actually a statement of faith.

Alright, so this vague undefined variable known as "religion" or "faith" is responsible for Man's wars. Is it true?

Well, I can think of a few recent conflicts or humanitarian cataclysms whose driving force was anything but religious.

Hitler's massacre of ethnic minorities, for instance: religions were often the victim of Nazi...
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