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Does anyone really think that there would be no wars if there was no religion?

(29 Posts)
MrsBates Fri 12-Sep-08 00:07:13

People keep blaming religion for war - there would be another reason. Perhaps there would be no war if there were no men.

Niecie Fri 12-Sep-08 00:10:22

No wars aren't caused by religion - they are caused by men.

If religion were the sole cause then the Russians and the Chinese would be the most peace loving nations ever and clearly they aren't.

Niecie Fri 12-Sep-08 00:11:48

By virtue of the fact that both, in recent history have not had a state religion and have even banned it.

Religion is the opiate of the people and all that.

FAQ Fri 12-Sep-08 00:12:31

I agree with Niecie's first comment

However a bit hmm about the 2nd.......I believe the Russian Orthodox Church is pretty big, and Taoism and Buddhism in China......

chuggabopps Fri 12-Sep-08 00:15:50

wars are caused by arms dealers, and governments acting on behalf of arms dealers. Its far more about the control of money than religion- governments love wars, they are great for the economy, and usually the leader who is in at the start of hte war gets another term out of it.

thumbwitch Fri 12-Sep-08 00:16:25

War is about power. Religious war is about power - making out that your religion is better/ more important than the others. In the end, it is about man's interpretations of religious teaching, not about the spirituality of religion that causes the differences.

And no men wouldn't make any difference - having been to an all-girls school, power struggles go on with women too. The wars might be slightly different but they would still exist in some form.

MrsBates Fri 12-Sep-08 00:16:52

I'm not religious in a conventional way but just getting fed up with hearing people mentioning war whenever they are explaining what is wrong with religious faith. What about other ideologies, battle for resources, territories etc.

Niecie Fri 12-Sep-08 00:18:53

It has been allowed to grow again since Glasnost but during the Soviet years it was actively persecuted.

That aside, the state didn't encourage religion and therefore didn't wage war in the name of any religion. Everything they did was in the name of socialism/communism.

Same applied to China iirc.

MrsBates Fri 12-Sep-08 00:20:41

Went to an all girls school too which was pretty free of power struggles. However have just been to a hen do which was scarily belligerent so I guess thumbwitch is right. What form would wars take if women were in charge? Oh, just remembered the Belgrano. Not that different then.

ruty Fri 12-Sep-08 00:24:54

Niecie is right though that some of the worst atrocities committed by govts in modern history have occurred in athiest States where religion is banned.

thumbwitch Fri 12-Sep-08 00:28:21

MrsB - there was this thread a while back about playground politics - I gather that arena can get quite bellicose as well!

There would probably be more cold silences and ignoring other countries and refusing to trade with them or help them out because they wear the wrong nose rings or something (HEAVILY tongue in cheek)

nooka Fri 12-Sep-08 00:43:40

I think to have no wars you would really have to have no people. Of course religion can (and has been) a good cover. It can be an effective way of whipping people up or justifying a bit of genocide. It probably is more accurate to say that dogma is the cause of many wars, and that many religions lend themselves to dogma but that there are other strongly held beliefs that have been used too, such as German Fascism or British Imperialism.

thumbwitch Fri 12-Sep-08 00:44:50

good answer nooka!

S1ur Fri 12-Sep-08 00:50:38

No - And I echo chuggs here.

Wars are more frequently about money. And power. Which in this age often means money.

Religion is often a cynical tool.

Today (and in earlier eras) there is a veneer of ethical/moral reasons for war but it is still frequently conveniently centred around moeny and trade.

solidgoldbrass Fri 12-Sep-08 00:52:15

No. Wars are often about tribalism/access to resources, though superstitions can provide good excuses.

AnnVan Fri 12-Sep-08 01:24:29

No - the two worst wars in the last hundred years had nothing to do with religion - WW1and WW2. VIetnam - political ideology. The crimea - power, tactics, control. Religion has had nothing to do with wars since the crusades, and TBH even in those days, religion was just the EXCUSE to go to war.

Bridie3 Fri 12-Sep-08 09:50:18

The biggest killer wast Stalin and he wasn't killing for religious reasons.

Overmydeadbody Fri 12-Sep-08 09:52:35

No. War is about the struggle for power.

Religion is also just about power. And religion is a good excuse for people to go to war, but if we didn't have religion men would find some other excuse.

Overmydeadbody Fri 12-Sep-08 09:54:52

Stalin was killing for his beliefs though wasn't he? So surely that's still a kind of 'religion'?

Weegiemum Fri 12-Sep-08 10:49:56

religion is often used as an excuse for conflict (eg Northern Ireland)

I don' tthink it is the reason, but it does often get blamed.

Bridie3 Fri 12-Sep-08 10:51:12

I don't think Stalin had 'beliefs' other than wishing to have absolute power and a terror of opposition.

AnnVan Fri 12-Sep-08 10:53:06

Well, I studied Stalin a bit at uni, and as far as I can tell, he didn't really believe anything, he was purely about power and control. Lenin hated him, called him dangerous and power hungry. Stalin wasn't even properly communist in his beliefs, although he pretended he was to stay in power.

Weegiemum Fri 12-Sep-08 10:53:13

Mrs Bates said :

""What form would wars take if women were in charge? Oh, just remembered the Belgrano. Not that different then.""

Thats assumong you actually regard Mrs thatcher as a Woman!

AMumInScotland Fri 12-Sep-08 10:58:42

In times and places where the population are religous, politicians use religion as an excuse for their wars. In other times and places, they come up with other excuses - "national security", "regime change", "lebensraum", etc. Politicians are just good at giving people the kind of spin that will make their decisions seem acceptable.

Peachy Fri 12-Sep-08 11:03:01

I hate the war = religion thing

The crusaes were also about stealing, ranacking the
muslim riches. And then you get to Buddhism (virtually war free- I remember lectrer saying theres one battle they were involved in)

And Jainism- violent? look up Ahimsa (non harm). Not only will they not harm a fly they eon't harm the non visible deities they believe exis in warer and fire; and doctrne insists that if they are attacked they should not even defend themselves.

War is about man and hatred and competitiveess.

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