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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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The link between religion and conflict. - July 3rd 2013, 06:15 PM

I'm quite interested to see what people think of this. I won't directly pose the question "Does religion cause war?". This thread is more for general discussion surrounding, as the tile says, the link between religion and conflict.

I really don't think one can look back through history and still deny any link between the two. Religious beliefs have been involved in the causes of many wars and conflicts. I wouldn't blame at as the sole cause, as politics and empires come into play as well.

If everyone believed the same thing, there would be no need for war. You even have groups within some religions who disagree with each other. For example, Catholics and Protestants within Christianity. The (perhaps ongoing) conflict in Northern Ireland wasn't caused by differences between Catholics and Protestants, but you can't deny a link. Plus, certain political views correlate with certain religious views. There are plenty more examples where that one came from, but it's obviously the one most relevant to me, therefore I chose it.

Religion also seems to have some role in a lot of wars that weren't necessarily caused by it. For example, Hitler and the Jews during WWII. And we all know the Holocaust wasn't the first or last case of persecution of a certain religious group.

Essentially, what I'm saying is that I think religion empowers and encourages conflict and division between large groups of followers.
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Re: The link between religion and conflict. - July 3rd 2013, 09:15 PM

I think that, while this is true, to a degree, pretty much any time you have two groups of people with differing beliefs, there is potential for conflict. Just look at the "console wars" in gaming. At the same time, using religion as a justification for starting conflict isn't exactly the same as that religion encouraging said conflict.


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Re: The link between religion and conflict. - July 3rd 2013, 09:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katia.Selkia View Post
I think that, while this is true, to a degree, pretty much any time you have two groups of people with differing beliefs, there is potential for conflict. Just look at the "console wars" in gaming. At the same time, using religion as a justification for starting conflict isn't exactly the same as that religion encouraging said conflict.
In all fairness, I haven't heard of anyone being murdered or quite so badly oppressed by console wars.

I agree with Gareth, though I also think your point about all differing beliefs having potential to cause conflict is very wise.


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Re: The link between religion and conflict. - July 5th 2013, 04:05 PM

I find that most people who come out yelling that religion is the source of many wars, are bigots, who are looking for arguments to discredit and slate religion.

Religion isn't the source. Just because I have a mum, and I like mushroom pizza... doesn't mean that because Obama has a mum he will also like mushroom pizza.

The source of wars is just human nature. There are plenty of examples when religion wasn't the direct cause. I'd argue that there is close to no correlation. In the past, when religion was what governed most of the civilized and uncivilized world... political differences were often on the grounds of religion, but it's not really because of religion that people went out there killing each other, is it?

If it wasn't for the leaders at the top, brainwashing and spreading hatred of other religions to gain themselves followers willing to die in battle to "defend Christianity" by, ironically, invading other countries... then a lot of people simply wouldn't have participated in those wars.

What's my point? It's the leaders at the top who cause the wars by manipulating populations. It's well proven in history that people with power tend to want, more power.

It's not religion. Just greed.



Different beliefs and values cause conflicts? Of course they do. But don't forget where those beliefs often come from. And single people disagreeing because of slightly different values (not necessarily religious) happens every day. Happens between best friends, relatives, workmates, school kids, etc. It doesn't result in "war". War is catalysed greatly by the assholes who think themselves "Godly" enough to spread their own shit by force onto other people. Not by minor, or even major disagreements between individuals.


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Then politics doesn't care about you either. Truth. You've got to make your voice heard, if you want to be listened to. But that's too logical for some people, so let me go a step further. Not making your voice heard, leaves other people free to hijack it by speaking on your behalf, even if they don't actually give a shit about you. That's politics. So, make your voice heard. That's not a quote from anywhere. That's just me.


   
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Re: The link between religion and conflict. - July 5th 2013, 04:41 PM

Touché, BDF. However, I do think that greed (as well as human nature in general) and religion can be the worst mixture ever. It's a perfect excuse for corrupt leaders to brainwash people into fighting for them. Sure, so are political reasons, but people are probably more likely to "fight for Christianity" than invade some random country because their leader wants them to.

I know the first line of your post refers to "most people" and I can't be sure if "most people" includes me, but I will say that I'm not trying to discredit religion. I don't mind religion, but I do mind it when people get hurt or discriminated against because of it. That's different.
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Re: The link between religion and conflict. - July 5th 2013, 07:15 PM

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Originally Posted by Oracle. View Post
Touché, BDF. However, I do think that greed (as well as human nature in general) and religion can be the worst mixture ever. It's a perfect excuse for corrupt leaders to brainwash people into fighting for them. Sure, so are political reasons, but people are probably more likely to "fight for Christianity" than invade some random country because their leader wants them to.

I know the first line of your post refers to "most people" and I can't be sure if "most people" includes me, but I will say that I'm not trying to discredit religion. I don't mind religion, but I do mind it when people get hurt or discriminated against because of it. That's different.
Nah, I wasn't referring to you specifically. I wouldn't be able to judge if you're one of those people if I wanted to. I don't have enough information to go by, lol.

Well... "leaders" will not say straight-up "invade because I want you to". That would be too transparent, and most people would call bullshit on him/her. They rather hide behind something else, such as religion for example, or whatever else, and use it to make it seem like he/she isn't doing it for selfish ends. Whatever else? Things such as political unrest regarding immigration, perhaps, or political unrest regarding terrorist attacks.

I put "leaders" in inverted commas in this context, because I wouldn't call them leaders. But a lot of people do. Their manipulative nature, selfish attitude, and what seems like a greatly retarded moral capacity classifies such people more as psychopaths to me. They represent 25% of the prison populations. They also represent about 25% of politicians and other people in high positions of power. Across the whole population... they represent much less, maybe 4% at most, although I don't remember exactly. I think it's less than that.

So I'm not saying all leaders are like that. I don't want to be mistaken for an anarchist with a "fuck the establishment" attitude. But I do have a "fuck oppressive establishments" attitude. And oppressive establishments often derive from these psychopaths in politics who want to grab everything for themselves with no regard for whom it harms, and are prepared to use force against those who disagree.


Religion/politics... I see very little difference. One's defined by belief in a God, another by belief in a flag, or certain political values, or even a single leader himself (like in Stalinist Russia), which is alike to believing in a God.

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Let's note that the two largest wars in human history were hardly centred on religious differences. I don't want to diminish the significance of the Holocaust, but 6 million Jews were killed in comparison to approximately 60 million people in total in the 2nd World War. The 2nd World War wasn't by any means caused by religion, despite the 6 million dead Jews. It was initiated by Germany entirely, which at the time, didn't represent any religious beliefs as such in their politics.


"I don't care about politics"
Then politics doesn't care about you either. Truth. You've got to make your voice heard, if you want to be listened to. But that's too logical for some people, so let me go a step further. Not making your voice heard, leaves other people free to hijack it by speaking on your behalf, even if they don't actually give a shit about you. That's politics. So, make your voice heard. That's not a quote from anywhere. That's just me.


   
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Re: The link between religion and conflict. - July 5th 2013, 08:58 PM

"War" and "conflict" aren't necessarily exactly the same thing.

It's worth remembering, I think, that humans invented religion because of fear, lack of knowledge, etc. so perhaps it's fairer to say that conflict is related to characteristics of religion, if not always directly religion itself.
Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that religion causes wars, and even less could it be that it creates conflict.


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Re: The link between religion and conflict. - July 6th 2013, 01:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oracle. View Post
I'm quite interested to see what people think of this. I won't directly pose the question "Does religion cause war?". This thread is more for general discussion surrounding, as the tile says, the link between religion and conflict.

I really don't think one can look back through history and still deny any link between the two. Religious beliefs have been involved in the causes of many wars and conflicts. I wouldn't blame at as the sole cause, as politics and empires come into play as well.

If everyone believed the same thing, there would be no need for war. You even have groups within some religions who disagree with each other. For example, Catholics and Protestants within Christianity. The (perhaps ongoing) conflict in Northern Ireland wasn't caused by differences between Catholics and Protestants, but you can't deny a link. Plus, certain political views correlate with certain religious views. There are plenty more examples where that one came from, but it's obviously the one most relevant to me, therefore I chose it.

Religion also seems to have some role in a lot of wars that weren't necessarily caused by it. For example, Hitler and the Jews during WWII. And we all know the Holocaust wasn't the first or last case of persecution of a certain religious group.

Essentially, what I'm saying is that I think religion empowers and encourages conflict and division between large groups of followers.
Persecution and genocide against Jews was primarily ethnically based, not religiously based. Nazis viewed those of a Jewish and Roma heritage as racially inferior.

Jews who were atheists, secular, or Christian were killed regardless. Jehovah's witnesses were killed and imprisoned based only on their religious beliefs, however.

There are still countries in the world today with very severe religious persecution going on . Sometimes there is an ethnic twist to it (Rohingya in Burma) and sometimes it's solely based on religion (Jehovah's witnesses pretty much everywhere).

We should probably just stop killing each other.
   
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Re: The link between religion and conflict. - July 7th 2013, 01:26 PM

Well... "conflict" and "war" in this context mean very much the same thing. War is a form on conflict.

Conflict due to differing political values?
Conflict due to different cultures?
Conflict due to different religion?

And those 3 overlap with each other a lot. I think it just isn't fair to pin all the blame on religion like some people do.

If people really want to differentiate between "conflict" and "war", then I suppose the only difference is that war is a stronger word. I've known Christians who slate atheists, and I've known Christians who live at peace with other people, cultures and even religions. In other words, some of them find themselves at conflict with everyone else, some of them don't.

What does this depend on? Genetics? Very little. Genetics is beyond most people's control. It's often down to upbringing. Frequently you hear of kids brought up in strict Christian households who grow up to hate their own religion for at least some time. And it rarely comes entirely from inside them. Usually there's some external factor... and today, most significantly, the media. If it weren't for the media, globalization, science and many other external influences... most of these kids wouldn't dream of "rebelling" against Christian way of life, because they'd have never seen any other alternative way of life. All they'd know is Christianity.

How tolerant or intolerant people are of other religions is almost entirely based on upbringing, which is supposed to instil certain values on kids. When the parents instilling these values are also brainwashed bible-thumping fanatics, then you can expect very little tolerance from such people usually. But where did their fanaticism come from?

I don't go to Church myself often. I almost never do. But recently I had to attend a wedding of a mother's friends' sons' brothers', etc.'... and paid attention to some of the stuff that priest had to say. It wasn't anything radical. It was on the subject of how short-term celebrity marriages are, and how the celebrity culture corrupts this and that, and how the bride and groom on that occasion shouldn't follow the same path, basically. And I even agreed with some of it. But the difference is, I mostly came to my own conclusions on the subject of the "celebrity culture"... by observing for example how stupid people with low wages are buying themselves £100 bottles of champagne to look good on nights out, because that's what celebrities do.

A lot of these other people sitting there in that Church, they don't come to their own conclusions. They listen to the stuff in Church, then repeat it, and teach their kids the same. Take that priest out, and replace him with some more radical alternative... directly preaching mild forms of racism against other ethnicities and intolerance of other religions. Most of those people would still listen to it, and nod their heads, and teach their kids the same shit.

It all comes from the top. The leadership. In religion, in school, and in politics, and in work. If you have a shit, corrupt boss... it affects everyone below him in the hierarchy. If you have a single, corrupt employee, stealing cash... odds are he or she will just loose their job. If you have a crap headmaster in a school whose largest priority is making the school image look immaculate, whilst ignoring or sweeping under the rug severe incidents of bullying to avoid bad publicity, then everyone is effected in the school. Same with religion. Same with politics.


"I don't care about politics"
Then politics doesn't care about you either. Truth. You've got to make your voice heard, if you want to be listened to. But that's too logical for some people, so let me go a step further. Not making your voice heard, leaves other people free to hijack it by speaking on your behalf, even if they don't actually give a shit about you. That's politics. So, make your voice heard. That's not a quote from anywhere. That's just me.


   
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Re: The link between religion and conflict. - July 8th 2013, 05:28 AM

In the right setting, religion is a perfect tool to mobilize some people into war. People will die because they think that is what god wants them to do. If it isn't war, then it is honor, land, money, etc.

People will fight regardless of the meaning.
   
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Re: The link between religion and conflict. - July 8th 2013, 08:24 AM

I'm under the opinion that people will fight, regardless of religion. I think that in current times, religion has triggered many wars, but if it wasn't religion, it'd be something else.


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Re: The link between religion and conflict. - July 8th 2013, 12:59 PM

See, I never said that religion was the sole cause of conflict. I stated the opposite in my original post. Just that it can trigger it.

Politics, culture and religion do often overlap. A lot of the time most of the people who are from a certain culture will have the same religious views. For example, most Arabs are Muslim, and most Irish people are Catholics. There usually isn't much of a variety in political views either, especially when the vast majority of people in one country are of the same religious background.

Sarasa and Traci are right. If people didn't fight over religion, it would be something else. Still, religion is a perfect excuse. Like Sarasa stated, religion can be used to mobilise people into fighting.

BDF also had a very good point. Indoctrination by the hierarchy can be a cause of this. Even if the priest or preacher or whatever the hell he wants to call himself talks about very extreme stuff, it's likely that the people who hear it will believe it, grow up thinking it's true and possibly pass it on to their children. That can be dangerous. I never attended Mass that often, but I went to a Catholic primary school and currently attend a Catholic secondary school. When we were in primary school, we were taught pro-Catholic, God is good, praise Jebus sort of stuff all the way up, A lot of the people around me are very intolerant towards Protestants, Jews, Muslims etc now, so you can see the effect it can have.
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