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Most wars started because of religion?


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#1 Surroundx

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 21:43 PM

Atheists are always saying that most wars ever fought were started because of religion. However, when I try to find any sources to back up this claim I can't find much. In fact I remember Christian apologist Dinesh D'souza (I think) talking about a book written (presumably) by theists, in which they catalogue over 1700 different conflicts and come to the conclusion that virtually none were started because of religion.

So my question is, were most wars ever fought started because of religion?

#2 Goddess

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 15:53 PM

What do you define as "started because of religion"?

I mean, for example, WW2, it "started" because someone killed someone else's archduke, but, I'm fairly sure Hitler-the-good-catholic didn't kill millions of Jews because a catholic Archbishop was killed (by another Catholic, I think...  need to look that up).

What about the Crusades? OK, they weren't technically a "war" as such, I don't believe actual formal war was declared, but that was definately mass murder for religion.

What about Iraq? I wonder whether the whole Iraq war would have happened if Iraq was a "Christian Nation"?  I know, for sure, Sep11 happened for religious reasons, and, I believe that's what sparked the Iraq war...

Anyway, I'm not sure about "most" wars, but, there were certainly some doozies...

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#3 Surroundx

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 19:32 PM

Goddess,

I don't mean anything by it because I'm not the one claiming it. I'm simply asking whether it is true or not.  fair few atheists have raised the point but never given any justification for it. They simply assert it. And give the fact that it's a bold claim, I'm surprised they don't try to justify it.

#4 Xmasviv

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 09:15 AM

I believe most wars are started due to greed and the lust for power, land, resources etc.  I'm pretty sure Attlia the Hun wasn't particularly interested in converting anyone :)  So, yes I disagree with the statement that most wars were started due to religion.

Unfortunately, religion is sometimes used to further the cause.

Just my thoughts.

#5 Goddess

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 11:38 AM

Actually, I agree, I just wanted to throw more info in there for some discussion...

I have seen the shirts saying "No Religion = No War" but I don't believe it.   No Religion may equal Less war, but not NO war.

I actually agree with Viv, Wars are usually started for reasons of  power/politics, however, religion is used to further (and in some cases  excuse) the actions...  

That's really what I was trying to say in my post, I am interested in this concept too, I guess you really have to look into the motive behind the expressed reason for the conflict.

Again, as an example, look at WW2. Theoretically about the death of Ferdinand and the affront that caused, also about 'renovating' the borders of Europe and Western Asia, and the lovely underlying war of the Catholics (Hitler, Mussolini & the Pope) against the world. Would the whole debacle have got quite so out of hand if it was really just about the assassination? I don't think so...

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#6 Xmasviv

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 16:10 PM

Goddess :)

Think you are confusing the two world wars.  World War I began with the assassination of the archduke.

World War II began when Hitler invaded Poland.

If the French had not totally crippled Germany in the Versailles Agt at the end of WWI, the second world war may not have happened.

#7 Anoctris

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 01:04 AM

Many wars may not have been started specifically because of Religion, but many are strongly supported by mainstream Religions.

Apart from most of the Crusades listed in Wikipedia, one particular to take note of was the Albigensian Crusade that began in 1208 against the Cathars in southern France. The Catholic Church at the time, hungry for land, taxes and power used the murder of a Papal Legate (who wasn't killed in Cathar lands, but on the road travelling back to Rome) to put an entire region to flame and sword.

What's interesting is that during that war, many Catholics who had lived peacefully alongside Cathars for generations chose to fight against the Papally blessed 'Crusaders'. Apparently even Knights Templar fought against the Catholic Crusaders.

#8 Damon

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 16:54 PM

In actuality wars are rarely started for religious reasons. There are always more fundamental underlying igniters of the spark, usually associated with greed and power. However in the vast majority of wars religion is cynically used for leverage to foment fervour for the cause and animosity to the enemy. The participants truly believe they are doing "God's work". Wars are thus escalated and perpetuated by religion. These are far more important reasons to oppose religion than for the irrelevant question of whether it is the true catalyst for war.

Damon Caesar

#9 RGD51

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 11:56 AM

Xmasviv said:

Goddess :)

Think you are confusing the two world wars.  World War I began with the assassination of the archduke.

World War II began when Hitler invaded Poland.

If the French had not totally crippled Germany in the Versailles Agt at the end of WWI, the second world war may not have happened.
The League of Nations crafted the Treaty of Versailles in 1919-- the French, per se, were not responsible for crippling Germany--it was the joint effort of many and a huge mistake. It literally paved the way for Adolf Hitler and a revitalized Germany hell bent on revenge. As he thumbed his nose at the world in the 20's and 30's, the post treaty world community did nothing to stop him! The U.S. and its Euro allies didn't lift a finger when he rearmed and reindustrialized the Ruhr in '35. After that he had Germany cranking on the front burner. In '38 Chamberlain (waving 'peace in our time' docs) became the poster boy for a world of placated, hapless, dupes and in '39 Hitler was ready to unleash his ideology on a world that was essentially unprepared for what he was about to serve up.

When the starting of wars is concerned I think you can round up the usual suspects--Nationalism, Ethnic superiority i.e.-- Blood feuds, hatred, religion, just fill in the blanks.....There is much more to come in the Middle East and sadly at the cost of the lives of many more young Americans and our allies.

Sorry for being longwinded....I prefer minimalism/brevity.

Robert

#10 Sean Michael

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 03:41 AM

Goddess said:

What do you define as "started because of religion"?

I mean, for example, WW2, it "started" because someone killed someone else's archduke, but, I'm fairly sure Hitler-the-good-catholic didn't kill millions of Jews because a catholic Archbishop was killed (by another Catholic, I think...  need to look that up).

What about the Crusades? OK, they weren't technically a "war" as such, I don't believe actual formal war was declared, but that was definately mass murder for religion.

What about Iraq? I wonder whether the whole Iraq war would have happened if Iraq was a "Christian Nation"?  I know, for sure, Sep11 happened for religious reasons, and, I believe that's what sparked the Iraq war...

Anyway, I'm not sure about "most" wars, but, there were certainly some doozies...

The assination of archduke Ferdinand was what started WW1.  The start of WW2 in my opinion was started due to the harsh reparations Germany had to pay after WW1.  This led the German people to angry and frustated and help promote the extreme policies of Adolf Hitler.




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