Does Religion Cause War Argumentative Essay

Courtesy of the New York Times.

Deadly images on television tear at our heart. We wish for the violence in Israel to end.

This land, sacred to three global religions, seems endlessly mired in conflict. Does religion just promote division or hatred? Is it because of its religious significance that Israel remains a place of tension? Or is faith, at its core, a force of peace?

 If we listen to most voices in the media and pop culture, we would answer this question without hesitation. Religion is bad, primitive, and dangerous.

We would agree with late writer Christopher Hitchens, who said “The Bible contains a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre.”

We would say religion needs to end before peace can begin. But the simple answer is usually wrong. Consider the following:

False assumption 1: Most wars are religious wars.

This argument is simply not true. The Encyclopedia of War (yes, it exists) says that of the 1763 wars, 123 have been caused by religion. That’s 6.98 percent. Hardly a primary cause.

To the contrary, history suggests that the most violent groups tend to be anti-religious. The most murderous regimes of the 20th century—Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia—were explicitly anti-religion. They forbid traditional religious expression. They replaced it with politics and nationalism.

The religion of Nazi Germany was the state, and the religion of Stalinist Russia was socialism. Mao Tse-Tung in China and Pol Pot and Cambodia also disregarded their culture’s traditional faiths.

Religion puts a check on political power, and tyrannical regimes suppress it.

False assumption 2: Religion causes people to hate each other. 

This argument has the advantage of having some validity. People have hated and killed others in the name of religion. They continue to do so today.

Yet, people also love in the name of religion. Just look at those who devote their lives to service. Just look at the social service agencies and hospitals established by different faiths.

[callout]If we say religion causes hate, we can equally say religion causes love.[/callout]

The truth is that, as the Jewish sages taught, we are all born with dual inclinations—to love and create, and to hate and destroy. At its best religion fosters the former and quells the latter.

False assumption 3: Religion divides us between believer and nonbeliever. 

Once again this argument has some validity. Religion does draw lines between people. Some religions do so more starkly than others.

Speaking from the Judeo-Christian tradition, however, we can religion also presents a soaring vision of human equality. The opening chapter of the Bible tells us every human being is “created in the image of God.”

Without faith we might not arrive at this sublime truth. Nature favors the strong over the vulnerable. Politics favors the powerful over the weak. Faith makes us equally sacred before God.

Religion does not cause conflict. People do. And religion is the only force that has a prayer of stopping it.
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  • Your arguments are invalid.

    If you take a look at all the wars that are well known...surely you'll notice that they are not well known because of the fact that they were caused by religious beliefs.

    The American Revolutionary War, American Civil War, English Civil War, French Reign of Terror, WWI, WWII, Cold War, the various Civil Wars that have happened throughout Africa, Rwandan Genocide, American War in the Middle East, the War between Kenya and Somalia...really I could go on.

    All were fights for freedom, for a change of system..or government..of society. Even a fight against terrorism! Wherever you got this ridiculous idea that it empowers and encourages them. Look again people!

  • Religion needs not to cause war.

    In the Eastern side of the world, religions of different origins will mix together. Such as the mixture of Buddhism and Chinese philosophy towards South East Asia. Buddhism originated from India, Taoism originates from a philosopher named Lao Zi and Confucianism originates from another named Cong Zi. But as time passes they reach towards South East Asia, instead of warring, they merge. But for the western side, all of them came from one God apparently, Allah being seen by the Muslim, Jehova by the witnesses and God by the Christian. But all of them are actually one same God perceived by different people. They do not have to war they can merge just like the Asian religions.

  • People cause war

    Religion does not inherently cause war. Correlation is not the same as causation. Religion is just an easily corruptible system that can influence many people who subscribe to it. The reason the U.S.A saw sense in separating state and religion was so that corrupt politicians could not infiltrate it and use it to justify war, not so that that members of the clergy could get into power. If you put a warmonger in charge of the church you will get war, if you put him in charge of the state you will get war, if you put him in charge of a corporation you will get dodgy dealings of weapons to angry nations. War is human nature - Religion is just a fantastic scapegoat. If religion disappears over the next few hundred years, I wonder what people will say causes war then...

  • People are the reasons, the religion by itself is never the reason.

    People say that religion causes war, but there isn't any further proof to back up their arguments. According to an article, most wars are rarely caused by religion; only 123 out of 1,763. Also, out of all the wars that were related to a religious cause(Israel and Palestine for example), were caused by the people who took excessive pride and greed in their religion, making them discourage other people's religions, and in certain parts in holy texts, greed and pride are qualities that ruin your respect for others and yourself, it is very poisonous to the mind and soul. This is unless this pride is used to respect other people with the same beliefs and thus trying to be a part of this world. Even so, people aren't allowed to perform physical violence on people unless it is for defense. In the real cause and even if it has its downsides, religion is supposed to unite people together and bring harmony among them; it is supposed to be respectful to worship whatever is in that religion but at the same time doing the right thing for you and others and being a part of this world. Unfortunately, people who take excessive pride in themselves often disrespect their religion by causing war and murdering people. For example, greed and pride are two of the Seven Deadliest Sins in Christianity. Another example was when the Taliban took over Afghanistan in the 1990's. They made strict laws concerning Islam, and they say they are doing this because it is dedication to Allah, and that they are doing him a favor. Of course, they are claimed by many Islamic scholars to be "poorly educated people who do not know the Islamic law and history and who misread the Quran in a very horrendous way." In conclusion, it is the corrupt society of humans that cause what shaped the world today, and religion does not have any cause for this.

  • Do some actual research

    The "Encyclopedia of Wars", and many other research books on warfare, state that of the 1,763 wars fought in human history, only 123 of those were religious in cause. Of those 123 wars, 66 were started by the Islamic religion. So, less than 7% religious and less than 3% religious outside of Islamic/Muslim

  • Religion does not cause war

    Your arguments are invalid. If you take a look at all the wars that are well known...Surely you'll notice that they are not well known because of the fact that they were caused by religious beliefs.

    The American Revolutionary War, American Civil War, English Civil War, French Reign of Terror, WWI, WWII, Cold War, the various Civil Wars that have happened throughout Africa, Rwandan Genocide, American War in the Middle East, the War between Kenya and Somalia...Really I could go on.

    All were fights for freedom, for a change of system..Or government..Of society. Even a fight against terrorism! Wherever you got this ridiculous idea that it empowers and encourages them. Look again, people!

  • Religion does not cause war

    Your arguments are invalid. If you take a look at all the wars that are well known...Surely you'll notice that they are not well known because of the fact that they were caused by religious beliefs.

    The American Revolutionary War, American Civil War, English Civil War, French Reign of Terror, WWI, WWII, Cold War, the various Civil Wars that have happened throughout Africa, Rwandan Genocide, American War in the Middle East, the War between Kenya and Somalia...Really I could go on.

    All were fights for freedom, for a change of system..Or government..Of society. Even a fight against terrorism! Wherever you got this ridiculous idea that it empowers and encourages them. Look again, people!

  • No religion says to fight or hurt people

    It isn't our fault of the violence created in the society, people just like to blame religion because its so diverse but little we know is that religion is supposed to be a place that people go to seek for help and guidance for there faith not to go killing people because of their race or religious practises. It isn't religions fault i blame humans !!!!!

  • Corrupt people cause wars, not Religion.

    The crusades are not a good example of people causing wars because of religion. This is because it was not the Muslims taking Jerusalem that caused the English to attack, it was a terrorist group that took it under the name of Muslim that caused them to attack when in fact the Qur'an states that you should let other religions believe what they want and that they will soon understand that Allah is the only god. It also states that violence is not allowed and if it is the only time is in defense. Also, the Muslims that controlled Jerusalem before the group took over let the Christians visit it for a Pilgrimage when ever they wanted to or needed to, so in fact it was the act of selfish, extremists that caused the Christians to retaliate in order to be able to visit it and take pilgrimages to it every year, just like the Muslims take a pilgrimage to Mecca once a lifetime if they are young and able bodied.

  • Corrupt people cause wars, not Religion.

    The crusades are not a good example of people causing wars because of religion. This is because it was not the Muslims taking Jerusalem that caused the English to attack, it was a terrorist group that took it under the name of Muslim that caused them to attack when in fact the Qur'an states that you should let other religions believe what they want and that they will soon understand that Allah is the only god. It also states that violence is not allowed and if it is the only time is in defense. Also, the Muslims that controlled Jerusalem before the group took over let the Christians visit it for a Pilgrimage when ever they wanted to or needed to, so in fact it was the act of selfish, extremists that caused the Christians to retaliate in order to be able to visit it and take pilgrimages to it every year, just like the Muslims take a pilgrimage to Mecca once a lifetime if they are young and able bodied.

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