Does religion cause war?


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This presentation examines whether religion and faith are the number one cause of war as some atheists say.

Published in: Spiritual, News & Politics
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Does religion cause war?

  2. 2. Atheists and secular humanists consistently make the claim thatreligion is the #1 cause of violence and war throughout the historyof mankind.
  3. 3. Religion and faith are “themost prolific source ofviolence in our history.” - Sam Harris
  4. 4. Is that true?
  5. 5. Three Truths to Start with…1. Campaigns such as the Crusades and the Thirty Years‟ War foundationally rested on religious ideology and did occur.2. There is no disagreement that radical Islam was the spirit behind 9/11.3. It is not true to say that all faiths contribute equally where religiously- motivated violence and warfare are concerned or that religion/faith is the #1 cause of war.
  6. 6. More Truth on the Matter• Philip and Axelrod‟s three-volume Encyclopedia of Wars chronicles some 1,763 wars that have been waged over the course of human history.• Of those wars, the authors categorize 123 as being religious in nature, which is an astonishingly low 6.98% of all wars.• When one subtracts out those waged in the name of Islam (66), the percentage is cut by more than half to 3.23%.
  7. 7. That means that all faiths combined – minus Islam – have caused less than 4% of all of humanity‟s wars and violent conflicts. Further, they played nomotivating role in the major wars that have resulted in the most loss of life.
  8. 8. Religious/Non-Religious Wars16501600155015001450140013501300125012001150110010501000 950 900 850 800 750 700 650 600 550 500 450 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 Non-Islamic Religious Islamic Wars Non-Religious Wars Wars
  9. 9. 3% 4% 93%Non-Islamic Religious Wars Islamic Wars Non-Religious Wars
  10. 10. Kind of puts a seriousdent into Harris‟argument, doesn‟t it…?
  11. 11. Truth you can’t argue with…The truth is, non-religious motivations and naturalistic philosophiesbear the blame for nearly all of humankind‟s wars. Lives lost duringreligious conflicts pales in comparison to those experienced during theregimes who wanted nothing to do with the idea of God – somethingshowcased in R. J. Rummel‟s work Lethal Politics and Death byGovernment: Non-Religious Dictator Lives Lost Joseph Stalin 42,672,000 Mao Zedong 37,828,000 Adolf Hitler 20,946,000 Chiang Kai-shek 10,214,000 Vladimir Lenin 4,017,000 Hideki Tojo 3,990,000 Pol Pot 2,397,000
  12. 12. “Almost 170 million men, women andchildren have been shot, beaten,tortured, knifed, burned, starved,frozen, crushed or worked to death;buried alive, drowned, hung, bombedor killed in any other of a myriad ofways governments have inflicteddeath on unarmed, helpless citizensand foreigners. The dead couldconceivably be nearly 360 millionpeople. It is though our species hasbeen devastated by a modern BlackPlague. And indeed it has, but aplague of Power, not germs.”
  13. 13. The historical evidence is quite clear: Religion is not the #1 cause of war.
  14. 14. If religion can‟t be blamed for most wars and violence, then whatis the primary cause? The same thing that triggers all crime,cruelty, loss of life, and other such things…
  15. 15. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evilthoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds ofcoveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy,slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed fromwithin and defile the man” (Mark 7:21–23)
  16. 16. “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is notthe source your pleasures that wage war in your members? Youlust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious andcannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel” (James 4:1–2).
  17. 17. To end war, we don‟t need to get ridof religion / faith. The atheistphilosopher Frederick Nietzsche –who pioneered the „death of God‟movement – predicted that becauseGod was supposedly dead, the 20thcentury would be the bloodiest in allof human history.Turns out, he was right.
  18. 18. To stop war, we need a revolution of the heart. And that starts when we seekand find God, who is the only One that can change hearts for the better.
  19. 19. For More Information
  20. 20. Does RELIGION CAUSE WAR?