2- Religion Does Not Cause Wars Essay

878 Words Apr 3rd, 2013 4 Pages
Religion Causes War."

So often is this sentiment heard in the best sellers from Richard Dawkins to Sam Harris that it has almost become a proverb. It is said so often that people believe it without question.

But, in fact, religion does not cause war. If you are an atheist, I ask for your intellectual honesty in evaluating this question. You have every right to believe what you will, but we should all be honest and not sling mud where it is not warranted. Laying war at the feet of religion is just not honest, warranted, fair or accurate.

War is people (usually men) fighting, usually for a bit of territory or desired resource. One party wants something another party has. The leader of the first party will use whatever he can to
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We desire to associate, as Aristotle and so many others have acknowledged, we are social creatures. "Man is a political animal." Forming groups and identities is just what we do. And those communities become true expressions of self, a group self that has just as much potential for affirming true ideas as philosophy or science.

Some may say that Europe, particularly France have effectively done away with public religious sentiment, but does not France identity as secular just as strongly as another country identifies as religious? Secularism too is an identity that has just as much potential to encourage war as religion or any other identity. Communism is an all too perfect example of that.

In conclusion, there is a distorted story of history floating around in which religion causes everything. This is actually far from the truth. So in closing, here is just a brief list of examples of wars not caused by religion.

1. World War I
2. World War II
3. The Cold War
4. The American Civil War
5. The American Revolution
6. The Hundred Years War in Europe between England and France from 1337 to 1453. It was over a claim to the French throne
7. The Napoleonic Wars
8. The Rwandan Genocide (ethnic)
9. The Peloponnesian Wars between Athens and Sparta in Ancient Greece (over territory and power)
10. Every Roman battle ever, such as the Punic Wars against Carthage
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