Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Religion and Warfare



There have been wars in which religious motivation has been a factor, although I think a lot of these things are political with a religious justification. For example, the Irish don’t like the British presence in their country, and probably wouldn’t even if there were no religious differences between Britain and Ireland.

Non-religious and even anti-religious states, such as the Soviet Union, have not made the world more peaceful. If some political leader were to decide that what was holding the human race back was religious belief, I could imagine them starting a war to attack religion. The only countries that have been officially atheistic have been communist countries, and they have a bad track record.

3 comments:

unkleE said...

See Does religion cause wars? - only about 10% of wars appear to have major religious causes.

Edward T. Babinski said...

Religious differences, like other differences, add an additional reason for people to be prejudiced toward, mistrust, or hate other people or other nations for that matter.

Secondly, the psychology of mass movements in both politics and religion share a lot of overlapping features: http://edward-t-babinski.blogspot.com/2012/01/eric-hoffer-quotations-on-similar.html

Thirdly, Religion does not seem capable of preserving a nation or empire. Israel, the Jewish nation, fell to Babylon, Greece, and Rome. Then the Roman Empire fell after it had more Christians than any other empire that had ever existed. And after the fall of Rome, European nations with Christian rulers (and more believer and more churches than any other nations on earth) continued fighting each other, and Christianity itself continued to splinter, such as the Catholic Orthodox split, and later, having three rival popes at one time, and a bit later, a Catholic-Protestant split, then a Thirty Year War that began with the defenstration of Prague and Protestant and Catholic Leagues of nations fighting each other (though later some Protestants and Catholics joined forces against the rest to gain and keep what ground they could as the horrendous war progressed, in fact a wiley Catholic cardinal in France joined forces with some Protestant forces and made France the only nation that gained much ground after the war was over).

And then Europe, the nation that sent forth the most missionaries to the rest of the world, and still with plenty of believers and churches, suffered two World Wars. How blessed was that in a continent filled with so many Christians?

As for those missionaries, they accompanied armed forces that spread disease, death, slavery, and drug addiction in the New World, Africa, India, and China (read up on the British Opium trade, and the missionaries that accompanied the British in helping force the Mandarins to continue in the trade when they tried to get out of it, I heard the story in a tape on the Nineteenth Century from The Learning Company).

Also check out the book, Guns, Germs and Steel.

Christian Europe was not more advanced in either seamanship, trade, nor in science far beyond that of the Muslim and Chinese worlds, not until after Europeans discovered the New World, which sped up development and enthusiasm in making further discoveries and indulging in loads of interesting new finds. The discovery of how to make clear glass lenses also took place in Europe and led to telescopes and microscopes, both of which, along with other advantages mentioned in the book Guns, Germs and Steel, was what made Europe such a world powerhouse.

But all that trade and discovery made Europe wealthy, and then factories were invented, advanced weapons, and Europe was then blessed with two World Wars. During the first, all sides had people praying for the soldiers in the churches of each nation.

Meanwhile, the second World War was interesting because Hitler was elected more by the countryside voters than the city voters. And the countryside voters were probably more devout Christians in general than the city voters were. They thought Hitler was God's man, just as Hitler claimed to be, and the Holy Spirit did not warn them otherwise.

Also, as I said above, mass movements have a lot of similarities, be they political in the case of Hitler, Marx, Lenin and Mao, or religious. Hitler spoke in millennarian terms, Marx spoke of a worker's paradise (while the devil upon whom one could project one's fears and all the evil in the world was the bourgeoisie). Same with other mass movements and the similar psychological drives that lead people to join them.



Crude said...

Same with other mass movements and the similar psychological drives that lead people to join them.

So the Cult of Gnu really is a cult. Got it.