Why do countries go to war over this, why do people blame one religion for things like terrorism? What's your PERSONAL opinion about this, should we all get along? Or should we keep killing each...

Why do countries go to war over this, why do people blame one religion for things like terrorism?

What's your PERSONAL opinion about this, should we all get along? Or should we keep killing each other?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

My own personal opinion is the countries do not really go to war over religion.  They go to war because they feel that they are in some way different and/or because they have different economic/political interests.  Religion is merely one excuse that people have for feeling that they are different from others and that they have different interests.  So I’d say countries go to war because it is in human nature to have conflict with those who are different from you and religion is one way to be different.  If there were no religion, we would find other ways to be different and to hate each other for those differences.

We can see this very clearly from all the examples of countries that have gone to war over things that had nothing to do with religion.  For example, Nazi Germany did not attack Poland or the USSR or France because of religions differences.  Iraq did not invade Kuwait for such reasons.  Russia is not attacking Syrian rebels because of religion.  Many more examples could be found.  In addition, there have been “religious” wars in the past that were not really religious.  The Thirty Years war started as a war between Catholic and Protestant states, but soon Catholic France and Protestant Sweden, for example, were on the same side.

Clearly, some wars do happen between countries or groups that are religiously different.  My view, however, is that this is simply because religion is important to people.  They come to define themselves by their religion and they define people who are of other religions as enemies.  This is no different than how the USSR and the US defined each other as enemies because of ideology in the Cold War.  Countries go to war over race, religion, and ideology, but in reality they are going to war because they think that the other country is fundamentally different from them and that people who are different are the enemy.

Of course we should stop killing each other, but it is not likely to happen.  Religion is not to blame for wars and terrorism.  Human nature and our innate desire to divide the world up into people like us (our friends) and people not like us (our enemies) drive us to war and terrorism.  That’s my opinion, at least.

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