Another Question On Religion

Following on from my previous post The Question of Religion, I have another question for anyone willing to share their thoughts.

Conflict. Religion is often tied to it. It’s a lot of what we see in the news. People waging war in the name of religion. But does that mean that religion is inevitably tied to war, to violence, to conflict?

For me, religion is neutral. There are those who interpret what they read as a call to arms, as a reason to wage war, to hurt people and commit atrocities. And then there are those who choose to believe in the good side of it. They interpret their faith in a peaceful way, they choose to do good in the name of their god/religion.

So, does religion always mean violence? Will there always be those who use religion as a basis for war?

What are your views on the link between religion and conflict?

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8 thoughts on “Another Question On Religion

  1. i was actually thinking of something similar, or related, to this question yesterday. not so much the about the link between religion and violence but the result or the cost…what will be left when the violence ends?

    also interesting given that in the age of the internet nothing can truly be erased or forgotten – what good does it do to destroy/erase the physical artifacts, places, and symbols of any religion or people. everything that exists now will leave a trace, a story, accessible everywhere and anywhere in the world.

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    1. I think it’s such a shame what’s been happening to the artefacts etc in other countries. All in the name of religion. The things that have been taken away from future generations to enjoy makes me sad. You’re right – destroying the actual thing doesn’t change anything, it doesn’t remove all memory, all trace of it. So much that is done in the name of religion seems senseless to me.
      What will be left when the violence ends? I wonder whether the violence will ever end.

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      1. i’m now wondering if/how violence will evolve? in one sense i know it already has, but in another it’s remarkably cyclical-shockingly so.

        (keeping this comment short. it was longer but disappeared so i’m not sure if it already posted. hey any points for 2for1 comments 🙂 )

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  2. This is such a hard question – I wish I had an answer. I identify as more-or-less Christian, but with that comes some really tough questions I don’t have satisfying answers for – the horrifying violence in the Bible, the way the teachings of the church can be twisted to justify violence and bigotry… But I don’t know if religion causes violence so much as violent people can use religion to uphold their pre-existing inner violence. Maybe. I was reading some Atheist blogs on this topic earlier today and yep, they raise really important questions that Christians need to face on this issue without us getting defensive or fearful that maybe we’ll discover that the God we worship is actually a social structure or system designed to maintain a violent status quo.
    I guess one reason I lean more towards the Mystic / Celtic / Mindfulness Christianity is that it’s less about “me versus the evil world” and more “finding peace within myself.” It also strongly discourages the arrogance that comes when religion is about trying to prove a personal belief system.

    It’s a really important question to ask of religions though because, let’s face it, so often the worst news in the world comes with a religious slant!

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