Wars in the name of religion

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vforv4nity's picture
Wars in the name of religion

Hello guys this is my first post and I would like to talk about and debate about some of my thoughts about the wards in the name of religion. Starting of I would really want to talk about the ancient years and gradually advancing to the modern ones (I will try to be quick about I can analyze any point you want in the comment section). Ancient Greece was one of the greatest earths civiliazation that we know of and have records. In ancient Greece religion was formed around nature and every single one of the 12 gods (13 if we consider some older books) represented some really important human value or natural phenomenon. Aris was the god of war and on this one we are going to focus here. Greek communities adored Aris as he represented all the war heros and was believed to give might and strenght to his followers (many philosophers like the great Socrates never believed in this gods and were claiming that there could only be one God in this world and as was expected he was killed for his blasphemy and all other people who had the same thoughts). Leaders and strategists not always had the same thoughts with the common people so when they wanted to find soldiers to fight their wars, they would raid on every village and farm and would claim that Aris reached them through a sorcerer ( or Mantis) as they claimed that he gave them his blessing to fight a war. Of course nothing is for free. They always promised land and titles to the war heroes. Long story short this would happen for more than 300 years in Greece and many civil wars and wars againist foreigner would take place always carrying Aris' blessing. They used the word of Aris to encourage the slaves and common people to fight without real earning. Now here comes the interesting part. In the later years when Christianity was introduced and Greeks heard about this peaceful God (they we under the Roman empire at that momment) and his wonderkid (Jesus) they started believing on that new a convinient thing (of course they were minorities who believed in the old gods and they still do). Christianity was planted inside the Roman Empire and it became stronger and stronger over the years. Then the Christians spread it all over the world, making every western country Chritians really fast. Many peace truces were made because both sides of the war were Christian and thanks to the religion the Roman Empire could grow really strong but then the barbaric countries came around. Wild people who did not believe in God started raiding the northern parts of the RE. The pope quickly transferred the world to every part of the Empire that they were Satans minions ( I am not kidding if you are interested I can find you the sources). Many troops rallied to the northern borders to face the "beasts" trying to defend their beliefs and lands. After many years and many wars that followed this one people were getting tired and showed no real will to fight so they were given lands at the borders of the country so they were forced to defend them. That thing really worked, but people couldn't do that forever. So they started losing lands and they tried to reclaim them (from the east). But who would like to fight the fierce Arabs in order the Romans reclam some lost lands. The great crusader army. They were mainly parted from people who didn't know what war really ment. Pope gave their king a title (King under the word of god) and he rallied huge masses of people had the will to reclaim those lands. Now lets take a break here and look into the events better. A strong Muslim army was able to reach spain through africa and Greece through todays Turkey. They were a vengeful army with a cause that was created mainly by their religion. They were fighting while having the divine reward in their minds. They knew that no matter the result what matters is the fight. So Pope came with the "reclaiming the holy lands" plan. But the aim was to make sure Constantinopole (Instabul) was safe. So crusader had a safe passage through Greece and fight alongside Romans until Instabul was safe. Then they continued their journey alone (which was a huge fail as they died without even reaching close to Israel). Why would a same religion army not follow them to the end. Even though they were commanded from a different person if the eastern empire commander really cared he would stop that suicide mission. Appearantly it worked for them. 5 more crusader armies were made. A hundred thousands of dead from both sides, and the board was back to the Christians. Then the original a new Turkish race appeared (sorry for the spelling) Seltzuki Turks. Then demolished the eastern empire and a huge part of their legacy changing the identity of the biggest church in Instabul from Orthodox to a Muslim. For many people this was their greatest achievment. My theory suggests that every side of the wars were using the "divine" element to make their armies perform better in the battlefield while passing general rules in their everyday lives. It is a win-win situation for the empire leaders. Sorry for the long post but I have one last point. This concerns some WW2 events. People claim that Hitler was a religious person and that helped him a lot to gain power in Germany. I want to remind you that Pope of the Western Roman Empire was a Christians but never even gave a damn about sending thousands of crusaders to suicide missions just to solve overpopulation problems ( along with the king) and even earlier when Greeks would fight civil wars while arguing which side is more favored by gods. My point is that NO WAR HAS EVER HAPPENED IN THE NAME OF RELIGION. Lets stop saying that because this is not the truth. Theists believe that because they think that devine spirits told these people to fight wars and it is a good argument for ous to use for the exact same reason. But the truth is in front of us. Leaders never cared about human lives. They were heartless idols to the common and uneducated people. Religion was always a sidekick (maybe even a motive) to the wars ,not the reason. Saying that the crusaders died in the name of God is mistaken. They died in the name of Pope and the King reigning at that period. If religion was managed correctly these wars would never happen and religion would still be a great defensive and unity tool. No religion talks about sacred wars (except the Jihad kaboom one). So this is pretty much it, sorry for the long posts even though it is vastly incomplete. If you want to talk about sth more specific feel free to ask me, correct me and add things. I will try to answer every comment with as much detail as I can because it really doesn't feel right writing such a detail-empty text.

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Valentina Supergirl Taing's picture
the first religion was

the first religion was probably animism. The shamans ran things back then

vforv4nity's picture
Good to know! You see I did

Good to know! You see I did not talk about religions I do not know enough about. Never talked about Hindu never put much detail about Muslim moves. I am an atheist and I simply don't care how these people got manipulated. All I can talk about for certain is Ancient Greece , Roman Empire , France in the ages of Enlightment and the WW(1,2). But your comment prettymuch seems to support my argument. :P

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
"My point is that NO WAR HAS


Even though i agree that the wars were all about greed and politics, they were sold to the people as "IN THE NAME OF RELIGION."

So if you have a mind controlling machine that is also "a great defensive and unity tool" does it make it right to use it?
Why do you need to lie and manipulate the people to achieve unity?

Today we achieved the same results with reason and education regardless of religion being in the way at every step.

Imagine how much faster and much less people needed to die if religion wasn't there to kill anybody who fought for equality.

Wars happen because religion creates division.(we are better then others)
It does not create the wars directly it creates the board in black and white, human nature will just be forced to choose a colour.

So yes religion is the main factor in creating wars, because it creates division. It sets the battlefield and provides the weapons.
This is basically a fact, it can divide even family members, a mother from her children etc..., we see it on the news even today.

Where there is division eventually there will be wars.

When you have a tool, you must weight it with it's good vs its bad.
Religion is overwhelmed by the bad things it does, if it does anything good, it does it by accident or by making a monopoly on good things of other subjects like spirituality or charity.

Spirituality--Did you know that spirituality deals with understanding yourself?
Christians are the most people who do not understand themselves else they would figure out that they are a better person then their own god.

Charity--The Catholic church is one of the few organizations that do not declare where the charity money is going, it just goes to the Vatican and it vanishes.
Any other secular charitable organization documents well where the money is going.

vforv4nity's picture
"Imagine how much faster and

"Imagine how much faster and much less people needed to die if religion wasn't there to kill anybody who fought for equality". Not so sure. Like it or not in the old times division was created in other ways. Ex. when in ancient Greece everyone who wasn't speaking the Greek langueage was called barbaric, they used to not treat them in the best way so I guess we can see one of many reasons this whole thing started. Now imagine if all the civiliazations had their own gods... People would fight for the last man standing and I think this is the reason weaker countries back then used to give themselves up to Christianity, plus back then they couldn't have open schools and if you even considered talking trash of your monarchs in public they would kill you for sure. What I want to say is that the enviroment back then couldn't support education and their propagandistic monarchs would manipulate their faith. If there was no religion at all people would be divided by their skin colours and cultures, as they did 60 years ago. Of course this problem still exists and the governments have found other ways to keep the masses under control in the last years. They can see that religion is not a thing now.

If you go to a 3d world country right now (no matter which one) and you ask the common people what are the strong points of your country they're going to mention the army, their strong production and 4-5 great scientists they have. I am not saying the last one is bad but the other two indeed are. These two are propagandistic claims created in a capitalistic system. Illusions so people think they are safe and have the best job opportunities they country can provide (countries like Greece included). You see the government evolves and adapts, religion soon won't be a thing anymore. Just a means to the end, like it is know like it always were.

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
"division was created in

"division was created in other ways. "

Yes but you have to admit religion was the only one that can divide a mother from her child.
Whatever excuse you come up with, you cannot escape the fact that religion made the situation worse when it comes to division.
It is like saying there is always evil in the world but you have to admit that mass murderers make the situation worse.
Reigion is proven to make the situation much worse through history.
Eg: burning people(even children) because they had members of the village having a slightly different opinion(burning entire villages, man, woman, children, beasts in the name of god)

Don't tell me that without this fanaticism that created the dark ages, humanity wouldn't have been better off.
Seriously, It is insulting my intelligence .

"You see the government evolves and adapts, religion soon won't be a thing anymore. Just a means to the end, like it is know like it always were."

It seems we agree that It always was a means to an end, it was created through propaganda.
It is because of that reason that we would do better without it.
Being manipulated and not given the truth is one of the main reasons we are so slow in our progress.

vforv4nity's picture
Do not get me wrong. We

Do not get me wrong. We believe exactly the same stuff, the only difference is that I believe that human is capable of being savage by its nature. If there was no religion in the middle people would still have wars none less than they already had , the arguable point is if they would have even more! You see everything I wrote was not made out of assumptions but mostly by facts (I use the word mostly because I do not believe that all my history sources are right). I know where religion did good and where it did bad but blaming religion by itself is simply folly. Stalin did what he did without the help of any religion. He was a monster but he had a war to win and he did it. Just as Romans , just as Greeks , just as Egyptians. As long as people do not try to think what a war really brings in this world basic ideas as religion will never be eradicated. But lets just agree that religion is not a good thing, and no matter if wars happened in the name of religion or if wars used religion to recruit troops and fanatics, had the same result. Death all the way.

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
"the only difference is that

"the only difference is that I believe that human is capable of being savage by its nature."
Yea me too, we agree here.

"If there was no religion in the middle people would still have wars none less than they already had"
I think it is a bit arrogant to assume they would have had the same amount considering that few are the things that would make a mother hate/kill her child except religion.

"I know where religion did good and where it did bad but blaming religion by itself is simply folly."
It is not, you are basically blaming humanity only and ignoring the cancer(religion).
Humans die and kill each other true, but you cannot ignore that cancer kills on it's own too.(just like religion)

"Stalin did what he did without the help of any religion."
No one said that all evil comes from religion, we are saying that religion poisons everything, not that all poison come from religion.
Don't change subject please.

"But lets just agree that religion is not a good thing"
yes we agree,
Giving a knife to a child is "not a good thing", giving a tactical nuke trigger to a child is a very serious problem.
Religion is just the first and worst weapon of mass destruction used to create and fuel wars.

"and no matter if wars happened in the name of religion or if wars used religion to recruit troops and fanatics, had the same result."
Not the same at all.
Religion makes people(not just the leader) think they did the right thing when burning children to the stake.
It poisons the mind to the point of making people insane without knowing it.

If wars were a knife, religion is tactical nuke.
It blends in with the population, attacks children's mind and kills by the millions by claiming it is good!

Last time the pope killed over 7 million people he got away with it thanks to religion.

It only took a few words to kill 7 million people more then they were already dying in Africa from aids.
He publicly declared that aids are bad but not as bad as condoms to the African Catholics.
African Christian Death rate by aids suddenly increased by 7 million.

They are just on a completely different level.

religion is one such problem that to this day it does not allow people to think.

Religion is so dangerous that wars are just part of the problems of religion.


Btw a 100% religion based war is the war between the literals Christians and the Gnostic Christians.

That war was entirely based on religious DIVISION in theology.

The Literals believed Jesus was a historical figure.(with the pope, militaristic)
The Gnostics believed Jesus was an allegory for a way of living.(pacifists, give the other cheek like Jesus)

The Gnostics (60% of all Christians at the time) were completely wiped out, their texts burned and entire villages where they were dominant were completely burned to the ground, killing men, women, children and even beasts they owned.
This was called by the believers the purification from the heretics demanded by god.

Now if you can honestly say that religion was not the main problem here, You seriously don't understand reality.

Valentina Supergirl Taing's picture
the xin emperor's mom tried

the xin emperor's mom tried to kill him. She wasn't motivated by religion.

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
"the xin emperor's mom tried

"the xin emperor's mom tried to kill him. She wasn't motivated by religion."

Seriously you missed the point, here I clarify.

"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion."
~Steven Weinberg

Valentina Supergirl Taing's picture
I really haven't investigated

I really haven't investigated that whole cloth claim. It sounds like verbal gymnastics

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
When you see as a whole

When you see as a whole, mothers killing their children(not just some exceptions) you know that religion is involved.

I love this part in this article:
"And, in some fundamentalist environments, symptoms of mental illness can appear normal: Obsession over a religious leader can be interpreted as religious fervor, and delusions can be interpreted as religious visions."

Basically admitting that there is not much of a difference between a believer and an insane person in a polite way lol.

watchman's picture
@ WhatifAgnostic.....

@ WhatifAgnostic.....

Sorry...but no. You are wrong ..... Many wars have been fought for no other reason than religion...... below I attach something I researched some years ago on this very subject.....

Religious Wars.

Now when it comes to researching Religious Wars , there are several problems ,time is a major factor ,then there is the reliability of the sources , particularly the further back in time you go the less accurate the figures and the fewer the sources you find to check against.

So in order to complete the task in something like an acceptable time frame I limited my field of search to the period between the 16th century and the 20th century. I also chose to include only those conflicts with a solely religious cause.

For instance I did not count the Battle of the Boyne campaign as I found that Protestant King William’s army had nearly as many catholics in it as Catholic King James’ army. Thus , whatever else the conflict was about it was not religion despite what many will tell you today.

Any way here is what I found …

In the 16th century there were four major religious conflicts… 3,100,000 dead.
Spanish Armada 1588. 30,000 dead.
Huguenot Wars (France) 1562-1598. 2,830,000 dead.
St. Bartholemews Day Massacre (France) 1572. 70,000 dead.
Dutch Revolt 1566-1609 100,000 dead.

In the 17th century there were three major religious conflicts… 8,405,000 dead.
English Civil War 1642-1646 868,000 dead.
Shimabara Revolt (Japan) 1637-1638 37,000 dead.
The Thirty Years War (Europe)1618-1648 7,500,000 dead.

In the 18th century there was one major religious conflict… 10,000 dead.
Massacre of Catholic Converts in Korea 1784-1794 10,000 dead.

In the 19th century there were six major religious conflicts… 25,780,000 dead.
Bahai Massacres (Persia) 1848-1854 20,000 dead.
Boxer Rebellion (China) 1899-1901. 115,000 dead.
Christian/Druse War (Lebanon) 1860 . 15,000 dead.
Mahdist Sudanese Wars 1881-1898 5,500,000 dead.
Taiping Rebellion (China) 1850-1864 20,000,000 dead.
Massacre of Catholic Converts in Vietnam 1832-1887 130,000 dead.

In the 20th century there were fourteen major religious conflicts… 1,278,887 dead.
Algerian Islamist Uprising 1992 100,000 dead.
Croatian War 1991-1992 25,000 dead.
Bosnian War 1992 -1995 175,000.
Hindu-Moslem riots in India 1992-2002 8,600 dead.
India/Pakistan Partition 1947 500,000 dead.
Iran Islamist Rebellion 1979 2,500 dead.
Iraq Shiite Rising 1991-1992 40,000 dead.
Lebanese War 1975-1992 150,000 dead.
Molluca Islands Christian/Muslim conflict 1999 - ? 5,000 dead.
Mongolia Stalinist destruction of Buddhism 1937-1939 30,000 dead.
Russian Pogroms 1905-1906 95,000 dead.
Nigeria Christian/Muslim conflict 1992- ? 53,787 dead.
Arab/Israeli Wars 1948- ? 78,000 dead.
Sikh uprising in India 1982-1991 16,000 dead.

The point that these wars would have happened anyway if religion did not exist ,is wrong.
Study the list ,check the facts , don’t just go with my figures …check for yourself …then you’ll see that each of these deaths is directly attributable to religion and would not have happened if religion did not exist….all those lives….all that human potential … wiped out for what..?
For nothing … for a con.
How many potential Mozarts , how many Einsteins ,how many Schweitzers ….
How much further advanced would civilisation be if these individuals had been able to have their input.

Odd that the number of “wars” dropped during the “Enlightenment” and even odder that the numbers are increasing now.

Also your understanding of the crusader movements is restricted if you cannot see that at least the participants* in the first ,second and third crusades considered themselves the soldiers of god and fighting for control of the holy places.

(* by participants I mean the "grunts" on the ground the guys who wear chain mail not silk..the men with the sharp pointed pieces of metal who would kill and be killed.)

CyberLN's picture
We could also add to the list

We could also add to the list things like the Spanish conquerors' "convert or die" m.o. with the indigenous people of the Americas.

Valentina Supergirl Taing's picture
I thought the conquestadors

I thought the conquestadors just wanted land and gold

vforv4nity's picture
Good evening, thank you for

Good evening, thank you for giving me so many events that I didn't even know about and I will check the majority of them for sure. Some of these wars you sent me I know about though and I would disagree that the reason behind the whole uprising was religious (before I get into what I want to say that I need you to understand that I am not talking about people fighting wars in the name of religion but starting wars in the name of religion. Non existing example: the king of France declared war on Russia because they had religious differences, you can see that this is folly but not far from some real cases). Usually wars back in the dark times were started because things like overpopulation and other stupid reasons. France at the times of the crusades (it was not named France back then but I do not know the name in English so I will call them France if you do not mind), were really wealthy. Common people were wealthy, and pretty much for a big period of time there was a really good relation between their communities. But the years passed and the French started to having the so called overpopulation problem. They started consuming more than they were producing. So Pope (he recently was splited from eastern empire) needed an army so he can prove he still had power. So he gave that king under the word of god title to the French king. Long story short the suicide mission was planned and send the first army to go die fighting some impossible war againist Arabs. Now people for every battle they won they got into the god idea more and more until they became fanatics. And the original knights in my opinion were roleplaying as fanatics (many of their actions proved that they were not true believers, such as raping underaged children and then killing them). Now I would like to note something about the wars you stated. I am going to admit that I do not know much about Muslim. To tell the truth I am below average on my knowledge on their culture, wars etc. I simply was never interested, but some events you stated I know, and I have many Muslim friends who told these stories to me. I still cannot say for sure if these wars happened 100% for religious reasons but let me tell you sth. The propaganda on these countries is crazy. As I wrote to the original post many Pakistani people (for example) really believe they are superhumans, they were raised like this carrying the hatred of past generations. If there is one thing that I know is that war is going to happen even between atheists as a conflict would happen between brothers and best friends, It's in our nature to destroy. I am sorry that I do not have real arguments but until I do my research I can give you nothing better. Now about the thirty year war example. I think this is the greatest example someone could give, the split of the eastern and western roman empire did not happen because of religious misunderstandings (yes religious events leaded to the split BUT). The pope after destroying many holy pictures or drawings or whatever started losing power. People would oppose that and so the eastern empire finally found allies and understood that they could be intependent if they were standing againist Popes will. Then many arguments happen and it lead to the war. Bohemians wanted to start that expendition they did mainly because they hated Austrians. So they decided to go againist them when they had the chance and they took their chances. But Austrians had allies and completely took over their lands. The story goes on but the root for me is mainly political intrigues between pope and the eastern roman empire commander, king or whatever. I really can find many political scandals all over the years. What I want to do is to make you understand my way of thinking. If you read every source and take for granted everything it says you are going to be mislead no matter what. Winners write history not the God. The only trustworthy sources you can find are those mentioning events before wars. that's how I got into this belief that no religion started a war

watchman's picture
@WhatifAgnostic ....

@WhatifAgnostic ....

Im sorry its probably me ...I may be able to point you to sources that explain the events ....but I find your post muddled and confusing....

You refer to kings ... which kings (names)....you refer to popes...which popes (names)....which crusades ..? (there were around 15 in both Europe and the middle east)....

I recognise some of your references but they are fractured and out of context .... If you can clarify I will be happy to discuss your points.

watchman's picture
@ Cyber....

@ Cyber....

Not sure on this one .... it is arguable....

Spanish/Portuguese greed & ambition plays a big part...

but then again they did need the gold to pay for their religious inspired adventures in both central Europe and their repeated attempts at subduing the northern protestant block of England and the Low Countries (Armada's don't come cheap)...

so I suppose a ruthless , pragmatic project inspired by the need to finance religiously inspired (& sanctioned) aggressive foreign policies.

So yes ...on the whole I agree...

CyberLN's picture
Point taken, Watchman. I'll

Point taken, Watchman. I'll amend my position and say my comment was about deaths brought about in the name of religion, not just wars. This bumps the death toll up significantly.

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