1. Cape Town
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    07 Jun '15 20:24
    In another thread josephw says:

    "Religions" aren't at war. People are!

    Religion is just an excuse used by some to justify their hatred. Hatred, jealousy, envy, greed and bigotry are just a few of the reasons why some wage war. Some religions are by design intended to cause those negative virtues to be amplified in those who lack the courage to face their own evil hearts.


    To what extent do people think religions are in fact responsible for peoples behaviour and to what extent are they just an excuse?

    Can we say that some religions are at war with each other? Or is it just the people at war?

    What about political views? Is communism at war with other political systems, or is it only people using it as an excuse?

    I realise that the relationship between ideas and people is a complex one, and that many supporters of a given idea support it for selfish motives and not because they believe in the idea itself. However I would argue that ideas themselves do spread and do result in people doing certain things and that we can in fact say that one idea is at war with another idea. This is especially true of groups of ideas that are gathered into religions, cultures or political ideologies.
  2. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    08 Jun '15 19:25
    On an individual level religion can be used to support and justify all sorts of behaviour
    (it commonly manifests on these forums as homophobia for instance). And in every
    war fought the poor soldier is told by his commanders "God is on our side".

    But it cannot be said that religion caused those all those wars.

    That being said I think Catholicism responsible for many wars through the
    ages with the Pope giving his blessing to , or even demanding, wars.
  3. SubscriberSuzianne
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    08 Jun '15 22:22
    Religions do not wage war. People do.

    If evil people want to say they "did it" in the name of religion, this is their excuse, but it transfers no guilt to the religion. The people who commit evil acts are where the guilt resides. If Pope Urban commands Catholics to go to Jerusalem and wage war with Arabs in the name of God, this evil belongs to Pope Urban, not the Catholic Church nor God.
  4. Standard memberRJHinds
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    08 Jun '15 22:46
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    Religions do not wage war. People do.

    If evil people want to say they "did it" in the name of religion, this is their excuse, but it transfers no guilt to the religion. The people who commit evil acts are where the guilt resides. If Pope Urban commands Catholics to go to Jerusalem and wage war with Arabs in the name of God, this evil belongs to Pope Urban, not the Catholic Church nor God.
    As i see it, the Muslim warlords should receive the majority of the blame. 😏
  5. Joined
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    08 Jun '15 23:45
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    In another thread josephw says:

    [quote]"Religions" aren't at war. People are!

    Religion is just an excuse used by some to justify their hatred. Hatred, jealousy, envy, greed and bigotry are just a few of the reasons why some wage war. Some religions are by design intended to cause those negative virtues to be amplified in those who lack the courage ...[text shortened]... ally true of groups of ideas that are gathered into religions, cultures or political ideologies.
    "To what extent do people think religions are in fact responsible for peoples behaviour and to what extent are they just an excuse?"

    It's an excuse to blaim religion for being responsible for the choices made by an individual when that choice involves causing the deliberate harm to another human being. I think the only way one can blaim a religion for what its adherents do is to blaim those the created the religion. Man made religion is a reflection of the heart of the man or men that produced it. If it can be said that a religion is responsible for what a man chooses to do, then that religion had better be the cause of good, otherwise it's a false religion.

    But even when a religion is good that doesn't mean the one that practices it will always do good because man is inherently bad.

    That's where Jesus come in! 😉

    "Can we say that some religions are at war with each other? Or is it just the people at war?"

    What is a religion except a set of ideas? Or whatever? The point is an idea doesn't wield a sword. People do.

    "What about political views? Is communism at war with other political systems, or is it only people using it as an excuse?"

    In that case the use of the term "war" is a metaphor to describe the clash between political belief systems and their ideas. But now you're talking about something else when you're referring to politics, and that is the governing body of a nation or country regulated by the rule of law, and everybody knows there's no excuses for being ignorant of the law!

    Anyway, all of the above is just my two cents worth.
  6. Zugzwang
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    09 Jun '15 02:421 edit
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    Religions do not wage war. People do.

    If evil people want to say they "did it" in the name of religion, this is their excuse, but it transfers no guilt to the religion. The people who commit evil acts are where the guilt resides. If Pope Urban commands Catholics to go to Jerusalem and wage war with Arabs in the name of God, this evil belongs to Pope Urban, not the Catholic Church nor God.
    "...wage war with the Arabs in the name of God..."
    --Suzianne

    Not all of the Muslims who opposed the Christian Crusades were Arabs.
    Saladin, a great Muslim leader (respected for his chivalry by his Christian foes), was a Kurd.
  7. SubscriberSuzianne
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    09 Jun '15 04:31
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    "...wage war with the Arabs in the name of God..."
    --Suzianne

    Not all of the Muslims who opposed the Christian Crusades were Arabs.
    Saladin, a great Muslim leader (respected for his chivalry by his Christian foes), was a Kurd.
    Point taken.
  8. Cape Town
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    09 Jun '15 06:33
    Originally posted by josephw
    I think the only way one can blaim a religion for what its adherents do is to blaim those the created the religion.
    Well, maybe blame is the wrong way to think about it. The question I am interested in is whether or not religion causes people to do certain things and whether or not a religion can be thought of as an entity that competes with other religions / ideas in some way.

    If it can be said that a religion is responsible for what a man chooses to do, then that religion had better be the cause of good, otherwise it's a false religion.
    I am not restricting my enquiry to 'true religion' whatever that may be. But it seems here that you are suggesting that a false religion can and does affect peoples behaviour for the worse, and that non-false religions can and does affect peoples behaviour for the better?

    What is a religion except a set of ideas?
    Yes. And I am wanting to discuss to what extent a set of ideas affects peoples behaviour, and to what extent such sets of ideas compete with each other.

    The point is an idea doesn't wield a sword. People do.
    And we all know that in most wars, the people that wield the sword are almost never the people who started the war or whose ideas are being fought over. It is the ideas that cause the war and not the people holding the swords.

    In that case the use of the term "war" is a metaphor to describe the clash between political belief systems and their ideas.
    Both metaphor and reality, but mostly metaphor.

    But now you're talking about something else when you're referring to politics, and that is the governing body of a nation or country regulated by the rule of law, and everybody knows there's no excuses for being ignorant of the law!
    I really don't know what you are saying here. Can you expand on it?
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    09 Jun '15 12:55
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Well, maybe blame is the wrong way to think about it. The question I am interested in is whether or not religion causes people to do certain things and whether or not a religion can be thought of as an entity that competes with other religions / ideas in some way.

    [b]If it can be said that a religion is responsible for what a man chooses to do, then t ...[text shortened]... ng ignorant of the law!

    I really don't know what you are saying here. Can you expand on it?[/b]
    "The question I am interested in is whether or not religion causes people to do certain things and whether or not a religion can be thought of as an entity that competes with other religions / ideas in some way."

    Well, I'm not an expert, or even qualified to answer that, except to say this is a public forum for debate and discussion, so all I can really do is offer my own thoughts based on the knowledge and experience I've gained while living here.

    I think we can safely say that the answer is yes, religion can cause people to act in specific ways, that it can be said to be both harmful to the practitioner and to those effected by those actions. People behave in accordance with their training, whether it be passive or aggressive. Training meaning the sum of their experience.

    But religion isn't the only factor in a persons training experience. There are many influences, but I don't need to list them for you because I am assuming you know what I mean.

    Now if "training" is to be said to be what causes humans to behave in specific ways, then it can be said that we have no choice in what we do because we are merely products of the environment and act according to the impulses ingrained in our brains by the training we recieved.

    If we agree that some "training" is harmful, then the opposite is true as well. If a "religion" trains its followers to do that which we agree is wrong, then it can be said that that religion is a cause for negative behavior.

    The monkey wrench in the equation is the conscience. If man is a moral creature with a conscience, then it can be said that he is responsible for his own actions regardless of his training.

    The evidence for that is how great are the obstacles that are overcome by individuals who experience "wrong training". The mind is a powerful tool in the hands of a free moral agent. Either for good or evil.

    All that of course isn't definitive by a long shot. Just some of the way I see things.
  10. Cape Town
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    09 Jun '15 14:59
    Originally posted by josephw
    Well, I'm not an expert, or even qualified to answer that, except to say this is a public forum for debate and discussion, so all I can really do is offer my own thoughts based on the knowledge and experience I've gained while living here.
    Very few of us are experts on anything discussed in this forum. Expertise is not required nor expected for participation.
  11. Zugzwang
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    09 Jun '15 22:551 edit
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    Religions do not wage war. People do.

    If evil people want to say they "did it" in the name of religion, this is their excuse, but it transfers no guilt to the religion. The people who commit evil acts are where the guilt resides. If Pope Urban commands Catholics to go to Jerusalem and wage war with Arabs in the name of God, this evil belongs to Pope Urban, not the Catholic Church nor God.
    Your comment is interesting, and I have considered it further in a non-religious context.
    When Hitler presumably gave the order (there's no known 'smoking gun' document)
    for the genocide of Jews and others, who was responsible for that terrible crime?
    Clearly, Hitler himself. But should the NSDAP (Nazi Party) as a whole be held responsible?
    (Some NSDAP members, though anti-Semitic, still disapproved of a genocide of Jews.)
    Should Germany (whatever that means) be held responsible? Or should all the German
    (and Austrian) people be held responsible? (Many non-Germans also collaborated
    with implementing the genocide.)

    I believe that the people who directly participated in the genocide should be held responsible.
    I don't believe that, for instance, one of Hitler's secretaries should be held responsible
    for a war crime because, as she put it, "I typed for the Fuehrer", when typing's obviously
    not a lethal action and another secretary could have been readily found to do it.
    The modern consensus seems to be that the responsibility for Hitler's crimes should be
    shared by the NSDAP (Nazi Party) and Third Reich (German + Austrian nations).

    "...this evil belongs to Pope Urban, not the Catholic Church nor God..."
    --Suzianne

    Given that the 'infallible' Pope's the head of the Catholic Church and willingly followed,
    I would say that it's reasonable to hold the Church responsible too.
  12. Cape Town
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    10 Jun '15 06:07
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Your comment is interesting, and I have considered it further in a non-religious context.
    When Hitler presumably gave the order (there's no known 'smoking gun' document)
    for the genocide of Jews and others, who was responsible for that terrible crime?
    Clearly, Hitler himself. But should the NSDAP (Nazi Party) as a whole be held responsible?
    (Some NSDA ...[text shortened]... ople be held responsible? (Many non-Germans also collaborated
    with implementing the genocide.)
    Many people have held Darwin or the Theory of Evolution responsible.
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    10 Jun '15 22:10
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Very few of us are experts on anything discussed in this forum. Expertise is not required nor expected for participation.
    Thank God for that! Or else we'd all be banned. 😉
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