1. Cosmos
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    18 Oct '05 10:21
    Religion causes war, because there is no other course of action available to resolve differences between doctrines - no two religions can both be right at the same time.

    Whilst scientific disputes can be decided by referring to empirical evidence, no such evidence exists to back up any theological claim.

    Put another way; "...When two men of science disagree...they wait for futher evidence to decide the issue, because, as men of science, they know that neither is infallible. But when two theologians differ, since there are no criteria to which either can appeal, there is nothing for it, but a mutual hatred and an open or covert appeal to force."

    Bertrand Russell, "Why I am not a Christian." Page 158.
  2. Standard memberHalitose
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    18 Oct '05 10:321 edit
    Originally posted by howardgee
    Religion causes war, because there is no other course of action available to resolve differences between doctrines - no two religions can both be right at the same time.

    Whilst scientific disputes can be decided by referring to empirical evidence, no such evidence exists to back up any theological claim.

    Put another way; "...When two men of science ...[text shortened]... n open or covert appeal to force."

    Bertrand Russell, "Why I am not a Christian." Page 158.
    So WWI & II were started because of religion? How about most of the communist revolutions? Erm... Methinks you fell into cum hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy here...

    Many wars are caused by differences in ideologies, not necessarily religion.
  3. London
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    18 Oct '05 10:39
    Originally posted by Halitose
    So WWI & II were started because of religion? How about most of the communist revolutions? Erm... Methinks you fell into cum hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy here...

    Many wars are caused by differences in ideologies, not necessarily religion.
    Not to mention greed for natural resources and territory - anyone remember Gulf War I? Or just about any of the England-France wars in the last millenium.
  4. Standard memberHalitose
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    18 Oct '05 10:41
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    Not to mention greed for natural resources and territory - anyone remember Gulf War I? Or just about any of the England-France wars in the last millenium.
    Or the American revolution? Er... the French revolution? Independance from Monarchy perhaps?
  5. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    18 Oct '05 10:42
    Originally posted by Halitose
    Many wars are caused by differences in ideologies, not necessarily religion.
    You'll concede that there have been religious wars?
  6. Standard memberHalitose
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    18 Oct '05 10:471 edit
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    You'll concede that there have been religious wars?
    Of course. But correlation is not causation as I pointed out, and the death tolls in ideological wars, territory grabs, egoboosting conquests and class-revolutions far exceed these figures. By this I do not include kindergarten punchups and professors yanking each other's beards out, but rather Red October, the French revolution, WWI, WWII and the like...
  7. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    18 Oct '05 10:49
    Originally posted by Halitose
    Of course.
    Were these wars caused by religion?
  8. Standard memberHalitose
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    18 Oct '05 10:52
    See above... sorry for the edit...
  9. London
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    18 Oct '05 10:56
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Were these wars caused by religion?
    You'll need to be more specific on what "caused by religion" means.

    Some religions are, by nature, militant and advocate war against other religions. So, some of these wars could be said to be caused by religion.

    But you can also have wars where adherents of two not necessarily militant religions go to war over a situation that arose from the difference in religion.

    More often than not, however, I think religion is just one element in a number of social, economic, political and historical factors that two groups might get into conflict over.
  10. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    18 Oct '05 11:00
    Originally posted by Halitose
    Of course. But correlation is not causation as I pointed out, and the death tolls in ideological wars, territory grabs, egoboosting conquests and class-revolutions far exceed these figures. By this I do not include kindergarten punchups and professors yanking each other's beards out, but rather Red October, the French revolution, WWI, WWII and the like...
    It's not clear to me whether you are saying that some wars have been caused by religion or not.
  11. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    18 Oct '05 11:05
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    Some religions are, by nature, militant and advocate war against other religions. So, some of these wars could be said to be caused by religion.

    But you can also have wars where adherents of two not necessarily militant religions go to war over a situation that arose from the difference in religion..
    How would you reword howardgee's (somewhat reductionist) statement to fit these cases?
  12. London
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    18 Oct '05 11:15
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    How would you reword howardgee's (somewhat reductionist) statement to fit these cases?
    I wouldn't.
  13. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    18 Oct '05 11:16
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    I wouldn't.
    Would it be fair to say that religion has caused war?
  14. London
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    18 Oct '05 11:232 edits
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Would it be fair to say that religion has caused war?
    (Are we going round in circles here?)

    As I said before, you would need to specify which sense you're relating causation to.

    If in the first sense (i.e. militant religions), then it would be fair to say that some religions have caused wars. But can one generalise from there to say that the existence of Religion per se is a cause of war?

    In the second sense (i.e. situations escalated to wars), are the religions themselves responsible for the war or the situation?

    Let's take some other examples. The English Civil War was fought between adherents to two political ideologies - the loyalists to the monarchy and the parliamentarians. Would it be fair to say that Politics causes wars?

    Or, for instance, the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in 1990 was over economic resources. Would it be fair to say that Economics causes wars?

    Many of the conflicts in Africa (e.g. Hutus vs. Tutsis) are between two ethnic groups or two societies. Would it be fair to say that Ethnicity or Society causes wars?

    EDIT: Or have caused wars?
  15. London
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    18 Oct '05 11:39
    Originally posted by howardgee
    Religion causes war, because there is no other course of action available to resolve differences between doctrines - no two religions can both be right at the same time.

    Whilst scientific disputes can be decided by referring to empirical evidence, no such evidence exists to back up any theological claim.

    Put another way; "...When two men of science ...[text shortened]... n open or covert appeal to force."

    Bertrand Russell, "Why I am not a Christian." Page 158.
    "...When two men of science disagree...they wait for futher evidence to decide the issue, because, as men of science, they know that neither is infallible. But when two theologians differ, since there are no criteria to which either can appeal, there is nothing for it, but a mutual hatred and an open or covert appeal to force."

    I strongly disagree. I have seen many scientists who are not above slandering fellow scientists who disagree or using their positions of authority or influence to suppress such work.

    Further, even if two theologians disagree, it is not obvious that the disagreement would automatically lead to conflict. After all, don't free market advocates co-exist peacefully in society with socialists - despite the irreconcilable differences between their political ideologies?
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