Erm...can you please think of a single war in the twentieth century that was caused by religion?
i would like to rephrase my original statement to: my guess would be that religion has had some connection to about 80% of conflict since the creation of religion. not really a war but there is the sunni shiite conflict. I was going to mention ww2 because of the holocaust but after doing research i learned it was ethnic jews that were killed and not religious. although Jehovah's Witnesses were killed. there have also been many incidents were extremists have done things that would be considered negative or imoral to the general public. an example would be the westbro baptist church.
The sunni/shia divide is more a small number of extremists etc.
Also, 80% is still very high. The truth is, while there are some conflicts that superficially involve religion, the truth is that if you examined them, they probably have very little actually to do with religion at all, and are much more to do with things that all humans, everywhere, have in some small percentage or other. I can say with reasonable confidence that almost no wars in history have actually been about religion (IE where the religion itself says you must destroy X people).
It started off with human sacrifices and went on to be the cause of wars, genocide, murder, sexism, slavery, homophobia, etc. etc.
There is a fundamental difference between religion being used and abused.
To this day, it is still a huge source of violence, hatred and oppression.
Please identify a single war fought in the last 100 years that had religion as a cause.
To be honest I'm having difficulty pinpointing any positives...it gives some people piece of mind, I suppose. But you don't need religion to feel fulfilled and happy.
Erm, Martin Luther. William Wilberforce. Avencia Ibn Sinna. C.S. Lewis. J.R.R. Tolkien. Martin Luther King. So many religious people have done so much great work for the world, inspired by their beliefs.
I don't think we need it any more, and I think the world as a whole would be a much better, more peaceful place without it.
Of course, because the single largest genocides in world history had nothing to do with secular thinking
Communism and Fascism killed more people than all the "religious" conflicts ever did.
True, but that doesn't change the fact that most people fail to see such a difference. Religion puts destructive ideas in place all the time, and once they've taken root, people cling to them.
I disagree. People have destructive ideas and have used religion to attempt to justify them. Certainly, in the case of Christianity, the notions of "love God and love others as you love yourself" being the hinges on which the law holds, to me can see in no way as being destructive.
How about the obvious one when the Nazis decided to kill all the Jews and millions of people were tortured and slaughtered?
If you seriously believe that the Holocaust was a Christian or otherwise religious enterprise, I will ask you to provide proof.
I believe that good people would be good even without their religious beliefs.Perhaps they wouldn't even have had to fight the battles they did if it wasn't for religion.
I'd really challenge you to find an example where a religion was used with any sense of genuine theology, to cause a war.
As for good people, let me give you an example. There is a very famous evangelist and Christian in the UK, who has written many books and done many great works, yet to this day lives alone in a small flat above a petrol station. He does so because he gives all his money to either the church or other causes. Now, do you really see that kind of devotion to goodness outside of the religious community? Religious people respond more deeply because they know that goodness and righteousness isn't just a nice idea, but that it is a reality which physically exists.
Are you sure about that? The communism/fascism thing killing more people than religion, that is? Because those ideas are relatively new compared to religion. Also you must remember that religious beliefs underlay everything, so these ideas aren't as "secular" as you might think. For example, fascist governments and leaders tend to use religion to manipulate people.
Fascist governments abuse religion. Communist governments however, are openly athiestic, decying religion as the "opiate of the masses". Communism killed far far more people than any religion ever has. In the order of the hundreds of millions.
Religion just causes a huge amount of conflict, it's constantly dividing people and making them fight one another and I don't think you can really deny that.
Religion may divide people, but it does not encourage them to fight. There are many wars that look superficially like they have something to do with religion, but the reality is far more complex.