The common definition of war is an organized and often prolonged conflict that is carried out by states or non-state actors. It is characterized by social disruption, economic destruction, and extreme violence. In todays day and age, we are seeing a paradigm shift from the typical causes of war which is intentional and widespread armed conflict between political communities, and therefore is defined as a form of political violence or intervention. Today we are seeing the causes of war straying from the aforementioned and being fueled by religion. This paper will examine the question that religion is the main cause of war in todays day and age and bring forth factual information to support the claim.
While the above statement is my claim and stance on the topic there is also an alternative view to my statement. While there is a magnitude of reputable sources to support my claim there are just as many which support the alternative view in which religion does not cause war. One alternative view is due to specific events like the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and the advancement of technology allowing for wide distribution of various types of media is peoples opinions of religion are being altered. A well know religion and ethics writer Barney Zwartz appropriately uses a quote from Mark Twain “when it comes to the news media you have two choices. You can ignore it and be uninformed, or you can pay attention, and be misinformed” (Zwartz 2016). Zwartz also states “the fact is the world of religion, for most news desks, is an alien world” (Zwartz 2016). What this translates to is in todays world we don’t do research into the topics of religion and inform ourselves appropriately and just take negative news on the subject at face value (Zwartz 2016).
A second point of view is if we take religion out of the world we will still have conflict. Writer Michael Bird who is a well-respected writer for ABC news puts this in perfect perspective “I cannot understand is the naïve presumption that once we got rid of religion, the world would instantly be a better place - as if everyone would instantly put aside their differences, and discover themselves in a utopian community of common humanity” (Bird 2014). What Bird points out in his study is atheist have killed more people than religious groups and explains millions perished in Hitler's holocaust, Stalin's Russia, Ceausescu's Romania, Mao's China, Pol Pots' Cambodia, and the Kim family dynasty of North Korea (Bird 2014). Bird explains history is easily forgotten and society is to easily swayed with the current news on the Global War on Terror (Bird 2014).
A tertiary example is the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 changed societies perspective on religion. John Blake a well known writer for CNN states “9/11 attacks prompted more Americans to learn about Islam. Books on the subject became best-sellers. Colleges started offering more courses on Islam. Every cable news show suddenly ...