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Sarah Mathews

on 29 January 2014

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Transcript of Religion:

Why does religion cause concord?
People become joined together by their religion
Many religions teach peace, acceptance and forgiveness.
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."
-Mother Teresa
What is religion?
Defined as:

"1) the belief in a god or in a group of gods

2) an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods

3) an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group"
Religions make various knowledge claims

Differences in the understanding of the knowledge claims that religion makes can lead to disagreements within a religion

This can be seen in:

The Reformation
Religion: Cause of Conflict or Concord?
However, what costitues a religion is very complex and frequently debated.
"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich"
-Napoleon Bonaparte
"Religion is the idol of the mob; it adores everything it does not understand"
-Fredrick II
"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false and by the rulers as useful."
-Edward Gibbon
Conflicts Caused by Religion
Within one religion
Between Religions
Between the Religious and Non Religious

Within One Religion
Conflict between theists and atheists
Between different religions
Small scale conflict (family)
Opposing views of life
Arguments can easily escalate
Genital mutilation
Women's rights
Personal disputes
Extremists on both sides
Differentiating between acts of conflict
Religious Morals
Possibility of concord between theists and atheists?
Different religions have different morals and ethics that are followed, e.g. Muslims don't eat pork.
Religious institutions using religion as a reason to go war but actually do it for oil, money, land etc.
Personal faith is genuine, sincere, being disillusioned by the powerful leaders
Religion causes conflicts within families
Article from the Guardian
Rachel Woodlock, converted to Islam.
Took daughter to visit Irish-Catholic relatives
Informed relatives that daughter doesn't eat pork, but they gave it to her anyways.
The relatives told her that her daughters does indeed like pork, which lead to conflict within the family.
Real life situation
When two people from different religions want to get marry, it could lead to one of them having to convert.
Could lead to multiple conflicts
Such as, discussion on who has to convert and whether that person's family would accept their decision
Would also lead to conflicts as to what beliefs their child would go up with.
The Crusades
Thirty Years War
Not forcing ones opinion onto someone
Agree to disagree
Happens constantly
“Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.
Religious Pluralism: Acceptance that many different religious systems exist within the world. Beyond simply tolerating other religions.
Religion can cause both conflict and concord
Relgious conflicts stem from differences in knowledge claims that religion makes
There can never be a right or wrong religion because the justifications for the knowledge claims are based on faith, personal experience, and circular arguments.
Incidents caused by religion
Not all events caused by religion are either extremely small scale or turn into a war. Some incidents that occur due to religion and religious beliefs are the cause of a lot of upset and debate.
Malala Yousafzai, 15 year old girl
Shot in the head by the Taliban (Islamic movement), for speaking out about wanting education for girls about a year ago.
Still current topic, this week her book launch for "I am Malala", got cancelled due to pressure from local officials (BBC).
“The extremists are afraid of books and pens, the power of education frightens them." - Malala Yousafzai
Religious/Holy Wars
A war caused by, or justified by, differences in religion
Major Religious Wars
1. Thirty Years' War - War between Catholics and Protestants in the Roman Empire. Lowest estimate of deaths is approx. 3 million and highest 15 million. This was about 0.5% to 2.1% of the population at the time.
2. French Wars of Religion - War between Catholics and Protestants. Lowest Estimate of deaths is approx. 2 million and highest is 4 million. This equates to 0.4% to 0.8% of the entire population at the time.
3. Nigerian Civil War - War involving Muslims and Christians. Lowest Estimate of deaths is approx. 1 million and highest is 4 million. This was about 0.03% to 0.09% of the human population at the time.
Does religion really cause the majority of conflict and violence in our world?
Religion does cause some of the conflicts and wars we have witnessed over the course of history, but it certainly isn't the cause of all the troubles.
World War 2 - War that lead to mass destruction throughout the world and resulted into over 70 million deaths, which equated to over 3% of the world population. > A higher percentage than all of the religious wars added together.
Religious Harmony in India
Concept that indicates that there is love and affection between the different religions in India
It is encouraged and supported by the Indian constitution.
Full transcript