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Student - B.E - computer Science and Engineering,

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Will the absence of Religion make the world more peaceful ?

One of my aunts who is an atheist insisted that the absence of Religion will make the world peaceful but according to my observations people always seem to associate themselves into some group and drift away from other communities if you may say so. For example: I live in India where each state has their own language thereby a separation is created by language and there are also people who dissociate themselves from other people based on looks, accent, tastes, preferences etc. So, do you really think that the absence of religion will make the world more peaceful?

Topics: peace religion

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  • Dec 4 2012: I think that this is a really complex issue. Most of these "would the world be better if" questions are rather unproductive in nature though. Most of these issues have both good and bad aspects; we cannot make a valid judgement simply because we do not know what history would be like without it.

    That being said, I do not know if there would have been less wars without many religions. There were many wars that did have religious underpinnings. Many of the wars in Europe were between Catholic and Protestant nations. However, is religion the cause of it? It is likely that the British Isles and France would have conflict because of their proximity; they would be in competition for resources. Religion was a major cause of those wars, but there would probably still be conflict even if there was no religion just due to human nature. As Barry Palmer said, it would also be a lot more fitting to say that religion is used to justify wars.

    In addition to that, in talking about religion, one must be incredibly specific about what one is talking about. There are pure forms of religion and then there are the misconstrued versions that people have. Islam translated is "peace." Most Muslims are incredibly peaceful people who want to improve the world, but there certainly are some who are using the faith to incite radical behavior. It would be incredibly unfair to say that all Muslims are radical extremists, so the definition of religion is incredibly important.

    Finally, it is also important to note that religion has also been part of peace and good. The story of slavery and civil rights in the western world is a good example. William Wilberforce, one of the main leaders of the antislavery movement in Great Britain, was an evangelical Christian. Dona Beatriz was a leader in the anti-slavery movement in Kongo and a Christian. Martin Luther King Jr. was a preacher who led the civil rights movement. Their actions were influenced by religion. Religion has its peaceful side too.

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