Are Religious & Philosophical Beliefs to Blame
In 2006 the war raged between Israel and Hezbollah in the Middle East; in May 2007 confrontation erupted once again. This conflict appears to be based on religious differences; or more bluntly, religious intolerance and hatred between certain individual followers of Islam and Judaism. The hatred and conflict in the region has been practically been ongoing since the creation in 1948 of the state of Israel. There appears no end in sight to the current fighting in southern Lebanon. Even in the same region of the world, Shiite and Sunni Muslims in Iraq are teetering on the brink of full-scale civil war over religious differences, as well as other matters.
Historically there have been many conflicts and atrocities seemingly committed over religious and philosophical differences. Christianity has had its share of conflicts. The crusades were a series of military campaigns designed to recapture Jerusalem and the Holy Land from the Muslims. Since the 16th century there has been much conflict and tension between Catholics and Protestants; the conflict in Northern Ireland for example.
There was the appalling Holocaust committed by the Nazi's of Germany, where an estimated 6 millions Jews were killed. Like cattle to the slaughter-all because of hatred.
We could list many more accounts of conflict and atrocities that has transpired throughout history and in more graphic detail. There hardly is a place on Earth that has escaped religious or philosophical conflict over the ages. In the last 100 years there has been millions, upon millions, upon millions of people killed due to conflict. Not to mention the devastation to wildlife and the ecological damage to mother Earth.
Why do People Follow a Religion or Philosophical Belief?
Many people follow a religion because it's part of their family or tribal heritage and culture. For others, religion provides a feeling of security, because the divine power is believed to be watching over them and religion promises salvation and life after death. For other people, religion yields a sense of individual fulfillment and provides meaning to life.
For many people, religion and beliefs are ceremonies, practices, and worship involving a supreme God(s) or Deity. Almost all people who follow some form of religion or belief believe that a supreme being(s) created the world and influences their current lives.
Is Religion or Philosophy to Blame?
After reading the above some would believe so, however I respectfully say to the reader, no they are not. Religious and Philosophical Beliefs are not the cause of the acts of conflict and atrocities on Earth. The actions of human beings are the cause and effect. More often than not, it is the heads of governments and organizations that place the masses of ordinary people in the revolving chaos of conflict. People utilize and manipulate there religious viewpoint on others as a medium to obtain their personal, political, and ideological goals. This action is done by the human being.
I have never seen a copy of the Koran or the Bible mystically posses a gun and fire; have you ever seen that happen?
A religion or philosophical belief is not a tangible item. It cannot possibly command a plane, tank, or political office, but human beings can. Human beings give the orders.
Therefore, how can we logically state that Religious and Philosophical Beliefs are to blame? Logically, it is practically impossible for an intangible object to commit an act.
What causes the Conflict?
Fear of the unknown is the major contributor. Fear can be a very powerful emotion that can be negatively manipulated by those who seek to control and gain power. Look what Hitler did to the people of Germany in the 1930's. Sometimes human beings destroy that what they fear and don't understand.
People also oppress people, deny them knowledge, and or a certain lifestyle. Oppressed people quite simply do not know any different. Also, some people simply do not desire growth of knowledge and choose to remain in their current state. The problem of the unknown is that people are unaware of something else, either by their own free choice or not.
History has shown us that people, cultures, nations attacked each other because of their desire to dominate and acquire more resources. However, in modern times the threat of global domination by a single nation has diminished; but the quest for power over others by the individual remains, hence the dictators of the world.
How do we Resolve the Religious and Cultural Conflict?
The 20th century gave birth to the information age. The Internet now is the key to increasing people's awareness and knowledge of not only the Earth, but of the Universe itself. The fear of the unknown can be understood more and reduced by learning the nature of the Universe. We reside in a dimension of trillions upon trillions of stars! Some may have planetary bodies that contain life and some may not.
Information and knowledge are the pathways to increased awareness and understanding. People can became aware of other Earth races, cultures, and philosophies, both historically and present. This will lead many people to a higher level of awareness and understanding by removing the fear of the unknown.
Any person or organization who threatens another into submitting their free will to a religious faith that they do not truly desire is false. Those governments and organizations that deny the people of Earth access to public knowledge are also false. As history has shown us when you threaten a person or a nation to submit to your religious and philosophical beliefs violent conflict erupts; and it always will.
Everyone human being should have the right to choose their own religious and philosophical belief, and should be left in peace to pursue such, providing they harm no other.
About the author: Sandy Andrew is the Radio Show Host & Author of the Universal Learning Series. He was born in the Scottish town of Paisley. He has lived, worked, and studied globally in Scotland, England, South Africa, and the USA. Sandy currently resides in Kansas City, USA, with his wife and daughter. http://www.universallearningseries.com/