On religion and war


Folks, we are a stupid race.

Before I tell you why I think the above statement is true, I want to say that as my good friend J.Zande has so aptly said, we are superstitious naked apes. I know some of you think it debasing to call you, yes you, animals. And many of you think you are better and higher than all other animals. Sorry, the only thing that makes us different is we are laughing animals and we are lower than other animals because we are superstitious. Please, before you start throwing stones hear me out. I don’t mean to say we haven’t invented many things, that we have tried to harness the power of nature, that we have managed to create cures to diseases brought on us by mother nature. This is all good and I can’t take it away from our race. I think if dogs needed to know how to drive cars, evolution would have made it possible for them to have a brain big enough to handle such a task. Be happy that you are human but don’t look down upon the dog, it doesn’t need most of the things you need, if there is happiness among the animals then I can say, many animals our lot call lower animals could be a happier lot.

I don’t think there is a justification for keeping standing, sleeping or whatever armies. I see no difference between the soldier and the religious person. For the soldier to kill another man, he must have been brainwashed to the point where he can see another human being as being different and not deserving to live. I say that till all the men in the barracks will be taught to think for themselves, we will have armies for the sole purpose of killing one another. Just as the believer is told their religion is the correct one making them see others as being less, we will have armies. I can go far as to say armies exist to support religion or religious causes. I also think the first wars were religious or had the support of religion. The expansionist wars were as a result of greed and ignorance. I lay the blame on wars and keeping of armies on ignorance and religion.

No educated man would in my mind support war. Don’t ask what are we to do when invaded. I have thought about that already. If all humanity was educated, why would one man attack another? Men desire to make slaves and serfs of other men. No truth needs an army to support it. It will always be true. Falsehood, and religion is one of the biggest, needs miracles and brute force to support it. I could be wrong, but I think most if not all religions needed the support of the state[force] to spread. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, did not need state sanction to spread, Copernicus theory did not support of the Rome to spread. It was fact, and the only thing force can do is to suppress fact but not force its adoption.

I propose we divert the money used to fund armies world over be used to alleviate ignorance, spread science, develop better agricultural systems to alleviate world poverty, provide proper housing. An educated man, free enough to think for himself will with good training not support war or the keeping of an army.

As to why we are a stupid race, of all the animals as I have said many times before, we are the only ones who have designed instruments to torture our fellows. We are the only animals that attend an execution to see one of our kind either shot dead by a firing squad or through lethal injection or worse still killed on the guillotine. Of all the animals, we are the least satisfied. Of all the animals, it is only man that can plan for the annihilation of another because they belong to a different tribe, religion or profess a different creed. If this is not stupid, then I am going to throw away my dictionary!

I know some of you may disagree with me, I am open to persuasion. Please spend a few minutes and share with me your objections to what I have said maybe I may just change my mind.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

24 thoughts on “On religion and war

  1. Suzanne Olson-Hyde says:

    Yep, we are stupid. We have evolved, just not enough. I agree with you totally, and it is going to be a long, long time before the human race gets it. The one thing the earth does not need, is humans. Try telling that to a theist.

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  2. Interesting post. I would like to say one thing though. You said, “we are lower than other animals because we are superstitious.” I don’t agree with this, actually. I heard that there were studies done to pigeons in a cage which were previously trained to peck a button and get a reward of food in a receptacle below the button. The same pigeons were then given the same situation, but without a button. This time, the food was given out into the receptacle at random intervals. The result was quite amazing. The pigeons developed superstitions. Whatever the pigeon was doing at the time that the food was dispensed, they kept repeating that motion to try to provoke the food from coming out again. The end result was many pigeons in different cages doing different strange behaviors over and over in hopes of receiving some food.

    In this way, actually, I’d say that superstition is not actually something foolish at its heart. It’s an unscientific method of making sense of the world. Sometimes it might just be correct, too. So, in that way, I’m proud to have an inborn inclination toward superstition — and pigeons should be proud too! 🙂

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  3. archaeopteryx1 says:

    As a man who resisted becoming part of the war machine, even to the point of having my attorney serve a Writ of Habeus Corpus on the US Secretary of the Army (didn’t work!), I concur.

    Re, Humans v animals, I suggest you read Desmond Morris’ “The Naked Ape,” which may lead you to his other book, “African Genesis.”

    archaeopteryx
    http://www.in-His-own-image.com

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    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      Sorry, “African genesis” was by Robert Ardrey, not Desmond Morris, and both that and his “The Territorial Imperative,” explaining behavioral traits common to all of us animals, are both good reads.

      When it comes to a thirst for knowledge, like the “DosXX” man says, “Stay, thirsty, my friend –”

      arch

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  4. I think competition for resources is at the source of all human conflicts. I think that unfortunately, human beings come equipped with the capacity for this conflict. So, if religion were to end, i don’t think all wars will disappear. People of the same religion have often waged war on each other. But having said that, we also come equipped with empathy and it’s true that something inside us must be overcome if we are to kill another human, whether in war or other situations. Tribalism, simply meant as an “us vs them” mentality, facilitates the dehumanization of others, and religion has been a major (if not the major) source of the “us s them” mentality and hatred between human communities. In addition, religion has been purposely used to keep people in a worldview of division, beliefs in superiority, etc. Nothing like thinking that “god” is on side to induce people to overcome the fear of dying and the revulsion towards killing others in war.

    Not to mention that religious faith discourages questioning and critical thinking, so it’s easier to dupe people into embarking in a “just war”.

    We must extend the feelings of empathy we naturally possess to all of humanity instead of to our most immediate group of nation. Nationalism is a huge source of cannon fodder for the wars of the powerful who want to become even more powerful.

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  5. john zande says:

    Noel, the young Nietzsche is coming out in you. Great post! I couldn’t agree with you more about redressing our capital spending habits. And I agree with Adriana, “competition for resources is at the source of all human conflicts.” This overrides our capacity to feel empathy and fuels tribalism. “They’re NOT LIKE US, they’re in competition with US, so it’s ok to kill them.” That’s our greatest flaw and it’ll remain a fixed quantity in us until we get off this finite rock.

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    • makagutu says:

      John do you think it is competition or control of resources? From where I stand, I think it is rather control of resources driven mainly by greed and insatiability that is at the core of the problem. What do you think?

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      • john zande says:

        Sure, it’s control first because that means you don’t really have to compete. You’ve secured the resources, and now you’re going to hang onto them! And yes, it is greed that fuels the ‘control.’ That said, without control over resources we wouldn’t be able to plan ahead, and if we couldn’t plan ahead we wouldn’t have civilisations. Bit of a double edged sword, isn’t it?

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        • makagutu says:

          What if it was just possible, remotely possible, that we took just what we need at a particular moment, besides not everyone has the capacity to utilize a given mineral or resource, would there be need to control it?

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          • john zande says:

            Ah, well now you’re swimming through the ugly waters of the human psyche. Are we capable of such a thing? Sure. Can we pull it off? Haven’t yet….

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            • makagutu says:

              To your question I don’t know.

              My point here mainly is to show that as a race we are still far from being really free in a larger sense. We have made little progress from our barbarous ancestors, and if any we have improved our means of killing each other, have better reasons to deplete our finite natural resources, that is we are still brutes!

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  6. emmylgant says:

    Actually, I often think we are a stupid aberration of nature .

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  7. Liberty of Thinking says:

    Noel my friend, now you got me really angry;-)
    I totally disagree with your first statement’s plural!
    No, I refuse to accept the “we”, even if I’d have to consciously ridicule myself by saying that I belong to another race… And if such a race doesn’t exist yet, then there you go, I just created it!
    It’s called homo loviens:-D
    Anyone else cares to join?

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