Unlike other places you may find a different perspective here relating to religion. You may note, previously I commented on the culural importance of islam, I also posted about christopher hitchens fighting against religous cultists, in one breath I applaude archbishop tutu and the next I condemn republican neo conservative christians in the US.
For the record, I do not subscribe to a particular religion nor do I adamantly prescribe an atheist point of view a la Dawkins. I note the balance among both in contention.
Fundamentalism is a problem but in regard to its danger or us needing to be protected from it, its continued mention is irrationally brought about through political necessity. Adam Curtis’ documentary ‘power of nightmares’ is a good primer for this realisation.
Heading back to religion, for some people, its good that they have a moral code that they live by, don’t you think? I don’t need an external source for my personal moral code but for some people having one makes them feel better and makes the world a safer place. Then there are some that are preyed upon and religious ideology is the tool used to manipulate their minds. In other places, religious institution is the basis for their justified aggression against another school of belief. I have no love for religion on the basis of preserving life; almost every religion has literally the blood of millions of people on their hands.
But then could not this same movement of people throughout history be tied to similar movements of people related to different tribes? Of course it could, it’s religious tribalism. I propose to make a distinction to seperate religion from the wars under their name.
Take a argument using religion and terrorism (could be islamic state) and apply the same rules to some empire somewhere else (the US for example) in this case that claim to be Christian. Now we have a religious conflict occurring because some people BELIEVE in the faith of one or others side. What religion you belong to is far less important than the psychopaths that have steered your gullable belief to this outcome. First and foremost, religion has been a tool to placate the masses despite the philosophy it contains. Secondly, the old testaments and some islamic texts go into detail about killing in the name of. Think about this, these books were written thousands of years ago. Values may change, history shows a clear course as to who the enemy is. The persons interpreting the book are those capable of twisting the minds of others to act in bad sorts.
Islam does have an aggressive form of religion written into its passages. It occurred out of neccessity at the place of its birth and we should look no further than the old testament, egyptian, babylonian, greek and roman empires to understand the balance of power at this time as to why islam had to be so strong to neccesitate its existence. Mohammed had to be a fierce warrior in order to get the message out. Christianity on the other hand is not what it seems. Parts of Christianity are included in islamic texts and this shows an interlink between the founding of islam/christianity and the dark ages. After rome fell, the emperor Constantine took istanbul in turkey and renamed it constantinople then declared himself christ reincarnate. This is politics plain and simple. You blame religion? No, it was a political move and religion was the tool. Rome continued falling successively, smaller but lower each time for two hundred years more. The holy roman emperors followed on even as the empire no longer existed and islam took over setting up its base in cordoba, spain around 1300. After Charlemagne (charles of France) reunited europe and the christian world, we re-wrote the history books to say it was all thanks to the christian world when in actual fact, human kind passed the baton under the names of different faiths and we all shared the knowledge. This is part of our history and it would be wise to acknowledge it.
Behind any tool that is used to kill is a psychopath and religion is no exception. We should stop using a book as a means to defending this and call out the actions of any psychopath under the name of any religion for what it is. Murder, genocide, barbarism, war criminal. That’s all it is and all it ever was. Whether you participate makes you accountable and muddies the name of an ancient book of principle by which to live by. End of story.