Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ending Religion Will Not End or Lessen Wars

Sean Lennon says his father
John Lennon had a
volatile "hair trigger" temper.
Recently someone said to me, "John, if we end 'religion' we will put an end to wars." I think that statement is false. Here's four reasons why.

  1. I think "warlikeness" (violence) is endemic to humans. The atheist Freud agreed, and posited our need for civilization lest we destroy one another. Can we really believe people would be less violent if "religion" disappeared from the earth?
  2. Atheists, says atheist David Berlinski, face an "awkward fact." It is this: "The twentieth century was not an age of faith, and it was awful. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Pol Pot will never be counted among the religious leaders of mankind." Historically, in the name of "ending religion" horrible atrocities have been committed. So as a "religious" person myself I shudder a bit when someone says we'd be better off if we ended religion.
  3. Some of us religious folk are a lot less violent because of our religious faith than when we had no religious faith. That would include me. I am a better person with my Jesus-belief than when I was irreligious.
  4. "Religion" is not going to be eradicated. The atheistic "Four Horsemen" have ridden into town and are now riding off into the sunset, leaving the town no less religious than when they rode in. I think desiring to end religion is like saying "If people did not breathe we would have less problems. So let's work to end breathing. Imagine there's no breathing." "Religion" is part of the air we breathe. The Big Questions are still with us and, I predict, will not go away. In fact, atheistic regimes that have tried to stamp our religion actually ended up fueling underground movements of faithful people. When it comes to religion it actually seems to do better when atheists try to eradicate it.