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Religions Breed Conflicts, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 603

Essay

All religions claim to promote love, tolerance, and peace and yet it is ironical that most of the current conflicts in the world can be traced to different religious ideologies. Whether it is Pakistan-India conflict, Israel-Palestine conflict, US-Taliban conflict, or Iran-Israel conflict; all of these on-going conflicts can be traced back to religions and often the parties involved follow one of the three Abrahamic faiths which are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Thus, religions are doing more harm to humanity than good. As long as there are religions in the world, the possibility of world peace will remain an illusion.

Religions are a source of conflict because they promote ethnocentric beliefs, intolerance, and sense of righteousness among their followers. Christians believe that only Jesus is the path to salvation and anyone who doesn’t follow Jesus will go to hell in the life hereafter. Similarly, Muslims believe that they have the most perfect messenger and book and whoever doesn’t believe in their prophet is going to hell. This is why religious people are inflexible because they believe that they are following the word of God and, thus, there should be no compromise with the dissenters.

Religions lead to conflict because they take advantage of our psychological vulnerabilities.Most of the major religions in the world such as Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism try to control their fears through greed of rewards or fear of punishment. Thus, it is not a surprise that religiously zealous people are more willing to sacrifice their lives in the hope of rewards and why Taliban or Hezbollah never have a problem finding suicide fighters. Similarly, Japanese kamikaze fighters during WWII were also motivated by their belief in the divinity of their king as well as personal conviction that Japanese are the chosen people. Islam offers virgins and heaven to martyrs and this has become the main recruiting tool for Jihadists around the world.

Religions prevent peace because they leave little incentive for their followers to seek resolution. The reason Israel-Palestine conflict is still going on after more than six decades is because both Jews and Muslims believe that the holy land belongs to them. Both groups also believe that they will be victorious in the end because their respective holy books and religions have told them so. We only agree to compromise when we know there is no other way but if we are sure of our eventual victory, the incentive to compromise won’t be there anymore and this is exactly the situation with Israel and Palestine who are being guided by their religious ideologies instead of the realities of the situation.

Knowledge makes us more tolerant and open minded and it is no wonder that religion is often more dominant in societies with low economic prosperity and education. If we take a critical look at countries, we may notice that religions are on the decline in countries with high education rates and on the rise in countries with low education rates and struggling economies. Catholic Church is now seeking the greatest strength in Latin American countries and is worried by its declining following in the U.S. and Europe. This is why religious followers are prone to violence because a significant portion of them are uneducated and often dissatisfied with their worldly affairs and religions provide them with a purpose in life.

Even though religions often claim to spread love and peace, they preach conflicting messages to their followers such as inferiority of competing faiths and God’s wrath on them in the afterlife. The world peace will only be possible when there will be no religion because peace requires compromise and tolerance and religions promote ethnocentric beliefs.

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