Is the Christian ethic militaristic?  Bertrand Russell in "Why I Am Not A Christian and other essays" said [A]s the Mohammedans first proved, belief in Paradise has considerable military value as reinforcing natural pugnacity.  We should therefore admit that militarists are wise in encouraging the belief in immortality."  Would we still be in so many wars if we were not a largely Christian nation?

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The chrisitan ethic is militaristic, but so are other religious belief systems.  Maybe if there were no religions at all -- then there would be no war.  Since we only have one life to live, then we have to make this one count.
I don't think there's any guarantee that we wouldn't be in wars.

I do think that without religious motivations we would be in fewer useless wars.

There are other motivations to go to war, however.

WWII was a war against Fascism and was therefore justified in my opinion.

WWI was an economic war and therefore unjustified.

The ME is a religious war and one we could definitely do without.
No, we do not just "want their oil". We are fighting people who attacked us on 9/11 and have attacked numerous nations for simply being non-Muslim.
Uh ... who was it who attacked us on 9/11?  Afghanistan?  Iraq?  Well, neither, actually.  More of the attackers were related to Saudi Arabia, but they're our best friends (dictatorial monarchy, lots of oil?).  Some had connections with Afghanistan and Pakistan, but the nations themselves were not involved.  Nobody has been attacked for being "non-Muslim."  Perceived as anti-Muslim, maybe a bit.  But the people who attacked us on 9/11 died on 9/11, so we couldn't retaliate against them.

Actually, we are attacked by Al Qaeda and Bin Laden. Just because Bin Laden was Saudi does not mean we attack Saudi Arabia. He was an enemy and thorn to the Saudi regime. Just because Zawahiri was Egyptian, do we attack Egypt too? Bin Laden was in Afghanistan and prepared for the attacks under the harboring of the Taliban. Therefore, the Taliban were responsible in handing over Bin Laden or face retaliation. In fact, the Taliban should have been forced out of power irregardless as they were the worst violators of human rights in the world.

Some had connections with Afghanistan and Pakistan, but the nations themselves were not involved

Really? None of the nations were involved? Again, the Taliban controlled Afghanistan and were harboring Bin Laden.

 

In regards to Iraq, Saddam was defying the world for too long. He was bound to be removed eventually. The world is a better place without Saddam Hussein; my only quarrels are that the Islamic Republic was a bigger threat and regime change (aftermath) would have been much easier as Iranians are pro-American, pro-west, and a secular populace (the people, not regime).

Practically anything that anyone believes in can become militaristic, in my opinion.  Fanaticism and extremism are problems that come up out of the minds of the unstable and sick who unfortunately, manage to get others on board by pandering to the fear and anger of the masses.  If not religion it'll be something else.

 

However, observing countries whose people are close-knit, peaceful (at least in comparison to the middle east and the US) and see how they are functioning, some even with a national religion, we'd find more clues as to how societies work successfully without being driven by the war machine and greed.  While I personally would love to see religion removed from our world, I think there are greater social factors at play in our 'civilization' that creates the demand for our militaristic needs (AKA: war).

UK, France, Russia. Religon isn't such a player in their politics, but they are the biggest spenders after you. There's something funny about American culture that isn't the monopoly of the religious I'm afraid, and a short look through the forums shows that leaving the church doesn't turn you into peaceloving socialist.

Well, we have our cantankerous members, of course, every group does.  But most members participate in civil discourse.  And you don't have to be socialist to be peaceloving.

I do think if we were less religious, we'd be less warlike because we'd spend our time solving resource problems rather than ranting and praying.  Nowadays the dominionists cleverly use religion to keep people fighting. 

Since rich people get richer from war, aka "Military Industrial Complex," they will continue to use religion and the afterlife and poverty as tools to get even richer. 

Bottom line is we need better general conditions and education for the poor who usually become the fanatical religious "warriors" of all persuasions.  

And the best way to get the other guy's resources is to kill him off. In a world of limited resources and ever increasing population, war over resources will always be an issue, religion or not. Us rich folk, representing a small percentage of the global population, are using a vast majority of the resources. We wage economic war on poorer nations to acquire their resources. War is not only militaristic, there are many ways to kill a person, starving them, cutting them off from their own resources, etc.

I agree with Anne.  I think the public's religious sensibility is used as a tool for the military - God is on our side, fight for God and country.  A disproportionate amount of recruits come from the Bible Belt and the lower socio-economic class.  A more secular society and more even distribution of resources might produce citizens more unwilling to go to war.

While rioting is not war it is surely one of its precursors. Over the past couple of years we have seen riots in the UK, France, Greece, Iran, Egypt, Lybia, Algeria, Yemen,Pakistan, and many other places to numerous to mention. All of them having only one thing in common. One entrenched group and one group who thought the entrenched group was being unfair to them. With that diversity of cultures involved in the same activity all with different motivations it is clear that religious belief is just one factor and that secularization just will shift peoples grievances to other issues.  Mankind is amazing at adaptation. We will always have something to gripe about.

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