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The Contender
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Wars are started by religion.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/12/2013 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 918 times Debate No: 40371
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)




Let's face it, here. Without religion, our borders wouldn't be the same. In one of my favorite shows, Family Guy, there is a cartoon about this, than honestly has a ton of truth in it. It shows 2 men who say "I like you, I have no reason to hate you!" and the other says the same to him. Then a third person comes and said "Hey guys, have you heard about the birth of Jesus Christ?!" and they all start stabbing each other. What creator, Seth McFarlene is trying to show, is that after relegion, people died for their beliefs. Think about all of the wars that wouldn't have been fought! The Cold War, probably not relegion, World War 2? Almost every war between Israel, Egypt, and Syria? The Revolutionary War even! So many lives would have been spared if there was no relegion.


Hello there,

Thanks for starting this debate on the question of whether or not wars are started by religions. I assume that you're not speaking about a war in particular but perhaps all wars in general, as you appeal to several modern wars here.

In response to your points I will demonstrate how the following wars were not started by religion.

1. Cold War
2. World War 2
3. Yom Kippur War and Six-Day War (the wars between Israel, Egypt and Syria)
4. Revolutionary War

Argument 1: The "Cold War"

The "Cold War" was not actually a war per say, or at least not in the same manner as these other conflicts you mentioned. The term "Cold War" comes from George Orwell's essay titled, "You and the Atomic Bomb."[1] After the end of WW2, there was the Tehran[2] and Yalta Conference[3], where Allied leaders met to among other things decide what to do with the territories in northern Europe in the aftermath of the war. There then arose differences from Stalin and his Democratic counterparts as to how to distribute the nations.

You see it was their political ideologies of Communism and Democracy, both wishing to spread their ideologies to these countries that led to their eventual and sustained disagreement. This then spawned a world wide conflict in places such as China, Korea, Guatemala, Vietnam, Indonesia,[4] etc. where democratic and communist regimes battled each other often with direct support of the Soviet Union and United State.

The involvement of religion in starting this war cannot be substantiated.

Argument 2: World War 2

World War 2 is rather clear in regards to how and why war broke out. Hitler had in 1938 annexed Austria in what as called the Anschluss Österreichs, this was part of Hitler's ambition to create a "greater German Reich."[5] This continued in the annexation of the Sudetenland region of Czechoslavakia in 1938, which allied leaders were compliant with only to avoid war.[6] However, when Germany invaded Poland, this violated the Anglo-Polish military argreement which guaranteed the independence of Poland by Britain and thus compelled the British to declare war on Germany on September 3rd, only three days after the invasion of Poland.[7]

This war was started by Hitler's grand scheme for German superiority in the world, and the response of democratic powers to his totalitarian expansionism. Not religion.

Argument 3: Yom Kippur War and Six-Day War

There was much tension since 1948 when Britain grainted the Jewish people a new state of Israel with it's historic borders. However, this created much tension between Israel and it's surrounding Arab nations. These tensions mounted when a series of border clashes caused the Six-Day War of June 1967, which resulted in Israel's capturing Sinai Pennisula.[8] This of course led to the conflict known as the Yom Kippur War of October 1973 when Egypt attacked Israeli-occupied territory.[9]

These wars were also like the others before it, fought primarily for land and power, not religious reasons.

Argument 4: The Revolutionary War

After the end of what we know as being the French and Indian War, Great Britain had been in economic turmoil as it was just barely able to afford the war.[10] With a national debt that had been doubled, they attempted to assert their dominance over the colonies by instating several acts that instituted taxes on the colonies to pay off Britian's debt. This eventually rallied the colonies to create a rebellion militia and after a series of small clashes and incidents, declared independence from it's once sovereign nation.

This war had nothing to do with religion as the colonies were not mandated to be apart of the Anglican Church, but rather the war was the result of American colonial opposition to Brittish tyranny via their crushing taxes.

Concluding Statements:

There is a strong anti-theistic movement in Western cultures at the moment, and often in an attempt to lodge a critique of religion they over step the truth. This is one of those instances, as it is clear from a proper historical outlook (not family guy) that these modern wars are not the result of religious conflicts. Without the presence of religion wars would happen regardless, it just so happens that religious rhetoric has been used as the justification for wars in the past, but this kind of rhetoric is often only used to rally support to their cause and not the actual cause for war.

Personally, I believe the culprit is the "us versus them" mentality, that stems from our ancient tribalism. The demonizing of one group, so as to assert their own personal political and social ambitions by removing another group. This kind of anti-theistic rhetoric is ironically just about equivalent to religious rhetoric of the past as a means to justify a conflict. We should as a society do away with polarizing ideologies such as this that inhibit collaboration and compassion, and learn to practice tolerance and honesty with one another.

As I fear it may one day be the case, that rhetoric like this could be used to insight a war.

Kind Regards,

Debate Round No. 1


WW2_Freak forfeited this round.


Extension of arguments.

Kind Regards,
Debate Round No. 2


WW2_Freak forfeited this round.


Unfortunately my opponent has failed to respond to my arguments, which is a shame because I thought this would be a good discussion.

Hope all things are well with you WW2_Freak!

Kind Regards,
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by joethegorilla 2 years ago
Joseph Stalin, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot, and Mao started a lot of war if you define that as armed conflict. They were all outspoken Atheists. So this debate is lost.
Posted by martelmungo 2 years ago
Lol this is a fallacy. Wars are started by religion, means ALL wars all started by religion

Find one war, that was not started by religion and this entire argument is false.

What should be argued, is Some wars are started by religion.. however that is obvious and pointless to debate.
Posted by WW2_Freak 2 years ago
No but Seth McFarlene should. He's smart, and there's truth in there.
Posted by Nzrsaa 2 years ago
I agree with Con. Religion as a cause is a very small proportion of all the causes of wars throughout history. Even if Religion did not exist, humanity would find other excuses to kill people. It is on our nature to sin. And Family Guy should certainly not be used as an educational resource :)
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Full forfeit. Plus pro really had a weak argument to begin with, plenty of genocides have been committed in names other than religion.
Vote Placed by Subutai 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: FF.