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Reasons for war? Religion, Militarism, wealth or control?

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posted on May, 17 2011 @ 06:06 AM
Reasons for war? Religion, Militarism, wealth or control?

The first thing that would come up to anyone’s mind when you mention war is death, horror, destruction, pain and suffering. War is something that no one in his or her right mind would wish to happen. Those who go to war must face the possibility of death or mutilation and even those who don’t fight face the loss of their loved ones. So then why is it that to this day humanity has to resolve to armed violence in order to solve disputes? What could the reasons for war be? “The causes of war are as various as the causes of disputes between married couples” but the main causes for war seem to be such things as social nature, nationalism, imperialism, militarism and of course, let’s not forget human nature.

The reasons for war usually differ from those generally accepted by the public. It is known that some countries have a long tradition of neutrality, others of militarism and hostility. Militarism in the society, and the very existence of armed forces, in some way, seems to make it ok to use war as a means of solving conflicts.


A religious war is a war justified by religious differences. It can be the legitimate forces of one state that has an established religion against those of another state with either a quite different religion or a different sect within the same religion, or, at the level below a state, it can be a faction motivated by religion attempting to spread its faith by violence either within the state or elsewhere. The European Wars of Religion, the Crusades, and the Reconquista are frequently cited historical examples.
While there are undoubtedly wars fought primarily on religious grounds, wars frequently have multiple and complex causes. Saint Augustine is credited as being the first to detail a “Just War” theory within Christianity, whereby war is justifiable on religious grounds. Saint Thomas Aquinas elaborated on these criteria and his writings were used by the Roman Catholic Church to regulate the actions of European countries. In modern times religious designations are frequently used as shorthand for cultural and historical differences between combatants, giving the impression that the conflict is primarily about religious differences. For example, The Troubles in Northern Ireland are frequently seen as a conflict between Catholic and Protestant. However, the more fundamental cause is the attachment of Northern Ireland to either the Republic of Ireland or the United Kingdom. As the native Irish were mostly Catholic, and the later English-sponsored immigrants mainly Protestant, the terms become shorthand for the two cultures. It cannot be denied, however, that religion does play a part in the conflict, since churches are used as organizing points for demonstrations, and Protestants are far more likely to oppose union with the Catholic-dominated Republic. Many wars that are not Religious wars, often still include elements of religion such as priests blessing battleships. Also differences in religion can further inflame a war being fought for other reasons. Historically temples have been military targets that are destroyed to weaken the morale of the opponent, even when the war itself is not being waged over religious ideals.
The view upon religions versus another is very debatable. For example, in the USA, and in other places around Europe, many people would agree that terrorism is part of an ongoing war of religion. However, who is fighting who is the main topic that is so hard to define. Is it Christianity vs. Muslims? Or is it the The West vs. Middle East? Or visa-versa? Many people have different views, definitions and opinions upon this subject.

Militarism is defined as:
the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests.[1]
It can be more simply defined as a policy of glorifying military power and keeping a standing army always prepared for war. It has also been defined as "aggressiveness that involves the threat of using military force",[2] the "glorification of the ideas of a professional military class" and the "predominance of the armed forces in the administration or policy of the state
Militarism has been a significant element of the imperialist or expansionist ideologies of several nations throughout history. Prominent examples include the Ancient Assyrian Empire, the Greek city state of Sparta, the Roman Empire, the Aztec nation, the Kingdom of Prussia, the British Empire, the Empire of Japan, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (which would later become part of the Soviet Union), the Italian Colonial Empire during the reign of Benito Mussolini, and Nazi Germany (arguably the most infamous model of a military dictatorship). After World War II, militarism appeared in many of the post-colonial nations of Asia (i.e. North Korea, Myanmar and Thailand) and Africa (i.e. Liberia, Nigeria and Uganda). Militarist regimes also emerged in Latin America; some, such as the right-wing administration of Augusto Pinochet in Chile, gained power in coups through U.S. support, while others, such as the leftist Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, were elected.

AMERICA’s elder statesman of finance, Alan Greenspan, has shaken the White House by declaring that the prime motive for the war in Iraq was oil.
In his long-awaited memoir, to be published tomorrow, Greenspan, a Republican whose 18-year tenure as head of the US Federal Reserve was widely admired, will also deliver a stinging critique of President George W Bush’s economic policies.
However, it is his view on the motive for the 2003 Iraq invasion that is likely to provoke the most controversy. “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil,” he says.

Christopher Columbus's voyages to the New World offered a preview of the vast wealth and resources to be found in the Americas, and Hernan Cortes's victory over the Aztecs had proven that great riches were there for the taking. It is not surprising that other Spanish explorers flocked to the area--some to advance the cause of their country, most to gain their own personal fortunes.

In 832, a Viking fleet of about 120 invaded kingdoms on Ireland’s northern and eastern coasts. Some believe that the increased number of invaders coincided with Scandinavian leaders' desires to control the profitable raids on the western shores of Ireland. During the mid-830s, raids began to push deeper into Ireland, as opposed to just touching the coasts. Navigable waterways made this deeper penetration possible. After 840, the Vikings had several bases in strategic locations dispersed throughout Ireland.
In 838, a small Viking fleet entered the River Liffey in eastern Ireland. The Vikings set up a base, which the Irish called a longphort. This longphort eventually became Dublin. After this interaction, the Irish experienced Viking forces for about 40 years. The Vikings also established longphorts in Cork, Limerick, Waterford, and Wexford. The Vikings could sail through on the main river and branch off into different areas of the country.

What are your views on war? What reason do you pick?

I mostly lean towards religion only because what’s happening presently with al-Qaida and Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland violence.

posted on May, 17 2011 @ 06:07 AM
The real reason we have wars is because of the plentyful supply of wanabie commando ninja hardmen who call themselves ehm patriots for their own ego.

Not to mention you don't have to walk far to see people fighting amongst themselves over petty things because they can't look past their own nose.

If there was no supply of those people, who would fight? The politicans?

edit on 17-5-2011 by zookey because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 17 2011 @ 10:06 AM
Good topic, suprised more people haven't jumped into discuss it. S&F for Alpal

I think it mostly boils down to human nature, which is a very sad view to take. Even stuff with a religious edge tends to be down to someone's misinterpretation. No religion worth anything would encourage people to go out and kill one another. As such people with that inclanation find something within their books that implies they should go out and blow something up or invade someone's land, etc.

Look at the people who get themselves into fights on a night out? There are so many people who's instinct tells them the most effective way to solve a dispute is with their fists. Whether that dispute is a spilt drink or claims over who is more entitled to settle on an area of land.

posted on May, 17 2011 @ 10:12 AM
I'm starting to lean towards it being for much bigger reasons than just oil, money, control, religious differences, etc. (which is what I had originally believed it to be).

But it actually seems more of a New World Order plot. Mass immigration from the East into the West. Mass invasion of the West into the East. As if they're purposefully trying to mix us all up for the end goal of a one world government.

They have to destroy the Western cultures and identity by massive influx of immigration. In turn, the West has to destroy the Eastern cultures and identity with mass invasions and wars.

By destabilizing both hemispheres, it is much easier to rebuild and unify into one government by toppling old governments.

posted on May, 17 2011 @ 10:18 AM

Originally posted by AshleyD
They have to destroy the Western cultures and identity by massive influx of immigration. In turn, the West has to destroy the Eastern cultures and identity with mass invasions and wars.

Interesting theory. I actually think it's a shame the way society has started to blend together to the point where a countries identity is being lost. However, wasn't the identity and culture of large parts of the world created by immigration / invasion, etc many, many years ago?

posted on May, 17 2011 @ 10:38 AM
reply to post by DJKris

However, wasn't the identity and culture of large parts of the world created by immigration / invasion, etc many, many years ago?

Absolutely. We've always had wars, migration, and conflict for as long as civilization has existed. Not to mention, cultures come and go all the time. But this is going on a scale that I believe is purposefully designed to usher in a one world government.

Lots of 'imperialistic conquests' have occurred throughout history. But upon inspection, they appear to be for the benefit of a certain government and people. On the other hand, what seems to be happening now is for 'the world empire' and not necessarily 'The Mongol Empire' or 'The British Empire.' Etc.

It appears to be global entities, alliances, and organizations behind it.

posted on May, 18 2011 @ 05:50 PM
I think all of the reasons in the thread title apply to some wars, but I think that 'wealth' is the reason for most of them. In modern conflicts, for instance, look at how many wars involve oil-producing countries. Libya in recent months, and Iraq in recent years, and Kuwait/Iraq back in 1990 or so. It has been alleged that Afghanistan was invaded for the lithium deposits in that country, though that remains to be seen. The civil war in Sierra Leone was sparked in no small part by the diamonds in that country.

Going back still further to imperialistic times a century or two ago, you can see the powerful nations of the day, such as Britain, France, Spain, and so on occupying colonies and suppressing opposition, often brutally, all in the name of getting rich at another's expense. Economic independence was one factor behind the American Revolution, and again looking at the US, the American Civil War over slavery could be considered to be over economic concerns. (as disgusting as slavery is, free labour does make for rich slaveowners)

I'm not saying -all- wars are motivated by the desire to gain more wealth, but I think most are. WWII, for instance, was about Hitler trying to control as much as he could, and most of the rest of the world trying to stop him. Most wars of independence are about gaining self-control, and getting away from whoever is currently ruling you. Some wars have been fought over religion, though I can't think of very many in recent times that I'd put under that category. Korea and Vietnam I think were more about control, or perhaps militarism, as the US was paranoid about the spread of communism.

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