Religious wars cannot be resolved by reason because they are driven by faith.
And Faith and Reason are opposite modes of thought.
FAITH is belief even in the absence of logical proof.
All religions rely on faith.
Every religion in the world is based upon faith;
But faith is not science.
Faith is not reason.
Faith is not logic.
Faith is belief in the word of God,
or in the truth of a sacred text,
or in the truth of a religious leader, either living or dead.
Faith cannot be proved in the same way that the laws of gravity can be proved.
When two groups of people have opposing religious beliefs, there is no way of rationally resolving the problem.
And no real negotiation is possible.
There are really only two ways to resolve conflicts between religious groups: segregation and violent conflict.
Segregation means that the two religious groups live in separate areas which are separated by either a physical barrier or a non-physical boundary. We see these segregated populations all over the world, including within the UK. The Protestants and Catholics have been at war with each other for centuries, and they live in an unstable state with tensions always just under the surface. Because these differences are religious and based upon faith, there is no objective, rational, logical solution to the dispute.
Because there is no objective way of resolving a religious dispute, violent conflict is the means of last resort. Violence is the most primitive and fundamental form of resolving disputes.
Kill Your Enemy is one way to solve your problems.
So religious wars are -by the very nature – intractable and not amenable to reason. There are many instances throughout history.
Christians versus Muslims.
There are centuries of hostilities between Christians and Muslims going all the way back to the crusades of 1053. The tensions are still there under the surface for many Christians and Muslims.
Shia Muslims versus Sunni.
Within religions, different factions have fought each other for centuries.
Jews versus Muslims.
The Palestinian-Israeli crisis has its roots in religion. Both claim that God is on their side and that the land they are fighting over has been promised to them by their respective gods. They believe they have a divine right to the land they are fighting over, and since neither can prove their case logically or rationally, then the dispute is intractable.
We have fallen into the horror of violent religious conflict.
And religious wars are always the most barbaric because they they are fuelled by irrational fervour and a sense of religious righteousness.
What is the solution?
Although many people in the world have religious beliefs, deeply held and culturally embedded , everybody has also been endowed (by God?) with a rational faculty.
Everyone is capable of reasoning.
It doesn’t mean they do reason very well. Most people do not know the laws of logic, but we do have “common sense” logic.
Aristotle defined humans as “the rational animal”, and the Arabs have a great respect for Aristotle.
Rational conflict management
So our only hope is to appeal to the rational element of each individual mind and to the rational element of each individual group to see if we can find a rational, negotiated, logical solution to these problems, which are grounded in religious faith.
Force must finish
Sooner or later military force must give way to rational negotiation
And the sooner we bring reason to bear, the sooner the killing stops.
But I fear that now reason has taken the backseat and force has come to the fore.
Who knows what the next few months will bring in the hell that is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The age of reason.
We must return to the age of reason and use our rational minds, secular knowledge, and common sense logic to solve our problems.
We must “run on reason” and manage our violent emotions.
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