I’m not one of those who think belief in the Christian God has frequently caused wars. So far as I know, the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) was the most recent one to start purely — or almost purely — for religious reasons. But I do agree with those who point out how typical it is for members of the clergy to support whatever wars their nation’s politicians happen to endorse. And, while it is also typical for the average citizen to support their politician’s wars, the clergy tends to be more influential. So, it is easy to see that many members of the clergy facilitate wars, despite the fact some members of the clergy also oppose them.
The issue of whether belief in God causes wars was recently raised on The Stupid Evil Bastard blog. Actually, it was brought up as a straw man argument: One of the commentators on that blog wanted to ascribe the notion to his opponents — apparently, so he could have an easy knock down. After putting words in their mouths that they didn’t speak, he went on to state:
I’m using the examples to counter the argument in the post that belief in God is the cause of war by pointing out that those who do not believe in God also cause war. In other words, neither belief or unbelief in God are the cause of war.
So, not only does he commit the straw man fallacy to set the stage for his “devastating blow”, but he then screws up by effectively claiming that, because non-believers have caused some wars, believers have not caused any wars.
I have yet to meet anyone — very much including myself — who is immune to making mistakes in logic and reasoning. But sometimes the mistakes just keep on coming. I’ve had days like that. I can’t prove it, but I would guess most of us have.