Is Religion Really The Greatest Cause of Wars?


Is religion really the greatest cause of all wars and atrocities? Which worldview is responsible for the most suffering wrought upon mankind? Most atheists attribute religion as being the most detrimental obstacle to world peace, but is this really the case? What about the secular/humanist worldview? Has belief in evolution played any role in human suffering?

When the ideology of evolution is embraced by states and/or leaders of nations and communities, the results are disastrous. The most classic example is of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Leading Nazis, and early 1900 influential German biologists, revealed in their writings that Darwin’s theory and publications had a major influence upon Nazi race policies. Hitler believed that the human gene pool could be improved by using selective breeding similar to how farmers breed superior cattle strains. In the formulation of their racial policies, Hitler’s government relied heavily upon Darwinism, especially the elaborations by Spencer and Haeckel.

As a result, a central policy of Hitler’s administration was the development and implementation of policies designed to protect the ‘superior race’. This required at the very least preventing the ‘inferior races’ from mixing with those judged superior, in order to reduce contamination of the latter’s gene pool. The Nazi’s even set up a breeding program called Lebensborn or the ‘fountain of life’ program in which special clinics were set up where SS men were encouraged to mate with blue-eyed, blonde Nordic girls who had no Jewish ancestry, in order to produce ‘racially pure’ German offspring. The resultant babies were then brought up in the foster care of dedicated Nazi couples or reared in special orphanages (more info here: ).

The ‘superior race’ belief was based on the theory of group inequality within each species, a major presumption and requirement of Darwin’s original ‘survival of the fittest’ theory. This philosophy culminated in the ‘final solution’, the extermination of approximately six million Jews and four million other people who belonged to what German scientists judged as ‘inferior races’.

Darwinism as a worldview was a critical factor, not only in influencing the development of Nazism, but also in the rise of communism and the communist holocaust that, by one estimate, took the lives of more than 100 million people. Marx, together with his forebears, associates and successors, was a doctrinaire evolutionist who tried to build his society on evolutionary premises. Central figures supporting this include: Lenin, Stalin, Hideki Tojo, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Chiang Kai-shek, Kim Il‑sung and Kim Jong-il, to name a few. Also, a special mention of the Hutu people in Rwanda. They were the majority people group in Rwanda whereas the Tutsis were the minority. The Hutus had an ideology that went along the lines of

“[The Hutus] denounced Tutsis as ‘dishonest’ in business whose ‘only aim is the supremacy of his ethnic group’” (from John A. Berry and Carol Pott Berry (eds.) (1999). Genocide in Rwanda: A Collective Memory (Washington, D.C.: Howard University Press) pp. 113–115.)

This ideology ultimately lead to the 1994 genocide in which half a million Tutsis were slaughtered because they were deemed as ethnically inferior.

Most atheists retort back with examples of “war crimes” conducted by the church, such as the Crusades, inquisitions etc. Has there been atrocities committed in the name of the church? Yes, but only by people in the name of the church. Were they genuine followers in Jesus Christ? No (even though many of them thought they were).

If you’ve ever found yourself defending Christianity with atheists, I can almost guarantee that they would’ve cited the Crusades as an example of “Christian” violence and aggression. Yet, these atheists are usually oblivious to the fact that the Crusades were brought about to confront centuries of unchecked Islamic invasions and colonisations.

The first crusade began in 1095…

  • 460 years after the first Christian city was overrun by Muslim armies.
  • 457 years after Jerusalem was conquered by Muslim armies.
  • 453 years after Egypt was taken by Muslim armies.
  • 443 years after Muslim’s first plundered Italy.
  • 427 years after Muslim armies first laid siege to the Christian capital of Constantinople.
  • 380 years after Spain was conquered by Muslim armies.
  • 363 years after France was first attacked by Muslim armies.
  • 249 years after the capital of the Christian world, Rome itself, was sacked by a Muslim army.
  • And only after centuries of church burnings, killings, enslavement and forced conversions of Christians.

By the time the Crusades finally began, Muslim armies had conquered two-thirds of the Christian world.

The primary reason people volunteered to go and fight in the Crusades was predominately because various Catholic Popes had issued Papal “bulls” that granted plenary indulgences to those who took part. This meant quite simply that any and all sins would be forgiven and the Crusader would be guaranteed entrance to heaven, regardless of previous sins. As you can imagine, this only encouraged Crusaders to engage in the worst types of sin such as rape, robbery, and murder during the Crusades. As you can understand, this is a gross misrepresentation of the central teachings of Christianity (see John 13:34-35) and a perversion and abuse of power by the apostate leaders that were encouraging the conflict. The vast majority of the volunteers were also illiterate and had never heard the Bible taught to them in their own language as the masses they attended had the Bible spoken in Latin by the Catholic Priests. It should come as no surprise with the atrocities that were to ensue.

When you examine the worst atrocities carried out in human history, the overwhelming vast majority were all carried out by men who believed that they were morally accountable to nobody and that they were justifiably vanquishing the threats to the goals of their selfish ideology in the name of “progress”. James Hitchcock in his book “What is Secular Humanism? Why Humanism Became Secular and How It Is Changing Our World”, says,

“The ultimate failure of Secular Humanism is in the fact that of its very nature it promises what it cannot fulfil. By encouraging people to put their trust in earthly happiness it programs them for disillusionment. This is in large measure the reason why the history of the modern world has been characterised, intellectually, by philosophies of pessimism like Existentialism and by often-rancorous bitterness over various plans for worldly improvement. In the twentieth century, mass slaughter has been perpetrated not by religious believers in opposition to heresy but by secularists convinced that their plan for a worldly utopia is the only possible one.”

Lives Lost Due to So-Called “Christian” Involvement

  • The Crusades – 1,000,000
  • Spanish Inquisition – 3,000
  • Witch hunts – 35 (15 killed from New England witch hunts and 20 killed from Salem witch hunts)
  • Total: 1,003,035

Lives Lost via Non-Religious Dictators

  • Joseph Stalin – 42,672,000
  • Mao Zedong – 37,828,000
  • Adolf Hitler – 20,946,000
  • Chiang Kai-shek – 10,214,000
  • Vladimir Lenin – 4,017,000
  • Hideki Tojo – 3,990,000
  • Pol Pot – 2,397,000
  • Total: 122,064,000 (U.S. congressional records put the number at 135,000,000)

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