Has Religion's body count cracked the billions?

Oct 2014
39
Toronto
I want to be clear, this topic isn't intended to offend ANY religious people whatsoever. I just want to spark this discussion. If we looked at all the wars and battles fought over every main religion throughout all time (so, even counting the polytheistic religions of the ancient world)... would the body count be in the billions? Just one request: be cordial and polite, please.
 

Salah

Forum Staff
Oct 2009
23,284
Maryland
Most human conflicts are, to some extent, justified by the participants with references to their religion.

I would contend that only a very small fraction of those wars were literally fought over religion.
 

Zhang LaoYong

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
5,123
On the prowl.
Most human conflicts are, to some extent, justified by the participants with references to their religion.

I would contend that only a very small fraction of those wars were literally fought over religion.
Yes, and I would say that if there had never been religion humans would have just found another justification for the killings, conquering, plundering etc.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,368
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Could you point me to some wars outside of the Abrahamic faiths that could be characterised as religious in nature?

In other words, where one side attacked another side primarily because the other side believed in a different god or gods?
 

Isoroku295

Ad Honorem
Jan 2009
8,488
In the Past
Could you point me to some wars outside of the Abrahamic faiths that could be characterised as religious in nature?

In other words, where one side attacked another side primarily because the other side believed in a different god or gods?
Like everyone has said, the majority of wars simply used religion as an excuse. It's easier to do that in a monotheistic religion then a polytheistic religion. East Asia and africa (and the Americas for that matter) had little in the way of monotheism, so it wasn't so easy to use religion as an excuse. did it stop war? no, it they just found other excuses instead.

EDIT: Also it doesn't help that the three largest monotheistic faiths in the world didn't like each other much. The Jews killed the Christian God, Muslims were heathens for assuming Jesus was just a man, Christians were worshipping an outdated version of the faith. These three religions didn't just dislike each other, they had very personal reasons for disliking each other. It was REALLY easy to justify those wars with that setup. Of course I can't really claim any expertise on Jewish-Muslim relations, so I didn't make any point of that
 
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Tuthmosis III

Ad Honorem
Oct 2011
3,738
the middle ground
Many, many human beings have died at the hands of those espousing different beliefs, not all (probably not most) in "symmetrical" killing wars (as opposed to the persecution of minorities, &c.)
Having no clear definition of "religion", no list of wars to be considered "religious", and no estimate of how many people died violently on such a list, I cannot answer the OP question.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,368
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Like everyone has said, the majority of wars simply used religion as an excuse. It's easier to do that in a monotheistic religion then a polytheistic religion. East Asia and africa (and the Americas for that matter) had little in the way of monotheism, so it wasn't so easy to use religion as an excuse. did it stop war? no, it they just found other excuses instead.
Whether that's true or not, it's not an answer to the question that I asked.
 

Isoroku295

Ad Honorem
Jan 2009
8,488
In the Past
Whether that's true or not, it's not an answer to the question that I asked.
I know it's not an answer. Never said it was. I was simply giving an explanation as far as I can see about why non-Abrahamic wars may be uncommon if they are.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,368
T'Republic of Yorkshire
I know it's not an answer. Never said it was. I was simply giving an explanation as far as I can see about why non-Abrahamic wars may be uncommon if they are.
Oh, I assumed because you were quoting my post that you were attempting to answer the question I asked. Silly me.