Explain what the two religions you have studied teach us about war The church has not always been politically powerful, and before the fourth century Christians did not involve themselves at all in war, they were a religion based on the teachings of peace and forgiveness. This however did not last forever as the church became more and more powerful, she wanted to support war, the teaches at this time used bible verses to convert the minds of the Christian followers and to win them over. In the bible there is a lot of war-based verses, one of the following might have been used to convince the people and gain their support: `Go and attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’ (1 Samuel 15:3) `And he sent you on a mission, saying, “Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; make war on them until you have wiped them out.’ (1 Samuel 15:18) After using similar verses to these the political Christian leaders persuaded the people that they could go to war on be-half of God, this is now referred to as Holy war.
Thomas Aquinas came up with a just war theory in the early 13^th century. He was a monk and later made into a saint, he is often remembered as one of the most significant and dominant theologians in the last 1000years. His foundation was the work and ideas people made in the fourth century. The ideas Aquinas thought of consisted of three main points, if a war is going to be just it must be started and controlled by the authority of the state or ruler, there must also be a just reason for the war and after it has been settled their peace and freedom from strife must be restored. Aquinas’s just war conditions achieved what they set out to do and in later years other Christians added further conditions to the list. Christians will try and avoid war at all costs, although if they think that the result in not going to war will be worse they believe that they should take part in the war effort. The world after a war can be a better place, it is strange but true that war can create a better-quality environment for people to live in.
As well as bringing death and destruction war can also prosperity. Christians aren’t allowed to kill, when growing in their faith they are taught to forgive even when being prosecuted, although Christians will fight for their faith and if they feel they are doing what God wants of them. Christians may become confused about the view God has on war, the bible has many verses, which involve war in some way, or other and these verses can be translated for each individual person very differently. `Scatter the nations who delight in war.’ (Psalms 68:30) The nations, which enjoy war, will be scattered by God, where as in the verse below is praising God for training his people for war. ` Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.’ (Psalms 144:1) This is a complete contrast to what has already been written in the Bible. ` Nation will not take sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.’ (Isaiah 2:4) Christian are also taught to turn the other check when evil comes around, while praying for the people who persecute them, for they no not what they do.
Christians are meant to love all their enemies no matter how much pain and anguish they have caused. In the Ten Commandments God says not to murder you fellow humans, even though killing in a just war is not cold murder. War is often thought of as self-defence in which case is the lesser of the two evils. Muslim’s are members of the faith, Islam, Islam means peace. You cannot go to war with a peaceful mind, war conflicts hostility and aggression. If a man is peaceful there cannot be room for aggressive behaviour, these two feelings do not mix. When people discuss war with Islam they tend to engage in the word jihad. The word jihad means `to try one’s up most in the cause of Allah.’ This word has two general ideas, these two different views often get misused, people refer to jihad when talking about wars involving Muslims. The two general ideas are called the greater jihad and the lesser jihad. The greater jihad is a personal struggle against evil (munkar) as each Muslim follows Allah’s will in establishing right (mar’uf). While the lesser jihad is an assembly of conditions to war, rather like the just war theory in Christianity.
The conditions used in a Muslim’s just war are similar the Aquinas’s, if all other ways of trying to settle the disagreement have been unsuccessful a war is allowed to take place, also when Muslims are not allowed to practise their religion as freely as they may wish. War is also just in Muslim eyes when their community is suffering and being attacked, when it needs to secure its freedom and protect its civilians. Muslim’s also have a view on when a war is not just, this view includes the attention of whether the crops or animals are being protected on top of the innocent lives that may be lost. When there has not been any peaceful ways in which the war has tried to be stopped and has been declared by an individual, whether they are political or not, the any leader who can declare a just war is a religious leader. In Islam war is not allowed to be declared to win over land or convert any persons to Islam.
A just war can only ever be just if it is fought in self-defence and not attack. Like Christian, Muslims can go to war on Allah’s behalf, if they believe it is Allah’s will and they have a just cause. Muslim’s do not all have the same view on war, just as Christians don’t, each individual is pronoun to their own opinion, and seeing that war is not an absolute, each person is entitled to that. “Conscientious objection is nothing more than cowerdess.” How far do you agree, refer to the two religion you have studied. A conscientious objector is quite different to a pacifist. Pacifists will not fight but will help in any other way they can, be it first aid or converting dying people and making their last living minutes content and worthwhile. Conscientious objectors will not fight in any war nor will they help out in the war. They do not involve themselves in the slightest way. There is a sufficient amount in the Bible which supports conscientious objection, in the Ten Commandments it states `do not kill,’ Jesus speaks a lot about compassion and forgiveness.
He says in Matthew 5:9 `blessed are the peacemakers.’ During the First World War a group of conscientious objectors who called themselves Quakers founded the No-Conscription Fellowship, which supported people who refused to go to war, one man asking to be excused from the army wrote: `The life, teaching and death of my Lord, Jesus Christ, opposes in every sense the method of life which leads to strife among men. I am doing my best by God’s help to live in that way of life, which takes away the occasion of all wars. Owing to the present attitude of the Wesleyan church on the war question (who supported his views) I have after long consideration resigned my connection with it, I am now attending the Ealing meeting of the society of friends (Quakers).’ I’m aware of people believing that going to war to fight for your country and home is right with the intention of winning. If they lose they lose everything they have ever known. I do not think that objecting to war is cowardice, conscientious objectors are just trying to voice their opinion.
I do not agree with not helping out in the areas of war, which need help in, as I said before, first aid. I believe that it is common sense not to fight in war, although after saying that we would have a crisis on our hands if the entire population of our country became conscientious objectors the out come would be catastrophic. The only way to solve this flight of the imagination would be for the world to become conscientious objectors with our country, then there would be no need for war. The world could never become peaceful when there are people on it who are determined to go on power trips, and seeing as there is always going to be people like that, its best we do have people who are prepared to fight and die for their country and what they believe in. Muhammad Ali is a great example of some one with the right priorities, he would not fight in war if he got given the chance, when he commented on his views in this area some people questioned his judgement on himself, a number of people did not understand why he fights in the ring if not in combat.
Fighting in a ring is his job, it is what he does for a living, and it amuses people. People do not often die in the ring as there are supervisors watching. Boxing is a sport, it maybe more violent than the majority of sports, but it also contains more excitement and keeps people on the edge of their seats. Conscientious objectors realise that there is a war going on and then hide from it, and in doing so they are also hiding from reality and the world around them. In my eyes conscientious objectors are cowards, they do not have the nerve to stand up for what’s right even if it isn’t fighting, helping out in the war effort can be a great help and people appreciate it even when they don’t comment or seem to notice. When others don’t see what you have personally done to help, you always have the reassurance that God has.