Originally Posted by emptym
If different peoples were created by different, and possibly rival, gods, then we could and maybe should wage war w/o restraint.
The theory of a common origin that stems historically from monotheism has done much to prevent the existence of and to mitigate the severity of war.
Is this true? Have there been fewer and less severe wars since the advent of monotheism? Even a little, over thousands of years? This sounds like a factual claim!
I'd also like some support for the theory behind it. What if historically polytheistic civilizations were relatively ecumenical and tolerant (out of necessity!) and rarely used differences in religious interpretation as a sole pretext for war or, heaven forbid, genocide? What if societies of all religious stripes turned out, historically, to always have roughly the same percentage of warmongering zealots coming to power?
Actually, I believe"common origin" justifies a much more troubling practice: proselytizing. I've seen many countries where the missionary wedge destroyed and perverted deep, fascinating, and ancient cultures. I think there are good reasons to oppose this trend. Also, I've seen people (of many colors) bow willingly to the gods of their conquerers, yet many cannot even name the gods of their ancestors. I can't put my finger on why this bothers me.