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  1. #1

    Default Do you agree with this statement?

    I read this quotation from Hans Kung, a priest and RC writer, and wondered if its something which people generally would agree or disagree with and why:-

    "There will be no peace among the nations without peace among the religions. There will be no peace among the religions without dialogue among the religions." - Küng speaking on global ethic

  2. #2
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    I'd say that's probably true. Religion is a very passionate issue for many people (whether religious or not!) and for countries with religion-based governments, or in which the vast majority of the people is of a certain creed, it becomes a political issue. At times the differences between religious (and therefore political) philosophies are so fundamental that going "above and beyond" religion to find common ground is a really difficult task.
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    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Yes and no. Yes, assuming people are rational creatures and that is a reachable goal -- but it seems optimistic to me. I assume there will be no peace among the nations, period. Why? Because we like to war. It's what we do.

    Sometimes I think there could be peace among the nations if people would just keep their religion to themselves, if we were taught from infancy that it's a private matter, but that can't happen while several of them call for proselytizing. It would call for a re-write of everybody's holy books, and nobody's gonna stand still for that.

    Do you agree with it?

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    Senior Member Rebe's Avatar
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    Peace between the religions is like an oxymoron.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    Yes and no. Yes, assuming people are rational creatures and that is a reachable goal -- but it seems optimistic to me. I assume there will be no peace among the nations, period. Why? Because we like to war. It's what we do.

    Sometimes I think there could be peace among the nations if people would just keep their religion to themselves, if we were taught from infancy that it's a private matter, but that can't happen while several of them call for proselytizing. It would call for a re-write of everybody's holy books, and nobody's gonna stand still for that.

    Do you agree with it?
    In so far as it suggests that religion is a bigger factor than nationality in war I do agree.

    I'm not sure it would take a rewrite of any scriptures to bring about peace between the religions, I only in part think its to do with a division between private conscience and public life, in theory both religion and the desire to spread your own religion should result in anything but the aggression that it does.

    I mean no one EVER won any hearts by breaking heads but the temptation to play cowboys and indians or goodies and baddies is often too great and over rides all others.

    Similar things happen in ideology or politics too, I once visited a forum in which one of the members made a great, great pretense to reasoned debate but one day just lost it and accuse their opposition of being "welfare scroungers" and embarked on all sorts of name calling, others joined in too.

    It was pretty clear the mask had slipped what people at that forum had really wanted wasnt any sort of exchange of views, that was idle time, what they wanted instead was a fight, hot headed, voices raised, have a go.

    The more time I've spent interested in religion and politics or even some aspects of philosophy, the more I'm convinced there are more "brawlers" than anything else at all, and most of the time whatever it is religion, ideology, politics, nation, its all just a flag of convenience to all a bit of blood letting. Whether its metaphorical or literal.

  6. #6
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Sometimes nations fight for resources and power. Peace among religions will not stop this.

  7. #7
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    "There will be no peace among the nations without peace among the religions. There will be no peace among the religions without dialogue among the religions." - Küng speaking on global ethic
    One way to respond to this is to analyze how "peace" is being understood, and how it relates to war. Total peace and total war are two sides of the same coin, for example.

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    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    Dialogue will not be enough for peace among religions. And even if all religions were at peace with one another, there are other reasons for warring. The best war preventions are fear of retribution and fear of losing your business partner. And even they're not enough.
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    I have a feeling that Kung maybe believes that unanimity between religious not to fight one another may inhibit secular powers fighting wars but if that is the case its hopelessly optimistic, like socialists beliefs that internationalism would have prevented the first world war.

  10. #10
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I have a feeling that Kung maybe believes that unanimity between religious not to fight one another may inhibit secular powers fighting wars but if that is the case its hopelessly optimistic, like socialists beliefs that internationalism would have prevented the first world war.
    That's very much true. Even within religions themselves you have in-fighting of some sort. So like it or not, fighting is with us.

    Here's a possible Islamic take on this issue:
    "Islam claims to be both the last and the first of the world’s great spiritual orders and while its very name means “peace” there is no question that it plays a providential role in challenging the modern world to confront primordial spiritual realities and so is, as its critics never tire of saying, inherently warlike. In a well-known—we could almost say infamous—Hadith, the Holy Prophet said that, from the time of the advent of historical Islam, to the end of days, there would be no peace in the world. The peace of Islam is the “peace that surpasseth understanding”, not a secular or sentimental peace. Islam is in the world to remind us that our destiny will not be fulfilled in a false peace, and that there will be strife in the world for as long as men cleave to counterfeit absolutes. We can never be satisfied with a false peace, any more than false worship can ever satisfy our souls. Islam is a militant and uncompromising spirituality that insists upon this. More than other spiritual orders it addresses the problem of warfare. It finds warfare a constant in the human condition and wisely attempts to regulate it, direct it to noble ends and, finally, internalize it, making it an agent of self-transformation according to the well-known distinction between the lesser or outer Holy War (jihad) and the greater or inner Holy War, the war against the most pernicious of all counterfeit absolutes, the self."

    Shadows and Strife: Reflections on the Confrontation of Islam and the West
    This parallels a traditional Christian understanding on the concept as well, which I'll get to in a minute. Our common perception of what "peace" means is usually derived from the standard sentimental image from the 1960s that sees war and violence as automatic negatives, rather than something that can actually serve positive ends. This seems to be the perspective that Kung is operating under.

    Islam rejects false peace, so does Christianity. Christ himself said he "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword."(Matthew 10:34) Of course this doesn't mean Christianity endorses violence in toto, but rather through the teachings of "Just War", it does determine when fighting is justified and when it is not.

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