An agreement made by all world religions in regards to war and peace are the strong opposition against the use of excessive force that is seen to be lethal. There are cases where the use of excessive force and killing people is justified (Hertog 74). When scriptures are reviewed and compared for the different religions, it is revealed that killing is not advocated for, however, this is not in totality since there are some distinct cases where exemptions are applied., and in all religions there are variations in strength in relation to the applicability of these rules. For example, in Buddhism, every single person tends to tremble so much in the events where violence occurs and this is due to the fact that life is seen as precious and cherished so much by every individual. In accordance to Dhammapada 10.130, a person is supposed to put themselves in the shoe of the other individual that wants to be killed; how would one feel if the positions were reversed and they are the ones that are now to be killed. Killing is forbidden and a person is not supposed to engage themselves in such an act. Moreover, no single person is supposed to influence another person to kill anyone (Super 145)When it comes to Christianity religion, the bible is against killing and throughout scriptures it has condemned the act of killing tremendously. An example is from the verse of Matthew 5:21-22 where is says “thou shall not kill; and whoever kills will be in danger of judgment…” already this is a stand that has been taken by the bible to the act of taking another individuals life from them (Irving 147). There is strong belief that an individual has no power at all to take another man’s life. They may have all their disagreements and fights, but no one is supposed to go to the extremes of willingly taking the life of another human being. The Hindu religion also has a stand on killing and they have constantly laid emphasis for the need of respect for each other’s existence in this life as one of the main contributors of peace in this world, therefore people should respect another people’s life’s.
The scripture in Bhagavad Gita 16. 1-3 outlines that the ultimate personality of the Godhead is distinguished into three transcendental sole qualities that includes, nonviolence, fearlessness and being able to exercise self control, being anger free, and having great compassion for the living human beings (Hertog 96). These qualities are very essential in the development of the individual’s divine nature. Furthermore, their stance is against exercising violence and this is emphasized by the fact that they do not advocate for the use of any form of attacks on individuals, no matter how despicable that person is and what he has done. In addition, these attacks should never be directed to the people who are generally peace makers in the society (Daryl 78) this shows that the Hindu religion is totally against any act of war and participation of them in it is not very likely most times since they find other ways other than violence to sort their issues.
For Islamic religion, they are totally against the act of taking away human life since the see human life as sacred and made by Allah. However, war can be exercised when they have the opinion that it is for a fair and just cause and thereby their actions are justified by the Quran. This is seen to be stated in Quran 17:33, where their stance against killing is outlined. Also, Jainism does not advocate for violence at all, they are totally against violence, and people should strive to avoid situations that lead them to engage in violent acts as much as they possibly can (Hertog 102).
From the scriptures of Purushyartha Siddhy it is clearly stated that “having precisely understood the meaning of violence, its outcomes, the victims and the executor, individuals who embrace the values of the religion should restrain from violence, to the best of their capacity.” Most of thee time, the principles that guides Judaism, tend to correlate with the Christians faith and religion. The Christian doctrine is seen to condemn anyone from committing to acts that eventually cause murder as seen outlined on the book of Exodus 20:13 (Gopin 125).
From the above illustrations, it is very arguable that most religions in the world do not advocate for any type of war. Taking people life’s has been condemned throughout; emphasis has been made by the by the covenants made as seen in Abrahamic religions, exercising virtues and moral standards in Buddhism, the continuous advocacy and peace establishment for the case of Sikhism, Jainism do not have any form of expectation since they do not tolerate killing of any type or form of life(Gopin 126).
For certain cases where force is applied, the world religions usually are in the expectation that Jainism should also leave room for the acceptance of violence for just causes by giving a rationale reason. For years Jainism has emphasized their stance on nonviolence. Most of the different religions of the world tend to have different scenarios that they give to justify the use of force, making an emphasis on the use based on right motives and just causes only. Therefore, Buddhism, is seen to only accept killing if it results in the protection of the Dharma by the upasakas, laymen and kings as stated in the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, Chapter 5. The Hindu religion on the other hand advocates and justifies any firm of killing when it is based on religious duty to fight (Daryl 100). Buddhism also justifies the use of armed force use in cases where people’s lives are threatened, and they use it protecting people’s life’s and for self-defense purposes.
Hindu religion has greatly prohibited the use off war as a means of conquest, and a person is in liberty to kill anyone who has shown any kind of intent to cause murder. Such an act is normally guilt free, since it is even justified by the scriptures that states “fury recoils upon fury” in the Manu Smriti 8.348-350. Furthermore, the use of armed force is seen to be justifiable in areas where a person is giving punishment to a person who rightfully deserves to be punished for his or her actions as long as its in the right process of justice (Hertog 148).
For Islam, thee use of armed forces has been justified when fighting for the cause of Allah. More so, for individuals who have shown that they are against them. There is no sought of limit that is to be transgressed since it is prohibited in the scripture Quran 2:190 (Irving 145). The armed force has been justified to ensure that faith and justice prevail at all times in accordance to Allah. Fighting has also been seen to be justified in cases where people have shown that they do not believe in Allah and as an act of self-defense. Jainism does not justify any type of killing that exists whatsoever. Judaism justifies the act of killing for the sake of the lord their savior in cases they consider just as exhibited in Numbers 32:20-22. Here justification I based on the phrase an eye for an eye, meaning a life for a life (Almond 147).
It is evident that the justification the different religions give for the use of armed forces are so many like in maintain righteousness and protecting religion for Buddhism, protecting the innocent for the case of Islam, Judaism and Hinduism. For Islam and Sikhism is to fight so as to cause an end to any form of oppression. For Christianity and Islam, it is the administration of punishment to the evil doers. Hindu and Islam also justify war for the case of self-defense. In Judaism it is the conquering of God’s promised land. Jainism does not justify any form of killing, whether it is due to self defense and for the protection benefit of other people (Gopin 100). most of the time self-defense is never viewed a s religious cause wildly, (Hertog 147) this has resulted in some scriptures rejecting it, as depicted in the New Testament.
The motive behind the use of force is a very crucial aspect and is stated in the doctrines of the different religions in relation to peace and war (Daryl 47). The fact that there are some cases that have already warranted the justification for the use of armed force, in most religions there is an emphasis that the action taken must be within the true values of the religion in terms of motives and attitudes. When thee different religions are compared, Buddhism and Christianity advocates for compassion and love for one’s enemies as well as thee individuals who are being punished. For the case of Hinduism, the most proper motive is determined by the partaking one’s duties. Meaning that when violence has been used for the wrong motives and has caused unjustified killings, then negative consequences arise on the individual. This has been clearly outlined in the principle of Karma (Gopin 78).
In the Islamic religion, consequences for not taking action with the right motives are outlined within the scriptures, which talks about the person going to hell if theey killed th believer purposefully and for the wrong reasons. The religious values for religions like Islam and Judaism, the right reasons for killing is normally related to the fulfillment of the will of God. For Sikhism, their believers and fighters are encouraged not to just think of their own life, instead they be selflessness and even agree to self-sacrifice since it is just similar to martyr. Jainism does not even try to justify any reason for killing cases, and just having the though of killing in itself is already a sin (Irving 74).
Buddhism give the King the ultimate authority and power to exercise punishment. Christianity religion on the other hand gives the overall ruler the ultimate of the sword and this is seen as the God ordained right. Hinduism give ultimate authority to the King as well as the warriors, the authority to use armed forces as long as the motives are righteous. For Islam, the Quran emphasizes on the need to going to war for the cause of Allah only. It does not give any specific entity in the society the power to wage war. However, such authorities have been given to the Imams, and the Sheiks (Gopin 78). When launching force as thee ultimate last option, Buddhism emphasizes on the soft approach method, Christianity lays emphasizes on the need for forgiveness and Islam sees as what you seek is what you will find, meaning those who seek out peace will get peace in return and those who seek treason will be thrown right out.
It has been documented that religious war tends to always be more violent when compared to non-religious war. Most the time Judaism and Hinduism are more prone to violence. The conflict that involves the Islamic religion is always seen to be more violent compared to the non-Islamic type of war. Islamic religion is usually mostly involved in religious civil wars most of the time. propagating religious war can be a really terrible factor since human being tend to be very sensitive when it comes to matters of region since it is their faith that they want to protect, it is what they believe in.
For people to eventually engage in war there is a lot of justifications that needs to be made as argued above. For one to deliberately take out humans’ life there is need for a strong justification together with certain specific scenarios that can permit the act because of certain causes outlined in the doctrines of the different religions. All thee religions in the world have an agreed on one general consensus and that is in the way they oppose taking away someone else’s life. The different religious scriptures for the different religions have provided the crucial indications for the waging of violence and war that ae acceptable in a certain religion. The only limitation to all this is that, the reasons given are subject to personal opinion based on the interpretation model. This thereby, results into the misrepresentation of these religious values that cause both war and peace.