Question from John:
I was just wondering, but why are some good reasons for religious wars and what would it accomplish?
I don’t think there’s such a thing as a good reason for a religious war, since I think religion is a misguided premise on which to base any endeavour. That’s not to say that everything done in the name of religion has been worthless; the right thing may be done for the wrong reason.
Religious wars, by definition, are waged for one principal reason, good or not: the welfare of the participants’ personal religions. In practical terms this can mean forcibly converting people of other faiths, killing them outright, reclaiming artifacts and/or locations of religious significance, or conceivably, bringing about the end of the world so that certain prophecies will be fulfilled and true believers will get their ultimate rewards.
Clear-cut examples of religious wars can be hard to come by, but they do exist.
There have of course been wars whose causes had little or nothing to do with religion, but that doesn’t let religion off the hook for the destruction that has indeed been done in its name.