In an interview with Haaretz on his new book, John Horgan is asked
You don’t say much in the book about religion. Certainly, in our part of the world, the most radical among both Palestinians and Israelis are sure that God is on their side, and that the conflict is a zero-sum game.
I don’t think it’s religious belief per se that leads to intolerance and violence. It think it is certitude and ideological rigidity. If you look at the 20th century, by far the most destructive ideas were fascism and communism. These were secular, not religious, ideologies. But what they share with fundamentalist religion is believers’ fierce conviction that this is the right way to view reality. Richard Dawkins, for example, would be very happy to say that religion is the cause of evil and violence in the world, but that claim doesn’t really hold up to scrutiny. Religion has also been an inhibitor of violence and warfare: The Quakers have been an enormous progressive force. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, these were inspirational figures who had a huge impact on history. I didn’t want to get into religion-bashing in my book because I thought that would be counterproductive – and inappropriate, considering the historical record.
– David Green, “John Horgan on erasing war from the human condition- A conversation with the author of a new book suggesting that humanity has it within its power to put an end to war. (Haaretz, January 18, 2012)
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