I'm currently enrolled in an American history course that I am mandated to take to graduate from my college program even though I've already had enough history courses to last me until the Second Coming. In this online history class, we are currently studying the Spanish Conquest of Mexico (groan). The professor makes us read these online excerpts and then has us write essays on what we read. Here's an example of some of the "intelligent" discussion that goes on in the discussion board. This is copied and pasted from one of the posts; remember, this is college level writing and is supposed to be the equivalent of a quiz grade since it is like a weekly essay:
I guess you cant say Cortez was an evil man, he thought it was the will of the gods to take power in the civilization and control it using Montezuma. So pretty much Cortez tryed to convert all the Indian people to Christianity or they would suffer gods raff [gods "raff"?] through his hands. How did he know the gods would kill them for their non-belief? Im not saying he was terrible, I mean he really thought that he was saving them from the evil. But why was the gods will to kill all non-believers or hethens? Religion was huge in those times, bigger than our society, they went by the entire book of the old testament. Pretty much anyone who didnt follow it was killed, tortured, or just shunned from society and ignored by everyone. For one beief of something different in the world, you were not tolerated. Would it have been different if their gods were not involved or our god?
Of course the tribe didnt take it too well with this religious take over and they got rid of Cortez and his puppet Montezuma. But they should have killed Cortez when they had the chance and he came back with all the enemy Indian tribes and just masicured [sic] them all, it was no contest. Then when the tribes that worked with Cortez did not want his religion either, he came with his Europeon army and killed them as well. They had too much technology, muskets and armor against their arrows it was not even a battle.
Religion seemed to spark alot of histories conflicts, the war in the middle east (before we got there), and world war II just to name a few. Would it have been different if there wasnt a religion? Would there be more peace without religion? What if we didnt find a god, how would we be different?