Can we finally get this settled, please: This is from another thread - I'm going sum up here the questions I've asked other people who are religious themselves, or not, but who believe that wars and other forms of violence are always non-religious, and instead are caused by greed, selfishness and ignorance or other human characteristics that are not specifically religious: There are metaphysical concerns to be addressed when it comes to people who claim to be religious/theists and who perform acts that are generally considered morally reprehensible. If all people would be equal before God and would have an equal chance of getting to know the truth about God, then, yes, we could easily dismiss all kinds of aggression, whether done by theists or not, as materially motivated and be done with it. But given that all people certainly do not seem to be equal before God, nor have an equal chance to get to know the truth about God, there is more to look into here. We ordinary people, who are not theists, are supposed to rely on theists (and their scriptures) for all input on the topic of "God". But when these theists do things that are generally considered morally reprehensible, it becomes more and more difficult to trust them. And so we are cut off from God! We end up in the predicament of "Trust the bastards, or burn in hell!" I really don't think this is fair. It is the relevance of theists (ie. them being effectively the only source of all input on the topic of "God") that makes all their behavior so relevant, putting everything they do into the spotlight: If it is not religion that is driving theists into aggressiveness, then why are they aggressive? If it is religion that is driving theists into aggressiveness, then how are we supposed to trust them? If it is religion that is driving theists into aggressiveness, and we cannot trust them, we end up damned - how is that fair? If they are driven into aggressiveness by greed, anger and delusion - then how can they be veritable sources of information about God? If we are to focus on the fact that only some theists are aggressive, or that theists are aggressive only some of the time - how can they nevertheless claim to be theists? If we are to focus on the fact that only some theists are aggressive, or that theists are aggressive only some of the time - how can we know which theists or when to trust them in terms of input on God and when not? How can we be sure that when a theist is threatening to kill us in the name of God, this is a time when he isn't to be trusted on what he says about God? Or, in more everyday terms, how can we be sure that when a theist is psychologically manipulating us in the name of God, this is a time when he isn't to be trusted on what he says about God?