Although only seven percent of wars in human history were caused by explicit religious motives – as it is suggested by one estimate – religious beliefs affect human attitude to the world. Especially in the context of the rash of contemporary conflicts and terror attacks which have a stated connection to religious motives, it is important to try to understand the possible religious motivations of such antisocial and dangerous behaviors. There are several different research perspectives on this topic, but none of them by itself offers a sufficient explanation. The purpose of this essay is to show that religious components themselves can be interpreted as morally neutral, and that their supposed impact on behavioral patterns can, in fact, be attributed to non-religious factors. Religion is discussed as cultural phenomenon partially interacting with cognitive and adaptive patterns.
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