Correctness doesn’t matter when it comes to fighting

“It’s My Way of the Highway!”

Monotheism in general tends to promote this view, regardless of all else. If your religion accepts on its most basic level that only your way is the correct way, it leaves no practical room for anyone else to stand on their own and hold a dissenting opinion, since they are then, by default, wrong.

A system which allows for multiple correct paths is far more peaceful and inclusive. Much is ballyhooed over Imperial Rome conquering and then administering over pretty much everything they saw, but they didn’t make a habit of religiously persecuting the cultures they conquered. Jews and Christians were persecuted because their “One God, One Truth” stance utterly invalidated the entire Roman religious system by the stance’s mere existence; this caused a LOT of problems for a lot of people who had previously been confident that their various arrangements with their various deities would pay off.

In short, they felt their system –under which they had considerable freedom and relative peace– was being attacked and claimed as invalid. And they were more or less entirely correct; monotheism does not allow for outside faiths, and if it does, they are often demonized or barely tolerated.

Rome hadn’t known major religious persecution before they inducted the Jews into their society, because the Jewish faith was the first real faith that clashed on every single point with the established system they had– the Romans, who were polytheist, had the opinion that if they already had multiple gods, then surely others could exist, and as a result had no problem flexing their standard beliefs to account for “newly discovered” deities. 

The introduction of an uncompromising monotheist belief system that had potential to spread memetically among the lower classes who were vital to the infrastructure of the empire (slaves, indentured servants, etc.) started a domino effect that eventually contributed to the fall of their society (though it would eventually have fallen regardless of religious issues).

The Fall of the Roman Empire and Rise of the Catholic Church is a period of history that serves as a great case study for the way monotheist faiths interact with cultures and systems with which they believe they are incompatible.

This would also come into play when the post-Fall Eastern Roman Empire, headquartered in Byzantium, came to blows with early Islam. Both the Christian Byzantines and the Muslim Turks claimed that their way was the only way, and that bred a long and bloody conflict that in many ways still hasn’t ended; the two claims, by their very natures, couldn’t both be true, because their most basic belief completely invalidated the truth of the opposing side and left no room to budge, and so the unstoppable force met the immovable object in battle.

Even if the monotheists were correct and that their system really was the only correct way, “my way or the highway” does not spread peace– only conflict will spread until all dissenting opinions have been eliminated, and it doesn’t stop there either: Catholic Europe was mired in faith-based wars the British Isles and Germany were very notable examples in which Protestant Christians and Roman Catholics who shared the same basic faith and set of beliefs would engage in all manners of feuds, from petty to bloody, showing that even when a given system becomes dominant, it will fracture into smaller, competing systems, making peace a bit of a pipe dream.

TL;DR: Human nature is one mean motherf—- that likes to find stuff and reasons to fight anything and everything.


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