Debate:Crusades... Good or Bad?
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Were the Crusades Good or Bad
This is no question of 'Good' or 'Bad'. It's a question of necessity. And it might be at the time to prepare for the next and maybe final crusade. It's about time to stand up and fight for your values. Currently Muslims all around the world are pressing us to accept their ridiculous values. If you do not agree it means flag burning and terrorism. So, killing people (even at war) is a bad thing, but it might be necessary for our own survival.--Jack Ketch 06:31, 27 March 2007 (EDT)
- Wait… you're suggesting we kill people for burning a piece of cloth that we've attached value to? Really, why is flag burning by aggressive individuals who, might I add, are not American themselves, significant? I am also wary of advocating "fighting for ones values". Where can we reconcile violence with "love one another"? Liπus the Turbogeek(contact me) 09:09, 31 March 2007 (EDT)
Crusades are good only if they involve Indiana Jones.
Reply: Only Against the guilty, As a Jew and a person extremely concerned with human rights my opinion is that: no matter for what reason the massive murder of civilians without cause other than religios orientation is sin. The Mass killings of Jews and Muslims are underplayed in todays textbook. Holy wars are fundamentally contradictory, as most religios scholars declare that killing is Wrong. History has tought us that murder is followed only by murder.
Today, if a nation took over Jerusalem and started killing Christians who wanted to visit it, we would definitely fight back. On the other hand, the second and fourth crusades were not right and have left an embarrassing scar on the Christian world to this day. I don't know whose idea it was to sack Constantinople, but it shows the true state of these other crusades. The third crusade was a slight exception to this general state of the later crusades, but its motives are debatable. I suppose that this whole argument really boils down to weather war is "right" or not. PhilipB 14:00, 13 December 2006 (EST)
I don't think either Billy or Tim really understand certain aspects of the crusades. First of all, Billy said there was no such thing as a just war, but really there are just reasons to fight. Not all the crusades were just but to say that no war is just is false. Billy quoted "Love thy neighbor as thy self." That's right but sometimes you need to choose the lesser of sins. Which is worse, to let the defenseless be slaughtered or to defend the defenseless? Either way you're violating the commandment. Which is why there is reconciliation. Double Edge
Comment: Of course it is sinful to fight a war for the wrong reasons, but I don't believe that every war is by definition sinful. As noted above, war is sometimes the lesser of two evils. But remember that it only takes one party to start a fight. When someone is determined to start a fight, we cannot avoid it- we can only decide, through our actions, whether it will be a war or a massacre. We know that evil will result whichever course we take, but it does not follow that both courses are sinful. The course which leads to the lesser evil- or the greater good- is the right course, and therefore is not sinful. I believe that we all sin, but I do not believe that God puts us in positions where it is impossible for us to choose a course that pleases him. (See I Corinthians 10:13)- Chris J
Well said Double Edge. War is never morally right, war is never good. God never intended for war, but sadly, man is in a fallen state and has turned away from this original intent. War has become a very real thing in the world, but sometimes it is the lesser of two evils. PhilipB 18:19, 14 December 2006 (EST)
I don't see anything wrong with having a Christian holy war. Making Jerusalaem safe for defenseless pilgrims was a worthy goal. The Crusades were good.
Tim said the pilgrimages were useless. But the crusaders weren't only defending pilgrims they were defending their fellow christians in Byzantium and many of the jews that lived in the Middle-East.
- This is simply false. Many Jews died due to the crusades and many Christians in Byzantium were killed by the crusaders. Constantinople itself was sacked by the crusaders in 1204. The Jews were so harmed by the crusades that the standard Askenazi liturgy changed to remember the events(to give you an idea of how rare that is, the standard Orthodox liturgy didn't change at all after the Holocaust). JoshuaZ 14:58, 13 February 2007 (EST)
I believe that the first two crusades were in defense and justified and the second two were wrong. If you believe that all wars are sinful. Then a country cannot have a defense system or military at all. If someone were to try to kill and steal from your own family you would stop them by force or would you watch them get killed. This is the same thing with a war on a national level. Ultimatlely if you do not believe in war we would not have a nation. The United States had to have its own war for independence the Revolutionary war in which, many men died. The Ten Comandments says "Thy Shalt Not Kill", but are you not killing when you refuse to defend the defenseless? For example in War World II, if it were not for the Alled forces and the United States the entire Jewish people could have been destroyed. I guess when Hitler was taking over Europe you would sat back and watched because you are a pacifist. Deborah G.
--- Tim said that the Chrsitians should have been smart enough not to go somewhere where they might get killed, and that a country has a right to control its borders. ---
However, I would like to remind everybody that things were different back in the Middle-Ages, and that the first victamized christian pilgrims had no way of knowing about their impending doom. They couldn't just check the internet for the latest Middle Eastern travel information. ---
As for the Europeon reaction to such terrorism, how is it wrong? So your statement is implying that if your friends & family got intentionally mutilated by someone, that the only 'just' action would be to find a new travel desination? ---
Also all wars cannot be bad, if they were (are) then why does God often take sides? (see different Biblical wars, specifically involving the Old Testament) --- Joe B
If the European Christians were not willing to fight the expansionist Mohammedans, then the Mohammedans would have invaded Europe. Thanks to the Crusades, Europe was not destroyed. RSchlafly 15:27, 23 February 2007 (EST)
Out of curiosity, why do you call Muslims "Mohammedans"? We don't call Americans "Washingtonans" or Jewish people "Abrahamans". I'm not saying the term "Mohammedan" is necessarily incorrect. It used to be the popular term for Muslims in the West. But why do you think it is appropriate?--Aschlafly 01:38, 24 February 2007 (EST)
- Abraham did not create the Jewish religion, and Washington did not create American political philosophy. Lots of movements are named after their original founder and leader. I use the term "Mohammedan" because it is a neutral and well-understood term, and is the most accurate term for the way I was using it. Mohammad believed in using military force to expand his empire, and so did his followers. That makes it Mohammedan. Sometimes people use the term "moslem" or "muslim" to refer to narrower religious goals. Whether those narrower religious goals include territorial expansion would just be a distraction from the point I was making. The term Mohammedan is an ordinary dictionary word, and there is no reason not to use it. RSchlafly 04:58, 24 February 2007 (EST)
- There is much revisionism on this subject; let's review some of the meta-historical aspects at work.
- Mohammadism arose in the vacuum of the collapse of the Roman Empire and was spread by force. However, pockets of non-Islamic and Christian communities remained throughout Asia Minor and the Middle East (as they do today). These non-Muslim's living in the midst of Islam were very oppressed, and thier lives were spared only by accepting dhimmi status. Trade relations between Europe and the East (India and China), which had been going down the silk route since ancient times was vital to all economies of ancient civilizations. The rise of Islam disrupted this.
- The first four Crusades were an attempt to "roll back" the encroachment of Islam on Western Civilization, end the oppression of Christian minorities in Muslim territiories, and restore the disruption of trade with the East which had an impact on prosperity and living standards worldwide. Western commercial trading interests, traveling the silk route in caravans were often taken hostage, forced to convert to Islam or suffer a hideous death such as beheading at the hands of persons and groups we today would probably describe as terrorists. By the end of the last Crusade it was apparant the approach of direct confrontation and rollback over two centuries had failed. Nevertheless, the economic impact of reduced trade on living standards had been felt.
- Christopher Columbus came up with an idea to restore trade with the East without direct military confrontation to gain access to the trade routes -- sail west to get east. Instead of confronting the problem head on, simply go around it. It was risky and had never been tried, but hopes of regaining the prosperity of old times fueled expectations. So Columbus was granted patronage by government in those desperate times to solve the threat of Islamic terrorists to Western commercial interests.
- History records what happened was bigger than anyones expections; rather than simply restore commercial contact between the Western Europe, India, and China, Western Europe embarked on an economic expansion throughout the Western hemisphere for the next 500 years. This was rewarding to the posterity of Europeans for several generations, however the original cause of the problem -- the threat of Islam to the economic interests and prosperity of the rest of the world -- had never been dealt with, and was forgotten.
- Today, a half millenium later, when the world is much smaller because of the ease of travel and communications, we've discovered the very problems that (1) caused the Crusades, and (2) led to the discovery of America, had never been dealt with, and now we are faced with the same problems decision makers and problem solvers of centuries ago were faced with. RobS 10:39, 9 March 2007 (EST)
- Please could you provide your sources for the "disruption of trade" leading to economic problems in Western Europe? My understanding of the First Crusade is that it was largely based no reports of abuse of pilgrims, though whether that abuse was remotely institutionalised or simply the activity of individuals and small groups acting on their own behalf (just as there were thieves and bandits in Western Europe) is certainly open to debate.
- The First Crusade is also known as the Pauper's Crusade; IOW, because of the widespread economic disruption over several centuries which resulted with the rise of Islam, a vast army of unemployed with little hope under the status quo and nothing to lose answered the call for the Crusade. RobS 13:52, 28 March 2007 (EDT)
Contrary to what some people believe I believe there is no such thing as a just war because war in and of itself is unjust, calling it a “Holy War” doesn’t change anything in fact it makes it worse because you are lying to yourself and your comrades ( no war is holy, just like no war is just.) The reason we know that no war is holy or just is that it is not just or holy to kill people for personal gain( if that is just then why are there laws and commandments to follow?). War goes against our teachings because we learn from the Bible and Jesus’ teachings to treasure human life and to be compassionate towards each other. You are neither treasuring human life nor being compassionate when you are killing your neighbor. Billy M.=)
I Hate to say it but I Agree with Billy here, but not for the same reasons. You can't justify a war just to protect pilgrims. It was not necessary for Christians to make pilgrimages to Jerusalem. Unlike Islam Christianity does NOT require pilgrimages. Jerusalem was nothing more than a tourist attraction. The Christian Pilgrims should have been smart enough to not go there because they could be killed. There is no justification for the crusades as a "Holy War." Christianity is not a violent religion. We do not start wars just because some Christians get murdered, if we did, we would be at war with China and many other countries that persecute Christians. A Country has a right to control who comes into that country. The Muslims had a right to control who came to Jerusalem. This does not mean that they were justified in killing the Christians, but the Christians should not have assumed the right to go wherever they wanted regardless of the wishes of the people who live there. If Muslims all of a sudden decided that they wanted to make pilgrimages to America for some reason, and did not think that the American government should have a say in the matter, we wouldn't let them would we? There may have been justification for a political war against the Muslims, if they were a threat to the the European countries. Even if there was reason for a political war, the crusades went way too far, and there was no justification for a holy war. The Pope was wrong to promise spiritual benefits to those who fought in the war. He tricked many people into joining the crusades because they thought that it would make them go to heaven if they died. Also most of the crusades were only fought for ambition and plunder.
Although I do not believe that the crusades were good, I Agree with double edge on one point: There IS such a thing as a just war! Billy's circular reasonings (see above) do not change that.
Baaad!!!!!!! --Jess 10:09, 3 January 2007 (EST)
Thoroughly bad, and completely undesirable. Killing people because of their beliefs is not justifiable. Admittedly, the Muslims were in the wrong to kill pilgrims to Jerusalem, but the wholesale massacre of the Muslims was not a viable response. Sorry to tell you, but cannibalism is not justifiable except under very extreme circumstances. (Like, say, the Donner Party, not just because you're hungry). Geekman314(contact me) 15:53, 9 March 2007 (EST)
- But the Crusades were not just motivated by peoples beliefs; Islam had disrupted East-West trade and thus people's living standards by not allowing passage of trading caravans down the silk route, taking hostage of traders and forcing conversions, or killing them outright. There were economic factors at work. RobS 16:13, 9 March 2007 (EST)
- Has nothing to do with money; eating food is an "economic factor". RobS 17:54, 10 March 2007 (EST)
- The thing that makes humans different from animals is trade. As Adam Smith said, no one ever saw two dogs trade one bone for the other. As Smith said, in that rude state of socierty before the division of labor is implemented, a man endevors to supply all his own needs, when he's hungray, he goes to the forest to hunt, when his roof needs patching, he goes to woods for material, etc. But once society reaches an advanced state of development (yes, even ancient Eygpt was an advanced state of development), a person cannot supply the everyday needs he has, and is far more dependant upon the produce of other peoples labor.
- Hence, trade was just as vital then for the economic needs of people and their survival as it is today. RobS 14:04, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
- Well, okay, I guess I don't quit. Here's my retort:
Christian theologians, notably Thomas Aquinas, developed a set of rules for deciding whether a war was a just war. Aquinas' formulation is part of the Catholic catechism.
Thou shalt not kill. It seems pretty straight forward to me. Christians shouldn't use reconciliation as some kind of cop-out. It's an abuse of your religion if you know you're going out to do something bad and then stop at the church on the way back to confess.
'thou shalt not murder', actually, but you're still right - pretty much everything Jesus said was against war. Wikinterpreter
I've never heard of a situation where a bunch of barbarians burning, pillaging and raping everything on their path was a good thing...
The way I see it, the only way you could distinguish between the crusaders and the Mongols was by the colour of their skin.