You hear a lot of talk these days about how real religious values preclude killing other people.
( For our purposes lets use “spiritual” and “religious “ as the same word.)
Unfortunately it is completely acceptable to kill people according to major world religions.
Very sorry about that!
Look at it this way…
The religious viewpoint is different from the Western scientific viewpoint.
The Core Truth of religious truth is that human beings have a dimension or self that is untouched by the physical world, including birth and death.
To quote a Muslim saint who was hanged for blasphemy by the orthodox clergy of his time, “The hangman’s noose does not reach to the place where I dwell.”
In the respected Hindu epic of the Bhagavad Gita the noble warrior Arjuna is dismayed to learn that a great war between good and evil will play out with his beloved relatives and friends placed by fate on the side of evil. Horrified at the thought of killing them, even in order to protect the world, fearless Arjuna decides to suffer disgrace and certain death rather than fight.
His charioteer Krishna, is actually a incarnation of God. He tells Arjuna to open his eyes, to see that human bodies are no more than suits of clothes the soul picks up and then discards. Moreover, it is a righteous war, and for a warrior a righteous war is his path to beatitude.
So, though the West has created an image of human life as some rare flower that must be nurtured, supported, and nursed till the final second, some religious viewpoints see it as one of the less important chess pieces on the board of reality. Unfortunately, that means the lives of you and me and everybody else. And our potential killers see their own lives the same way.
So religious values can support “righteous” i.e. Holy wars.
Oh, a side note… in the stories of the ancient days there were a lot of wars where the bad guys literally were demons. Makes one think of the war against the Nazis.
Oh…another thing…as Satan and Moses learned, you can’t argue with God. Nor can you argue with those who are following what they say are his His commands. You can’t be naive enough to think such people will obey human legalese when they have divine law. They see conflicting human law as perversion, blasphemy.
In the movie Prophecy 2 ( Prophecy 1 is better; both are about a secret war between angels and demons on Earth) a human woman is told by God to jump to her death. Blissfully, ecstatically, she follows the Command…
You can’t argue human values or laws, municipal or global or otherwise, to someone who inside herself thinks she has been giving marching orders by the Boss, or his Book. It’s rotting apples compared to eternal oranges, people.
I don’t know much of Judaism or Christianity, but it seems there are plenty of divinely sanctioned wars to be found in those traditions.
Religious pacifism certainly exists throughout human history.
But, unfortunate for us, religiously ordained – at The Highest Level – violent death and murder do also.
Again, sorry about that!