“Let’s disregard religion as a legitimate pursuit — just think of how many wars were fought because of it!”
This may seem like a valid argument, but almost exclusively in an anti-religious context. Taking a step back, it’s actually an overgeneralizaiton of the causes for war: wars were also almost completely fought over land ownership, money, non-religious purposes and beliefs (like pride).. and even things like simply bad attitudes or refusal to accept a compromised peace. Even more generalized, all wars were fought by mankind. So let’s just kickban mankind, no?
The truth is that there are an excessive number of variables that may collectively play into reasons to pursue war, and religion has been blamed near-excusively by anti-religion proponents by simply noting that it was one of many variables and is therefore discreditable. This approach abstains from genuine research into the actually terms waged among wars, which religions in particular are to be discredited, and performing any sort of genuine analysis for avoiding war.
This idea is also a decent example of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, by discarding all religions based on the actions of a few who claim to represent a single religion. While I would caution one to not throw out the baby with the bathwater, I would also suggest that one not refrain from throwing out bathwater for fear of throwing out babies. Investigating the actual teachings of a particular religion from the perspective of a proponent (difficult to determine, perhaps) instead of leading outspoken critics of it may be of utmost priority in order to be considered even lightly credible.
What I find especially paradoxical about the over-use of this particular accusation is that the speakers of religion are often also considered to be liars or speakers of falsity — but the moment they proclaim what religion they represent, they speak the undeniable truth. No doubt, at all, seems to fall upon whether the proclaimer of militant Islam belief or outspoken Christian activism is actually who they claim to be, and yet at the same time are regarded as uneducated and lie-bellowing sociopaths.
One aspect that might be suggested of bearers of the “religion creates war” philosophy may be a more simple and broader perspective that, under the guise of probability, the actions of a few in one group represent the actions of all the others in that group — regardless of whether the fact remains they are spokespersons for that group or not. The outright failure to research and further determine whether the entire group shares that belief, makes such a leap of reasoning a serious discredit to the speaker of such assertions.