Centuries before world wars and the subsequent crises that followed, mankind was hit by a deadly pandemic: the Black Death. The deadly infectious disease, which first arrived in Europe by sea in October 1347, is believed to have claimed an estimated 75 million lives, or 60 per cent of the population of Europe.

As the 14th century Europe lagged in scientific and medical discoveries, there were no possible explanations for the plague. Many believed it to be a sign of God’s ‘wrath’ and, as a result, many ‘troublemakers’ were persecuted to win God’s ‘favour’.

Black Death, however, was indifferent to people of the 14th century. It killed without any remorse or sympathy. It killed the poor, rich, children and the elderly. Medical experts at that time couldn’t explain it, the healers couldn’t heal it. The death toll was so enormous that it even shifted the entire economic balance.

Centuries later, mankind found itself at the brink of another catastrophe which, however, was not a direct result of any deadly pandemic. This time, man himself was the cause of desolation of the 20th century. The combined death toll of the two wars dwarfs the number of lives lost during Black Death.

As I have mentioned in the second paragraph, humans of the 14th century had no possible explanation for the pandemic. The only apparent reason and solution, according to them, was God. But when the global wars broke out in the 20th century, people did not turn to God for a solution.

The mentioned wars, and the wars that followed, were meant to satisfy personal gains of a few. The ‘forces of good and evil’ had been identified through mediums of propaganda. So why didn’t people turn to God who, according to religions of the world, is the ultimate good against evil.

One possible explanation, which appears to me, is that people did not pray to God because they feared he might just obliterate the whole planet; this wasn’t at all acceptable to those who wanted to live. Another possible explanation is that people did pray to God, who answered their prayers by giving life to the Cold War and the subsequent ‘battle of ideologies’.

But, as I said before, God being the ultimate good cannot give one misery after another. That’s just not him, unless the deity I’m referring to is the God of War; a deity that finds pleasure in bloodshed, chaos, and sufferings. Of course such a thing doesn’t exist in reality. But then, why do people spread violence in the name of religion?

Death by disease or death by fire, men with ambitions have proven time and again that they can be more deadly than an epidemic. The world wars of the 20th century, or the economic wars and religious wars of the 21st century, have ambitious men behind them. This material word has indeed a God of War and his name his Ambition.