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War and Peace

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Some people think the bible teaches that there are situations when a war is justified, and others think that the bible teaches pacifism.


Contemporary Moral Issues

Part 6

VII. War and Peace

A. Pacifism

1. Hypocritical pacifism

a. Political left

b. Anti-American bias

2. Principled pacifism

a. Literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount

b. Dangers of this interpretation

c. Treatment of Old Testament holy wars

d. Arguments against pacifism

i. Just wars in the Old Testament

ii. Distinction between private and public duties

iii. No proscriptions in the New Testament against the Roman army

iv. Three responses

v. Consequences of pacifism

B. Just War

1. History of the just war theory

2. Criteria

a. Does not justify all wars

b. Objective must be peace

c. Defensive

d. Waged by legitimate civil authority with formal declaration

e. Just purpose

f. Last resort

g. Just motive

h. Reasonable hope of success

i. Good consequences should outweigh evils

j. Violence only against armed combatants

k. Minimum force

3. Distinction

a. Just war

b. Just conduct in war

C. Nuclear Pacifism

1. Definition

2. Proponents

3. Hiroshima and Nagasaki

4. Consequences

5. Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)

6. Just nuclear war

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