Friday, February 08, 2008

Regarding - On Christian Pacifism

Another great and thoughtful post by Beck. I've been grappling with the pacifist ideal for some time now and I have to say that Beck has a profound point here - which is ultimately based on his ideas of limited free will and moral compromise that he argues all humanity live under. Thoughts?

Some key thoughts:

I've always felt that there is no coherent warrant for pacifism.

The logic of pacifism is basically this: I would die before killing. But why stop this analysis at issues of force? Wouldn't a Christian apply this logic to their house and food intake as well? That is, should I not give up my house if there is a homeless person? Or give up my last meal if someone were hungry? Isn't this what Christ would do? Is this not what we are called to do?

Thus my conclusion: To exist as a Christian is inherently paradoxical.

And if you step back and look at all the debates about pacifism or simplicity they all reach this point: "If you make that contention about pacifism/simplicity then where do you stop? Self-annihilation?"

To summarize, I think I've come to the following conclusion: To exist is to be morally compromised.


The only way to maintain moral coherence is to directly confront the violence as a pacifist. To find the violence and lay down your life in front of it to stop it. Again, the logic of the Christian witness leads to non-existence.

My point isn't an argument against pacifism. It's an argument against arguments for pacifism.


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