Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Turn The
Other
Cheek?


A Christian argument against Pacifism:


No one likes war. That goes without saying. But some contend that war is evil in itself, and should never be engaged in for any reason. Some pacifists have theological reasons for their stance, while others are motivated by humanistic idealism. While pacifism is a wonderful ideal, is it a realistic and responsible position to take? Everyone wants peace, but can pacifism bring peace to this world?

For those who believe God is opposed to any and all war consider the following: Would God ever command us to do something evil? No. Did God ever tell people to go to war? Yes. Then war in itself cannot be evil.1

While some wars are unjust, there must be such a thing as a "just war."

What sort of thing justifies going to war, then? One such justification is to secure justice in the face of gross evil. Sometimes it's right to fight when it is the only means by which we can stop evil people from prevailing over weaker people.

Consider the following scenarios. What would you do if you saw an old lady being beaten by a mugger, a young lady being raped by a stalker, or a man fighting for his life against an armed attacker? Would you do nothing? Would you try to talk the criminal out of what they were doing? Of course not. Either response is morally irresponsible, if not reprehensible. We would do whatever was necessary to save the individuals from harm.

Now multiply the scenario 10,000 fold.

Imagine that a nation is engaged in the unjust killing of thousands of its citizens, maybe even ethnic cleansing. What do we do? Do we turn our cheek because it's occurring on a national, rather than a personal level, or do we do what we can to intervene on behalf of the innocent?

Whether the target is a single individual or a group of individuals, the principle remains the same. If we would intervene with force to rescue the elderly woman from being victimized by an evil man, why would we not intervene with force to rescue a group of individuals from being victimized by evil men?


Go read the whole thing.

How do the questions this writer raises apply in the case of Iran? The Iranian President says Israel ought to be "wiped off the map." He is about to aquire nuclear weapons.

Are we moral if we do not intervene?

Or, must we wait for him to hit Israel with a nuclear weapon before we would be justified in attacking Iran?