Monday, September 15, 2008

PACIFISM.

this is one of the hardest topics for me to discuss, so im going to keep a running tab on thoughts here till i come to my own conclusion.

tolstoy, ghandi, martin luther king jr., gk chesterton. and the list of pacifist's grow. this should seem like such an easy and logical decision.
war= not good. death. killing.
peace= contentment, stability, life.

but when you have grown up in a country where the church, state, and weaponry have all blurred into the same entity it is a much harder decision to come to.

there are SO MANY INTELLIGENT PEOPLE on this blog, just read through the comments! my LORD! you guys are brillant.

ang said "There is a time and a place for everything, it depends on the situation." but i would like to hear the situations in which violence is necessary. defend yourself? your family? but what about war, when do we have to kill?
'one murder made a villain, millions a hero'. your right ang this is hard because i would defend my family to the death which is clearly not pacifist of me! but i KNOW i would never go to war over colonialism.

'chris said...
maybe I should get my dad's opinion on this who's 88 today (today's his birthday!) who is a WWII vet.' please do chris, ww2 being that america (and i) feel it was a 'just war' because it was fighting off hitler and the nazi's.

on the other hand promptedbylove said...
'Pacifism is a hard subject. Wars are fought for so many different reasons, and it's hard to tell what to fight for. To use a very cliche war with the topic of Pacifism, in the Vietnam War, it was hard to see the point of the war. If, at any point, a country finds itself saying "What are we fighting for?" that country should not be involved in the war.'

As cliché as it sounds,I think that people should just love each other. If power and capitalism did not exist, neither would war. I do not understand why one country has to be better than other countries. God created all humans as equal. I realize that I'm fantasizing when I say this but, if people could learn how to talk out their differences and understand their common goals, the world would be so much better off. Unfortunately, peace doesn't occur naturally. We have to push for it.
Mark 12:31 says "Love your neighbor as yourself". As difficult as it is, we need to love other people no matter what they do to us or say about us. This includes terrorists and war generals. I believe that if God tells us to love our neighbors, than that is what we should do. Yes, I would label myself as a pacifist. There is absolutely no justification for violence. -anonymous.

true but read ang's comment. is there a time and a place? what about capital punishment against someone who has done something atrocious and then killed their victim.

i am with lauren when she writes lauren said...
'Pacifism as an excuse for inaction is wrong. However, pacifism as an ideal, a working concept for a better world, is absolutely a worthwhile belief.
Personally, it's a selective issue for me. I don't believe that war is the solution to anything, but I wouldn't necessarily support the complete abolition of the military, for instance. Human nature indicates that regardless of whether the majority are peaceful or not, there will always be the few that take advantage of that.
As a practical, day to day belief...again, I don't think that violence is the way to solve personal issues. However, if I were in a situation where I believed that I or my loved ones would come to harm unless I acted violently, I would certainly take it into consideration.'

alessio said...
'And I don't believe in pacifism. It's an ideal, like communism.
Communism looks wonderful on paper, but destructive, or at the very least, stagnant in practice, leaving no room for growth.
pacifism looks wonderful on paper, but that's all it is. I feel like any book on pacifism should be put in the "Fantasy" section of any book store, it can never become a global practice.'

my thoughts exactly on communism, but pacifism seems much more practical on an individual level. communism, not so much.

a former liberal eve said that her neighbor (klayton south) signed up for the marines and 'He came home, but with a bullet to the face and a shattered ankle. Many weeks were spent with him in the hospital clinging to life. He has many years of re constructive surgeries to go and most likely permanent trauma to his well being in general.

If you ask him what he wishes for, he answers to go back to Iraq and finish the job. He says we could never understand the hate in the eyes of the man who shot him at point blank range. He wants to make sure his baby sister keeps the American dream alive and well and all of us keep our freedom to pursue our dreams.'

so the realities of war changed her from a pacifist 'to a realist'

'ashley n. said...
I think pacifism in someways is actually oxymoronic. Fighting for peace, destruction of property in the name of peace, that honestly doesn't seem non-violent to me. And using inaction to achieve peace is just as bad as using violence to obtain it. It gets nobody nowhere; like having your foot caught in a bear trap. You can't just sit around doing nothing and think the trap is just going to go away, you have to do something about it (that was the best analogy i could think up).'

i am not sure i understand your position, i believe that the story of ghandi clearly shows signs that pacifism does in deed work, it ended the oppression of the british colonialism in india forever. care to elaborate?

escalus said...
'I think it all comes down to this, or at least, the line is split down two sides. If you are a Christian, then war is not justifiable. I've seen a lot of people spin it this way or that, but there's no way that when Jesus said "Love your enemies", he possibly meant killing them. There's no way that when he said "When someone slaps your cheek, offer the other" he possibly meant shooting them. He said it in the broadest terms, there was no certain situation in which these apply. War and violence are not justifiable through Christianity.'

i see what your saying and feel the lament of trying to put it into action in my faith. i did a blog for relevant magazine earlier today called 'War & Pieces.' where i tried to connect the dot's.

mark duarte said...
'unrealistic in this world, unless you want to be a door mat.'
YES! that has been my perception for years, but how do you explain the civil rights movement? martin luther king jr. died for what he believed and now look, not even 50 years later and look around at the overwhelming positive change in our society alone!

i am sorry if it sounds like i contradict myself its because well... i contradict myself because i have not come to a non-relative moral decision, its one thing to say i am a pacifist but another to live like one. i long to be a pacifist but i feel at moments i am to human and let my emotions get the best of me. i need to rid myself of outside influence (politics, american philosophy on war, religious policy (st. thomas 'just war' theory) and simply start over. i am learning right along side of you.
-esteban