Pacifism is Morally Indefensible
I have been surprised recently to see so much support by ex-JWs for the Watchtower's refusal to fight and kill. In my opinion it is a vice masquerading as a virtue
Of course war should always be a last resort but there are occasions that it has to be done. The Third Reich had to be stopped by deadly force. Similarly Japan had to be stopped. The cruelty of Japan's conduct in China defies description.
The only possible way to save the human race from decades or even centuries of tyranny was through war. Those who refused to fight were not necessarily cowards - it must have taken courage to be a conscientious objector - but they were morally wrong. An organisation like the Watchtower that instructed it's tens of thousands of members to refuse to fight are reprehensible. There was a right and wrong in WWII. The only ethical position was to support the Allies. Neutrality in the face of Fascism and genocide was shameful.
Technically the Watchtower are not pacifists; they just refuse to take life. That is ridiculous. If somebody attacks me or my loved ones I will not hesitate to use deadly force if that is what is required to protect the innocent. When the public are being attacked by armed terrorists JWs just like everybody else want the police to show up and kill the gunmen. That is hypocritical if you would refuse to pull the trigger as a matter of principle.
It's so easy to think of wars that should never have happened. That is not a defense. My argument is not with those who think for example, that we should not have gone into Iraq or who object to the existence of specific types of weapons. That isn't the point. Rejecting deadly force on principle is moral cowardice.
Yes, good OP.
Today there are also incredibly cruel, fascistic groups that civilised countries must wipe out.
Have you ever noticed a kneejerk response to the above 'well, you're as bad as them'?
When Douglas Murray said on Question Time that he was elated at Osama bin Laden's death, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown said 'that makes you as bad as him' - ridiculous.
There is no moral equivalence between terrorists rejoicing over innocent deaths and us rejoicing when a terrorist is killed.
Rejecting deadly force on principle is moral cowardice - I think it's the latest form of virtue-signalling, as is just shrugging when a terrorist comes back to the West from Syria/Iraq - 'but what can you do!'
In defense of pacifism, remember that in a war, many civilian casualties occur. There are other ways to stop criminals that involve non lethal methods. Tasers, nets, mace, I mean the list is endless. I don't think anyone is advocating for criminals or terrorists to run over you.
When police in the US want to stop a high speed chase, they don't always shoot. They set up traps to blow tires, box criminals in, etc. Using force doesn't necessitate using deadly force.
Using force doesn't necessitate using deadly force
Yes it does when millions of Fascist soldiers are on the move murdering and pillaging western democracies as they were in 1939.
in a war, many civilian casualties occur
Yes and everything should be done to reduce civilian deaths but failing to kill the aggressors will result in many, many more deaths.
There are other ways to stop criminals that involve non lethal methods. Tasers, nets, mace, I mean the list is endless
The safest way to stop terrorists with automatic weapons or suicide vests is to shoot them dead asap.
It's one of the many ironies I've noticed about the JW's, that they on one hand, have demanded that a woman scream if she's sexually assaulted (Which is not always the best thing to do..) while on the other hand, they have prohibited their own members from doing anything other than calling the police and praying in response to that cry for help.
It's a particularly selfish form of hypocrisy to expect others to defend you when you are unwilling to defend others.
Pacifism only works when its a minority surrounded by non-Pacifists willing to defend their right to be Pacifists.
War can never happen on the scale of WWII again. It would be the end of humanity as we know it. The rules have changed.
Couldnt agree more cofty.
When i first left i still believed in not getting involved in wars. It was an ex army officer from America that changed my mind with a few sentences. I can still remember what he said to me as it had a massive effect on me:
Your mother probably told you that violence doesn't solve anything. But violence stopped Nazism. Have you ever met a Nazi? Im not talking some skin-head, tattooed punk, but an actual member of the Einzatsgruppen who went out and killed old people, the disabled, children, babies, sawn the heads off Jewish men in the street? I have.
Violence is a tool, a weapon. And like any tool it's to be used at the proper time to the proper degree. Some people cant be trusted with tools. And if left unchecked who knows what they'll do? Nobody wants war. But when somebody brings a war to you, you can either lie down and die or fight to protect yourself and your loved ones. I know which i'd choose.
And that was that.
WW2 was a sequel to ww1, a conflict of empires, a family feud. If enough workers, victims to be, had balked earlier, the first thing would have fizzled. The second could have taken a different course, if negotiations would have taken a different turn, resulting in a totally different, power structure today, and most of the west's institutions intact, much of the jewish population there spared.
individuals " making love not war" is fine, even wt idealism, but neutrality can go too far, see the Strange Death of Europe.
I agree. Ex-JW's (self included from time to time) suffer from a form of PTSD when they feel the need to defend an opinion or position that they once held as axiomatic.
The reality is that absolute pacifism is not an option in the world we live in. There are principles worth fighting and dying for.