Pacifism is Morally Indefensible
Yeah. It always bothers me how pacifists take a free ride. Someone else gets killed and suffer for their benefit so they can have the freedom to brag about their pacifism.
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.
You are mixing up many disparate things here. You think the allies should have used tasers, nets or mace to stop the Nazis? That's idiotic.
Also, studies have shown that having those 'non lethal' tools actually leads to an increase in use of deadly force, not a decrease.
Pacifism only works when its a minority surrounded by non-Pacifists willing to defend their right to be Pacifists.
They are a little like those who rely on group immunization to be protected while refusing to be immunized themselves. Ultimately it's selfish and puts others at risk and you can only do it because others are willing to do the right thing. If you were on your own you'd die.
As was already pointed out, war is about financial greed. There are a few rich oligarchs running Earth and they initiate wars to get richer. They use soldiers like pawns. Nothing more.
That is why, when people deal in misery they should be absolutely hammered for it. The likes of the Clintons that make money from conflict and profit from it, who never seem capable of deciding that they are 'rich enough' now. People should be more active to prevent wars at all costs but if necessary, not afraid to conduct and to win them.
The Japanese used to behead POWs; Nazi government policy was kill Jews; US government policy was racial segregation.
Exactly. Internment was damn sensible because there WERE people who would work for their own race against the host nation. Sure, people can condemn it with the benefit of hindsight, but would they be able to complain about things if the other side had won? There was no guarantee at the time that the Allies would win the war in Europe OR the Pacific. The Japanese were the aggressors and responsible for far, far worse than anything that was done to them. That includes the atom bombs which likely saved lives overall and, more importantly, the RIGHT lives. Because they, as the aggressors, shouldn't count in the equation anymore than ISIS lives should today or any terrorist or gunman should when counting a death toll and weighing up the net cost or benefit of stopping them.
...as much evil the Japanese or Nazis were, the US wasn't doing much better at any point in time.
-Two book recommendations (Provided you have a strong stomach.)
The Rape Of Nanking
(Pacifists) ... are a little like those who rely on group immunization - Simon
Very good illustration.
Thank you for the book recommendations TD. I have been reading a lot about the history of China, North Korea, Russia and the Middle East in the last couple of years. Germany is next on my list.
Do you maintain that the pacifists in Nazi Germany or apartheid South Africa are also morally indefensible, or do you think that's only true of the causes you favour?
Earnest are you trying to make a moral equivalence between the monstrosity of the Third Reich and the Allied forces that defeated them? Surely not!
This thread is NOT specifically about WWII as I made clear in the OP. However WWII provides an example of a time when it took moral and physical courage to defeat fascism.
My point is that taking and ideological position that it is wrong to take another human life is morally indefensible.
Take the situation of a group of terrorists on the rampage with guns. The only way to save innocent lives is to kill them. JWs are hypocrites in this regard.
Rejecting deadly force on principle is moral cowardice.- O.P.
cofty : are you trying to make a moral equivalence between the monstrosity of the Third Reich and the Allied forces that defeated them? Surely not!
The Third Reich may appear monstrous to you but it did not for the thousands of German soldiers who fought during the war. The fact is that most people who use deadly force whether at war, or otherwise, believe they are justified in doing so. Including your group of terrorists on the rampage with guns. They are as susceptible to propaganda as you are.
cofty : Rejecting deadly force on principle is moral cowardice.
So would I be correct to assume that you believe those who refused to fight for Nazi Germany or apartheid South Africa because they believed it was wrong to take a human life are moral cowards?
The Third Reich may appear monstrous to you but it did not for the thousands of German soldiers who fought during the war.
I think again, people tend to lack any appreciation for the nuances of situations like WWII. There weren't just Nazis and Allies in the war at clear ends, there were spectrums of belief and behavior. There were German forces and they were comprised of many different factions. There were the zealots, the SS, who committed atrocities, and there were regular army who fought for their country because that is what soldiers do but who didn't sink to the depravity of the true believers and some of whom tried to fight against what was going on (there's a fascinating account of german troops fighting alongside the US against the SS).
Ultimately, "Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die" works for their side just like it worked for ours and it's why not everyone was treated as a war criminal just for having fought. While uniform is all people see in the heat of battle, when it comes to who did what, it matters more exactly who did what and not just what side they were on.
Many knew things were wrong and did nothing. Many claim they didn't know there were death camps but must have and chose not to do anything. Are they better or worse in your opinion than troops who actually fought for their country?