Pacifism is Morally Indefensible
Simon : 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?
I think there is a difference in doing nothing and refusing to fight for an ideology. But to address your question about people who did nothing I think that is the default position in every country whatever the ideology, and they are puppets as much as conscripts are. No better and no worse. But I have a huge respect for people who swim against the tide because of their beliefs.
@Earnest: "But I have a huge respect for people who swim against the tide because of their beliefs"
Let us only hope that they have the right set of beliefs. Pol Pot, Hitler and Stalin are people who swam against the tide because of their beliefs. Are they in your list of "most admired"
I agree, Cofty.
The very Bible that JWs claim to base their beliefs and morals on, shows that war is justified under certain circumstances. Abraham went to war to free Lot from captivity. Cornelius was an army officer when he was baptized. The Bible uses soldiers as a metaphor for Christians. Why would it do that if the god of the Bible is so opposed to war? Are there any scriptures where Christians are metaphorized by prostitutes, thieves, murderers? No. Only soldiers. That says something. There is no scripture in the NT that categorically condemns war. In the Bible, war is regarded as an unpleasant but necessary evil that god will put an end to in the future. It is noteworthy that while the scripture in Psalms talks about god putting an end to war and destroying weapons of war, it does not say the soldiers will be destroyed because they participated in war. War is only bad in the bible when it is against god's people.
There’s been plenty of mass murder, rapes and genocide since WW II, some occurring right now, What have you done/doing about it? Pontificating from the safety of your comfortable Western lifestyle?
"Pontificating from the safety of your comfortable Western lifestyle" - shadow
You seem to have left out some adjectives commonly seen with comments like yours. Allow me to complete your sentence in a more fitting way:
Pontificating from the safety of your comfortable, white privileged, patriarchal, misogynistic, cis-gendered, rape enabling Western lifestyle.
No need to thank me, I understand the stress of expecting normalised social skills from someone such as yourself...
I see the 60s for the US as a 1950s baby boomer as a time of hope brought on by civil disobedience where people question their government and refuse to accept the values that they have been indoctrinated with from the public school systems. To me this is a good thing for the human race.
I think what we have lost in this conversation is the number of pacifists who put their own lives at risk by serving with their fellow soldiers on the battlefield as ambulance drivers and the all important medics tasked with treating their fellow soldiers often under fire. This type of pacifist or conscientious objector had as high a level of morality as one could achieve.
Then there was Doss: Desmond Thomas Doss (February 7, 1919 – March 23, 2006). Doss refused to kill an enemy soldier or carry a weapon into combat because of his personal beliefs as a Seventh-day Adventist.
He served as a combat medic with an infantry company in World War II. He was twice awarded the Bronze Star Medal for actions in Guam and the Philippines. Doss further distinguished himself for service above and beyond the call of duty in the Battle of Okinawa by saving 75 men at considerable personal risk, becoming the only conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor during World War II.
...." 42,000 American men were classified as conscientious objectors during World War II and did “alternative service” at Civilian Peace Service camps run by the “Historic Peace Churches,” i.e., the Mennonites, Friends/Quakers, and the Church of the Brethren.
Another 25, 000 became “non-combat conscientious objectors,” that is, they did not object to military service, merely to killing. The Non-Combatatant COs became ambulance drivers and medics during the war.
Others, who objected to cooperating with Selective Service (coerced military service) at all, went to prison for the duration of the war.
Others volunteered to work in mental hospitals................. before this service, “hospitals” for the mentally ill were nightmarish places of torture and torment. The work of WWII COs (and many of their wives, too) transformed these places and changed the way that Americans thought about mental illness."
If Germany had won the war it would have been Britain and Russia that were proved to be entirely wrong - Earnest
So are you arguing that "might is right?".
Who wins a war has absolutely no bearing on the morality of the conflict. The Third Reich was an evil ideology that murdered millions of innocents in the name of Aryan supremacy. The Allies conquered it by the overwhelming use of deadly force. There was no alternative. Even if Germany had won the war it would still have been an evil ideology.
Russia who won the war against Germany represented an ideology that was every bit as evil. History has judged totalitarian regimes regardless of their military success.
it was Britain who was first responsible for concentration camps (in South Africa) in which 20,000 women and children died
What has that got to do with the topic? I'm not representing Britain in the Oppression Olympics.
Let's try again to get back to the actual topic...
1 - Sometimes saving lives of innocents requires the use of lethal force. Whether that is protecting your family from criminals, stopping armed terrorists in a city centre or defeating an army bent on genocide.
2 - The Watchtower forbid the deliberate taking of a human life in all circumstances.
3 - Many ex-JWs continue to view the Watchtower' position as a virtue.