Jump to content
OtakuBoards

Does Pacifism work?


Recommended Posts

[size=1]I plan on this thread being a relatively short and sweet one, but I?d like to pose a question. Does pacifism actually work in the real world, or is it too idealistic? Do you believe there is such thing as a ?just war?? I was having this debate with my Ethics teacher, and while my views are pretty sturdy on this issue, I?d still like to hear what OBers have to say about it.

Before we dive into the talks, though, you should know what I mean by [I]pacifism[/I] and [I]just war[/I]. Pacifism is ?the belief that disputes between nations should and can be settled peacefully,? while just war is the belief that while peaceful situations should be sought out first and foremost, war is just in certain cases (WWII, Kosovo, etc).

My personal belief is that war can be just, and that pacifism does not work. Pacifism is the refusal to accept human nature as a combatant one. I also believe that if you have the power to stop a wrongdoing, you should exercise that power for the greater good. For example, you see a child being beaten up by bullies ? I think most people would try to tell them to stop (the attempt at a peaceful solution), and when they fail to stop, I think attacking the bullies would be just. Watching the child being beaten to a pulp, and pleading with the bullies to stop would have no result. Furthermore, standing between the child and the bully would have no effect ? the bully would have no reason to stop their attack.

So, give me your reasons! Don?t feel bound to the two terms I tossed out in the beginning, though. I look forward to responses.[/size]
Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with you. Pacifism does not work. It takes two people, and if one's starting a war, I highly doubt they will easily agree to pacifistic notions of a bloodless compromise. A diplomatic answer should be sought out first, but if that doesn't work, don't just stand there and get beaten due to your own refusal to retaliate.
Link to post
Share on other sites
Hmm...I don't think that pacifism will work in mass, but I do know that it works in small amounts. I myself am Pacifistic. I avoid conflict, and try to solve problems without having anybody get hurt. It's harder than just going and smackin someone and tellin em to get over it, but it works,and usually the effects last.
Link to post
Share on other sites
Only if every person is a pacifist will it ever work. If one person were to kill a whole bunch of pacifists, someone somewhere will want revenge. Which throws the whole idea out the window. It's human nature. Though I belive that a pacifistic nature could be bread into the species eventually.

Though... If everyone started smoking pot, they would just be too lazy to start ****.
Link to post
Share on other sites
[COLOR=Navy][FONT=Comic Sans MS]Ehhh...

I think the whole idea of revenge is a little pointless... I mean, SURE, this dude killed off your family, is you want retribution (Sorry, I really wanted to use that word... :animeswea ) is the form of killing him, and maybe his family too. But will that bring yours back? The only thing it will acomplish is turning you into what you hate, spreading the pain you felt.

Yeah. :o [/FONT][/COLOR]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[COLOR=#7B075B][QUOTE=Raquel]Only if every person is a pacifist will it ever work. If one person were to kill a whole bunch of pacifists, someone somewhere will want revenge. Which throws the whole idea out the window. It's human nature. Though I belive that a pacifistic nature could be bread into the species eventually.

Though... If everyone started smoking pot, they would just be too lazy to start ****.[/QUOTE]Quoted for truth with emphasis on the last sentence.

As for just wars, nope, I never believed that such things existed. The word "just" performs exactly as a big red bow on a really crappy present; it's an ineffectual attempt on titivating the word "war." Besides, I've yet to hear of a war that wasn't waged out of paranoia, greed or vanity.[/COLOR]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[COLOR=DarkOliveGreen]Although I think pacifism is a good idea, it doesn?t work unless both parties are willing to work together to reach a peaceful solution. I certainly think it should be tried first, but it?s foolish to let someone take over just because you don?t want to fight. Like your example of the bullies, if someone refuses to stop then by all means I think you should fight back.

Although I think war can never be truly ?justified? I certainly see nothing wrong with defending yourself. I certainly see nothing fun about being used as a doormat by someone else.
[/COLOR]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Raya][COLOR=#7B075B']As for just wars, nope, I never believed that such things existed. The word "just" performs exactly as a big red bow on a really crappy present; it's an ineffectual attempt on titivating the word "war." Besides, I've yet to hear of a war that wasn't waged out of paranoia, greed or vanity.[/COLOR][/quote]
[size=1]Was entering Kosovo justified? Or should we have sat back and watched the genocide unfold, pleading and praying for a peaceful solution? Was Allied retaliation justified in WWII, or should Europe have pleaded with Hitler, asking for diplomacy, while millions of jews were slaughtered?

Yes, the spark to war usually is greed, vanity, or hate, but the response to it isn't necessarily.[/size]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[QUOTE=Retribution][size=1]Was Allied retaliation justified in WWII, or should Europe have pleaded with Hitler, asking for diplomacy, while millions of jews were slaughtered?

Yes, the spark to war usually is greed, vanity, or hate, but the response to it isn't necessarily.[/size][/QUOTE]

Just to clear up a possible historical misconception. WWII wasn't started, nor fought to save the Jews. In reality, Hitler would have achieved his "final solution" in Germany had he not invaded Poland. The vast majority of the world was unaware of the concentration camps (though, not anti-semetism). WWII was primarily a war declared in retaliation to Germany's invasion of foreign soil.

Let's talk about WWII for a moment. Germany broke the treaty of versalles well before the invasion of Poland. They had re-armed far beyond the agreed limits. Should we have declared war then?

Germany invaded Poland, acquired nearby lands, Austria, Luxemborg, etc. Should we have declared war then?

Germany invaded France [i]through[/i] the neutral country of belgium. Should we have declared war then?

Germany begins bombing britian; we start sending them supplies. Should we have declared war then?

When was it "just" for us to declare war on Hitler? What exactly does it mean to exhaust all "possible avenues for peace"?
Link to post
Share on other sites
[size=1]Yes, I'm aware of the fact that the US didn't enter WWII for the greater good -- we entered because of Pearl Harbor. However, the Holocaust was not completely unknown to the top military brass, only the citizens.

I think exhausting all avenues for peace is when the aggressor is not open for diplomacy, when they begin to take military action against others, when their war machine is staring you in the eye and it's not blinking. I am not certain of when exactly it was just to declare war on Hitler, as there are significant shades of gray in this equation, but I think it should have been done sooner. Perhaps when Germany looked like they were not open for discussion on the matter of counquering Europe?

It is true that 'justice' in determining when to enter a war can be blurred, but I think that the occasion does indeed exist.[/size]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[color=darkslateblue] Like a bunch of people have already said: pacifism only works if both parties are sensible and rational enough to just work things out. If another country invades you and starts massacring your people, I don't think the attacker is very jolly keen on talking things out. Seriously, I just finished reading Lord of the Flies for the third time and I'm reading Journey to the End of the Night. >_>

War and violence has always been integrated in pretty much every great civilization's rise and fall. I really don't see it going away soon. Of course, I'm saying this while I remain very much anti-war, but the answer to this is a resounding no. [/color]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[FONT=Arial]Of course, I am very uneducated on the matter of WWII, but it seems to me that the Nazis had anything to do with what happened at Pearl Harbor. I think that if we had entered the war for what did, then we would've been fighting in Japan and not Europe. However, my knowledge of history kind of starts at the beginning and continues on until maybe the 1800s in America and England, so I don't know much anything about the wars of the twentieth century and up.

Now, on topic. I definitely feel that a peaceful approach to a solution is integral to wrapping up a conflict. Of course, if you walk up to the guy with the cannon very gently, and quietly ask him to stop killing people and he shoots another, then that calls for drastic measures. I can't really expand on this now, since I have to go someplace. But maybe later.[/FONT]
Link to post
Share on other sites
Pacifism can only be effective if the two parties think it will solve their problem.
Someone like Hitler, with his ambitions and goals, was definitely not going to stop unless someone took him on at his own game (i.e. War).
So in the case of the Nazis, military action was the only means of defeating them.
Link to post
Share on other sites
Micropacifism works. The individual can be a pacifist and avoid violence, just like anything else.

Macropacifism, in my opinion doesn't. For a state to entirely eschew violence. Unarmed neutral belgium was as stated above, invaded in WWII precisely because it was an easy route to France, while Switzerland, which has armed neutrality wasn't, although other factors such as terrain would have been involved in the planning. Such a system might also be both easy to subvert from within or without and its leaders wouldn't ultimately be answerable to anyone. How can you remove someone from office in a pacifist society if they refuse?
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Raya][COLOR=#7B075B']Besides, I've yet to hear of a war that wasn't waged out of paranoia, greed or vanity.[/COLOR][/quote]

[color=crimson]Oh?[/color]

[quote name='Amelia][FONT=Arial']Of course, I am very uneducated on the matter of WWII, but it seems to me that the Nazis had anything to do with what happened at Pearl Harbor. I think that if we had entered the war for what did, then we would've been fighting in Japan and not Europe. [/FONT][/quote]

[color=crimson]Germany declared war on America not vice-versa.

The Allies [i]were[/i] actively seeking a peaceful resolution to the brewing conflict on the continent. The policy of appeasement let the Anschluss happen without much reaction and directly led to the Munich Agreement.

Pacifism [i]can[/i] work in some situations but you cannot expect it to always be the most prudent choice available to a nation, person or otherwise. War (and violence in general) can not and will not stop in my opinion. Saying otherwise is idealistic daydreaming.

War is an art form. It takes skill to take violence; refine it, control it and direct it to achieve a victory. More people should learn to appreciate it instead of constantly (and mindlessly) condemning every facet of it.[/color]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[COLOR=Indigo]Pacifism is an ideal that is in my opinion flawed. Its biggest weakness is that it depends on the factor that deep down everyone wants to avoid a fight. If everyone really felt that way so strongly then quite a few of the major conflicts between nations would never escalate to the level that ends up requiring war. I also think it really does not work since the views on how disputes between countries should be solved vary widely due to different views and opinions on what is considered just. There are going to be cases where both sides will refuse to agree to a compromise.

I also on some level think that being a pacifist requires walking a very fine line between working to come to a peaceful solution and knowing when to stand up and not be walked all over. It is one thing to avoid fighting and yet another to do nothing when another nation moves in and takes over. I know I for one would not sit still and do nothing. [/COLOR]
Link to post
Share on other sites
I kinda/sorta agree with pacifism. Look at Ghandi. He did it. But they probably weren't threatening him with nukes. In today's world, it wouldn't work, unless there were no bombs or nukes or anything to screw it up.
I really don't like war, to be honest. I hate it. I can't watch news stations alot because they talk about the war in Iraq alot, and you always hear about people dying. I'm sensitive to that kind of thing.
Now, I know the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) argument. In a way, though, we did kind of find something. I learned this today is U.S History. We found alot of counterfeit money. That could potentially destroy our economy, providing a weakness in America, giving a little hole to slip in and give way to a major downfall. I suppose it was either go on suspiscion, cause a war, and then eventually find something that could prove as a pretty damn good weapon, or do nothing about it.

That's just my opinion.
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='DeathKnight][color=crimson']War is an art form. It takes skill to take violence; refine it, control it and direct it to achieve a victory. More people should learn to appreciate it instead of constantly (and mindlessly) condemning every facet of it.[/color][/quote]
[size=1]It does take skill to do all of that, but I think the reason war is condemned is because of the loss of life it results in. War takes skill, but it's not a beautiful thing. It's not something displayed in a museum, or enjoyed by the masses. This is why people don't appreciate it -- civilians are slaughtered, people are killed, families are displaced.[/size]
Link to post
Share on other sites
To be perfectly honest I would love to see a world of pacifism, that way soilders like myself wouldn't be needed. But I have to agree with Retribution here (Which is odd since it seems like I rarely agree with Retri). Humans, I feel, may call for peace, but yurn to prove themselves through a combative nature.

War has primarily been fought for this reason. One's need to prove that there right and the other is worng, the need to protect there land, whatever the case may be. I think sometimes people just fight to show they can, and just use some pretence as there justification for this destruction.

People like to believe we are so above primal beasts when really we're only a small step above. In nature at least. What do people kill each other over? Love(animals fight for mates all the time), Land(animals fight for territory), beliefs (pack animals will fight for dominance to push there way on others). We may think we are so far above the animals, and don't get me wrong, we are above them, but not by very much. We are still very much primal beasts at heart.
Link to post
Share on other sites
[QUOTE=Retribution][size=1]I plan on this thread being a relatively short and sweet one, but I?d like to pose a question. Does pacifism actually work in the real world, or is it too idealistic? Do you believe there is such thing as a ?just war?? I was having this debate with my Ethics teacher, and while my views are pretty sturdy on this issue, I?d still like to hear what OBers have to say about it.

Before we dive into the talks, though, you should know what I mean by [I]pacifism[/I] and [I]just war[/I]. Pacifism is ?the belief that disputes between nations should and can be settled peacefully,? while just war is the belief that while peaceful situations should be sought out first and foremost, war is just in certain cases (WWII, Kosovo, etc).

My personal belief is that war can be just, and that pacifism does not work. Pacifism is the refusal to accept human nature as a combatant one. I also believe that if you have the power to stop a wrongdoing, you should exercise that power for the greater good. For example, you see a child being beaten up by bullies ? I think most people would try to tell them to stop (the attempt at a peaceful solution), and when they fail to stop, I think attacking the bullies would be just. Watching the child being beaten to a pulp, and pleading with the bullies to stop would have no result. Furthermore, standing between the child and the bully would have no effect ? the bully would have no reason to stop their attack.

So, give me your reasons! Don?t feel bound to the two terms I tossed out in the beginning, though. I look forward to responses.[/size][/QUOTE]


Well, honestly, I completely agree with you here. Having been to the Sand Box(IRAQ) and just recently gotten out of it, Pacifism doesn't really work to well. Some of you know me, and most of you dont, but that's perfectly ok. As a Marine, we try, contrary to popular opinion, to find the peacefull, not painfull solution first. If it only takes 3 seconds that so be it. Have I ever killed anybody? No. Thankfully. When you've seen what I've seen, and done what I've done, then you realise what's real and what isn't. You realise that everything in life you have to fight for one way or another. Whether it be with words or bullets. We aren't going to get into whether or not we should be in Iraq or not, that topic is always discussed here. It's part of the reason I haven't posted in over a year. Human nature is to fight when we are cornered, or see somebody else in a position that they can not easily defend from. We help each other at some point whether we consiously choose to or not. What everyone needs to understand is that we are more mortal than you think we are. You might be a pacifist, and I've seen some pacifists in the Corps, but until you have to clean the brains of a fellow Marine or Soldier out of a Humvee Gun Turrett, you shouldn't even speak.

In short, Pacifism is overrated. Fight, but make it a quick one.
Link to post
Share on other sites
pacifism can work, but not in our generation...today the morals of honor and virtue are rapidly vanishing, the sacred traditions which our forefathers withheld for centuries are fading out....

pacifism isn't a belief which is too idealistic, it is a belief that cannot survive out violent times...
right now if you see buliies picking on kids, you are either the one being whooped or the one giving the beating...no one would ever shout out and stop either one from getting hurt, it's not like that anymore...

we can never find another Liu Bei, Ghandi or Martin Luther King anymore....people who are born leaders and know how to fight for what they believe in just don't exist anymore....
Link to post
Share on other sites
[QUOTE=nomad19]pacifism can work, but not in our generation...today the morals of honor and virtue are rapidly vanishing, the sacred traditions which our forefathers withheld for centuries are fading out....

pacifism isn't a belief which is too idealistic, it is a belief that cannot survive out violent times...
right now if you see buliies picking on kids, you are either the one being whooped or the one giving the beating...no one would ever shout out and stop either one from getting hurt, it's not like that anymore...

we can never find another Liu Bei, Ghandi or Martin Luther King anymore....people who are born leaders and know how to fight for what they believe in just don't exist anymore....[/QUOTE] Thios post might be a little rated R because of the alocohol in my system at the current moment.

Those ****ers never fought for anything. They spoke words. Words can only do so much. They never do enough. You have to take action, and peacefull action will work for awhile, but not long enough. I'm sorry for reality being violent, but pacifists need to get over it and wake the hell up. It's not to hard to grasp the fact that you might have to fight for something one day

[b][color=DarkGreen][size=1]Edited for language. If you think you're going to turn the air blue, don't post while drunk.
[/size][/color][/b] [right][color=DarkGreen][size=1]-Raiyuu[/size][/color]
[/right]
Link to post
Share on other sites
I posted this same thing in the Bush thread, perhaps it is more appropriate here. If a mod thinks that posting in both is redundant, please remove it from the Bush thread.

[b]As a Christian I cannot endorse violence.[/b]

The more I?ve thought about this and read the Bible? the more I find that, as a Christian, I [i]desire[/i] to be ?like-Christ? (the meaning of ?Christian?). It?s an easy decision for any Christian (and I mean [i]real[/i] Christian) to say he or she would die for his religion. Blessed are the martyrs right? This also means, I accept the social repercussions of being opposed to ideas that I believe are immoral- homosexuality, abortion, capital punishment, totalitarianism, etc. So when I?m called by my peers or my government to give my opinion, I will do so as a moral individual? I will do so as a conscious Christian.

What about when my government calls upon me to endorse or oppose War?

Think about the message of Jesus. When asked whether or not ?eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth? was correct- Jesus replied by saying ?When a man strikes one cheek, turn the other?.

Peter, an apostle of Christ and the founder of the formal ?church? was killed by inverted crucifixion. Matthew, another follower, was killed by the sword. The Apostles never fought back. Martyrs throughout the world, and while they may stand in opposition? they never fight their enemies to live.

Jesus, the Son of God, hangs dying from the cross. He extends his forgiveness to everyone by dying for them. He forgives anyone who accepts it, including the Roman guard who looks upon him and admits that he is Lord (Mt 29).
?50 Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51With that, one of Jesus' companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
'52"Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?" ?The book of Matthew, Ch 26
The Son of God does not fight back. The war we as Christians fight is waging and won. I know we are called by our country to fight for values we find important? but what does God have to say about it? How exactly am I, as his follower, supposed to approach war?
Can we honestly reconcile our virtues of faith and forgiveness by killing our enemies- even if it is in the defense of ourselves or another? Or should we, as Christians, love our enemies?
These are questions heavy on my heart. I cannot remove myself from my faith? even if the Government asks me to. Even if the Government asks me to kill for my country, I cannot disobey my God. So I pray that it does not ask me to do so.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...