I was reading through the comments on Simply Put on the following post and was struck by Bill, who is an avowed pacifist.
I’d like to grab just a couple of them to remark upon. I’d also like to make clear that I am not doing this to mock or ridicule him. I appreciate someone who stands upon their convictions.
“First we teach our children that it is better to walk away from fights when the opposition is an irrational bully.”
This is a wonderful sentiment and well worth teaching our children, but we also need to teach them that sometimes the irrational bully will keep coming after you. They need to know how to walk away and when to stand their ground.
“We treat revenge as something deplorable and make such crimes of passion illegal.
Someone attacks me I get a bigger stick and hit them, then they get a bigger stick and so on and so on.
Aggression breeds aggression.
Its like the old Itchy and Scratchy cartoon on the Simpsons. The cat hits the mouse the mouse hits the cat they each get bigger weapons each time. It’s a great satire on violence, but is it funny?”
Again in concept I agree with most of this, but I think that it is important to remember that you cannot always apply the same solution to every situation. There are people who operate by a different moral code than our own and that requires us to be flexible and to adapt to the situations as necessary.
“Self defence in my view does not need to include killing your opponent.”
I agree completely with this and think that it is important to live this way as much as possible.
“Also I think that appeasement of Hitler by Chamberlain while being uneffective just delayed the war that was inevitable. Iâ€™m not sure Chamberlain was a villain. All he was guilty of was to try peace when peace was impossible.”
There are a couple of things to consider here. First, had Chamberlain stood up to Hitler it is possible that many lives could have been saved. It is important to recognize who and what we are dealing with in every situation. I wouldn’t call Chamberlain a villain but I might call him a fool.
There are times where you cannot sit idly and watch those around you act. There are people in the world who see pacifism as weakness and they will respond accordingly. There is a time for peace and sadly a time for war.