Quote from J.S. Mill

War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

–John Stuart Mill

What do you think? Agree or disagree? Why?


Rob said…
I agree, though this is always, or should be, a tricky question for a Christian. I don't think Jesus, with his ancestral background of warriors, had anything against soldiers. But I have read that some of the Fathers did take this view, and their views are not to be pushed aside so quickly. I am certain the Lord would have distinguished between someone who fights to protect his home and family and a mercenary or bandit.

Even there, though, it is not so clear. A man who is, let's say, in an army (Like a Roman soldier) and finds Christ, it doesn't seem like he should be expected to "drop the sword" let's say, unless the force he was in was directly, and purposefully, involved in some sort of atrocity.

So I think, from a Christian viewpoint, we have to validate the necessity of things like armies, and recognize the potential quality of those in arms and even agree with Mill that it is good that a man do these things (fight for his people, his country) without being bloodthirsty about it.

Also, important to remember, is the Apostle's injunction to obey our appointed leaders, and thus serve in the armed forces if He so commands. However, as Paul certainly didn't mean that we should also follow our leaders into heresy, I wonder where he would draw the line for soldiers? From what actions would a Christian under arms have to refrain?
Azooz said…
Come Armageddon John Stuart Mill would be very happy on the wrong side - from an Islamic point of view. Reveres the view and you will see that he considers Peace a weakness and almost a sin.

Love Peace first, that is the base of strength. Then learn to reject anger, bravery, pride - that done, then think of war.

By those rules I would fight, for example if my country invades another, or does them injustice - then my country will find me on the other side - it please God, whos names is The Peace (alSalaam)

Cain and Able - Able won magnificantly. The fighting style of Able was great in itself and worth study - let your brother's stone fall upon your head, what a great fighting move. The rules Cain went by are taught by the likes of J.S. Mill, they always lead to defeat.

Turning the other cheek is a major part of this. Mr. Mill, like any self respecting Roman soldier, would not even consider turning the other cheak a point of honor - so they will always lose.

Justice is the key, apply the rules to both sides of any war, look at them like seeing your own two sons fighting - one will go to hell, or both - the choice are all theirs but the judgment is made by God - The Just.

Azooz said…
A point I want to add - in a Duel (fight to the death) both winer or loser go to hell according to Islamic theology. The winner is a murderer and the loser would have killed the other given the chance - the only way "out" for a Muslim is to let the other side kill you, that is if you can not avoide the duel altogether.

I do not think John Stuart Mill would aprove of that, but Mr. Gandhi would :)

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