Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

One small point:

It has been claimed that to be opposed to torture and not be a pacifist is inconsistent.

Opposition to torture must be (merely) a form of pacifism.

I have shown this is false. A man may oppose torture (or the mutilation of corpses) on the grounds that torture is a form of blasphemy. Killing is acceptable (in some circumstances), but not torture. This reasoning is not based on squeamishness or pacifism, but reverence.

One may be unpersuaded by the argument, but it means that all opposition to torture (namely traditional Christian opposition) is grounded in pacifism.

I will point out, however, that war itself is not an ideal state for a Christian. All Christians wish for peace, though not at any price. No Christian (who is being consistent) wishes for any man to be tortured by any other man.

Dear Reader,

Your charitable support for First Things is urgently needed before July 1.

First Things is a proudly reader-supported enterprise. The gifts of readers like you— often of $50, $100, or $250—make articles like the one you just read possible.

This Spring Campaign—one of our two annual reader giving drives—comes at a pivotal season for America and the church. With your support, many more people will turn to First Things for thoughtful religious perspectives on pressing issues of politics, culture, and public life.

All thanks to you. Will you answer the call?

Make My Gift

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.

Tags

Loading...

Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles