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Religion and Society Topic
3 Peace and Conflict…read more

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Christian group committed to pacifism & non
violence, believe love is at heart of existence
and we should live in a way which reflects this.
Quakers work with UN in Geneva and NY to
bring reconcilliation between warring states,
since they have no political connections many
people prepared to trust them with peace
negotiations. They campaign for nuclear
disarmament and abolition of nuclear weapons
worldwide, tackle root cause of conflict and
hold meetings with UK government officials to
promote peace.…read more

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Causes of War
Religious reasons: Medieval Crusades to
Roman Catholics and Protestants fighting each
other in Northern Ireland 20th century
Economic reasons: small countries can be
exploited by powerful ones for minerals and oil
Social reasons: attacks due to ethnic
Moral Reasons: attacking another country to
restore human rights…read more

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Iraq War
American & British forces attacked Iraq
because they thought Iraq had weapons of
mass destruction that may have threatened
the West (later discovered they didn't have
these.) US & UK leaders said intention was to
free country from dictator Sadam Hussein,
who abused human rights. Critics said real
reason was economic-US wanted Iraq's oil.
Some people say leaders showed aggression by
attacking country that hadn't threatened
them.…read more

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Just War
Idea there may be a good reason to go to war in certain
situations. Thomas Aquinas, Christian philosopher
came up with these rules:
Just cause
Declared by lawful authority
Must be fought to bring about good
Last resort
Reasonable chance of success
Only necessary force used
Only legitimate targets should be attacked (not
civilians, hospitals or homes)
Why? Important in civilised society, more likely for a
peaceful outcome, ensure war fought with minimum
destruction and suffering…read more

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Christian Attitude to War
Majority: war can be necessary evil, sometimes fighting
= only war to overcome evil e.g. WWII ended atrocities
suffered by Jews
Jesus: didn't condemn soldiers. He praised Roman
Soldier for his faith, when asked whether to pay taxes
he said `Give to Caesar what is Caesar's' obey state
orders, including fighting just war. St Paul said
everyone must obey state authorities because they've
been put there by God. Churches outspoken in their
concern of modern warfare because many casualties are
Christian Pacifists: think war is never justified, Jesus
preached message of love and peace, Jesus often
referred to as Prince of Peace work for conflict
resolution through peaceful means. Jesus said `If
anyone slaps you on the right cheek, let him slap your
left cheek too.' Quakers only group who are complete…read more

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