Violence and pacifism

Explaining Ethics 2 of OCR Full course RS

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  • Created on: 19-06-11 16:48
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Violence and Pacifism
Pacifism- the belief that peace is the central value that everyone should pursue and that
violence is wrong.
Some Christians believe that the Sermon on the Mount tells them that they should avoid
seeking revenge. E.g. "offer the other cheek" Matthew 5:39.Howevwer, they might say this
only applies to individual Christians and not to countries.
Non-violent protest
Many Christians believe this is the best response to violence, aggression and injustice.
Non-violent protest makes the other person look violent and gains you public sympathy and
support, it's very clever.
NVP can be:
Marches and demonstrations
Use of vote
Disobeying unjust laws
Refusing to pay fines and bail for unjust arrest.
Examples of non violent protest:
Martin Luther King: He believed it was wrong to use violence as even racists are loved by
god and by reacting violently you are just as bad as them. He felt it was more important to
keep self-respect and non-violent protest even when he was in danger. He used speeches,
boycotts, sit-ins and other forms of NVP to get what he wanted.
Mahatma Gandhi: Gandhi encouraged Indians to boycott buying British goods and buy
Indian ones instead, he also believed in non-violent protest.
Pacifists believe that all types of war are wrong and that we should follow Jesus' teaching of
peace and love. However, when the roman emperor Constantine accepted Christianity,
Romans began convincing citizens that they had to fight in order to protect their faith. Due
to this many Christian leaders put crosses on their shields.
However, just because they are pacifists, this does not mean they cannot help their country.
John Sinton was a Quaker who won the Victoria Cross for bravery, he carried stretchers and
helped as a doctor during the war and saved many lives.

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Old testament Prophets- the future Jesus' teachings ­ right response to
kingdom of God is one of peace. aggression is love.
"Turn from evil and pursue good, seek peace "Turn the other cheek" Matthew 5:39
and pursue it.…read more


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