Christian Attitudes towards war:
- Christians= war is wrong + God wants everyone to live in peace
- Most Christians= war is necessary in order to overcome evil, wrong in itself, but it is lesser of two evils
- Teaching of Bible= different views + Christians decide which view is right in their situation
- 13th Century= monk called Thomas Aquinas made guidelines to help Christians decide= Just War Theory.
The Just War
Aquinas= war is just if it meets the following conditions:-
- Must be started by proper authority= goverment + King
- Good reason not greed.
- desire to do good + good intentions
- last resort
- possible to win
- fought fairly = no unnecassary cruelty
People who are opposed to any warfare are called conscientious objectors = conscience tells them not to fight= quakers,
Violence and Pacifism
- Old Testament= people often told by God to go to war.In books of Judges and Deuteronomy, God commands his chosen people to fight + destroy foreign tribes to gain possession of the promised land
- But Old Testament= looks forward to a time of peace as ideal.Prophet Micah spoke of a time when god would rule + people live peacefully
- New Testament= teaches forgiveness + peace.Jesus on the Sermon on the Mount said peacemakers would be 'children of God' + people could treat eachother with love.
- Pacifists= conflicts dealt with using non violrny methods such as sanctions + negotiations, Non violent protest have been used outside of war like Martin Luther King:- non violent protest, way of objecting unfair laws in USA about black and white differennces.
Christian beliefs about the treatment of criminals
Christians= have a system of punishment for breaking the law.Although everyone should forgive eachother, their duty is to protect the weak + stop others making mistakes.
4 AIMS OF PUNISHMENT:
- Deterrence-Stop others from breaking the law
- Protection-protect innocent from dangerous individuals
- Retribution-pay back
- Reformation-help criminal make amends
Elizabeth Fry= Campaigned for better treatment for crimials= encourage the reform.
Christian responses to social injustice:
- Social injustice:- term to refer occasions when some members of society are given fewer rights + privileges than others.
- Chrisitans=all people are valuable to God, therefore believe any form of justice is wrong
- Christians= not always lived up to standards set, but in principle they do everything they can to make the world fairer
- Bible=wrong to mistreat poor + weak. Old Testament= prophets spoke out against social injustice, God saw what they were doing + would punish them if they didnt change.
- New Testament= Christians are warned against favourites + treating richer and poor differently=join organisations which aim to promote equality of people= Amnesty International.
- South America= movement called Liberation Theology has emerged= but its beliefs about justice into action.In countires where people are opressed, kidnapped and executed who disagree with the goverment= spoken out and risking their own lives.