Religion, War & Peace

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Christianity - Pacifist

A Christian that won't fight if it is not a just war. They can also argue that because they believe in the sanctity of human life and in the concept of Imago Dei. War is always wrong. Furthermore it goes against 'Do not murder' and so they would reject any form of violence.

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Christianity - Non Pacifist

Someone who will fight if it is a Just War (Thomas Aquinas) or a Holy War. They believe that if you are attacked it is acceptable to retaliate. 'An eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, life for a life'.

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Islam - Jihad

Some Muslims may fight in a Jihad, or Just War. Jihad means 'to struggle' and refers to a deliberate action made by a person for the love of Allah.

Those killed in a Jihad will die as Martyr and are then called a Shahid. Muslims believe they will the go onto Paradise.

'Permission to take up arms is given to those who are attacked, because they have been wronged. God has the power to grant then victory.'
Qur'an gives those who have been attacked a chance to fight back.

Greater Jihad - Fighting temptation with yourself.
Lesser Jihad - military struggle for Islam.

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Islam - Pacifists

Some Muslims support Pacifism because the Qur'an states. If two parties of believers take up arms... Make peace between them.' Wherever there is the opportunity they should try to create peace.

'Paradise is for... Those no curb their anger and forgive their fellow men.' In order to go to paradise, they must resolve their issues through peaceful methods.

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  • North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
  • Created in 1949.
  • Head quarters in Brussels, Belgium.
  • 28 countries. If one is under attack the other 27 countries form an ally.
  • Countries include: UK, USA & Canada and most of Western Europe.
  • NATO countries agree to the collective defence.
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What is a Holy War?

  • Holy wars have religious aims or goals.
  • Authorised by God or religious leaders.
  • Believers they will be rewarded with heaven.
  • Believe God is on their side.
  • One aim would be to recover holy land.
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What is terrorism?

  • Unlawful use of violence against innocent civilians.
  • Used to terrify public.
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Pacifist religious believers

  • As a Hindu, Gandi practised non - violence and believed in the presence of truth in each persons soul.
  • Went to South Africa where he experienced racial prejudice and discrimination.
  • Refused to cooperate with authorities.
  • Campaigned to help the poorest people.
  • Boy cotted British Products.
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Why are people Pacifists?

  • Killing is against their religion or beliefs.
  • Violence leads to violence.
  • War causes suffering.
  • Killing goes against the sanctity of human life.
  • Other diplomatic ways of achieving peace than going to war.
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Hiroshima and the Just War theory:

  • Harry Truman declared it.
  • Americans believed after the rejection of the ultimatum they deserved to be attacked.
  • Americans believed the attack was good, not evil.
  • After the bomb there was bound to be 100% success.
  • The Americans did warn the Japenese.
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Advantages of Nuclear Weapons:

  • Protection
  • Match other countries
  • Show power
  • Threat
  • Deterrent to war
  • Prevents vulnerability
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Disadvantages of Nuclear Weapons

  • Harmful
  • Devastation
  • Fear of dictators who use it
  • Death
  • Costs
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Conscientious Objector

Someone who claims their conscience won't allow them to fight on religious or political grounds.

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Why do people fight for their country?

  • Patriotic
  • Money
  • Pressure
  • Proud/hero
  • Conscription
  • Protecting rights of others
  • A chance to travel around the world
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