Warism and the Dominant Worldview

Authored by: Duane L. Cady

The Routledge Handbook of Pacifism and Nonviolence

Print publication date:  February  2018
Online publication date:  February  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138194663
eBook ISBN: 9781315638751
Adobe ISBN:


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Warism is the position that war is morally justifiable both in principle and in fact. Some warists go so far as to say war is at times morally required, both for individuals and for their country. Warism can be expressed in a variety of ways. Always the basic notion is that war can be morally acceptable and thus that alternatives to war may be entertained only to the extent that they are likely to provide advantages over available war options. Pacifism, in contrast, is the view that war is morally wrong, by its very nature, and that we should be committed to peaceful resolution of conflict. Most pacifists oppose war itself, not merely this war or that; and pacifists work for positive peace, that is, social order that comes from agreement within and among groups, not negative peace, that is, order imposed by threat or force from the outside. There are many forms of pacifism—degrees of moral opposition to war and degrees of commitment to positive peace—but the general notion is the immorality of war and the goodness of peace.

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