Further thoughts on violence

Theology blogging meta-star Halden links to a post by Paul Griffiths (perhaps best known in local blog circles for his abyssmal First Things article on philosophical engagement with theology) that lays out what seems to me to be a very typical conservative Christian response to Christian pacifism: of course violence is bad, but sometimes it’s necessary, and we should be suitably sorry when necessity drives us to it.

While I agree with the conservative position insofar as I think Christian pacifism is untenable as a blanket rule, I also find the conservative position palpably inadequate insofar as it leaves out a crucial element, which Bruce’s recent post brought back to the front of my reflections: our enjoyment of violence. That enjoyment means that violence can never be the simple “means to an end” that the standard conservative response envisions it as.

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