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Monday, July 27, 2015

No Time to Think

What justification is there for violence, assassination or civil war? Does justice sometimes require that some people die? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 501).

I have never seen a battle not defended in terms of self-defense no matter how egregious the aggression. The ready ability of humans to rationalize anything must always be kept in mind. That said, I always address the above question on a local rather than international level. For on the international level a distance separates us from our adversary and this distance facilitates the drift to aggression. The police power of the state exercised domestically brings the issue into sharper focus and closer to home, thus lending lethal force the intimacy that it deserves. I have never met a pacifist who would disband with police protection in his own neighborhood. Public and civil order, despite our fond wishes to the contrary, must address such matters as public "domestic violence" which sometimes under duress must be met with force and in extreme cases with lethal force.  In these extreme cases, there is no time to think...only respond.  In this sense, as troubling as it may sound, the necessary reflexive response has no immediate ethical implications absent a broader historical context.

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