Volume 17, 1992
A Philosophical Exploration
I argue in this paper that pacifism is a live moral option. I do this in four steps. First, I try to make the case that the backing of thinkers and prophets of the stature of Gandhi and Jesus lends pacifism some prima-facie moral legitimacy. Second, I try to determine what the ethical-metaphysical preconditions that would justify pacifism would have to be---and I conclude that some consequentialist soul-exposing scheme would be required. Third, I argue that such a scheme would be able to sustain pacifism against rights-based criticisms, like those advanced by Narveson. Fourth, I defend the possibility of such a required ethical-metaphysical scheme.