Saturday, December 12, 2009

Nil Nisi Bonum...

Well, it's a fine old saying. And it's good advice. But 'Nil nisi bonum de mortuis' doesn't prevent us from pointing out interesting stuff.

In an essay discussing "just war," Weigel laments the definition(s) of "peace".

..One is a vapid idea of peace as the absence of conflict, [second] ...there is the simplistic equation of peacemaking with nonviolence [finally]...perhaps the greatest damage to the deepening of the just-war way of thinking in our time has come from the notion, effectively propagated by the Catholic bishops of the United States in their 1983 pastoral letter “The Challenge of Peace,” that the just-war analysis of world politics begins with a “presumption against war.

Weigel, sed contra:

...the classic just-war tradition began, not with a presumption against war, but with a passion for justice: The just prince is obliged to secure the “tranquility of order,” or peace, for those for whom he accepts political responsibility, and that peace, to repeat, is composed of justice, security, and freedom. There are many ways for the just prince (or prime minister, or president) to do this; one of them is armed force. Its justified use can sometimes come after other means of securing justice, security, and freedom have been tried and failed; but it can also sometimes mean shooting first

Bet you never thought that those bumper stickers--"If You Seek Peace, Work for Justice" were anything but cotton candy, eh? (Of course, MY version would be "If You Seek Peace, SHOOT for Justice," but nobody asked me...)

At any rate, I'll give you ONE guess who was the principal author of "The Challenge of Peace" identified by Weigel.


Jos. Bernardin.

HT: Grim

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