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Nuclear Pacifism

«Just War» Thinking Today


Edward J. Laarman

Modern warfare has not only intensified old moral issues but raised new ones. Nuclear Pacifism: «Just War» Thinking Today is a study in «just war» Christian thought about the moral problems of nuclear war and deterrence. Dr. Laarman describes and evaluates the statements of theologians, philosophers, church leaders, and others from the 1950's to 1981. He focuses on authors who represent three positions: «nuclear pacifists» who on moral grounds call for unilateral nuclear disarmament; «counterfore» advocates such as Paul Ramsey who claim that some types of nuclear war and deterrence can be justified; and those who think that a nuclear «bluff» can be justified for the sake of deterrence. Dr. Laarman concludes with an analysis of the crisis which nuclear weapons have posed for the tradition of just war thought.
Contents: Description and evaluation of Christian thought in recent decades on the moral problems of nuclear war and deterrence. Focus on three «just war» views: «nuclear pacifism», «counter- force», and the «bluff».