THE JUST WAR by Paul Ramsey


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This is Dr. Ramsey's second book on the subject of war in relation to the Christian conscience. It is a collection of some twenty-four pieces, most of them previously published, loosely bound together by the theme of the use of force as a necessary (or unnecessary) concomitant of political responsibility. The author has up-dated those papers, by means of notes, the relevancy of which has been diminished by recent events. The core of the book is, of course, the practical problem of the ""morality"" of violence in an age of ""encountering powers,"" particularly in Vietnam--a problem the solution to which will be found in going ""back to the place where we should have become, in integrity of conscience, pacifists, and ceased to take counsel with statecraft in its resorts to armed force."" Dr. Ramsey is not a pacifist in the usual sense of the word; he is, rather, a moderate, for whom the use of force is morally justifiable only when such use is measured against a rigorous scale of coinciding political, social, and ethical values, and only where the means employed are in proportion to those values. It is a classic thesis, and one which the author sustains vigorously, though the force of his argumentation is somewhat diluted by his sustained polemics against Justus Lawler, Stein, et al.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1968
Publisher: Scribners