Pauling & Ikeda’s False Dilemma of Absolute Pacifism | PeaceCouple

The Power of Nonviolence: Writings by Advocates of PeaceThe second excerpt in The Power of Nonviolence: Writings by Advocates of Peace.from Linus Pauling & Daisaku Ikeda‘s 1992 book A Lifelong Quest for Peace forms the books twenty-first chapter. This dialogue continues the Post-Vietnam to the Present (1975-  ) section of the book.  In previous essay titled Immorality of War: Pauling & Ikeda, I discuss their credentials including Pauling’s Nobel Prizes both in Chemistry and Peace, along with Ikeda’s 1983  United Nations Peace Award.

This 3 1/2 page conversation does not make a cogent argument against absolute pacifism.  Both speakers make the obligatory reference to Hitler; discuss the difficulties of being a pacifist in a non-pacifist world; and determine that unsurprisingly that Einstein was not an absolute pacifist.  Paradoxically in an essay that argues against pacifism, they conclude with a discussion of how Japan has advanced quicker in economic and individual health due its not diverting national resources into a military economy.

The Hitler argument is that pacifism would be useless against the Nazis.  It is usually raised by those who are fearful of the concept of pacifism. I would not expect this argument from these authors or to be promoted by the editors of this collection.

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