As I said, this morning’s Students for Liberty debate was a double-header.  Here’s my two minute opening statement for Topic #2: War.

Pacifism in 4 Steps

  1. In the modern world, there are no wars of “self-defense.”  War today inevitably means deliberately or at least recklessly killing many innocent civilians.  This creates a strong moral presumption against war.
  2. To overcome this presumption, you’d have to show that long-run benefits of a war are so wonderful than they clearly overshadow its grisly short-run costs.  And you’d have to show that there isn’t any cheaper, more humane way to obtain these benefits
  3. In practice, predicting the consequences of war is extremely difficult.  Expert predictions are barely better than chance.  “It’s complicated” is not a good enough reason to deliberately or recklessly kill many innocent people.
  4. There are much cheaper, more humane ways to attain the alleged humanitarian benefits of war.  First and foremost: free immigration, so desperate people always have someplace to start a new life.