Pacifism in 4 Easy Steps
By Bryan Caplan
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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.