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Old 07-23-2014, 09:25 PM   #1
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Pacifism

Hello, dear ones.

Do you guys believe in pacifism? Can someone tell me what the baha'i stance on pacifism is? to what extent can one be a pacifist and yet still stand up for justice? let me know!
 
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:23 PM   #2
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Good morning friend drac16

Quote:
Originally Posted by drac16 View Post
Hello, dear ones.

Do you guys believe in pacifism? Can someone tell me what the baha'i stance on pacifism is? to what extent can one be a pacifist and yet still stand up for justice? let me know!
An excellent question, and I would believe that everyone here would be interested, not in just the direct answer to your queston but in purposeful and agreeable conversation, regardless points of view.

I will reply only with quotes, for my own words become inadequate.

Quote:
It is true that Bahá'ís are not pacifists since we uphold the use of force in the service of justice and upholding the law. But we do not believe that war is very necessary and its abolition is one of the essential purposes and brightest promises of Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation. His specific command to the kings of the earth is: 'Should any among you take up arms against another, ride ye all against him, for this is naught but manifest justice.' (Tablet to Queen Victoria, "The Proclamation of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 13) The beloved Guardian has explained that the unity of mankind implies the establishment of a world commonwealth, a world federal system, '..liberated from the curse of war and its miseries ... in which Force is made the servant of Justice...' whose world executive 'backed by an international Force... will safeguard the organic unity of the whole commonwealth.' This is obviously not war but the maintenance of law and order on a world scale. Warfare is the ultimate tragedy of disunity among nations where no international authority exists powerful enough to restrain them from pursuing their own limited interests. Bahá'ís therefore ask to serve their countries in non-combatant ways during such fighting; they will doubtless serve in such an international Force as Bahá'u'lláh' envisions, whenever it comes into being."
(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice, September 11, 1984, found in Lights of Guidance, p. 436)
Quote:
... Bahá'ís recognize the right and duty of governments to use force for the maintenance of law and order and to protect their people. Thus, for a Bahá'í, the shedding of blood for such a purpose is not necessarily essentially wrong. The Bahá'í Faith draws a very definite distinction between the duty of an individual to forgive and 'to be killed rather than to kill' and the duty of society to uphold justice. This matter is explained by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in 'Some Answered Questions'. In the present condition of the world Bahá'ís try to keep themselves out of the internecine conflicts that are raging among their fellow men and to avoid shedding blood in struggles, but this does not mean that we are absolute pacifists. This point is explained in the following statement written by the Guardian's secretary on his behalf on 21 November, 1935:

'With reference to the absolute pacifists, or conscientious objectors of war; their attitude, judged from the Bahá'í standpoint, is quite anti-social and due to its exaltation of the individual conscience leads inevitably to disorder and chaos in society. Extreme pacifists are thus very close to the anarchists, in the sense that both of these groups lay an undue emphasis on the rights and merits of the individual. The Bahá'í conception of social life is essentially based on the subordination of the individual will to that of society. It neither suppresses the individual nor does it exalt him to the point of making him an anti-social creature, a menace to society. As in everything, it follows the 'golden mean'. The only way that society can function is for the minority to follow the will of the majority.

'The other main objection to the conscientious objectors is that their method of establishing peace is too negative. Non-co-operation is too passive a philosophy to become an effective way for social reconstruction. Their refusal to bear arms can never establish peace. There should first be a spiritual revitalization which nothing, except the cause of God, can effectively bring to every man's heart'

"A further quotation which may help this dear friend to understand this matter is the passage about the establishment of the Lesser Peace on page 65 of 'The Secret of Divine Civilization'
(From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, February 9, 1967, found in Lights of Guidance, p. 407)
I hope this makes a good start.

With my warmest greetings

Romane

Edit: by the way, our stand regards this matter is not one that is in place to protect our lives. Which means, even in a non-combative role, a person can still end up on the front line and face death, or even be killed.

Romane

Last edited by Romane; 07-23-2014 at 10:29 PM.
 
Old 07-24-2014, 09:08 PM   #3
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Ok, so if I understand correctly, you believe that warfare should be avoided if possible, but is permissible under some circumstances. That's not too far from my own view.

Was Baha'u'llah ever involved in warfare? (we muslims call it 'jihad')
 
Old 07-24-2014, 10:31 PM   #4
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac16 View Post
Ok, so if I understand correctly, you believe that warfare should be avoided if possible, but is permissible under some circumstances. That's not too far from my own view.

Was Baha'u'llah ever involved in warfare? (we muslims call it 'jihad')
The Followers of the Bab did engage in some mighty conflicts as they still defended their Faith as would a Muslim. A fair bit to that story that would be too much to post.

Baha'u'llah took violence off the Table as a way to spread Faith. Baha'u'llah was never involved in Warfare.

God Bless and Regards Tony
 
Old 07-25-2014, 07:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac16 View Post
Ok, so if I understand correctly, you believe that warfare should be avoided if possible, but is permissible under some circumstances. That's not too far from my own view.

Was Baha'u'llah ever involved in warfare? (we muslims call it 'jihad')
You need to read the book, The Dawnbreakers, the history of the Bab and early days of the Baha'i faith. you can access on the internet at Baha'i library.

And no Baha'u'llah took away the right of 'jihad'
 
Old 07-25-2014, 09:02 PM   #6
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united approach

Quote:
Originally Posted by drac16 View Post
Ok, so if I understand correctly, you believe that warfare should be avoided if possible, but is permissible under some circumstances. That's not too far from my own view.

Was Baha'u'llah ever involved in warfare? (we muslims call it 'jihad')

drac,
. Baha'u'llah speaks of the unity of the nations in addressing what happens when an aggressor starts a war on its neighbor. He says: "Rise ye all to deter them", or something to that effect. If, for example, North Korea invaded the South, all the nations of the world should arise together to stop the aggression and dismantle the offending government and its ability to wage war as a united response.

. If we consider a local police force in town, to which everyone pays taxes, there is only one police force with authority. You call the cops, they go get the bad guys. There are not several police forces competing with each other, shooting it out against each other.

. This process of dealing with aggressive nations is evolving quite a bit over the past century or so. The League of Nations was not fully supported, such as the US never got on board. The United Nations was understood to be absolutely necessary after WWII, but it still does not have sufficient strength to be effective. Only when the nations give a bit of their individual sovereign power to it will it be able to keep up with the task of what the US, sadly, still pretends it can do by being the world cop. Its going bankrupt trying to wear that hat, and it doesn't work.

. The first Gulf war might be an example, as there was an effort for over a year before the fighting began, to get as many nations on board as possible. When the nations act together in concert, who will oppose them? So consider if each nation sent the very finest of their soldiers to be a part of this World Force, and that it would be the highest honor to serve in this capacity. What would be the result? Kind of like how nations send their best athletes to the Olympics.

. The trouble is, of course, partly about "Who is in charge", and to what extent can such an army composed of all these nations be authorized to use the force necessary to put out the forest fires. This will take a long time to evolve, but the world is heading in that direction more and more. Only when the majority of nations see the wisdom in this, as well as the economic benefit in such methods as will more efficiently serve the mutual interests of the nations of the world will this come into effect, gradually, over time.
 
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