chapter  12
12 Pages

Contingent Pacifism

ByPaul Morrow

Contingent pacifism is an emerging moral position towards war and participation in war. This chapter begins by reviewing the development of contingent pacifism as a distinct moral position towards war and participation in war. It analyzes some of the leading arguments, and presents a novel argument for contingent pacifism–one designed to show that this position is particularly well suited for individual men and women facing the possibility of enlistment or conscription into their nations’ armed forces. The term “pacifism,” as Cheyney Ryan has observed, is a comparative neologism. The chapter offers additional support for the claim that contingent pacifism constitutes a distinct moral position. Some philosophers hold that contingent pacifism is only a stopover on the way to a more comprehensive form of opposition to war. On this view, contingent pacifism is valuable chiefly for the challenges it poses to certain widely accepted beliefs about the morality of war.