Conscientious Objectors and the Second World War: Moral and Religious Arguments in Support of Pacifism
Was pacifism an acceptable response to Hitler's military and moral assault? This volume analyzes the moral and religious arguments justifying an individual's opposition to war while answering this question. Drawing largely on interviews with sixty World War II conscientious objectors, including those who served in military non-combatant or civilian roles and those who were jailed as violators of the Selective Service law, this study provides an oral history of the difficulties encountered as a conscientious objector in the "Last Good War," and uses World War II as a case study for examining how people arrive at the moral decisions they act upon. Faced with the moral certainty of the Allied position in World War II, pacifism was clearly an unpopular position at that time. This work provides a thorough description of the political and social history of pacifism prior to and including World War II and describes the wide variety of theological, political, and moral beliefs on which pacifism is grounded. The discussion focuses on the factors that defining the pacifist attitude and actions, and also considers the consequences of those actions. Contrary to generally accepted views, the pacifist's concern with the future ramifications of his or her decisions is affirmed. Careful documentation and an interdisciplinary scope offer oral historians, historians of World War II, World War II conscientious objectors, pacifists, and the general public a solid and scholarly look at pacifism.
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Pacifism and the Selective Service Act of 1940
The Conscientious Objector Population
Foundations of Pacifism
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11 September 25 September 28 February 29 April alternative service Anonymous World answering author's questions argument army believe Berkeley Caleb Foote California camps Carl Paulson Catholic Christ Christian Civilian Public Service College Peace Collection Conscientious Objectors Conscription of Conscience consequentialist deontological draft board Dwight Hanawalt felt fight Germany Gil Bertochini Gilbert Grover Gordon Nutson Gordon Zahn Hitler Holocaust Howard Bogen Howard Ten Brink Hurwitz and Simpson individual interview with author interwar James Bristol Jesus Jews Juhnke kill Mennonite military Modesto moral reasoning non-pacifists noncombatant NSBRO objection October Oral History pacifist pacifist moral Pasadena peace churches peace movement Pearl Harbor Pennsylvania political Polner interview prison privately held produce good consequences refused religious Richard Brown Robert Vogel rule of pacifism San Francisco Selective Service self-interview answering author's September 1986 social SOH interview Swarthmore College Swarthmore College Peace telephone interview United Verne violence Wallace Nelson wartime Washington D.C.