Twain, Christianity, and Just Wars
Eric Anderson fisks Sandefur's Twain quote
on Sandefur's own blog. Or does he? In any case, Anderson defends Christianity against Twain's Satan, citing Aquinas's just war principle: right authority, just cause, and right intention are the criteria to evaluate the justness of a war. Aquinas, is, of course, merely refining St. Augustine's eight elements of a just war
: "1) a punitive conception of war, (2) assessment of the evil of war in terms of the moral evil of attitudes and desires, (3) a search for authorization for the use of violence, (4) a dualistic epistemology which gives priority to spiritual goods, (5) interpretation of evangelical norms in terms of inner attitudes, (6) passive attitude to authority and social change, (7) use of Biblical texts to legitimate participation in war, and (8) an analogical conception of peace. It does not include noncombatant immunity or conscientious objection."
So far, so good. But I don't think that the just war argument addresses Twain's Satan's argument
that religion is used as a tool in acquisitive wars to justify the conflicts. In fact, the just war argument seems to support Twain's Satan: after all, cynical rulers can manipulate a semi-schooled Christian populace by appealing to their understanding of the just war analysis. Twain's Satan is, I think, highlighting the ease of hypocrisy among Christians with regards to war.