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November 27, 2018
(Shaw) Watha T. Daniel Branch Library
1630 7th St. NW
Washington, DC US
Center for Inquiry–DC (CFI–DC)
This month’s discussion topic is: war and conflict
For all of human history, groups have fought for resources, land, or religion. Many early civilizations were founded upon conquest of neighboring tribes and groups. The Roman empire, for instance, obtained much of it’s power and influence through centuries of conquest in Europe and the Mediterranean.
As technology has advanced, the instruments of conflict have become more and more deadly, and the costs of conflict take longer to recover from. As the cost has increased, society has tried to reconsider the utility of war. Early theories espoused by Thomas Acquinus and Augustine espoused ideas on when war was justified, or a Just War. After the world wars and nuclear weapons, concepts of nonviolence and mutually assured destruction gained wider acceptance as people grappled with the destructive toll of modern armed conflicts and weapons.
When, if ever, is war justified? How can we avoid war, and what are the alternatives to armed conflict? Where does the concept of nonviolence fit given humanity’s history of conflict?
After the discussion we will head over to Beau Thai down the street for those who wish to have food and continue the conversation.