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Violence and Humanism

It seems that every time a discussion about the US army comes up on there is a disagreement about the ethical use of violence.

I think there are important questions to be asked in the humanist community regarding when the use of violence is justified.

Christopher Hitchens argued for war in Iraq because, inter alia, Saddam Hussein was a totalitarian dictator. Then there are also the cases of: the African National Convention; Irish Republican Army; Palestinian Liberation Organisation; the struggle for democracy in Burma and the Kurdistan Workers Party.

This list is not exhaustive but all of the above have what one might (or might not) call a legitimate and justified grievance. And all of them - including a number of pro-democracy and anti-military groups in the case of Burma - are "terrorists" according to the EU and/or US.

At what stage of oppression do you think that reciprocal violence is justified? Or is violence never justified? If so, what do we do about violent oppression?

I'm interested to know at what point my comrades in the anti-religion camp believe that violence could be justified - if ever.



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