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To day it is pitiful to see the number of scientists who pass as rational men anathematizing war

·2 mins

“To-day it is pitiful to see the number of scientists, who pass as rational men, anathematizing war and urging men of science to have nothing to do with it. Their attitude is similar to that of the Church towards sorcery in the Middle Ages; and yet, when once persecution ceased, out of the witches' cauldrons bubbled the sciences of to-day. To restrict the development of war by divorcing it from civil science is to maintain warfare in its present barbarous and alchemical form. To look upon war as a world force and attempt to utilize it more profitably is surely better. At one time, quite possibly, our ancestors were cannibals, yet hunger is not a vice, and even when a change over was made from eating vigorous young men and women to eating decrepit old people, this in itself was a distinct amelioration, which, in its turn, led to eating kids and lambs-yet hunger is still with us, and cannot be banished by a sigil or a decree. The moral needs no accentuation”

Fuller, J. F. C. and Books Express Publishing. The Foundations of the Science of War. 2012, p. 35.

Unfortunately, these metaphors miss the mark. Whether moral or immoral, if we are seeking to understand war as it truly is, not as we wish it to be, we must be willing to study it as it is. If it be evil, as evil. If it be amoral, as amoral. If good, as good. But we must not look at war (as a sub-division of conflict, which it is) as amoral simply because it makes it more of a “thing,” ripe for our study, rather than a moral evil that we are actually trying to understand.