SL10262: Is the Afghanistan War Just?: A Book of Mormon Approach

At the 2010 BYU Studies Symposium, two presentations attacked Hugh Nibley’s argument that the Book of Mormon advocates pacifism and declared that the war in Afghanistan is a just and noble war. In response, Madson outlines a framework for analyzing when, if ever, war is justified, suggesting that the Book of Mormon not only allows for but strongly promotes pacifism. Van Wagenen outlines evidence that the Book of Mormon does allow for war, but only under well-prescribed conditions, namely in self-defense against aggressors or in rebellion against a government/ruler that requires its subjects to engage in acts of aggression. Both authors contend that the Afghanistan war does not meet the requirements of either a pacifist or defensive war and therefore should not be supported