Top critical review
6 people found this helpful
on September 16, 2013
Excellent kindle addition.
It seemed like more words were spent constructing a moral rational for violence than what I expected from the title, the ways in which morality of groups is different than morality of individuals.
To summarize his view on morality - Because we cannot fathom the whole of humanity our loyalty will be to a group. The highest form of altruism will be to sacrifice for a group. If it is in the interest of a group to coerce another group then the individuals in that first group will feel loyal and altruistic and moral coercing another group.
His defense of violence is simply that he sees non-violent coercion as morally no different than violent coercion. In his mind justice, by which he seems to mean equality, should be the primary goal of society not peace.
It is very timely for today, September 2013, as both McCain and Obama, who are promoting violence in Syria, have claimed, in the past, that Niebuhr has influence in their thinking.