C.S. Lewis, Mere Killing?

Taken from Mere Christianity, p 119f.

“I have often thought to myself how it would have been if, when I served in the WW1, I and some young German had killed each other simultaneously and found ourselves together a moment after death. I cannot imagine that either of us would have felt any resentment or even any embarrassment. I think we might have laughed over it.

We may kill if necessary, but we must not hate and enjoy hating. We may punish if necessary, but we must not enjoy it….Even while we kill and punish we must try to feel about the enemy as we feel about ourselves.

I have often thought to myself how it would have been if, when I served in the WW1, I and some young German had killed each other simultaneously and found ourselves together a moment after death. I cannot imagine that either of us would have felt any resentment or even any embarrassment. I think we might have laughed over it.

I imagine somebody will say, ‘Well, if one is allowed to condemn the enemy’s acts, and punish him, and kill him, what difference is left between Christian morality and the ordinary view?’ All the difference in the world.”

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