Self-Defense for Theists

Journal of Analytic Theology 10:246-276 (2022)
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According to Theistic Defensive Incompatibilism, common theistic commitments limit the scope or explanation of permissible self-defense. In this essay, I offer six original arguments for Theistic Defensive Incompatibilism. The first four arguments concern narrow proportionality: the requirement that the defensive harm inflicted on unjust threateners not exceed the harm they threaten. Hellism, Annihilationism, and Danteanism each imply that narrow proportionality is rarely satisfied, whereas Universalism implies that killing never harms. The final two arguments concern wide proportionality, or the requirement that defensive harm not excessively harm non-liable third parties. Omnisubjectivity and Divine Love imply that wide proportionality is rarely satisfied.



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Blake Hereth
University of Pennsylvania

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