Everything that Prevents War is Good

June 19, 2021
Everything that Prevents War is Good

Selflessness

Everything that Prevents War is Good

Source: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in New York

Among the prominent people who called upon the Master were the President of the New York Peace Society [Mr W. H. Short] and an important inventor of armaments [Mr Hudson Maxim]. It happened that both were visiting ‘Abdu’l-Bahá at the same time.

Monday, April 15 [1912], Mr. Maxim, an inventor and scientist who was an expert in explosives, … was very interested in issues related to the prevention of international war through the build-up of armaments. In the course of the interview, he attempted to counter and challenge ‘Abdu’l-Baha: 

Maxim: “I understand you are a messenger of peace to this country. What is your opinion about modern war? …” 

‘Abdu’l-Baha: “Everything that prevents war is good.”

Maxim: “Evolution has now reached a period in the life of nations where commerce takes the place of warfare. Business is war, cruel, merciless.” 

‘Abdu’l-Baha: “True! War is not limited to one cause. There are many kinds of war and conflict going on … this is the very civilization of war.” 

Maxim: “Do you consider the next great major war necessary?”

 ‘Abdu’l-Baha: “I hope your efforts may be able to prevent it. Why not try peace for a while? If we find war is better, it will not be difficult to fight again; …” 

‘Abdu’l-Baha: “In ancient times when nations fought against nation, probably one-thousand would be killed in battle, … but in modern times the science of war has reached such a stage of perfection that in twenty-four hours one-hundred thousand could be sacrificed, …” Maxim: “Fewer are killed in modern engagements that in battles of ancient times; the range is longer and the action less deadly.” 

‘Abdu’l-Baha: “… In modern warfare there are bombs which kill men like stripping leaves from a tree…” 

Maxim: “The effect of a bomb is not so great as expected. Most of its force is expended upward in the air…” 

‘Abdu’l-Baha: “The greatest intelligence of man is being expended in the direction of killing his fellow-man… You are a celebrated inventor and scientific expert whose energies and faculties are employed in the production of means for human destruction… You must expend your energies and intelligence in a contrary direction. You must discover the means of peace; … Then it will be said by the people of the world, this is Mr. Maxim, inventor of the guns of war, … who has put an end to the strife of nations and uprooted the tree of war…”


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