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War - Essay Example

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War

Many thinkers and intellectuals, not to mention religious leaders, have lent their support to Just War and have moulded it over centuries with their contributions. According to Christian theory, resorting to war under any circumstances other than self defence is immoral, because war is never justifiable. At the same time, war is State's option and right of self-defence.
"This is selective pacifism, for it does not deny the state the right of self-defense; it only denies to the Christian the right to participate. Likewise the just war theory gives no blanket endorsement of war, but demands painstaking discrimination between just and unjust causes," (Holmes, 19752).
Just War is considered to be just, because it is interference on behalf of humanity, to establish peace, to repel an inhuman attack, to save people from its grips, to abolish anarchy. War for peace is also called Moral war because its intention is re-establishing morality and natural law. Just War tradition is of two fold: one is when to launch into a Just War and another, how to conduct the war without resorting into injustice. So it covers not only the motive, but also the process. The end result of winning or losing does not figure much in a Just War even though every war is fought for winning. As the means of winning the war has to be just and beyond reproach, the result of the war takes a secondary place. As morality, ethics and justice should support the origin of such a war and shape the conduction of it, its end result, even though important, cannot be achieved by mean methods. Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas, Grotius and many more philosophers stood by Just War. This includes demands like a competent authority to declare the war, and there should be all probability of success, amongst other just causes. St. Augustine categorised them as follows:

"1. Defending against an external attack;
2. Recapturing things taken;
3. Punishing people who have done wrong."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_war


Just War should be conducted as an act of discrimination where only the guilty party should be punished and not the civilians and non-offenders. And this means biological weapons, weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons of any kind are ruled out. Another principle is that it should be governed by proportionality, and this means, the use of force should be proportional to the offence committed and not beyond that. Civilian deaths, attacks on helpless refugees, mass killings, and indiscriminate persecution are ruled out. Also it demands minimum force. Excessive killings, torture, destruction, upheaval, exodus, genocide, target killings of particular groups due to enmity are not allowed.

Just wars demand just cause, just intent and war should be the last resort after exhausting all other means of achieving peace. There should be a lawful declaration of war and during war, non-combatant groups like medical services, ambassadors, journalists, individuals providing service like Red Cross, and organisations that provide relief to refugees and dislocated people should be spared of all ...Show more

Summary

This war is not merely a political and an economic struggle, but rather a theological one. It is not political and economic, because politics and economics are concerned only with the means of living" (Sheen, 19431).
Christian tradition of just war is very different from the contemporary patterns of warfare…
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