Attitudes to war

Explaining Ethics 2 of OCR Full course RS

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  • Created on: 19-06-11 16:47
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Attitudes to War
Consequences of war:
Death- millions of people are killed, many of whom are civilians
Disease- occurs due to lack of food, water and medical supplies which allows
diseases like cholera to spread easily.
Mental illness- participants and witnesses may get mental illnesses. Some soldiers
get Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTS) where years after they still have flashbacks.
Destruction of property and land- makes it difficult to re-start an economy after
Just war theory is the belief that wars can be morally justified if they follow
certain criteria.
Pacifism: Belief that peace should be the central value that people pursue.
Conscientious objector: someone who chooses not to fight in a war because f
their conscience.
Just War theory
Thomas Aquinas wrote the book `Summa Theologiae' in which he wrote about the Just war
theory meaning a war which it is better to fight than not. Some ideas of the theory were
thought up by Aquinas some by his predecessors and some were developed later.
1. War must be fought for a just cause. There must be a moral reason:
defending a nation or stopping a dictatorship.
2. There must be controlled violence. Efforts must be made to ensure
there is as little violence as possible. Use of force that is greater than
that which the enemy could or has inflicted is immoral.
3. Can be fought if it is defeating a greater evil. E.g. Nazi Germany
4. The war must be in the control of politicians and not be dominated by
the military in the war zone. Politicians should take the most important
5. Force used should be proportional; amount of force used should not be
excessive. The military should avoid hurting innocent people.
6. Only the military should be involved in the war and cares hold be taken
to make sure property or others are not damaged.

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For war Against war
In the old testament God sometimes Exodus "you shall not kill"
demands people to engage in war.
Deuteronomy 7:22-24 "you will destroy
Old testament Joel tells people that God Some Christians are conscientious objectors
wants them to fight a war or pacifists.
Joel 3 "prepare for war!"
God says there is:
Ecclesiastes 3 "a time for war"
Jesus was violent in the temple; Christians
sometimes interpret this to mean violence
can be used with justification. Matthew.…read more


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