War and Peace

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  • Created by: Chantal
  • Created on: 25-04-13 20:59

War and Peace

  • Just War Theory
  • Pacifism
  • Case Studies
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  • Just War theory- The belief that war is morally justified if it meets certain criteria.
  • Realism- Normal moral rules cannot be applied to how states act in time of war.
  • Pacifism- The belief that violence is wrong.
  • Proportionality- In war weapons should be proportionate to the aggression.
  • Realism- Realists fully appreciate the horrors of war and so, like others, try to assess its costs, but they also respond to war in terms of its benefits
  • Christian Realism- The belief that Christianity may use violence to bring about the Kingdom of God and secure peace on earth.
  • Absolute Pacifism- Absolute Pacifism says it is never right to kill another human being, no matter what the consequences of not doing so might be, even loss of life
  • Contingent Pacifism- Contingent Pacifism is not opposed to war on absolute grounds, but on contingent grounds — war as we know it cannot be waged in a morally acceptable way. In other words, all wars today involve killing of the innocent, and this is morally unjustifiable.
  • Preferential Pacifism- preferential Pacifism is a preferential option over violence.
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Just War Theory- Jus ad Bellum

  • Just Conditions for Going to War:
    • Just authority – the war must be started by a legitemate authority – it cannot be declared by an incompetent government or a private organization.
    • Just cause\Right intention – the war cannot be fought for revenge, for personal gains, political expansion or acquisition. It is just to go to war on behalf of a third party (say, a neighbouring state that is under attack, or on behalf of innocents being repressed by a dictator). War should be for (as Aquinas puts it) the ‘advancement of good and avoidance of evil’. Whatever conflict is going on should seek to restore peace.
    • Last resort – all diplomatic methods of resolving the conflict should have been tried.
    • Reasonable chance of success – do not wage a pointless war, as it will result in the waste of innocent life.
    • Proportionality – the war should not cause more injustice than it seeks to stop.
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Just War Theory- Jus in Bello

  • Just conduct during war:
    • Discrimination – there must be differentiation between combatants in the war and innocent civilians, total war is forbidden. Innocents should not be harmed.
    • Proportionality – do not use more force than is necessary as it will result in unnecessary suffering. (cont)
    • No evil means – do not use weapons or means that violate these principles – for example, carpet bombing or the use of nuclear weapons. This also rules out practices such as ****, genocide and ethnic cleansing.
    • (us Post Bellum- conditions for ending a war
    • need for discrimination (punish those responsible for the war, not innocent civilians), declaration of victory (both parties must declare peace, not just the victor)
    • proportionality (punishment of the vanquished should be proportional to the rights that are vindicated
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  • The pacifist principle is that violence, murder and war are not justified under most circumstances. There are many different pacifist views, for example;
  • Absolute Pacifists believe that violence is never justified, even in self defence. Nothing can justify killing a person.
  • Conditional Pacifists are opposed to violence, but accept that in some circumstances it might result in the ‘less bad’ outcome.
  • Selective Pacifists are opposed to the use of nuclear weapons.
  • Active Pacifist are the ones involved heavily in political activity such as protesting wars and promoting peace.
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Pacifism Continued

  • Although many religions have pacifist beliefs, you don’t need to be religious in order to be a pacifist. It stems from the belief that war is wasteful and ineffective. During war, pacifists might carry out non-violent duties such as ambulance driving.
  • Notable pacifists include the Christian group ‘the Society of Friends’ (Quakers) who model themselves on Jesus’s teachings of non-violence, and political figures such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King used non-violent protests to promote their ideas. This is known as civil disobedience.
  • Scholars have pointed out some difficulties with pacifist philosophies, for example, Niebuhr says that pacifists aren’t realising their duty to be proactive and bring about good in the world. Pacifism can’t be adopted as national policy as any nation adopting it would be rapidly conquered. It also places great demands and restrictions on the behaviour of individuals (eg, having no means of self-defense).
  • Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is the foundation for much of Christian pacifism so it’s worth looking up a summary online or making notes or recording quotes to use (add here?)
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