Philosophy and Ethics- Peace and Justice

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Philosophy and Ethics- peace and justice

Christian attitudes towards war: Just War

  • conditions of a just war designed to prevent and limit wars
  • idea constructed by Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century

Conditions of a Just War are:

  • it must be fought by a recognised legal authority (for example, the Government)
  • the cuase of war must be just
  • the war must be fought with the intention to correct evil or do good
  • there must be a reasonable chance of success
  • the war must be the last resort (after all diplomatic negotiations etc. have been tried and have failed)
  • only sufficient force must be used and civilians cannot be involved

Christian attitudes towards violence and the act of pacifism

  • In the Old Testament, people are often told by God to go to war
  • However, the sixth commandment says thou shall not murder
  • The Old Testament also looks forward to a time where no nations fight with each other
  • Jesus taught that peacemakers are blessed and that people should love their enemies
  • Most Christians believe that fighting and war are wrong except in some serious cases
  • Some Christians, such as Quakers, are pacifists
  • During war, they will not fight and become conscious objectors. Instead, they are prepared to go into war as ambulances drivers or medics
  • Other Christians are prepared to fight and there


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