Just War Theory

A look at the ethics and morality of the concept of ‘just war’, with an emphasis on Iraq.

This paper examines how conflicts and wars have been part of the human civilization since time immemorial and how, throughout the different eons of history, we have accounts of the destructive effects of wars, irrespective of the cause for which they were fought. It discusses how wars are very much a part of the political system of the world and how every religion in the world has had its own maxims and directives used as the standard for either supporting or disapproving of a war. It looks at how, from the Christian perspective, St. Augustine?s ?Just cause theory? is the principle doctrine used for justifying a war. It discusses the philosophy of the ?just war? and ascertains whether or not it was followed in the U.S. war with Iraq.

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Outline
Introduction
War and Humanity
Just War Doctrine
War and Ethical Reasoning
Terrorism and Just War
War with Iraq (Preemptive Strike)
Preemptive Attack and Consequences
Conclusion
“Given that wars imply destruction on a large scale and the loss of divinely ordained human life we are faced with the dilemma as to weather or not it is ethical to support it under any circumstances. Certainly we must strive towards peaceful means of settling issues and must avoid war at any cost. Wars that have the motive of national fame, territorial gains and purposes of a non-defensive nature are clearly a breach of ethical and moral code of conduct and should be properly regarded as unjustifiable. But under certain conditions when war is forced upon a nation it stands ethically and morally responsible to defend its people from the onslaught of the attackers.”

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