Aquinas Three Conditions For A Just War Analysis

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Midterm #1
1a. Aquinas’ three conditions for a just war are built on the ideas of Aristotle and Augustine. The three conditions are as follows: 1. The first condition claims that “a just war must be declared by proper authority” (Christopher, 50). Aquinas is stating that the second party is allowed to offer redress the issue at hand, it has had the to offer other alternatives. The idea behind this condition is that it makes war the “last resort” (Christopher, 51). This condition also mentions the idea that a war is only just when declared by a proper authority, that is to say the head of state. The second condition is as follows, there must be a “just cause” (Christopher, 50) to declare war. Aquinas claims that a good cause for a just war would be to avenge the wrongs done. This, is justification for defensive wars. The last and third condition offered by Aquinas for a just war is there must be a morally good intention or end for this war. The purpose of the war should be to secure peace. If the last condition is not met then the legitimacy to declare war
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Vitoria is against the seizing of land of properties of natives. He argues that the Spanish conquistadors are not morally justified to act in the way that have towards the natives. The argument they present for seizing the land and property of the natives is that it is for their own good and that they have no legitimate ownership of the land. Vitoria argues that is argument is groundless. Also, just because the natives were attacking back in defense or fear of the Spanish does not make Spanish’s actions just for they are the ones who started the attacks. The Spanish Conquistadors according to Vitoria are not morally justified in their actions. This is important because it sets precedent on the idea behind sovereignty. This is because, he argues that the land was unjustly being seized when the legitimate owners where the natives and the Spanish did not have reasonably good justification to seize the

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