“War, what is it good for”? The lyrics to the 60’s pop song, provokes the question that Just War proponents and Pacifists have wrestled with throughout history, reaching opposite conclusions. Those in favor of Just War theory, say war is only good insofar as it is fought for the right reasons and brings about the right end. Whereas, Pacifists reject war completely, preferring peaceful means to resolve conflict. But which one is morally and ethically right? Which one should be adopted and practiced by both the Nations of this World, and the followers of Jesus Christ? Upon examining the logic and philosophical implications of each ethical stance, one is able to sympathize with them both, seeing their values and virtue. Pacifism, however, is the most consistent, and peaceful out of the two, and therefore should be the one that is practiced. In Question forty of the Summa Theologiae, Saint Thomas Aquinas the renowned 13th century Catholic theologian endorses the Just War Position for a citizen (Christian) to engage in war, on the basis of three criteria.
1. “First, the authority of the sovereign by whose command the war is to be waged” (Aquinas)
Aquinas states that the individual does not have the moral right or obligation to declare war, instead it is the duty of that the Sovereign State, because only the state has been given the authority to execute such a judgment.
2. “Secondly, a just cause is required” (Summa theologiae II-II, Q. 40, a. 1)
A nation should not invade or…