Essay Outline the concepts of just war and pacifism

1957 Words Sep 30th, 2013 8 Pages
Outline the key concepts of Just War and Pacifism. A01 [21]
The Just war theory maintains that war may be justified if fought only in certain circumstances, and only if certain restrictions are applied to the way in which war is fought. The theory that was first propounded by St Augustine of Hippo and St Ambrose of Milan ( 4th and 5th centuries AD) attempts to clarify two fundamental questions: ‘when is it right to fight?’ and ‘How should war be fought?’. Whereas Pacifists are people mainly Christians who reject the use of violence and the deliberate killing of civilians but claims that peace is intrinsically good and ought to be upheld either as a duty and that war can never be justifiable. However, Realists agree that, due to the
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War cannot be chosen as a first response but as the last resort. Also, there should a reasonable chance of success during a war. It’s immoral to enter into a hopeless war, thus magnifying the suffering and loss for no constructive reason.
There have always been rules of conduct in war, although such rules have often been ignored. In Christian tradition, there are conditions of conduct that limit the degree of destruction and who may or should not be killed. These conditions were referred to as Jus in Bello- rules governing how war should be fought. The principles include: only legitimate targets should be attacked, proportionality and that, agents of war should be responsible for their actions. An act of war aimed indiscriminately using chemical/biological weapons at the entire cities or of extensive areas along with their populations, is not only a crime against God but one against humanity and should be condemned. Also, it is unfair and unjust of attack non-combatants (civilians, or innocents) because it is against their right and therefore they cannot be justly attacked.
However, the Just war theory comes under criticism from those who advocate pacifism. They maintain that war is always wrong. Pacifism is described to be the opposition of all forms of violence as a means of settling disputes, either between individuals or between countries. The Christian argument for pacifism is based on Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount

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