Is War Just Or Unjust

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There are many factors that determine whether a war is just or unjust. The justifications for a just war are given by the document the Just War Theory, which was created by the philosopher Thomas Aquinas. The reasons included determine whether the war is considered just or unjust. Many wars are driven by the desire for expansion and greed. Immoral reasons are one of the main causes of almost every war to date. Wrongful intentions for war nullify the actions from being just. Social and religious views for a just war are similar, because both state that a war must be defensive. A defensive war enables a war to be just only when one is under attack or is defending its allies. Only one side can have a just reason for war because the offensive must …show more content…
The Crusades fall within the guidelines that constitute a just war, showing that religious wars can also be just. According to Steve Weidenkopf, “The Crusades were also a response to the severe persecution of indigenous Christians living in the occupied territories, whose lives were severely restricted and who suffered constant pressure to convert to Islam.” Weidenkopf also said, “Particularly troublesome to Christian Europe was the conquering of Jerusalem in 638 by an Islamic force that sacked the city for three days and destroyed over 300 churches and monasteries.” Jerusalem was one of the greatest Christian cities at the time. The Islamic attack on this city was too much for the Christians to bear. This led to Pope Urban the Second’s approval to attack the Islamic armies to gain back the Christian’s land. The Crusades were a series of wars out of self-defense. The Islamic people took over the Christian’s land and forced them to convert to Islam. All of these events had a harsh toll on the Christians. The Christian’s situation led to the declaration of war to recover their land. ‘The Crusades were launched to recover the stolen Christian territories from Islam. The Crusades were also launched to return the stolen territories back to the patrimony of Christ, which justifies the act of going to war (Weidenkopf).’ The Crusades were launched as …show more content…
Most of the time, these purposes for war are immoral, however, just wars have existed in the past and can exist today. Every just war started out as self-defense, not for an immoral reason. The just war doctrine states that a war can only be just if it is out of self-defense and that there isn’t another hidden alternative. The Crusades and WWII are prime examples of a just war contrary to the Vietnam War. In WWII, the United States was attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor. The attack was an act of war which gave the U.S. the rights to declare war. The Crusades had a similar reason as to why the Christians declared war on Islam. This reason for war was that their homeland had been taken by the Islamic people. The Christians set out to reclaim their homeland out of self-defense. However, the Vietnam war takes on the unjust perspective. The war was originally an issue for the North and South Vietnamese who were battling at the time. The United States joined the war siding with the South Vietnamese, opposing Communism. The U.S. lost many lives during the war and it was not a war out of self-defense thereby distinguishing it as an unjust war. Although unjust wars have occurred, there have been just wars in the past, which shows that a just war can

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