Just Wars for Just Cause
Can “good” or “just” wars exist? Throughout history, wars have often been called “just”. Can a just cause justify a just war? In Howard Zinn’s personal journey he asks his readers and himself these questions. Although pacifists like Zinn may not support just wars, sometimes the option for war for a just cause might be the only way for the world to have peace. I believe that World War II is an example of a just war. I believe this because of the need to stop Hitler and fascism and for the United State to protect itself from further attacks like Pearl Harbour. The evils of Hitler, such as killing Jews in Germany and throughout Europe, attacking neighbouring counties of Germany with his military actions, and setting up a dictatorship in Germany that threatened world peace, forced the United States to make the difficult decision to enter the war. The atrocities of fascism, spreading across the continent of Europe taking away the land, freedom and lives of the people living in countries there, such as Italy, Spanish and Yugoslavia, made the United States government feel that military support was necessary because the United States didn’t agree with the principles of fascism. Finally, the horrible surprise attack on the American military base at Pearl Harbour by the Japanese was the deciding factor that pushed the United States into the war because the United States needed to protect Americans from foreign attacks. Another just war that I believe the United States became involved in is the Afghanistan war because Americans tried to help citizens stop terrorism in their country. I agree with Falk’s statement “The war in Afghanistan against apocalyptic terrorism qualifies in my understanding as the first truly just war since World War II.” The response of the United States government after the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center in New York City is an example of just military action. If the United States didn’t use military...
...first. There must be a reasonable chance of success. The means used have to lead to the end of war. These beliefs and statements have come from a variety of sources that comes all the way back to Augustine of Hippo. He personally believed one could both be a soldier and serve God and country with love. Of course, he wanted violence to be prevented as long as possible, but he still thought God gave them the sword for a reason. He wanted Christians to be able to protect peace and fight off the wicked. Augustine even went as far to say that it would be a sin not to protect oneself when violence is the only answer.
Although Augustine did not break down the specific criteria for just war, Thomas Aquinas did. Born nine hundred years after Augustine, Thomas Aquinas was an extremely influential philosopher and theologian. Using Augustine’s pass statements, he stated three of the six criteria. They stated: a war must be waged for a good purpose, not self-gain, just war must be properly controlled by the state, and peace must be a central motive in war.
The School of Salamanca wished to expand on Thomas’ beliefs and statements. They expanded on ‘Thomistic’ understanding of natural law and just war. Given that war is one of the worst evils suffered and caused by mankind, the School reasoned that it should be resorted to only when it was necessary in order to prevent an even greater evil. An agreement is preferable, even for the more powerful party,...
...Task 5 – Religion and Peace
a) Describe the teachings and beliefs of Christianity and Islam about peace for individuals and society
b) Explain the ways in which organisations and individuals within Christianity and Islam make important contributions to peace
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The notion of peace is complex and multi-faceted. Peace is not merely the absence of hostility, violence or war but encompasses a larger concept wherein there are various contributing factors such as healthy interpersonal or international relationships, security in matters of social or economic welfare and equality and fairness in political relationships. The nature of peace is also tied to concerns of the causes for its absence or loss of which may be social injustice, economic inequality, political and religious radicalism. With so many existing issues, peace is, in reality, more a perpetual goal rather than a prevailing truth. In this sense, religion and peace are fundamentally united.
The role of religious expressions is largely guiding the individual adherent and community to a state of peace. In more ways than one, religion is simply a discipline, an ideology, of peace. Christianity and Islam, two Abrahamic religions, actively promote peace supported by sacred texts.
Peace is central to the Christian message; it was...
...Principal teachings about peace in Christianity
Heart of Jesus' ministry
The teaching of the New Testament affirms the centrality of peace to the Christian message. It was at the heart of the life and ministry of Jesus and accordingly is sought after and taken up by the communities that seek to follow Jesus.
Peace is understood as more than merely an absence of violence and conflict. It refers more fully to an overall sense of wellbeing. Ultimately peace is found in union with God. Christians are taught to live at peace with others, both within their own communities and in the wider human family.
Throughout the first three centuries of the common era Christians adopted a pacifist position and refused to engage in military service or warfare. This was a position that contributed to them being marginalised in the wider community and persecuted by the Roman authorities. Yet despite the hardships, Christians as a whole refused to engage in warfare, believing that to do so would be contrary to their faith.
The conversion of the Emperor Constantine in the fourth century introduced Christians to a new situation where they were now part of the establishment and the empire was their ally rather than a threat to their existence. This new situation led to a rethinking of the position of the Christian Church in relation to its involvement in warfare.
This new situation...
...The Libya, Obama and the Just War Theory
There is no doubt that philosophy can be applied to everything from politics, to government, to our personal relationships. In today’s world, however, it is difficult to simplify everything into theoretical whims of Cicero, Plato, and Kant. The Libya, Obama and the Just War Theory is a blog post written by a man under the alias “Doctor Cleveland.” Cleveland provides us with a prime example of an archaic theory being used to justify decisions made in a complex and highly political conflict. Cleveland argues that Obama’s decision to become involved in Libya can be rationalized through the “just war theory,” which states that war can be justified if it meets certain criteria. While he agrees that there are grounds on which a person could object to the Libya strikes such as “diplomatic reasons, military reasons, pragmatic reasons, reasons of consistency, even Constitutional reasons,” he argues that American involvement in Libya fits absolutely within the traditional philosophy. Because Cleveland cedes that there may be practical arguments against U.S. attacks in Libya and because I had always been a fan of weighing the philosophical soundness of a decision, I have accepted the challenge to counter Cleveland’s arguments purely on philosophical grounds. Cleveland attests that U.S. attacks in Libya meet the criteria because are countering a high magnitude of evil, that force being used by the U.S. is proportional to the harm that could...
...Christianity and Islam have similar teachings on peace and it is evident that there is a strong relationship between these fundamental teachings and the ways in which the religious traditions and their organizations actively strive towards world peace. World peace is understood in both faiths, not just as an absence of violence and conflict, but also as an overall sense of wellbeing and social cohesion. Inner peace is essential in achieving world peace, and must be attained in order to work towards peace at a higher level.
Christianity teaches that peace is Christ’s parting gift and a concept that begins with Him, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you” (John 14:27). The Catholic peace movement “Pax Christi” stands for the ‘peace of Christ’ and has launched a policy for a culture of peace and non-violence. “Pax Christi” uses the teaching of the peace of Christ to guide them, calling adherents to state that they are recognizing their responsibility to “respect life…practice active non-violence [and] defend freedom” (Pax Christi International Manifesto for a Culture of Peace and Non Violence 1999) in order to contribute to the achievement of world peace.
Islam teaches that peace can only be attained through the submission to Allah’s will....
...Searching for Peace (serial number: KLP112SN)
Peace is not given, it is realized
“Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.”-Dalai Lama
Searching is an act of looking for something or someone that we don’t find. Our life is a quest, we have to search for everything in life. At present, we have everything expectpeace in the world. We have learnt sophisticated skills with the help of the most advanced technology, but yet, we have terribly failed in establishing peace. We are able to comprehend the mystery of our galaxy but struggling to understand our true nature. Knowing our true nature is very vital to our existence because without knowing ourselves properly, we will not be able to know what we are really need of. Do we really need of peace? And do we Search for peace? Can we give meaning to our life without peace in our hearts and minds? How can we experience real peace in an anxious world? Does every one of us like to live a peaceful life? Answer is yes, but then, how can everybody have peace, love, and harmony in their life? Does the absence of war bring real peace? Are we able to find real peace in the uncertain future? There are so many questions but I don’t know whether my quest...
Peace; a word manipulated and misused too commonly when conversing. The term peace, referring to a happy and harmonious nature, whether within ones self or extending to the greater world, recognises a sense of contentment. Islam, in its entirety, is a peaceful and harmless religion. A Muslims aim is to firstly achieve inner piece, resulting in true ‘Islam’ or total submission to Allah (Sura 5:15-16). Finding and creating this inner piece effects the relationships the individuals has with not only family, but beyond that community and eventually society. The ricocheting effect this will have upon a society leads to world peace, along with breaking down racial barriers; there should be no room for war. However, Ulysses S. Grant’s statement is unfortunately reflective of the Islam. The words of Prophet Muhammad, as clearly stated In the Qur’an say that war should be a last resort. As stated “Permission (to fight)…to those who are being persecuted”. In saying that though, Muhammad never wished disharmony on any Muslim: “Whoever harms a non- Muslim, I am his foe. Whoever is my foe, I shall deal with him on the Day of Judgment.” The frequent reiteration of the phrase ‘Peace be upon you’ is in actual fact an external manifestation of the desire for peace within Islam.
The only time it is ok for a Muslim to use any sort of violence or aggression is in self-defense. Justice is also of high importance...
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