Just War and Pacifism

Just War The just war theory is a largely Christian philosophy that attempts to reconcile three things: * taking human life is seriously wrong * states have a duty to defend their citizens, and defend justice * protecting innocent human life and defending important moral values sometimes requires willingness to use force and violence There are six conditions that must be satisfied for a war to be considered just: * The war must be for a just cause. The war must be lawfully declared by a lawful authority. * The intention behind the war must be good. * All other ways of resolving the problem should have been tried first. * There must be a reasonable chance of success. * The means used must be in proportion to the end that the war seeks to achieve. The way Just War has to be fought: * No innocent people can be harmed. * No fighters or combatants can also be involved or harmed in the process.

Purpose * The aim of Just War Theory is to provide a guide to the right way for states to act in potential conflict situations. It only applies to states, and not to individuals (although an individual can use the theory to help them decide whether it is morally right to take part in a particular war). * Just War Theory provides a useful framework for individuals and political groups to use for their discussions of possible wars. The theory is not intended to justify wars but to prevent them, by showing that going to war except in certain limited circumstances is wrong, and thus motivate states to find other ways of resolving conflicts. Information above obtained from: http://www. bbc. co. uk/ethics/war/just/introduction. shtml Pacifists are often thought of as totally opposed to killing, but they don’t have to be. A pacifist can logically support euthanasia and abortion, although they would need to have thought their position through very carefully.

Types of pacifism Absolute pacifism: An absolute pacifist believes that it is never right to take part in war, even in self-defence. They think that the value of human life is so high that nothing can justify killing a person deliberately. Conditional pacifism: A conditional pacifist might be against Euthanasia, violence and war but they accept that there will be consequences that occur when there’s a war compared to the consequences that occur when using an alternative method to solve things. Selective pacifism:

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