Can There Ever Be a 'Just War'

Can There Ever Be a 'Just War'

  • Submitted By: Sappatron
  • Date Submitted: 12/14/2008 4:55 AM
  • Category: Religion
  • Words: 5167
  • Page: 21
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Can There Ever Be A ‘Just War’

The question as to whether there can ever be a war that is justified entirely by the just war theory is a somewhat more difficult question than it would appear on the surface. The just war theory was devised and matured over a tremendously long period of time with the intention of producing a blue print of sorts that could be compared to any plan to engage in warfare and placed a broad series of principles that would, in effect conclude whether the proposal of going to war was, in fact, justified. If that was indeed the case then surely if any war had met these qualifications and the war had been justified, and henceforth the conflict had taken place, there must have been a just war? This is the problem, however, has any war actually met the full qualifications of the just war theory? Has any war that is supposedly justified, actually been a just war?

The most obvious first port of call for this issue would be too establish what exactly the just war theory is. Robin Gill, in the Cambridge Companion to Christian Ethics states that:

“Christian versions of just war theory are essentially attempts to limit the horrors of warfare rather than means of justifying particular wars.” Gill (2001, p.183)

The theory is a longstanding idea that has been part of Christian ethics throughout Christian history, but essentially was taken from Graeco-Roman sources. Just war theory has still been moulded and affected by many theologians, Christian and non-Christian alike. The theory simply attempts to add a portion of morality into an inevitable situation of war that countries often end up facing. According to Gill, it is an attempt to make it possible for people to view wars as not all identical conflicts, but that they do indeed differ from one another, some of them being justified, others not so. Gill (2001) says that many Christians have often attempted to place a rein on warfare, either attempting to avoid it utterly and completely,...

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