The Ethics of War and Peace

The Ethics of War and Peace - 1 The idea of a just war has...

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1 The idea of a just war has been an integral part of western societies for many centuries, and the most controversial proposition of just war theory that, sometimes, states may have moral justifications for resulting to armed force, has been a main focus in our society for the past century or so. We no longer go to war until we are as sure as we can be that it is a just war, and the guidelines for a just war can be met. However, just war is only one of the approaches to the ethics of war and peace. There are three main approaches to the ethics of war and peace: pacifism, war realism, and just war theory. Pacificism is a theory based on the firm belief that any act of war is wrong, and moral concepts can indeed be imposed on international affairs. For the pacifist, there is always another solution than that of resulting to fighting. War Realism is the theory that war is necessary and a natural part of human nature. War realists are skeptical about the application of moral thought in war. They believe that “ethics has got nothing to do with the rough-and-tumble world of global politics, where only the strong and cunning survive” (Wells). In war realism power and national security drive a state at the time of war and all moral concepts are cast aside. For the realist, war is the best solution in obtaining economic security and the influence on economic growth. Just War Theory is the theory that war is undertaken only as a last result and there is just cause for the war. The Just war theory contends that in order to justify going to war ( jus ad bellum ) six requirements must be met. It also requires that certain guidelines must be met in war ( jus in bello ) as well or the war is not considered just. There are three branches to the just war theory, the first of which is jus ad bellum, or the moral reasoning for going to war. There are six guidelines that must be met in jus ad bellum : (1) Just cause, a state may launch a war for only the right reason; self-defense, defense of others, and the protection of innocents from brutal wrongdoings. (2) Right intention, meaning a state shall
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2 not fight a war for any other reasons than that of its just cause. Force may be used only in a truly
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The Ethics of War and Peace - 1 The idea of a just war has...

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