RELS 208 Christian Peacemaking Just War Criteria Spring 2008 Just War Criteria for Policy Evaluation in The Challenge of Peace : I. Jus Ad Bellum Criteria (All stress presumption against war): A) Just Cause: Protect the innocent, justice, defense against unjust attack. 1) Not legitimate: retaliation, vengeance, to gain power or territory. 2) Vatican II and International Law limit use of force to defense against injustice. 3) Aggressive wars or “preemptive strikes” threaten total war and break down the international institutions necessary for world order. B) Legitimate Authority: legitimately constituted government. 1) Not prerogative of individuals or groups of citizens. 2) Political and moral legitimacy; if government has lost legitimacy because of disregard for justice and human rights of citizens, then authority may shift to nongovernmental organizations. Oppressive government may justify revolution. C)
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