“Is All Fair in Love & War?” Just & Unjust Wars through the prism of Jewish and Secular Thought Part 3

War Must Have a Purpose: In order for a soldier or civilian not to have died in vain, war must be just, a purpose that is worth dying for. A purpose that is morally urgent may include political independence, communal liberty, or the protection of human life (Just and Unjust Wars, 110).  While working to deter war is admirable, appeasement is not to be argued if by so doing injustice and aggression will triumph (i.e. Chamberlain & Germany). That is a greater evil (Just and Unjust Wars, 67).

A just war does not violate the rights of people against whom it is directed. However, without just cause, participating in war is a heinous crime against humanity due to the loss of life and the brutal way in which people are killed without discrimination of age, sex or moral condition.  The aggressor is responsible for all these consequences. Walzer’s comment is well stated that unjust war is worse than hell – for in hell people are punished because they have done something sinful, however, people killed in war have often done nothing  wrong (Just and Unjust Wars, 30).

Posted in Ethics, War

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