Just war

This essay has a total of 1715 words and 7 pages.


just war






The Just war theory is and interesting one simply because the phrase just war is an
oxymoron. War is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as a state of usually open and
declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations. Implicit in this definition of
war is the result of death and since justice is right action towards other death is the
most unjust of things. Thus war is unjust.

Although there is the case where one country goes to war with another because the other
has unjust policy and warfare if the catalysis believed to change these policies.

Jesus Christ taught us to love our enemies and when they offended us to turn the other
cheek. However that was what he preached to a small sect of Jews two thousand years ago.
This teaching did not only work it worked well at the time because there was no way for a
few hundred or even thousand early Christians to take on the whole Roman army, which
persecuting the early Christians. However things soon changed drastically. Constantine
the emperor of Roman had a religious conversion and made Christianity the official
religion of the state. Which changed the nature of the religion. Christianity became
main stream so to speak. Roman officials began to convert just because it might help them
in the political career. The small Christian faith communities that had been in hiding
for fear that they would be persecuted were able to come out and worship openly. In
addition to all this the religion also became more scholarly. People became true
historians and students of Christianity. The Church took on a government like
hiearchtical structure. From all this change religious policies and disputes were no
longer settle at just the local level by a few people getting together and figuring out
what they though would be best. There was a system developed to resolve these problems.
It involved consulting scholars on the subject and then coming to a conclusion in
committee and writing an official policy on it. This policy setting process usually
happened in Rome because that was the center of power and knowledge at the time. So most
of the scholars of the time resided in there. Along with most of the Roman officials
because it was also the capital city of the Roman Empire. This was convenient because
after Constantine’s conversion there was nothing separating church and state. With church
and state so closely connected it was impossible for the doctrine that all war, no matter
what the reasons being, was bad to remain as it was. An empire can not be aposed to all
war. War is unfortunately a necessary evil of government especially in that time period.
Through this problem the theory of the just war arose. The Holy Roman Empire could not
have other people attacking it and not be able to respond because of the official state
religion prohibited it. From this imperial need for warfare the criteria for just ware
came. However it is easy to see that they were written to help the government. Many
people feel that no war is just and while the Church agrees that there is sin in all war.
It does say that under certain conditions that war is the only option.

The separation of church and state in the United States works to avoid the problem that
Rome had. It helps to remove some the moral guilt that is felt from warfare. It is
interesting though that the United States has taken on the role of the world’s police
department. While the United States is not officially connected to any religion it is a
government run by the people and the majority of the people are from a Judeo-Christian
background. This is a Judeo-Christian culture and from that there are certain policies
and traditions that permeate all facets of life. Including war policy.

In the post World War II world the United States emerged as the premiere world power with
its only rival for global dominance being the Soviet Union. This caused some interesting
tension because the two countries which fought on the same side during the war. Although
the Soviet Union was under a different government at the time the two nations went form
being allies to complete enemies. The governments of the two countries were formed with
the opposite philosophy. The United States was formed with the freedom of the individual
as it central goal. The Soviet Union however was formed with the good of the state as its
first priority. The Soviets were taught that the good of the many far outweighs the good
of the few or the one and that through the equal sharing of goods and services all would
benefit. On top of the tension that was between the two states because they were the most
powerful and that their governments were based on two completely opposite political
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