Just War?

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odenskrigare
 
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 07:53 pm
@richrf,
richrf;97016 wrote:
Well, just use your college learned logic on the combatants on the battlefield and let me know what happens. OK? You practice, what I would call, impractical and unusable philosophy


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"college learned logic" is a vital element of any military worth taking seriously
 
Aedes
 
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 08:13 pm
@I am question,
I am question;97047 wrote:
55% of american soldiers were either killed or wounded in WW1
According to Wikipedia only 7% of mobilized American soldiers became casualties in WWI.

However it was as much as 67% for France and well over 50% for a number of other belligerents, including Russia.

Allies of World War I - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

---------- Post added 10-22-2009 at 10:18 PM ----------

richrf;97275 wrote:
Japan, during the 20s and 30s had set its sites on China and East Asia and already was in the midst of wars with both China and the Soviet Union as well as participating in atrocities including the Rape of Nanking. Clearly the stage was set for an inevitable conflict with all powers that had interest in that region. Japan's military was designed to project power (e.g. its naval fleet) that was destined for war.
And then in 1939 Japan got wasted at the Battle of Khalkin Gol by the Red Army, led by Georgy Zhukov -- and Japan realized that they were more likely to realize their material and territorial aspirations by taking on the US and spreading through the Pacific and not mainland Asia.
 
odenskrigare
 
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 08:44 pm
@RDanneskjld,
... that didn't work out too well for them either
[INDENT]He said, 'Youve seen wite shadders on stannings cernly you seen the 1 in that hoal in Bernt Arѕe where you foun Lissener.'

I said, 'Yes I seen that wite shadder.'

He said, 'Wel it ben radiant lite as made that shadder. Radiant lite. Shyning. Wel we know from our oan Eusa Story where you fynd the Hart of the Wud youwl fynd a shyning in be twean his horns. Which that shyning is the Littl Shyning Man the Addom.'[/INDENT]
 
Aedes
 
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 08:49 pm
@RDanneskjld,
If Japan had invaded Russia, then there's a good chance that the USSR would have completely collapsed after the German invasion. That is the only possible scenario in which I see Germany emerging victorious in Europe.

Trouble is that Japan and Germany were too far apart to coordinate well as allies and there was that whole racial thing that bugged those discriminating Germans too.
 
odenskrigare
 
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 08:59 pm
@RDanneskjld,
I don't think the Nazi party had real racial ideals

they were using whatever was convenient for them

hence the alliance with Japan

"so uh yeah, East Asia is full of chinky-dinky rat men, but the Japanese are the Aryans of Asia. bushido == Meine Ehre heisst Treue! makes sense!"

... but then as we well know, the white angel of death came into our lives and changed them forever
 
stew phil
 
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 04:17 pm
@richrf,
R.Danneskjöld;96940 wrote:
Is there such a thing as a just war, both in theory and in actuality?


If you mean is there just cause for war then yes, and there are many examples e.g. WWII is a just war because it was a war of Allied self defense against unjustified German aggression.

R.Danneskjöld;96940 wrote:

What conditions would be sufficient to make war morally justified?Is absolute pacifism a logically coherent notion?


Just Ad Bellum (resort condition)

The resort to war is justified if:

i. It has just cause e.g. self defense against unjustified aggression

ii. It is proportional - net effects of war sufficiently out weigh bad effects

iii. it is necessary - only war can bring about certain net effects compared to other alternatives e.g. diplomacy. If diplomacy could bring about the same net effects then war is not necessary or a last resort

Jus In Bellum (conduct condition)

Closely connect with Jus Ad Bellum condition, though this is controversial. Further criterion can be added for example the discrimination between combatants and non-combatants.

I have a couple friends who are pacifists, but they consider themselves to be contingent pacifists. I think what that means is that the use of force is only justified contingent with self defense (which to me sounds like a restrictive version of Just War Theory anyways)

R.Danneskjöld;96940 wrote:

But I am unsure whether I would want to adopt a consequentialist or non-conquestialist approach.


Just war theory is not a wholly consequentialist, e.g.necessity and discrimination requirements. Just war theory incorporates more of a deontological approach e.g. we weight the harm done to civillians more heavily than harm done to soldiers. Consequentialism would weigh these as equal in their calculations.

richrf;97006 wrote:
When tens of millions of people in one or more countries agree that a war is just, that is a pretty good job of justifying - and that is all that is needed to wage war.


As has been mentioned, at face value this seems correct if we assume the positions of those who goto war, because in reality no one thinks t hey are fighting an unjust war. However, it does not mean morally speaking that a side is justified based on the populace opinion.

Legally speaking, we can still determine whether a participant in war is just or unjust. If this were not the case, e.g. both sides justified in resorting to war, then legal prosecution of war would not be possible. However, the legal framework as it now functions is heavily in need of revision (war today is not fought primarily between states).

richrf;97045 wrote:
All very well and good, but people go to war in order to loot their opponent and they feel they have a big enough army to do it. They justify it for any old reason.


Still does not follow that they are morally justified for doing so, if we accept the conditions of just war theory.
 
deepthot
 
Reply Sun 1 Nov, 2009 03:14 am
@RDanneskjld,
R.Danneskjöld;96940 wrote:

  • Is there such a thing as a just war, both in theory and in actuality?
  • What conditions would be sufficient to make war morally justified?
  • Is absolute pacifism a logically coherent notion?

These are just a few of the questions that surround the issue of Just War. I have recently been doing a significant amount of reading surrounding the issue and am intrigued what others think. Personally I believe that War can be just, when certain conditions are fulfilled. But I am unsure whether I would want to adopt a consequentialist or non-conquestialist approach.


Yes, there is such a thing as "a just war" but we in the United States have not engaged in one in the last 60 years.

Yes, pacifism is a coherent notion. Study the work of Dr. Gene Sharp and Dr. Alan Knight Chalmers and A. J. Muste.

War is best defined as: Organized mass-murder done in the name of a noble-sounding cause.

It is chaos; it is destruction; it is unadulterated madness. It inevitably takes the lives of civilians, non-combatants, innocent children and families. This cannot be justified from an Ethical standpoint. [See the link below, especially the chapter on Ends and Means.] Whatever argument we may employ to show that torture is immoral also applies to war. It is an immoral activity. We all ought to reject war (for ourselves and for others) if we care at all about ethics.
 
stew phil
 
Reply Sun 1 Nov, 2009 03:38 pm
@deepthot,
deepthot;100960 wrote:


War is best defined as: Organized mass-murder done in the name of a noble-sounding cause.

It is chaos; it is destruction; it is unadulterated madness. It inevitably takes the lives of civilians, non-combatants, innocent children and families. This cannot be justified from an Ethical standpoint. Whatever argument we may employ to show that torture is immoral also applies to war. It is an immoral activity. We all ought to reject war (for ourselves and for others) if we care at all about ethics.


Sure, war involves the killing people, and sometimes a lot of people. However, if by murder you mean war is wholly wrong, regardless of the causes, I disagree.

Quote:
It is an immoral activity. We all ought to reject war (for ourselves and for others) if we care at all about ethics.
Should war be rejected absolutely? Take the case of genocide. When tens of thousands of innocent people are being systematically killed, maimed and tortured, doesn't such a case warrant intervening on behalf of those targeted? Let me ask you, how could such a case of intervention not be morally permissible?

Keep in mind this is a separate question from what is considered justified, moral conduct in war.
 
deepthot
 
Reply Sun 1 Nov, 2009 04:58 pm
@stew phil,
stew;101092 wrote:
Sure, war involves the killing people, and sometimes a lot of people. However, if by murder you mean ...
Should war be rejected absolutely? Take the case of genocide. When tens of thousands of innocent people are being systematically killed, maimed and tortured, doesn't such a case warrant intervening on behalf of those targeted? Let me ask you, ....



Hi, Stew

By "murder" I mean "killing a person with malice aforethought" as well as the more serious grades of manslaughter.

I agree with you there ought to be an intervention on behalf of the victims of genocide. However I argue it ought to be a nonviolent direct-action campaign. See this link to stimulate your thinking as to how this would become practical, and a wise policy for the leading nations of the world, especially for The United States.in conjunctions with any allies it can form into a coalition; and it should be done under United Nations auspices -- with the full cooperation of the U.S. Dept. of Peace ...which you will help to set us. http://www.thepeacealliance.org

It can be done and you can do it !!
 
stew phil
 
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 02:01 am
@deepthot,
deepthot;101106 wrote:

there ought to be an intervention on behalf of the victims of genocide. However I argue it ought to be a nonviolent direct-action campaign.


This doesn't contradict with Just War Theory at all. War is only permissible if it is a last resort. If other alternatives could bring about the same net benefits in a sufficient amount of time, then war would not be a last resort.

I guess I am perplexed whether nonviolent direct action is practically possible? I am also skeptical whether it can be accomplished in a sufficient amount of time, practically speaking.
 
deepthot
 
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 02:16 am
@stew phil,
stew;101184 wrote:
[/B]

... War is only permissible if it is a last resort. ...

I guess I am perplexed whether nonviolent direct action is practically possible? .


We thoroughly and completely agree on your statement that "War is only permissible if it is a last resort." I am fairly confident that we need not resort to it. Historically, other methods are not sufficiently tried.

I know first-hand that nonviolent direct action IS practical since I have used it during the Civil Rights movement, and also during the Korean 'Police Action' ...and it worked. So it is possible.

Chaos Theory applied shows us that small changes can have suddenly big effects. In other words, things can change fast !! Knowledge can dispel scepticism: study up on nonviolence, and how it works. Get involved in working for peace, and then watch the changes occur. In my brief lifetime I have seen five 'revolutions' take place.
 
stew phil
 
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 02:57 am
@deepthot,
deepthot wrote:
"War is only permissible if it is a last resort." I am fairly confident that we need not resort to it. Historically, other methods are not sufficiently tried.
Not sure how nonviolent direct action could have stopped German aggression, or the Genocide in Rwanada in a sufficient amount of time. I guess the burden of proof lies on you to actually demonstrate a case where this is in fact possible. I am skeptical whether they are analogous to significant cases of aggression or genocide.

deepthot wrote:
I know first-hand that nonviolent direct action IS practical since I have used it during the Civil Rights movement
Practical in that kind of situation yes. But not analogous in the context of war. Again you need to demonstrate a case in which nonviolent direct action prevents war, analogous with how war is being waged today.
 
deepthot
 
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 03:07 am
@stew phil,
stew;101190[Cite wrote:
a case in which nonviolent direct action prevents war, analogous with how war is being waged today.



See the free downloads listed in the middle of this page. They are writings by Dr. Gene Sharp. Read and study some of them to gain background in this area: Albert Einstein Institution - Advancing freedom through nonviolent action


He has written legnthy books on the topic of historical usage of this technique of resistance to evil behavior, and the results it achieved.
 
stew phil
 
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 03:57 am
@RDanneskjld,
deepthot wrote:

See the free downloads listed in the middle of this page. They are writings by Dr. Gene Sharp. Read and study some of them to gain background


Some cases he mentions:

Gene Sharp wrote:
Nonviolent action was used to save Jews in from the Holocaust in Berlin, Bulgaria, Denmark and elsewhere


How vague is that? Again how exactly did nonviolent action save lives? I'm not even sure where to begin whether this is just completely irrelevant or question begging. Again, let me restate the question one last time. Demonstrate a case where active warfare has been stopped via nonviolent acts. I made fairly clear two difficult cases that should be sufficiently handled by such an example.

All the cases Gene Sharp mentions follow with the same ambiguity. I could not point out one case analogous to war.

I actually laughed when I read the "Characteristics and methods of nonviolent struggle" section from his book There are Realistic Alternatives. If this is supposed to be the basis of your argument for nonviolently resisting genocide, I think it fails considerably.

A few examples I contend with:

Non-cooperation: and this could have stopped the Rwandan genocide or German aggression how?

His example is refusing to participate in observances or celebrations, inciting labour strikes etc. Do I even have to state how ridiculously crazy this sounds?

Disruption of normal operations
: his example, office sit downs.

Yeah I would like to see that prevent genocide.

If you are going to recommend to me a source that you base your argument on, it should at the very least be relevant to the topic of war.
 
nozzakate
 
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 06:21 am
@RDanneskjld,
Diplomacy was touched on and then skipped over. but is this not direct nonviolent action.

does history not show that through peace treaties war has ended.
 
stew phil
 
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 12:41 pm
@nozzakate,
nozzakate;101218 wrote:
Diplomacy was touched on and then skipped over. but is this not direct nonviolent action.

does history not show that through peace treaties war has ended.



Not inconsistent with Just War Theory at all. If diplomacy can bring about the same net benefits that war could bring about, then war would not be a last resort.

BUT if diplomacy can not bring about the same net benefits, then arguably war is a permissible last resort.

Think about a case like genocide. Common sense is that people are actively dieing, and often in sufficiently grave numbers. What if diplomacy can not bring about an end to conflict in a sufficient amount of time? Would war not be permissible to bring about an immediate end to hostilities if it ends up saving more lives, and therefore resulting in less harm?

I do note that there are significant qualifications on how we weigh harm, and indeed what harms are relevant, but I don't think it's intuitively outrageous to say that sometimes armed force or war is justified, given the alternatives, or lack thereof.

Further, what about cases when diplomacy has been exhausted?
 
nozzakate
 
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2009 11:54 pm
@RDanneskjld,
Quote:
Think about a case like genocide. Common sense is that people are actively dieing, and often in sufficiently grave numbers. What if diplomacy can not bring about an end to conflict in a sufficient amount of time? Would war not be permissible to bring about an immediate end to hostilities if it ends up saving more lives, and therefore resulting in less harm?


There is an assumption here that war will bring about an immediate end to the genocide. However, we only have to look at Iraq now to know that war sometimes does not bring about an immediate end. I concede the point, , that diplomacy does not always work and in cases of genocide it will probably take some effort, however, the war in Iraq is still going on, maybe not in the traditional sense but it is still active. Does this not show that war is an alternative but not necessarily a quicker alternative and certainly not always the best outcome.

I am sorry for the quote box Stew i am new to this forum
 
stew phil
 
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2009 12:34 am
@RDanneskjld,
nozzakate wrote:
There is an assumption here that war will bring about an immediate end to the genocide...the war in Iraq is still going on, maybe not in the traditional sense but it is still active.


Of course war can be unjustified, the current war in Iraq being an obvious example because it lacked just cause in the first place.

But what I think you are questioning are the consequences of war in particular cases. The current Iraq War being an example of war which has had devastating consequences. I would say the conduct of war in Iraq fails to meet both proportionality, discrimination and necessity conditions of Just War theory. On these accounts the conduct of war in Iraq is indefensible.

This also hints at the importance of what one does after a war once the primary just causes have been fulfilled.


nozzakate wrote:
Does this not show that war is an alternative but not necessarily a quicker alternative and certainly not always the best outcome.


No disagreement with you there. Just War theorists would agree there have been many unjust wars.

But to perhaps keep the American theme going, what about the US led Coalition intervention on behalf of Kuwait? Wouldn't you consider that a successful example of intervention?

And if you agree with me there, then you agree that sometimes war can be just.
 
nozzakate
 
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2009 06:52 am
@RDanneskjld,
i have read several accounts of the theory today and i have to agree that yes there are times when just war theory is a pratical solution. I was not familiar with this theory before but fully understand it now due to our brief exchanges. However, part of the theory i have to disagree with is the probability of success. the theory states that only sufficient force should be used as to get the job done. However, i cannot think of a time when only sufficient force was used in the act of war. this goes against everything about war, you go to war with objection of winning, (i know i am being consequenialist agin) and with that all resources generally are used either to overwhelm an opponent or to wear the other side down.

With this in mind, i still have to agree that this would only be a side matter when evaluating in the whole going to war.
 
stew phil
 
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2009 10:50 pm
@nozzakate,
nozzakate;101419 wrote:
part of the theory i have to disagree with is the probability of success. the theory states that only sufficient force should be used as to get the job done. However, i cannot think of a time when only sufficient force was used in the act of war. this goes against everything about war, you go to war with objection of winning, (i know i am being consequenialist agin) and with that all resources generally are used either to overwhelm an opponent or to wear the other side down.


I think this is a very important part of what constitutes a just war. War is just only if the benefits are proportional to the harms done. Much of the war we know today fought by conventional armies use long distance weaponry like artillery, arial bombing e.g. "shock & awe" to mitigate the loss of soldiers and which ends up in unnecessary civilian deaths. This is a prevalent problem of "sufficient force". Israel's extensive use of force against Hamas is such an example.

But there are cases of proportional just wars e.g. UN intervention in Kuwait
 
 

 
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