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The concept of a 'just war'

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1) In the 13th century, Thomas Aquinas, a Christian Monk, drew up some conditions for Just War, basing his ideas on Augustine's beliefs from the 4th Century. Aquinas laid down three conditions that have to be met for a war to be considered 'just'; the war must be started and controlled by the authority of the state or ruler (e.g. president), there must be a just cause; those attacked must deserve it, and the war must be fought to promote good or avoid evil, which was the motive behind the ongoing Iraq 'war'; peace and justice must be restored afterwards. Furthermore, other Christians have since added three more conditions; the war must be the last resort; all other possible ways of solving the problem have been tried, there must be proportionality in the way the war is fought, e.g. innocent civilians should not be killed and only enough force should be used as it needed to achieve victory, and the good gained by victory must be greater than the evil which led to war, like in World War II. It has to be said that the concept of a 'just war' is an ancient concept, and I believe that no war can be morally 'just' as in all situations people will die. ...read more.


Therefore as Allah gave them their life, they can sacrifice or prepare to lose it in fighting in a War. So if someone from a religious culture, who has strong beliefs for this culture as well, will surely be prepared to die for this culture. Most religious followers normally think that if they sacrifice there life for their religious culture or tradition, then they will get a better after life with God. For example, in the Islamic book the Qur'an, it states, "Those who readily fight in the cause of God are those who forsake this world in favour of the Hereafter. Whoever fights in the cause of God, then gets killed or attains victory, we will surely grant him a great recompense" This statement prompts many Muslims to believe in the idea of 'dying in the name of Allah.' In the cases of suicide bombers and Muslims fighting in so-called Jihads, holy wars, they believe they have God on their side. The Qur'an states that a Jihad is permissible when all other ways of settling a dispute has failed or people are not allowed to practice their beliefs freely. ...read more.


Violence may be considered to be a necessary evil, or even the lesser of two evils. If you are a strong believer of a religion then you may say that if you do not go to war or do not believe in war then you aren't prepared to sacrifice your life for God. Some people may see this as being a coward and going against fighting a greater good. Many Muslims or religious believers think that a good way of dying is by sacrificing your life for God as it will give a better life in the 'after life'. I personally believe that war is destructive, murderous and unnecessary, but in certain situations where the good gained by victory would far outweigh the evil of war, I believe that violence may be used. Sometimes war is the only way of solving problems and some religious followers think that when fighting in a War they are doing for a right reason and are fighting for their own beliefs and their own God. However, I believe that the statement is unfair and certain pacifists are only trying to do right and in religions such as Christianity, Christian Pacifists are only trying to be more like Jesus. To conclude, I disagree with the statement about pacifism being an excuse for being a coward. By Josh Levy ...read more.

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