• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Does a declaration of war justify behaviour that would be unacceptable in peacetime?

Extracts from this document...


Does a declaration of war justify behaviour that would be unacceptable in peacetime? Whether or not the declaration of Just War justifies behaviour that is morally or legally unacceptable in peacetime depends firstly on the sort of behaviour we are talking about. There are a number of behaviours that are legally permitted in peacetime that many people would and do reject as morally unacceptable. This includes abortion, euthanasia and animal rights. The legal acceptability of these issues depends on the government, and varies from state to state. In this country, during peacetime it is acceptable to kill in self defence - for instance, if one's house is being robbed and the burglar threatens the owner, the owner would not be penalized for shooting and killing the burglar. Pacifists object to all kinds of killing in both war and peacetime, whereas just war supporters try to draw parallels between civil justice and international justice in the attempt to justify certain behaviour. ...read more.


Therefore a declaration of just war would not be able to justify any unacceptable behaviour such as murder and violence - this would only further divide men, who are already divided by sin. Nevertheless, those who support the Just War theory believe that killing in the name of resisting an unjust oppressor is justifiable. The declaration of just war must be a proportionate response, and must discriminate between the guilty and the innocent. Oliver O'Donovan suggests war is an act of armed judgment and must be carried out by an unbiased judge to ensure its fairness. This judge must have a clear perspective on the gains and losses this act would entail and the final aim must be to bring about peace. In theory, military aggression is not defined by killing and violence. For instance, British troops that entered Iraq do not kill unless attack. Therefore killing is still self defence and this is no different to peacetime. ...read more.


Propoganda can lead to disproportionate warfare and killings, therefore it cannot be justified. Human rights have always been an issue, for it is no certain whether it is morally right to deny someone the right to life in favour of another objective. From a utilitarian perspective, it would depend on whether the war was successful. If more people than soldiers killed are able to lead happy and fulfilled lives after the war ends, then it is acceptable to justify military confrontation in wartime. However, The High Court has recently decided that it soldiers human rights should not be overlooked either. This means the Ministry of Defence has to ensure the soldiers are not subjected to combat in intolerable heat or cold, and have functioning equipment. Certain equipment would be forbidden entirely, such as Nimrod planes. Of course, this would affect the damage potential of British troops, and possibly extend the war and subsequently take more lives. A utilitarian critic would ask whether in the long term this court order is going to cause more death and pain. ?? ?? ?? ?? Anna Grinevich (c) ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Practical Questions section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Practical Questions essays

  1. RE euthanasia for and against

    Ultimately, we ask ourselves, can hospices, really lure us away from the 'easy way out' and provide such a service that substitutes our thoughts of stopping all the pain instantly? SLIPPERY SLOPE ( I will break this information down later)

  2. Utilitarianism is unjust

    explored all the options, and was reluctant to take into part what different people might want out of their lives. To object to Alex's statement, I have to agree with the rejection of the experience machine. Although your desires are being fulfilled and you have a fake happiness, it could be taken away instantly upon exit of the machine.

  1. Modern life-prolonging technologies have sharpened some ancient dilemmas on the value of life.

    I emphasize this because, normally, one might well believe that a theory of value (as opposed to a theory of conduct) could be sound even if it gave no advice or assistance. That is not so here. Of course, this criterion only reaches theories that cannot make the discriminations or

  2. Is the term 'Just War' now outdated?

    The members are hard to track and the US cannot cope with its strategy, despite the military and nuclear powers at its disposal. It is particularly difficult to satisfy the demands of 'jus in bello' when the threat of Nuclear warfare is apparent once more since the Cold War.

  1. How far is killing in warfare more justifiable than other kinds of killing?

    the outcome will result in the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people. However, if for instance the head of a certain state decides that depositing a tyrannical dictator will result in fewer people will experience suffering, then warfare is chosen.

  2. How can we justify beliefs?

    this would seem to give you very reasonable grounds to trust that belief and this, in turn, would give you good grounds for claiming knowledge.

  1. Is Killing Ever Morally Justifiable?

    On the other hand, Kant?s theory disagrees with this, for Kant, the outcome of an action is not relevant to whether or not it is ethical. This can easily be demonstrated - sometimes evil actions lead to unintended good consequences.

  2. Does the "War on Terror" mean the just war doctrine is dead?

    was a pre-emptive war, and in the lead up to the Iraq war the Bush administration has used the terms pre-emptive and preventive interchangeably as the same meaning. Pre-emptive war is justified, not only in exceptional circumstances but when there is obviously an imminent and immediate threat.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work