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

Just War

Extracts from this document...


"It is impossible to be a Christian and joined the armed forces!" Do you agree? Support your answer with evidence from Christian (and other) teachings. I believe that it can be very difficult to be a Christian and join the armed forces but I do not believe that it is impossible. War is defined as armed hostilities between peoples, frequently different nations, sometimes between different parties within a nation, as in a civil war, or between one small group and the state, as in a guerrilla war. For followers of world religions often caught up in conflict, war poses fundamental questions about human worth and dignity. Many have questioned the ethics of the great bombing raids of WW II, When British and American bombers rained down fire and destruction on millions of German women and children, and the use by America of the Atomic bombs on Japan. In addition, when the Americans waged war in Vietnam in the 1960's, their express desire was not to kill the enemy but to 'incapacitate' as many civilians as possible. ...read more.


Even Pope John Paul II, not usually a pacifist, has eloquently expressed the pacifist position: "Violence is a lie, for it goes against the truth of our faith, the truth of our humanity. Violence destroys what it claims to defend: the dignity, the life, and the freedom of human beings. Violence is a crime against humanity, for it destroys the very fabric of society... To all of you who are listening I say: do not believe in violence; do not support violence. It is not the Christian way. It is not the way of the Catholic Church. Believe in peace and forgiveness and love, for they are Christ." Pacifists maintain that early Christian pacifists perceived war to be incompatible with their Christian obedience; the requirement to love our enemy is absolute and the authority and function of the state is incompatible with this. "We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fightings with outward weapons, for any end or under any pretence whatsoever. And this is our testimony to the whole world. The spirit of Christ, by which we are guided, is not changeable, so as once to command us from a thing of ...read more.


For those who hold that the principle of the sanctity of life demands that all deliberate acts of killing - including those in war - are forbidden, the just war theory can never legitimise military action which is nothing more than state approved and state sponsored murder. "It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but murder." - Albert Einstein In my opinion Omar Bradley sums up our world's attitude to war in one paragraph: "Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants, we know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we do about living. We have grasped the mystery of the atomic bomb and rejected the Sermon on the Mount." John Stott proposes that Christian peacemakers should pray, set an example as 'a community of peace', promote public debate on issues of peace and war, and maintain a confident stance that peace is a realistic and desirable goal. Personally, I believe that this can be achieved much more easily if one is a part of the armed forces than if one is a protester or a campaigner. Gemma Durcan 11th Sept '04 ...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. The Ethical Debate Concerning Cloning.

    either by defending against attacks on the Orthodox Church's teachings and practice, or by providing ethical guidance concerning issues that arise from our highly technological age. Very few claims to uncontroverted teaching can be made. Most positions of the discussion should be understood as the current consensus, sincerely and widely

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

    Thus it seems reasonable to suggest that the theory is outdated, for technological advancements magnified the potential violent impact of war.

  1. Examine and comment on Christian beliefs about homosexuality

    7 This decision by the Anglican Church to allow Gene Robinson to continue preaching shows how the religious acceptance of homosexuality is slowly changing through the denominations. The Roman Catholic views on homosexuality are summarised in the catechism paragraphs (2357-2359).

  2. Abortion and Religions.

    allow for abortion to be used to protect the health of the women and in other limited circumstances like rape.

  1. Is Christ a Kantian?

    I also believe that Christ has a perfect solution to this problem, and this whole article can thus be also seen as an attempt in applying the philosophy of Christ to this most important and interesting problem in both philosophical ethics and our lives.

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

    If the United States have upheld the just war tradition in going to war, why have they insisted time and time again that since war has changed, the just war tradition should not apply in their case, but at the same time justifying their counter terror war as abiding by just war principles.

  1. Assess whether an unequal distribution of property between individuals could be a feature of ...

    seem ?just? ? especially if one is a pauper and kept at the mercy of the bourgeoisie. In this sense a worker may accept a wage cut, but how much true liberty do they have in making this decision? It could be argued in a society which has no ?safety net? welfare system, very little.

  2. Explain different ethical approaches to issues of war and peace.

    also be a remedy for sin, as in the case where it imposes punishment, if war was caused to diminish sin it could be justifiable, ?A just war is when a nation or state has to be punished, for refusing to make amends for the wrongs inflicted by its subjects.?

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