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Just war theory

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Just war is a theory devised Thomas Aquinas (c.1225-74) and Francisco de Vitoria (1483-1546). It is a kind of guideline for having just reasoning to go to war and how to behave when at war. I am going to explore how and if the bible or the church support the clauses outlined by just war theory. Just war theory can be used either as outline for going to war or a guide on how to behave when at war. The first of the clauses "it must be fought by a legal recognised authority e.g. a government". This means that someone like Osama Bin Laden has no right to wage a war because he is not a recognised authority. ...read more.


The third clause "the war must be fought with the intention to establish good or correct evil", this means that there has to be good intentions like creating, restoring or keeping peace, righting a wrong or assisting the innocent, not for reasons such like gaining power or hatred of the enemy. A Bible teaching that supports this clause is Matthew 5:38-39 It says that you should not take revenge, this relates because it is a poor reason to go to war and is not a just cause. The fourth clause "there must be a reasonable chance of success", means that it is wrong to go to war if you do not have good chance of winning. ...read more.


have been tried and have failed. This has to be the case because the intention of war has to be to make peace. A bible teaching that supports this clause is Matthew 5:25, "If someone brings a lawsuit against you and takes you to court, settle the dispute with him while there is time, before you get to court." This to me says that every possible mean of prevention and negotiations must be tried before you go to war. The final clause "The war must be in proportion", this means that it must prevent more evil than it causes and it must prevent more human suffering than it causes. One church teaching that loosely supports this clause is in the catechism of the catholic church number 2308 it says that a country can lawfully go to war in self defence. ...read more.

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