Sunday, December 17, 2006

Coffee Talk:

The Just-War Theory (or justum bellum) deals with the justification of how and why wars are fought. In theory, there are traditions and regulations that both side agree to follow while in war, but many times these traditions are not upheld when differing cultures or religions are involved. Many of the traditions pertain to the honor or dishonor associated with certain acts of war, and an overall sense of etiquette during wartime.

1. You must have just cause
2. Proper authority to act
3. Proper intentions and an overall goal
4. The principle of reasonable success (you must be able gauge success based on the goals set.)
5. The ends must justify the means

There are two simple qualification contained in this theory for conduct during war, the principle of discrimination and the principle of proportionality. The first implies that each side must be able to respect the difference between the civilian and the soldier. This area is routinely ignored by troops on both sides of war. Proportionality, arriving at the root of this week's topic, is concerned with how much force is morally appropriate.

Just War Theory
Principles of Just War
Just War vs Self-Defense

Can having these theories, principles, and regulations bring a level ethics or morality to war? Justification is one thing, but morality is completely different. Talk amongst yourselves.