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Just War Theory

War Iraq Just War Theory

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#21 Rhea

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 12:22 AM

chiron777, on Mar 21 2003, 10:11 AM, said:

I was just reading some effects of the "Shock and Awe" assault...  I got this awful vision in my mind....George Bush, eyes glazed, standing with a gun and saying -

"No power in the 'Verse can stop ME!"

Ugh, got to go get that out of my head!!!!  :Oo:
GAH! Now I'll never get that image out of my head! Curse you , Chiron! (In my worst variant of this he's cross-dressing as River).  :o  :crazy:
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
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When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#22 Rhea

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 12:25 AM

Drew, on Mar 21 2003, 08:21 AM, said:

Rhea, on Mar 21 2003, 10:18 AM, said:

Ack! I think "good war" is an oxymoron. War is *never* a good thing. Sometime's it's necessary, but by its very nature it is wasteful of precious human lives and resources.  :(
So, what are your thoughts about the idea that failure to engage in a just war can be construed as a failure to love thy neighbor? If we ignore the atrocities committed by a dictatorial regime like Saddam Hussein's, are we not, in a sense, condoning his actions?

You're coming from a point of view that says that war is always an evil. That's understandable. But do you think that war can *never* achieve good?
Drew, I wish you'd read what I say. I said that IMO war is never good, but sometimes necessary.  And out of that necessity can come good. But it is, by its very nature DESTRUCTIVE, not CONSTRUCTIVE. You can't wage a war without death and suffering.

So if you're going to do it, you'd better be very, very sure that you're right about both the reason you're doing it and the way in which you go about it.
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#23 Godeskian

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 01:15 AM

It's the big thing isn't it.

is the short term damage, death and destruction going to make things better in the long run.

if so, then yes, war can be a necesarry thing

Defy Gravity!


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#24 EvilTree

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 02:43 AM

Let's go back to the Just War Theory thing.

There is no such thing as a Just War.

How can it be just when an innocent life is perished?

I can't figure out how it is 'just' to kill an innocent life.

War, as a necessary evil, I can accept. Just don't call it a 'just' war.
Loyalty, Vigilance, Excellence
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"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms."
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"Self control is chef element in self respect. Self respect is chief element in courage."
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#25 sierraleone

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 02:45 AM

*sierra hugs ET*
Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#26 StarDust

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 03:02 AM

EvilTree, on Mar 22 2003, 06:34 PM, said:

Let's go back to the Just War Theory thing.

There is no such thing as a Just War.

How can it be just when an innocent life is perished?

I can't figure out how it is 'just' to kill an innocent life.

War, as a necessary evil, I can accept. Just don't call it a 'just' war.
Is it just to allow someone to die or suffer, and stand by doing nothing?

Isn't it just to fight for one's freedom?

Edited by StarDust, 23 March 2003 - 03:03 AM.


#27 Drew

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 07:01 AM

Rhea, on Mar 22 2003, 03:16 PM, said:

Drew, I wish you'd read what I say.
Well, I wasn't even sure that you'd bothered to read the articles that I'd linked. I got the sense that you were just reacting to the idea without exploring it. :whatsthat:

EvilTree, you asked how a war be just if innocent lives are taken, but under the notion of a just war, one would not go to war unless there was clear indication of guilt on the part of the aggressor. And while innocent lives are certainly lost, the innocent should never be the target. (This is what separates us from terrorists; they tend to target civilians.) I have to say that this current military operation has been very careful about its targets. The precision with which we've been striking Iraq is unprecedented in the history of warfare.
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#28 EvilTree

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 07:28 AM

Irrelevant whether the intent to target the innocent was there or not.

If a driver accidently hits someone by mistake, do you blame the driver when it is clearly not his fault?

Do you blame someone who is the cause of a freak accident, but it was not his intent?

Or do you blame the bomb that blew up a military complex and an innocent civilian was part of the casualty?
Loyalty, Vigilance, Excellence
-Motto of Imperial Space Marines


"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms."
-Robert A. Heinlein

"Self control is chef element in self respect. Self respect is chief element in courage."
-Thucydides

#29 StarDust

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 07:36 AM

Intent is most defnitely relevent. It is the basis of the whole jury system in the US. The acknowledgment that the circumstances of an event are as important as the event. The difference between the various manslaughters, justified  homicide, 2nd degree murder, and 1st degree murder. The difference between someone who steals bread to feed his family and the person who commits a major robbery for profit.

Intent is most definitely extremely important.

And if you don't believe so, if you see things that black and white, than I hope you aren't judged by your own standards.

And I hope my life or freedom never depends on your actions.

#30 EvilTree

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 07:49 AM

*sigh*
For the record, I'm mostly in favour of this war.

However, my argument is, is the war 'just' for that innocent civilian who got bombed?

Who happened to die because he or she was bombed by accident?

Fine. What if Saddam gets ousted and Iraq gets to be a better place?
That person who died in the bombing isn't going to enjoy it. What kind of 'just' is that?
Loyalty, Vigilance, Excellence
-Motto of Imperial Space Marines


"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms."
-Robert A. Heinlein

"Self control is chef element in self respect. Self respect is chief element in courage."
-Thucydides

#31 StarDust

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 07:55 AM

It's just for those that won't die or be totured. It's just for those that can determine their own futures.

The problem seems to be the idea that 'just' doesn't come with a price. Everything comes with a price.

So again, is it more just to let hundreds or thousands die and be totured because some innocents might die if you try to stop it? If you are saying it isn't just to take the risk, that means you are saying it's just to let the others die.

#32 EvilTree

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 08:25 AM

*sigh again*

I quote, "The need of the few must not outweigh the need of many." -Spock, I believe.

I'm not arguing whether it is worth it to get rid of Saddam or not.

I'm arguing whether it is just for for that sucker who got bombed and went to meet Allah or whoever, because he or she never had that bloody choice to die for this 'just' war or not.

You're arguing in general sense.
I'm arguing in personal sense.

If you happen to die in some bloody war and you never got the choice to decide whether you want to die in that war for this 'just' war or not, wouldn't you think it was rather unfair?
Loyalty, Vigilance, Excellence
-Motto of Imperial Space Marines


"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms."
-Robert A. Heinlein

"Self control is chef element in self respect. Self respect is chief element in courage."
-Thucydides

#33 StarDust

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 08:44 AM

You are the one who simply stated there was no such thing as a just war, period.

This is not specific about Saddam. Although obviously can be related.

If there is no such thing as a just war, the alternative must be just. There has to be one just outcome.

I'm simply asking you to explain how not acting can be just.

It's a fair question based on your stated opinion.

#34 EvilTree

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 08:47 AM

I don't recall ever arguing not doing anything is just.
Nor does it make sense logically to assume that the if there is no such thing as a just war, the alternative must be just.

It is just a matter of choosing a lesser evil.
Loyalty, Vigilance, Excellence
-Motto of Imperial Space Marines


"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms."
-Robert A. Heinlein

"Self control is chef element in self respect. Self respect is chief element in courage."
-Thucydides

#35 StarDust

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 07:33 PM

Well, we must have different definitions of what 'just' means. There is always a 'right' thing to do.

If action isn't just, then inaction must be just.

However, inaction is an action, a choice with consequences. I think people often decide they won't get involved, as if that absolves them of responsibility.

FROM WEBSTERS
----------------------
Main Entry: 2just
Pronunciation: 'j&st
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French juste, from Latin justus, from jus right, law; akin to Sanskrit yos welfare
Date: 14th century
1 a : having a basis in or conforming to fact or reason : REASONABLE <a just but not a generous decision> b archaic : faithful to an original c : conforming to a standard of correctness : PROPER <just proportions>
2 a (1) : acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good : RIGHTEOUS <a just war> (2) : being what is merited : DESERVED <a just punishment> b : legally correct : LAWFUL <just title to an estate>
synonym see FAIR, UPRIGHT
- just·ly adverb
- just·ness /'j&s(t)-n&s/ noun

Edited by StarDust, 23 March 2003 - 07:33 PM.


#36 EvilTree

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 11:08 PM

You have to explain to me how is

Quote

If action isn't just, then inaction must be just.
works.

You're telling me something like this;

If I see two guys beating the sh*t out of each other, and one guy has an advantage in physique over the other and I don't do anything about it, my inaction is injust?
Loyalty, Vigilance, Excellence
-Motto of Imperial Space Marines


"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms."
-Robert A. Heinlein

"Self control is chef element in self respect. Self respect is chief element in courage."
-Thucydides

#37 Rhea

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Posted 24 March 2003 - 01:30 AM

StarDust, on Mar 22 2003, 09:35 PM, said:

You are the one who simply stated there was no such thing as a just war, period.

This is not specific about Saddam. Although obviously can be related.

If there is no such thing as a just war, the alternative must be just. There has to be one just outcome.

I'm simply asking you to explain how not acting can be just.

It's a fair question based on your stated opinion.
No, I said that in my opinion there's no such thing as a "good" war. War is sometimes necessary and sometimes just, but never good.

My opinion of this war is unchanged. I believe in law. I believe that our long term interests would have been best served by working with the UN rather than telling them to go f*ck themselves.

We helped found the UN. Like any other particpatory democracy, sometimes it makes good decisions, sometimes it makes lousy ones. But telling the world that we will only go along with them when they do what WE want them to invalidates a body we helped to found.

I don't believe that saying "screw you" to international law is going to be beneficial to us in the long run. We're going to have as much work repairing our relations with much of the rest of the world as we are with ther aftermath of the war.

I believe that the end result of this war may be good, but I do NOT believe that ends justify the means. I don't believe that we did the right thing.

I believe that if action had to be taken, it should have been done with the UN. And I further believe that if Bush and his cohorts hadn't acted like bumbling idiots the whole time we might have been able to actually get the UN off their collective butts. But it wouldn't have happened by royal order of George Bush, King  of the World.

And in the end, I don't really believe for a moment that *we* are in the right to tell the Iraquis that their government is not acceptable to us.

It's not just about Saddam - it's about the US, our place in the world and what we seem to suddenly feel is our God-given right to impose OUR wishes on everybody else.

Is that clear enough?
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#38 GiGi

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Posted 24 March 2003 - 02:40 AM

Rhea, on Mar 23 2003, 02:21 PM, said:

But it wouldn't have happened by royal order of George Bush, King  of the World.

And in the end, I don't really believe for a moment that *we* are in the right to tell the Iraquis that their government is not acceptable to us.

It's not just about Saddam - it's about the US, our place in the world and what we seem to suddenly feel is our God-given right to impose OUR wishes on everybody else.

Is that clear enough?
I absolutely agree with you on this... and I think it is from this that my most evil of visions came from (I cursed myself when I saw it BTW!!).  So we "win" this war, what's next?  Maybe the next instance will not be dealing with an evil dictator, maybe just a government that doesn't want to be taken over so we can increase our corporate interests.

We could easily paint it anyway we want and boom another third world nation conquered by us.  If we can tell the UN to go to hell, what chance does a third world nation have if it has natural resources that US covets?!

Edited by chiron777, 24 March 2003 - 02:48 AM.

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#39 Bad Wolf

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Posted 24 March 2003 - 02:44 AM

Surprisingly I'm sure, I agree with Rhea and Chiron.
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#40 Dev F

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Posted 24 March 2003 - 03:03 AM

Rhea, on Mar 23 2003, 04:21 PM, said:

And in the end, I don't really believe for a moment that *we* are in the right to tell the Iraquis that their government is not acceptable to us.

It's not just about Saddam - it's about the US, our place in the world and what we seem to suddenly feel is our God-given right to impose OUR wishes on everybody else.
I agree with most of your other arguments -- that the U.S. seriously mishandled the diplomatic side of things, that this situation was better handled through the United Nations -- but this last argument is the one I still don't understand.

Saddam Hussein is not an elected official who rules with the approval of his people. He is a dictator who dominates through fear and intimidation. Morally speaking, why should he have any more right to remain in power than we or anyone else has to overthrow him? And what does it have to do with "telling the Iraqis their government is not acceptable," when they aren't the ones who judged it acceptable in the first place?

That makes much sense to me as if I were walking down the street and saw a gang of thugs kicking an innocent bystander in the head, and my response was to say, "I don't believe for a moment that we have the right to tell the innocent bystander he is wrong to have his head kicked in," and to walk by without intervening.

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Dev F



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