Just War Theory
Just war theory presupposes certain rules on how to resort to war, conduct during it, and how to terminate it according to principles of justice. In this context, enemies, engaged in just war, control, and target the way intended to unleash this war reasonably.
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When we are speaking about a war, it seems to be impossible to mention ethical principles, because a concept of war is unethical by its nature. On the one hand, it is so, but on the other hand, there is a just war theory. It is a military doctrine of military ethics and has its conditions of legitimate defense by military force. Based on all just wars there is a paradox – to destroy for the sake of peace or to do evil in the name of good. Unfortunately, it is characteristic of human nature.
I agree with the main article point that just war follows the criterion “jus ad Bellum”, or “last resort” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 8). In the international context, military conflict, based on just war, is the result of strong disagreement between the nations. Following the rules of just war, the enemies are guided by the principles of justice: proportionality, absence of reprisals and discrimination, etc. however, the problem of just war raises ethical problems. Moreover, the article itself stresses that just war is a complex phenomenon in terms of human ethics.
From my point of view, almost all military conflicts may be resolved with peaceful negotiations. However, a human being is the most disobedient child of the mother-nature. Unfortunately, only just war is the only possible exit in some cases. Animals kill to survive. People kill each other because they can’t find another way of solving their problem. Our mother-nature was generous and gave us the most powerful intellect in the world, but we are not able to use it properly. For this reason, just war theory is a controversial point to be discussed.
Use of Force
Modern international law has always been confused with the way how to avoid war in world politics. There are a lot of adopted treaties that prohibit the deliberate use of military force, biological, nuclear weapons; however, anti-war international laws proved to be weak in the face of a real military conflict.
I agree with the authors that just war principles, revealed in some treaties and legal documents, presuppose the use of force. The article reveals the paradox of the use of force in the context of international laws that formally prohibit such armed acts. Especially, it is notable in the case of self-defense. The use of force in self-defense is a double-sided coin. Morally, it is correct, but legally, it is not, because armed acts used to be considered as “criminal and unjustifiable” in the context of international laws (Armstrong et al. 123).
However, human historical experience has shown that laws are neglected in the face of a serious war. At the same time, in peaceful times, restrains on the use of force are widely claimed. Together with the article’s authors, it is possible to conclude that “consistent with the realist lens, law on the use of force is codified in the formal rules that are binding on states” (Armstrong et al. 146). The problem, raised by the authors, causes controversial discussions about morality in the context of the law. Often, force attacks lead to killing that is considered to be immoral.
The coexistence of law and morality is one of the basic contradictions in our civilized world. The law doesn’t know moral principles and conception of ethical rightness and wrongness. Moral rightness often contradicts legal wrongness and vice versa. The formal prohibition of military force and dangerous weapons by international laws does not mean the absence of war that takes away people’s lives.
“War.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2016. Web.
Use of Force. Armstrong, David, Theo Farrell, and Helene Lambert. The law in world politics. 2001.