Just War. Development of the Doctrine . At different times there have been three main attitudes: Pacifism Non-violent struggle to achieve Christian goals Holy War The belief that war can advance God’s Will Just War
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Development of the Doctrine
At different times there have been three main attitudes:
Non-violent struggle to achieve Christian goals
The belief that war can advance God’s Will
War is at best a necessary recourse whose conduct should be governed by rulesChristian Attitudes to War
Historically linked with early Christianity
Still a major strand in Christian thought e.g. Quakers
Historically linked with Crusades
Has no credibility among Christians today
Historically linked with the rise of Christendom
Still a major strand in Christian thought
St Augustine of Hippo (4th C.) distinguished between
Private retaliation (not justified in Christianity)
War pursued against those who are a threat to peace (sometimes justified)
His time saw the birth of a brand new notion: Christendom
The notion of a greater whole that was sacred and may be threatened internally or externallyJust War: Origins of Thought
St Augustine of Hippo, 354-430. He lived right at the end of the Roman Empire in the West.
St Thomas of Aquinas (13th C.) developed the Christian doctrine of Just War
He laid out the following conditions:
Declared by the sovereign
Just cause – those attacked should deserve this
Right intention – the advancement of good or avoidance of evil
Aquinas lived at a time when numerous small wars between city states were common
… not long after the reconquest of Sicily from Muslim ruleJust War: Origins in Christianity
St Thomas Aquinas, 1225 – 1274. He was a Dominican priest and scholar of first rank.
Declared by lawful authority.
Reasonable chance of success
Innocents should not be harmed
Only appropriate force should be usedJust War criteria
These are sometimes called the ‘Ius ad Bellum’ criteria – criteria to be in place before war is prosecuted
These are sometimes called the ‘Ius in Bello’ criteria – criteria for moral conduct of the war once started
… since only a lawful authority can act on behalf of the whole people
Restricts the number of groups that can ethically wage war
For example, it stops wars declared by rebels who've overthrown a legal government being considered ethicalCriteria explained
President Roosevelt signs the Declaration of War against Japan, 1941
President Truman took the decision to drop the bombs
You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.‘ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person.If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God
Context – new Kingdom values fulfilling the OT teachings
Peacemaking ≠ peacekeeping
Focus more on personal living rather than on war
Is there such a thing as ‘harmless gossip’?
Do any of these two passages shed any light on morality in war situations?
Again, focus more on personal living rather than on war
The passage doesn’t say: If someone stabs you on the right of the chest…
In war: Conscientious objectors or medical staff
Founded in 17th C. by George Fox and friends
Anti-gossip… Is it true? Is it hurtful? Is it necessary?
Persecuted by English Church
Society of Friends
Dedicated to simplicity and peace
Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus' companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. "Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”
Quite obvious – (unjustified?) violence leads to more violence
Has a message for both personal conflict and for national conflict
will inflict a fatal wound at 300 yards
This the man who designed a rifle that...
will spray thirty bullets in three seconds
can be bought for as little as $100 on the world's black markets
fires 'tumbling' bullets which make a small entry hole into flesh and yet tear out a massive exit;
will function even if dirty, wet or unoiled
is light enough to be carried by a child
has been used to kill most of the fifty million or so people in small wars since 1945
is the weapon of choice for many small armies & terrorist organisations (some 70 million have been sold);
Name: Automatic Kalashnikov assault rifle, first made in 1947 - hence, AK-47
Inventor: Mikhail Kalashnikov, born 1919
What Kalashnikov says when asked about his invention...
'When Germany invaded, I saw my comrades in pain. They were being wheeled into hospital, injured in defence of their Motherland against the Fascists. Courage was not enough. The Nazis had superior armoury. I wanted to redress the balance.'
'My life's not been easy. I wanted my invention to serve peace. I didn't want it to make war easier … If it was not guns, it would be knives or axes. Guns are not guilty. People are guilty.
Mikhail Kalashnikov has hardly made a penny from his invention. In 1990 he met Eugene Stoner, who designed the M-16 (the closest thing to an American equivalent of the AK-47), and was shocked by the fact that Stoner had his own jet whilst he himself could not afford the price of a plane ticket to Washington.
If you were to sit in judgement of Kalashnikov, of what, if anything, would you accuse him?
Give reasons for your answer.