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Justice in Action: Just War Theory. Lawrence M. Hinman, Ph.D. Professor of Philosophy Co-Director, Center for Ethics in Science & Technology University of San Diego hinman@sandiego.edu November 16, 2014. Overview. Three principal areas: The just conditions for entering into a war.

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justice in action just war theory

Justice in Action:Just War Theory

Lawrence M. Hinman, Ph.D.Professor of PhilosophyCo-Director, Center for Ethics in Science & Technology

University of San Diegohinman@sandiego.edu

November 16, 2014

overview
Overview

Three principal areas:

  • The just conditions for entering into a war.
    • When is it just to go to war?
  • The just conditions for conducting a war.
    • What are we permitted to do in carrying out a war and what is forbidden as unjust?
  • The just conditions of peace.
    • What are the conditions of peace that insure the just conclusion of a war?

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

acknowledgement
Acknowledgement
  • This presentation is based on the excellent article by Brian D. Orend, "War ,“ in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

jus ad bellum the just conditions for going to war
Jus ad bellum:The Just Conditions for Going to War
  • Just cause
  • Right intention
  • Proper authority and public declaration
  • Last resort
  • Probability of success
  • Proportionality

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

just cause
Just cause
  • Protection from external attack is the first and foremost—and in the eyes of some, the only--just cause of war; based on the right of self-defense.
  • Some have maintained the humanitarian intervention is also justified, where we go to war to save the lives of innocent people who are being attacked by an aggressor.

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

right intention
Right intention
  • The war must be pursued for a just cause.
  • Unacceptable intentions:
    • Revenge
    • Political expansion
    • Land acquisition

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

proper authority and public declaration
Proper authority and public declaration
  • Traditionally, only nations have the authority to declare war.
  • Wars must be publicly declared, not pursued in secret.
  • Question: Can terrorist groups be said to declare war? If not, is the response to terrorism really war?

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

last resort
Last resort
  • If there are other means of achieving the same objectives, such as negotiations or economic blockades, they should be pursued exhaustively first.

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

probability of success
Probability of success
  • The rationale here is clear and simple: war is a great evil, and it is wrong to cause such killing, suffering, and destruction in a futile effort.
    • Question: what about countries that feel they are resisting evil even when there is little or no chance of success? For example, small European countries being invaded by the Nazis.

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

proportionality
Proportionality
  • Are the possible benefits (especially in terms of a just peace) proportional to the death, suffering, and destruction that the pursuit of the war will bring about?

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

jus in bello the just conditions for conducting a war
Jus in bello:The Just Conditions for Conducting a War

Three principal conditions:

  • Discrimination
  • Proportionality
  • No means that are evil in themselves.

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

discrimination
Discrimination
  • The key requirement here is to discriminate between those who are engaged in harm (soldiers) and those who are not (civilians).
  • This has increasingly become an issue as countries such as the United States have turned to high altitude bombing campaigns that are more likely to put civilians at risk.

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

proportionality1
Proportionality
  • Onoe should only use the amount of force that is proportional to the (just) ends being sought.
  • This raises interesting issues in the use of massive air strikes against bin Laden by the United States.

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

no means evil in themselves
No Means Evil in Themselves
  • Orend lists a number of means that count as evil in themselves.
    • “mass rape campaigns;
    • “genocide or ethnic cleansing;
    • “torturing captured enemy soldiers; and
    • “using weapons whose effects cannot be controlled, like chemical or biological agents.”

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

jus post bellum creating a just peace
Jus post bellum:Creating a Just Peace

Brian Orend gives 5 conditions for a just peace:

  • Just cause for termination.
  • Right intention.
  • Public declaration and legitimate authority.
  • Discrimination.
  • Proportionality.

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

just cause for termination
Just cause for termination
  • Orend: “a reasonable vindication of those rights whose violation grounded the resort to war in the first place.”
    • Unjust gains from aggression have been eliminated
    • Victims’ rights reinstated
    • Formal apology
    • Acceptance of reasonable punishment

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

right intention1
Right intention
  • Excludes motives such as revenge
  • Prosecution of war crimes needs to be applied to all, not just the vanquished.

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

public declaration and legitimate authority
Public declaration and legitimate authority
  • This requirement is fairly straightforward and uncontroversial.

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

discrimination1
Discrimination
  • Differentiate between
    • Political and military leaders
    • Military and civilian populations
  • Punish the elite responsible for prosecuting the war, not the uninvolved civilians.

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

proportionality2
Proportionality
  • The vanquished do not lose their rights
    • No ‘witch hunts’
  • Proportional to reasonable rights vindication

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman