A question on Just War Theory

What are the rare cases of preemptive or preventive war that might be justified in traditional Just War Theory?

1 Like

It’s a prudential question and there isn’t a consensus among bishops or theologians on what the answer is.

WW2 might be considered a just war, but aspects of it have also been condemned by Popes, such as carpet bombing with conventional weapons or with the atom bomb.

The most recent Iraq War was not considered justified by Pope Benedict.


Off the top of my head, in the case of an imminent attack. So Country A breaks off diplomatic relations with Country B and then immediately starts moving troops to the border and sending bombers towards B’s airspace. Country B can legitimately strike to preempt an imminent attack.

Not sure that taking sides between two equally evil empires can really be called just.

1 Like

Generally, if there’s a serious threat. obviously, it’s preferable to avoid war.

I agree. Too many innocent people have been killed and for what? And why is the US in Syria today? Does it have permission from the government in charge of the country to be there or is it just an invasion? Isn’t this an example of a preventative war?

Sometimes more people die in a car accidents, in a drunk parties than in a war.
I know that every state uses this rhetorics that you can’t give centuries traditions, your mother, and wife to the invaders, you must defend your state. It must be logical.
Invadors using the same rethorics by brainwashing their soldiers and public opinion about defending their ethnic group, or their land according their propagandist historians.

The matter is that our generation is very sensitive to this matter.
In ancient times, the warriors and wars were the way of life.
There were regions were it was even considered a cowardice for a man to survive till elder age, just because a real man, a real warrior must die young, and must die in the battle.
The signs of prides and glory were the trophies from enemy, or enemies parts of the body.
War and freedom was the law, and slavery was worst than death.

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.