Abortion vs UNJUST War


How do I explain to a good conservative Catholic that abortion is more grave than an unjust war. This Catholic I was talking to said there is no difference because innocent life is targeted in each case.

I see nothing wrong with his argument, so is he right or are we missing something?

p.s. this Catholic was not using this argument to vote for one candidate over the other, it was a philosophical argument.


In an injust war innocent life may or may not be lost.

Abortion is very systemic in the world. It constitutes an evil that is rampant and self justified.

An unjust war may be started by a dictator or someone not necessarily representative of the peoples will.


An unjust war, by definition, means innocent life is being targeted.

I agree with your last sentence, but lets say hypothetically that a candidate is anti-abortion but for an unjust war, could you in good conscience still vote for them without being hypocritical?


Basically all war is unjust. The reason for war is that it is the lesser of the evil.

Yes - because life issues trump quality of life issues. If the candidate was for indiscriminate killing this puts the two issues into more of an equivalency. If the candidate is for pursuing justice and war is an option then prudential judgement comes into play. The defense of abortion cannot entertain any such notion.


Abortion is the systematic slaughter of millions and millions and millions of babies. One baby every 25 seconds in the US alone. We are up to about 40 million in the US since Roe V Wade. I’m not sure I know of an ‘unjust’ war that compares to that level of evil. I’m not blind to the evil of unjust war, I just think that the evil of abortion is much greater.

I would be curious to know how “unjust” war is defined. My brother, who was in Iraq for a very long time, commented once that “those who think the war in Iraq is unjust have never seen mass graves.” A sobering thought indeed. However, in pondering the issue I wonder one thing : if there was a mass grave for all aborted babies, I wonder if abortion would still be legal. :frowning:


This is similar to what I have thought about. There are 10s of millions of abortions, which I think drown out any war (whether unjust or just) out there. That is why I think abortion is still far far worse in this situation.


Abortion and unjust wars are both evil. The only way you could make the argument you want to make is by arguing that abortion costs more lives then unjust wars, so it is a greater priority.


Back in the 80’s, I was told that, at that time, there were more abortions being performed then those who died in WW! and WW2!:eek:

Can you imagine, if we thought the Holocaust was evil, when looking at the pcitures and films about it ( I have gone to Yad Vashem twice in Israel)…how big would be the piles of aborted babies be???:crying:

Who could justify either…:mad:


(similar what jfogs was saying)
I guess if you really wanted, you could add up the numbers. In terms of the United States, there are many more deaths per day from abortion than US soldiers. (Though you might need to use total deaths of innocents killed in the war to make the comparison fair.)


Does it really matter which is more grave? You can be against both at the same time, as they are not mutually exclusive.
They are both grave, so we oppose both.
“What’s more evil, killing someone with a steak knife or a chainsaw?” Who cares?! Don’t do either of them! (Kind of silly, but you get the point.)


That is about the argument I have come down to.



What war?

To my knowledge, the Church has been silent on the overall war on terror.

The Church did denounce the second invasion of Iraq, but after it was a done deed, said that we should stay and fix what we broke. The war part has been over for a number of years. We’re attempting now to support their government and help them rebuild, which is exactly what Pope John Paul II said we should do.

Are we trying to set up a strawman argument here or merely dealing in hypotheticals?


Of course, you can be and should be against both at the same time. The problem is that many people are support abortion because they do not think of an unborn child as a “life” while they are are vehemently opposed to unjust war.

I am against both because I recognize that all life is sacred. Additionally I believe that quality of life is important but that the right to life is fundamental.


Refer them to the Catechism, which is quite clear on the difference and the greater evil of abortion.

Put short, abortion ALWAYS results in the intentional loss of an innocent life; war MAY result in such loss.

While there are criteria which make a war just (responding to an invasion, for example); there is no criterion whatsoever which justifies abortion.


An unjust war does not mean innocent life is targeted, “by definition”. An unjust war could theoretically not involve lives lost at all.

Staying away from the voting issue, which always causes trouble around here, this is philosophically a bit of a false dichotomy.

If you had a candidate that knew that pursposely pursued a war that was unjust - not just a candidate that disagreed as to whether a war was unjust, you might have a valid comparison.

Staying away from the voting issue, which always causes trouble around here, this is philosophically a bit of a false dichotomy.

War is always bad and good people disagree as to whether a war is just or unjust. This is the Church’s position.

Abortion is always bad. There is no disagreement amoung good people about this. This is the Church’s position.


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