Is the War Just


#1

I fear I don’t follow things all that well. I know that the Church has a list of critiria for a just war. I haven’t heard anyone I think would be reliable on the War in Iraq, does it fit the Just War bit? And what is the list for a Just War?


#2

well, Pope John Paul II came out against it. I think that’s a fairly good indication that it wasn’t a just war initially. However, now it would be unjust to leave the people of Iraq hanging.


#3

Can any war be just?
The concept of a just war has been argued for centuries, but the question remains.
As far as Iraq is concerned there are a number of points to consider:

  1. The war began because of mistakes being made at every level. But to be fair - Saddam did set out to fool the International Community into thinking he had weapons of mass destruction.

  2. The war with Hussain is over - it did indeed end. The man is in prison and the Iraq army is now being trained to defend Iraq by American and Allied troops.

  3. The present conflict is not with Iraq but rather with insurgents, terrorists, many from other regions in the Middle East, who are trying to impose their rather twisted version of Islam on everyone else. It is not just American and allied troops being attacked - so also are Iraqi citizens. The terrorists are killing more Iraqis than they are killing Americans!

There is something very un-holy about this war and it is not un-holy because of the United States. There is an un-holy element to the Islamic influences in the region that is resulting in the deaths of innocent civilians.

Our response should be one of prayer.
a. Prayer for an end to the conflict - as God would will.
b. Prayer for all those who suffer as a result of the conflict.
c. Prayer for the safe return home of all the soldiers (British, American - whatever).
d. Prayer for the defeat of evil.

Mick
:slight_smile:


#4

[quote=Montie Claunch]what is the list for a Just War?
[/quote]

The Catechism on Just War:

2307 to 2317, specifically:

2309 The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. the gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:

  • the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;

  • all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;

  • there must be serious prospects of success;

  • the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. the power of modem means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the “just war” doctrine.

The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.

continued…


#5

[font=Arial]See also:

When Is War Justified?

Just cause.

War is permissible only to confront a “real and certain danger,” ie, to protect innocent life, to preserve conditions necessary for decent human existence and to secure bAsic human rights.

Competent authority. War must be declared by those with responsibility for public order, not by private groups or individuals.

Comparative justice. In essence: Which side is sufficiently “right” in a dispute, and are the values at stake critical enough to override the presumption against war? Do the rights and values involved justify killing? Given techniques of propaganda and the ease with which nations and individuals either assume or delude themselves into believing that God or right is clearly on their side, the test of comparative justice may be extremely difficult to apply.

Right intention. War can be legitimately intended only for the reasons set forth above as a just cause.

Last resort. For resort to war to be justified, all peaceful alternatives must have been exhausted.
Probability of success. This is a difficult criterion to apply, but its purpose is to prevent irrational resort to force or hopeless resistance when the outcome of either will clearly be disproportionate or futile.

Proportionality. This means that the damage to be inflicted and the costs incurred by war must be proportionate to the good expected by taking up arms.

[/font]continued…


#6

See also:

The Catholic Just War Tradition and the Iraq War

The Catholic Church and Iraq Catholic Theologian Argues for War

Has the Holy Father Condemned U.S. Action?

Father Richard Neuhaus on the Iraqi Crisis

And very very instructive:

Just War and Jihad: Two Views of WarA Conversation with James Turner Johnson and Christopher Hitchens


#7

[quote=Mick7]Can any war be just?
The concept of a just war has been argued for centuries, but the question remains.

[/quote]

It is not a question for Catholics. Ani Ibi just answered the question straight from Catholic teaching. Yes, war can be just.

Well done Ani:clapping:


#8

The question should not be Is war just?, but what does God think? Was everything possible done to avoid it? I don’t know the answer to that but how can we ever convince Moslems that God is not a slave-master but a God of Love and Mercy when we are ready to go to war without making every effort to avoid it?

Jesus told us that we must love God and love our neighbour as ourself.

Chesterton said something about someone saying Christianity having been tried and found wanting, and replied that, on the contrary, it had been tried and found difficult.

I think the same could be said about loving our neighbour and seeing every person as a child of God who He loves as much as He loves us. :twocents:


#9

[quote=Eileen T]The question should not be Is war just?, but what does God think?
[/quote]

Actually the question was: “Is the War Just?”

Was everything possible done to avoid it? I don’t know the answer to that but how can we ever convince Moslems that God is not a slave-master but a God of Love and Mercy when we are ready to go to war without making every effort to avoid it?

Is that what happened?

[quote=Eileen T]Jesus told us that we must love God and love our neighbour as ourself.
[/quote]

Is ignoring injustice a loving act?


#10

Catholics in good standing can be on either side of this issue. Personally, I am in favor of the war, though history is ultimately a more objective judge.


#11

[quote=Sherlock]Catholics in good standing can be on either side of this issue.
[/quote]

This is correct. Consider two quotes from two prominent American bishops.

“While we have warned of the potential moral dangers of embarking on this war, we have also been clear that there are no easy answers. War has serious consequences, so could the failure to act. People of good will may and do disagree on how to interpret just war teaching and how to apply just war norms to the controverted facts of this case. We understand and respect the difficult moral choices that must be made by our President and others who bear the responsibility of making these grave decisions involving our nation’s and the world’s security (Catechism #2309).”

-The Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory,
Archbishop of Atlanta;
President Emeritus, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

“Consider, for example, the war in Iraq. Although Pope John Paul II pleaded for an alternative to the use of military force to meet the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, he did not bind the conscience of Catholics to agree with his judgment on the matter, nor did he say that it would be morally wrong for Catholic soldiers to participate in the war. In line with the teaching of the catechism on “just war,” he recognized that a final judgment of prudence as to the necessity of military force rests with statesmen, not with ecclesiastical leaders. Catholics may, in good conscience, support the use of force in Iraq or oppose it.”

-The Most Reverend John J. Myers,
Archbishop of Newark


#12

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