Offensive war

Recognizing that God condoned war of the chosen people against pagan society during the period of salvation history under the Old Covenant, is there a place for this in the current age?


When considering going to war, certain criteria should be met. The best criteria is the Principles of a Just War, written by St Augustine some 1,500 years ago:

**Just cause: **The reason for going to war needs to be just and cannot therefore be solely for recapturing things taken or punishing people who have done wrong; innocent life must be in imminent danger and intervention must be to protect life. A contemporary view of just cause was expressed in 1993 when the US Catholic Conference said: “Force may be used only to correct a grave, public evil, i.e., aggression or massive violation of the basic human rights of whole populations.”

**Comparative justice: **While there may be rights and wrongs on all sides of a conflict, to overcome the presumption against the use of force, the injustice suffered by one party must significantly outweigh that suffered by the other.

**Legitimate authority: **Only duly constituted public authorities may wage war.

**Right intention: **Force may be used only in a truly just cause and solely for that purpose—correcting a suffered wrong is considered a right intention, while material gain or maintaining economies is not.

**Probability of success: **Arms may not be used in a futile cause or in a case where disproportionate measures are required to achieve success;

**Last resort: **Force may be used only after all peaceful and viable alternatives have been seriously tried and exhausted or are clearly not practical. It may be clear that the other side is using negotiations as a delaying tactic and will not make meaningful concessions.

**Proportionality: **The anticipated benefits of waging a war must be proportionate to its expected evils or harms. This principle is also known as the principle of macro-proportionality, so as to distinguish it from the jus in bello principle of proportionality.
In modern terms, just war is waged in terms of self-defense, or in defense of another (with sufficient evidence).

In those ancient times, God spoke to people directly. So of course when he gave the order to go to war, the people listened. God does not do this these days. He never tells, say the US president, to go to war. The Church guides us with the just war doctrine, as GratefulFred posted. War can only be for self-defense, not just the self-defense of an individual country but also the defense of others in the world as well. Even God did not initiate offensive wars. There was always reason for it. Usually, it was because the people had sinned against God for many years without regard. God knew they would not go to heaven, so they had no place on the earth. He simply sped up what was already going to happen eventually.

Why not?

I tend to think God would fully support a ‘war’ against pagan societies in modern times. The problem is, I doubt many modern day people would even go along with this, even if their parishes told them it was the right thing to do, I think most ‘fair weather Catholics’ would suddenly wonder if they should belong to the church anymore! LOL

Plus, If God did support in the past, he would in the future/ present, remember God NEVER changes, will always be the same, it is us who changes.

Wars are only started by people who really believe they will win, and can limit the war to those they can win against. Thus Russia is backing down having gained control of the land supporting their navel base. The Arabs fought Israel when they thought six countries against one was a good gamble. Having lost that one, they haven’t tried again.
Germany has not learnt in over a century, but looking at the rest of the EU which they control economically anyway, they don’t want it.
Northern Ireland is such a basket case economically, Ireland doesn’t want it anymore.
Offensive Just wars are a figment of the imagination.

yes, but Russia is now preparing to invade the rest of Ukraine, so they are not really backing down.

God does not change and humans do, meaning the situation changes so doing what He did more than 2000 years ago might not be the best, His perfection remains, that is why He choses what is the best according to how humans are. and what do you mean by pagan societies?

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