The Art of War?

Has anyone read it? It sounds like something worthwhile to read, but is there anything in it that is totally against Catholic morality? Thanks.

I don’t think there’s anything objectionable in it. It’s how to conduct warfare with the least loss of life, and strategies for winning battles that will ultimately win wars. The Church has always taught that warfare ought to be done for just reasons. And we are to defend ourselves with the least amount of force necessary, so I see no general problems with Sun Tzu’s ideas. :slight_smile:

Written circa 5 B.C., it shows how to handle human conflicts by using deception, for one. All of the concepts apply to warfare today but technology has rendered some types of deception as less likely to succeed. The author writes that the acme of warfare is defeating your enemy by not having to fight him.

There’s nothing non-Catholic about it. The fact that this book is still available over 2,000 years later shows it has been studied and stood the test of time as being useful.


Certainly it’s worthwhile, and within reason there are lessons or advice in it that are applicable too in other spheres of life (though ideally keeping deceit to a minimum!! :stuck_out_tongue: ).

FWIW I don’t think there’d anything wrong with reading something that was ‘against Catholic morality’. No one says one has to believe, agree with and follow everything that’s written in any book. :shrug:

Read it. Its a very insightful discussion of tactics and strategy, totally secular.

I have it and read it pretty regularly. Nothing counter to Catholic morality, just a lot of discussion of what makes good tactics and strategy in warfare, It’s a good interesting read. Enjoy…and learn.

This was one of the biggest points I took away from the book as well.

For a moment I thought you had asked about “The War of Art” - which I would recommend to any person struggling with their creativity.

I read the The Art of War years ago. I don’t recall anything that is objectionable to Catholic morality though I cannot say for certain. I recall it being a was fascinating read.

Yeah, I agree. Just because you read something doesn’t mean you necessarily agree with it. It can even be beneficial: you don’t want to be in a discussion with someone who opposes Catholicism and be completely flat footed because you’ve only ever consumed Catholic media. Living in a bubble is a not a good way to train your brain.

But yeah, I don’t see anything anti-Catholic in Sun Tzu anyway.

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