Would this war be just?


Suppose that at some point in the future, the United States government institutes martial law. Would a rebellion to throw them out of power be a just war?


The Catechism addresses just war:

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 modern 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.

The question in the situation you describe would be whether the said situation of martial law was just, or an abuse requiring armed rebellion. There are situations where civil authority has broken down and martial law may be necessary.


Insufficient information.


Really depends on the situation. In my opinion 99% of wars are unjust or unnecessary.


The war referred to in the OP would be civil rather than international but Pope John Paul II on the Feast of Pentecost 1982 said - - - - - - - -


@ OP:

Not near enough information. Martial Law is not in itself unjust. Some countries function on the equivalent of what Martial Law would look like in the US for decades.


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