PHILOS 1B03 Lecture Notes - Jus Ad Bellum, Just War Theory, J. Walter Thompson

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Published on 12 Apr 2013
Department
Professor
Just War Theory April 3, 2013
War
- Can war be just (ethical)?
- Yes: Just War Theory
- No, war is always unjust: Pacifism
- No, war is neither just nor unjust: Moral Nihilism (Realism)
Realism (Moral Nihilism)
- Ethics and Justice do not apply to the relations between states
- Justice requires an overarching authority, and there isn’t one in
international arena
- Relations between states are (or ought to be) governed by self-interest
Realism War
- War is neither ethical nor unethical
- Decisions are (or ought to be) governed only by self-interest
- Is this position plausible?
- It seems that discussions of ethics and justice are relevant t- decision-
making in and assessment of war
Just War Theory (JWT)
- A war is just if it satisfies conditions
- These conditions are divided into three parts
- Jus ad bellum Justice going to war
- Jus in bello Justice during war
- Jus post bellum- Justice after war
Jus Ad Bellum
- JAB concerns the decisions to go to war
- It applies primarily to political leaders
JAB Just Cause
- A state may only go to war for the right reason
- What counts as a just cause for war?
- Typically a response to aggression
- Preventative war is problematic
JAB Right Intention
- A state must fight the war for the sake of the just cause
- Just cause cannot be a pretext
- Are there any problems with this condition?
JAB Proper Authority
- War can only be declared by a legitimate government
- Declaration of war must be public
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Document Summary

Ethics and justice do not apply to the relations between states. No, war is neither just nor unjust: moral nihilism (realism) Justice requires an overarching authority, and there isn"t one in international arena. Relations between states are (or ought to be) governed by self-interest. Decisions are (or ought to be) governed only by self-interest. It seems that discussions of ethics and justice are relevant t- decision- making in and assessment of war. Jus ad bellum justice going to war. Jus in bello justice during war. A war is just if it satisfies conditions. These conditions are divided into three parts. Jab concerns the decisions to go to war. A state may only go to war for the right reason. A state must fight the war for the sake of the just cause. War can only be declared by a legitimate government. Costs include enemy causalities, destruction of property, etc. Decision to go to war must not be taken lightly.

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