Nuclear Weapons – Nuclear Warfare (weapons that immediately
kill but also have long term affects e.g. radiation.)
CND (Campaign for Nuclear
• Wants destruction of all nuclear
• Nuclear weapons are
unproductive use of world’s
• Increase risk of innocent lives lost
• Book of Proverbs: God hates
shedding of innocent blood
• More nuclear weapons in world
greater risk of wiping out mankind
NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty
• Nuclear weapons should be
• They keep peace (every nation
knows cant win nuclear war =
peaceful solution needed)
• Needs for defence
• If one country launched
nuclear attack, only right that
other country has means to
retaliate “eye for an eye.”
• 4th Century Christian
• Would be inconceivable to think God would
allow people to come to power who would not
lead people according to God’s will
• If authorities believe war is needed to solve a
political problem = becomes a “Holy war”
therefore a “just war”
• Augustine believed God called Israelites to
go to war against enemies = justified if its
intentions were to bring peace.
• 13th Century Christian
• Adapted Augustine's ideas
• For war to be just, cause must be just
• War is moral if intentions behind it are good.
• Undertaken by those in proper authority
• Good reasons to go to war
• War must be fought to promote good and
‘Jus (justice) ad Bellum (war)’
Meaning: When is it right to go to
1. Just cause (Augustine)
The country must deserve it/ present a real and present danger/
• Invasion, attack on national honour
• Assassination of prominent person
• Attack on religion, economic attack
• Attack on ally, pre-emptive strike
• Assisting friendly nation, human rights
• Do you agree these are just causes?
Jus ad Bellum
2. Legitimate Authority (Augustine)
• Has to be lawfully declared by competent
Jus ad Bellum
3. Right intention (Thomas Aquinas)
• Keeping or restoring peace
• Righting a wrong
• Assisting the innocent
• Cant fight war for immoral intentions e.g.
Jus ad Bellum
4. Comparative Justice (Catholic Bishop added
• Have to consider the claims/ arguments of
• Death and suffering on both sides
Jus ad Bellum
5. Last resort (Catholic Bishop added later)
• All sensible, non-violent options must have
been tried first
• War cannot be a first choice
Jus ad Bellum
6. Reasonable chance of success (Catholic
Bishop added later)
• Hopeless causes may be noble, but are
• Immoral to enter into a hopeless war
• Need it be able to win or it is just prolonging
• wrong to cause pain, suffering and death
with no chance of success
Jus ad Bellum
7. Reasonable proportion between injustice
suffered and suffering and death of war
(Catholic Bishop added later)
• Proportionality = state shouldn't engage in
war which causes more suffering than the
wrong done by the enemy (Pearl Harbour vs.
• Goal of war should be in proportion to the
• Should prevent more evil and human
suffering than it causes
‘Jus in Bello’ –
Meaning: How should a war be
1. Minimum force/ Proportionality
• Means used to fight the war must be the
force needed to win and no more
• Are WMD’s like nuclear, chemical and
biological weapons always
Jus in Bello
• Avoid children, sick, elderly, farmer,
• Wrong to target civilians only soldiers
• It is unjust to attack non-combatants
Realism- what is it?
• Belief that moral norms that apply to individual
persons do not apply to the State
• States are concerned with National Interest
• What do you understand by ‘national interest’?
• Idea is that governments can take whatever
action is in the interests of the people of that
• Thus laws that stop individuals harming/ killing
each other do not apply to nations
• War in the national interest is morally justified
• Reinhold Niebuhr argued for this in book ‘Moral Man
and Immoral Society’ (1932)
• Human nature is evil- human communities have to
use force to maintain just and ordered society
• Communities/ States have special rights/ political
responsibility which goes beyond individual
• Argues against pacifism as a heresy that assumed
that love is a guaranteed victory over the world.
• Can you think of 4 strengths and weaknesses.
Was Jesus a Pacifist?
• In the Sermon on the Mount
(Matthew 5-7) he says
“Blessed are the
• Refused to take up military
power when tempted in the
wilderness (Luke 4:5-7)
• He stopped weapons being
used to prevent his arrest in
the Garden of Gethsemane
(Luke 22: 49-51) “those who
take up the sword will die by
• Jesus’ words might refer
to personal ethics rather
than national ethics
• He demonstrated
righteous anger when
driving out the money
changers from the
Temple, although no-one
• He didn’t specifically
criticise the job of a
• Many people are pacifist for non-religious reasons
• This means that Pacifism can be an ethical stance not just a
• Some may choose it as they see killing as intrinsically wrong
• Many regard life as having absolute value over all other
• There are methods of NON-VIOLENT DIRECT ACTION
including marches, rallies, strike action, refusal to obey…
• Many people are conscientious objectors in times of war,
but perform non-combat services (e.g. Red Cross)
• Earliest form of
• Teachings of
• Spent his life
searching for a
release from the
• Struggle for
Martin Luther King Jr.
Civil Rights Movement
in his struggle for
Black rights =
It is better to be the
recipient of violence
than the inflictor of it.
“I want you to go home
and put down your
weapons. We cannot
solve this problem
violence. We must meet
violence with non
• Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that
a small group of thoughtful
committed citizens can change the
world. Indeed, it is the only thing
that ever has”
• Great things have been achieved
through non violent action i.e.
black civil rights
• Provides alternatives to violent
• Doing nothing is an odd way to
respond to attack – e.g. turn the
• War is regrettable but unavoidable.
• The threat of violent retaliation is in
fact the best way to maintain peace.
• Pacifism is a good idea in theory but
not in practice. It goes against
human nature and is unrealistic on a
• Jeff McMahan = removes victims
rights to judge whether a violent
response is just.
• What would be the consequence if
Nazism had gone unchallenged?
• The Amish people are pacifists – they are peaceful
people who do not follow the laws of America.
• They have their own laws and rules one of which
includes: minimal contact with the outside world.
• This is not because they believe Americans to be wrong
or they way of life bad but because they believe in living
simple lives away from the pressures of society.
The Amish live their lives around the Biblical passage
"be not conformed to this world" (Romans 12:2).
• Quakers are sometimes known as the Religious
Society of Friends.
• Many live in the United Kingdom
• Quakers are active in politics and in working for
justice in the world.
• This comes partly from their belief that there is
something of God in every human being
• Should respect the worth and dignity of each
• Follow Christ's own example of social activism.
• Quakers believe that war and conflict are against God's
• Force nearly always creates more problems than it
• “We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fighting
with outward weapons.”
Quaker statement to King Charles II, 1660
• “A good end cannot sanctify evil means.” William Penn,
• Do you think this includes dictatorship?
• What are the strengths and weaknesses of a pacifist
Bentham: maximise pleasure vs. minimise pain
• Act Utilitarian: new assessment each time
• Must apply HC to each situation
• Just War criteria similar to hedonic calculus?
E.G. Must consider ‘duration’ and ‘extent’ of death, pain from going to war vs. pleasure of
what war will achieve.
Mill: higher and lower pleasures
• Rule: general rules to maximise happiness
• Similar to a Realist perspective.
• Altruism/ POU – maximise happiness. Does war prevent this?
• Harm Principle
• Teleological: consequences (Can these be predicated in war?)
Singer: Preference Utilitarianism
• Can you actually assess the preferences of everyone in war?
• Focus on minimising pain
• Conscientious objectors – value their preferences
• Preferences will always clash
• Duty: Is it our duty to protect our country/ freedom?
• Good will: Is goodwill a clear objective in war? Is goodwill often ignored/
• First formulation: universalizability = Kant’s 4 examples
1. Lying promise: do countries make promises about success of war that they
cannot keep? Do countries make lying promises behind the reasons behind
war (i.e. to find WMD?)
2. Suicide bombers?
3. Neglecting talents: does war prevent the development of talents or promote
talents through helping one another – e.g. more doctors/ nurses
4. Refraining from helping others: does this include people on the other side?
Can you help others at the same time as killing someone else?
• Second formulation (means to an end) – e.g. using soldiers as a means to
• Third formulation (kingdom of ends) – treat everyone equally
Kant’s book: ‘Of the Guarantee for
Note: Perpetual = everlasting
• "Perpetual peace is no empty idea, but a
practical thing which, through its gradual
solution, is coming always nearer its final
• What does this mean?
• Does Kant believe Peace is an illusion?
• Primary Precepts e.g. Preservation of innocent lives, can
war be seen as immoral because innocent lives cant
always be preserved (Secondary precepts)? Can ordered
society be maintain through war and with the after affects
of war? Worship God – scripture often promotes war.
• Animals often fight over territory – natural instinct?
• Application of Doctrine of Double effect.
• Technologies (i.e WMD) been produced by human
reason – is this our natural progression?
• Thomas Aquinas development of Just War theory
• Pacifism – Amish, Society of Friends, Jesus
• Just War Theory – established by Augustine/ developed by Aquinas
• OT “eye for eye, tooth for tooth,”
• OT a lot of bloodshed, wars e.g. God often ordered the Israelites to
go to war with other nations (Samuel 15:3, Joshua 4:13)
• NT – Sermon on the Mount, ‘Turn the other cheek’, Golden Rule,
love thy neighbour
• NT – Beatitudes: Blessed are the peacemakers
• NT – personal ethics/ relative to situation e.g. over throwing tables
• Situation ethics – promotion of agape
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