Aristotle 's Philosophy On The Morality Of War Essay

1843 WordsAug 19, 20168 Pages
Throughout history, mankind have fought one another at great cost and for almost as long as people have been waging war, people have been asking questions surrounding the morality of war. In ancient Greece Aristotle raised a number of ideals that he believed should be adhered to, he believed that war needed to be regulated by a universal community under natural law. He also criticised the desire to conquer as a valid means of going to war. His views where based on the stoic tenants of virtue and reason. Aristotle’s teaching began to gain traction again in Europe during the 13th century, some of his teachings conflicted with the ideas of the Catholic Church which at the time was a major political power. Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologica began to combine the Church’s ideals with that of Aristotle’s to present a picture of how war should be. In order for a war to be just, states need to have the right motivations to go to war and they need to conduct themselves in a moral way while at war. This idea of Just War has evolved over the years through theorists such as Vitoria and has been criticised by others such as Erasmus. Now in the 21st century we have a slightly different much more secularised view of Just war. Political theorist Brian Orend, suggests that for a war to be truly just it must also have an ethical end, states must have a valid ‘exit strategy’ that doesn’t leave the country in chaotic ruins after the war. This essay will refer to numerous contemporary
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