Essay about Christianity And The Just War Theory

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Does the Just War Theory provide sufficient moral justification for Christians’ involvement in war? The Just War Theory is a set of criteria that are used to judge whether a war is morally justifiable. It was St Augustine in the third century that formulated the Just War theory, and was formalised 10 centuries later by Thomas Aquinas. There are seven criteria by which a war can be judged to be just. Among the rules are Just Cause – there must be a very good reason for going to war, such as protecting your country from invasion. There should be a formal declaration of war by the legal government. It has to be the last resort and all other alternatives must be exhausted. There must be a reasonable chance of success and great care must be…show more content…
This however is qualified by stating that war should be fought within certain rules to ensure that it is fought not only for sound moral reasons but also that it is fought in a morally defensible way. Thus they are justly and morally standing up for what they believe to be worth fighting for, in a moral way. The problems of morals are difficult enough when judging traditional warfare, but they are complicated further when applied to modern warfare with its nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Would it be morally right to stand by and watch while our families or the weak suffer? There is also a confusing aspect in all of this, as Jesus states quite clearly in Matthew 5 that we should love our enemies and there seems to be many examples of God against war and violence. Yet, throughout the Old Testament, there are numerous examples of God supporting acts of extreme violence and destruction, seeming contradictory. Some would say that the Just War Theory is the best way to make sure that the war is as moral as possible and that they can justify this by referring to the Bible where we see that Jesus teaches us that we should fight against evil, “I came not to bring peace, but a sword”. It is our duty to obey the lawful authorities because they have been put there by God. If these
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