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Ethics and Morality of War: Is War Justified? Is War Just?

People should participate more in the discussion about the morality of war. No particular war can be adequately justified without us first having gone through the question of whether and how any war can ever be justified morally. Perhaps we cannot assume the actual decision-making authority, but we can frame the context for those who do make the decisions.
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Just War Theory: Jus Ad Bellum and the Pursuit of War
How do Just War theories expect to justify the pursuit of some wars? How can we ever conclude that some particular war may be more moral than another? Although there are some differences in the principles used, we can point to five basic ideas that address whether or not it is just to launch any particular war.

Just War Theory: Jus In Bello and the Waging of War
How do Just War theories expect to justify the pursuit of some wars? How can we ever conclude that some particular war may be more moral than another? Although there are some differences in the principles used, we can point to five basic ideas that address whether or not it is just to launch any particular war.

War and Morality: Do Morality and War Mix?
Although the debate of war and morality may be interesting, there is one issue which could interrupt the discussion entirely: perhaps, according to some, moral standards simply aren't applicable to war. One example of this attitude might be found in Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's comment that "War is hell."

War and Morality: What is War?
Evaluating the ethics of war requires knowing what "war" is. Some may say, "Isn't it obvious what war is?" In fact, defining war is not as easy as it appears. There are situations that do qualify as war and examples that don't; but what about all of the situations in between? Is war one of those "I know it when I see it concepts," or are there criteria that allow us to identify what war is?

Morality of War: Just War Theory
There is a tradition in Western culture of differentiating between "just" and "unjust" wars. Those opposed to war in principle will surely disagree that any such distinction can possibly be made, but the basic ideas involved seem to present a plausible argument that there are times when war is, at the very least, less just and as a result should receive less support.

Unpatriotic Protests: Should Protesters Support Our Troops?
Debate over America's invasion of Iraq has led to an equally important debate about people publicly protesting that invasion. Is it unethical and unpatriotic to protest a conflict when American troops are fighting and dying? Is it unethical and unpatriotic to use patriotism as a means to silence protest?

War and Pacifism
Pacifism, whether adopted in a broad or narrow sense, is a relatively rare position. Although people may object to violence and war in specific circumstances, most are quite willing to allow or even to actively support its use in a wide variety of other situations. As a result, those who object to war and violence in principle and in general are regarded as highly unusual, if not highly suspect.

Morality of War: Defending War
There have been many arguments offered in defense of war. Some are deontological, defending war either as a positive value itself or as an expression of positive values. Some are teleological and defend war as a justified means towards some important and valuable end. Some are virtue-based and defend war as something which helps produce good character and positive virtues in people.

Antiwar Arguments that War is Immoral and Unethical
Even when support is unusually widespread, there will always be a few who dissent from popular opinion and object to their country engaging in war, arguing that the conflict is immoral and unethical. Quite often, they are attacked for their stand and accused of being unpatriotic, immoral, naive, and even treasonous.

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