The Instigator
janetsanders733
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
bsh1
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

There is a such thing as a Just War

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
bsh1
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/25/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 684 times Debate No: 46650
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (25)
Votes (2)

 

janetsanders733

Pro

*Please read before accepting*


I will be arguing that there is such a thing as a Just War. My opponent will be arguing the opposite. I would also like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate.

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Opening Arguements
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Conclusion/No-New Arguements
bsh1

Con

Ka-pow! I've accepted.

Just a quick note: we've agreed that Pro will lay out specific criteria for a Just War that she must defend. Furthermore, we have agreed that "just" implies a consideration of ethics and morals, vice pragmatism.

I eagerly await Pro's opening remarks!
Debate Round No. 1
janetsanders733

Pro


I will now define some terms down here below, and then I will develop more into my opening argument.



Just War Theory or “Just War”- Just War theory is thought to have originated from Greco-Roman and Christian Values. Such distinguished members of this theory would include Aristotle, Cicero, and Augustine. There are three main items that make up the Just war Theory in order to fully understand it. So to begin, I will list the three main ideas that make up this theory as a whole down here below. These three main principles are necessary in order for a war to be just. If any of these three are violated then a war becomes “just” by these main principles.


1) Jus ad bellum: Concerns the head of state or political leaders. Political figures/leaders are the ones responsible for the installation of wars and programing them forward, they are therefore, held accountable if they fail their authoritative accountability, then by this principle of jus ad bellum, they have committed a war crime(s).


2) Just in bello: Has to do with the justice in a war and the right conduct to follow in battle. Responsibility falls primarily on commanders, officers and soldiers who carry out the policy of war.


3) Jus post bellum: Refers to the justice during the last or final stage of war: The end of war. Its purpose is to seek the end of wars and to negotiate peace after war. Responsibility lies on the officials such as political leaders; the UN, JSOC(Joint Special Operation Commander),etc.



War- A state of armed conflict between different nations or states or different groups within a nation or state.


Example of a Just War: The 1991 Persian Gulf War


In 1991,Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in order to obtain oil profits for his failed loss back in the 1980s during the Iraq-Iran War. He violated Jus ad bellum in a list of ways.



  1. 1. On August 2, 1990, the Iraqi army crossed two lines. The first line was the border separating the two sovereign countries of Iraq and Kuwait. Internationally recognized as a legitimate state since 1961, Kuwait was overrun by the large Iraqi military. The second line was the biggest qualifier for a just war against Iraq: Aggression. In performing this act of aggression, Iraq unleashed the floodgates of war which. Because of Iraqi aggression against Kuwait, the international coalition was morally forced to wage war.




  1. 2. Of all the arguments for the war against Iraq, stopping aggression was the strongest platform. Even though oil was a central issue, the coalition required Iraq to give back the property, land, and people seized in the invasion. To ignore the Iraqi invasion would be to reward "naked aggression".




  1. 3. Iraq was also guilty of jus in bello(justice in war) because of his slaughter or atrocities on the civilians in Kurdistan during the 1980s. He unethically used nerve gas and chemical weapons like SCUD missiles on the Kurds as a result of the Iran-Iraq war. Resulting in over 5000 deaths in 1988. The side effects of nerve gas or nerve agents were vomiting, gastrointestinal disorders, and ultimately death. Other side effects include mental retardation, multiple limbs or fingers, and blindness.



First Conclusion:


As we can see, a just war is necessary when a nation attacks another nation unjustly like in the example of the Persian Gulf. Saddam Hussein’s cause of the Persian gulf war was greed.




Sources:


[1] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...


[2] http://plato.stanford.edu...#


[3] http://www.grose.us...


[4] http://www.informationclearinghouse.info...


bsh1

Con

I thank Pro for this debate! In this round, I will express some concerns with Pro's case, and then I shall construct my own.

PRO's CASE

P1. Just War Theory

Pro's explanation of the Just War Theory is accurate--it seems like her definition follows very much in the tradition of St. Augustine.

Unfortunately, Pro has failed to lay out specific criteria for a Just War. She says that a Just War is composed of three elements, but this is insufficient. Let us examine why:

1. Jus ad Bellum - Pro says that Political figures are held accountable for crimes committed during wartime. Pro fails to specify what types of actions constitute war crimes; there are many different interpretations. For example, was Hiroshima immoral?

2. Jus in Bello - Pro says this "has to do with the justice in a war and the right conduct to follow in battle." What does that actually mean? What is right conduct? What criteria makes war just?

3. Jus post Bellum - Pro says this "refers to the justice during the last...stage of war." Again, what criteria are we using to measure justice?


Pro was required to offer criteria by which we can measure "justice," specifically as it pertains to war. Pro has failed to do this--these three bullets tell us that justice is necessary, but they fail to give any insight whatsoever into what justice is.

How can we know if a war is just if we don't have some means of evaluating justice. Since Pro has failed to provide such a checklist, as required, I will define justice later in this round.

P2. War

War is more than a state of armed conflict be groups within a nation. By that definition, police actions against gangs or cartels could be considered "war." Frankly, that seems to be broadening the understood meaning of the resolution too much. Rather, I offer the following definition:

"The mere threat of war, and the presence of mutual disdain between political communities, do not suffice as indicators of war. The conflict of arms must be actual…for it to count as war. Further, the actual armed conflict must be…widespread: isolated clashes between rogue officers, or border patrols, do not count as actions of war.” Furthermore, “the onset of war requires a commitment, and a significant mobilization, on the part of the belligerents in question. There's no real war, so to speak, until a fighter intends to go to war and until it does so with a heavy quantum of force.” [1]

P3. Pro's example:

1, 2 - Pro claims that fighting against aggression is permissible. Yet, I wonder if Pro would argue that Israel's preemptive strike in the six day war, technically an act of aggression under UN law, would be considered immoral. If aggression is not always wrong, than how can we be sure that fighting against it is necessarily always just?

3 - While I agree that that type of violence is absolutely disgusting, I wonder if the correct response to that abuse would be war. Surely, humanitarian intervention would be a better option.


CON's CASE

Frankly, I think the basic question this resolution comes down to is "what is justice?" I will attempt to answer this question using the same Greco-Roman philosophy Pro utilizes, as well as by pulling in some more recent, deontological philosophy. I will then draw a distinction between what is just and what is pragmatic.

C1: Plato and Justice

The notion that war is unjust makes sense, especially when we consider the brutal idea of an “eye for an eye.” Plato, in his book, The Republic, discusses this interpretation of justice. He argued that ‘harm’ is something inherently bad and negative whereas ‘justice’ is something inherently good and positive. Thus, he argued, justice could never involve harming anyone, because the two concepts were incompatible. War, by its very nature, inflicts harm. So, under Plato’s analysis, war is unjust.

C2: Kant/Hegel and Justice

According to G.W.F. Hegel, autonomy separates us from all other things. A table cannot be blamed for a moral failing because it cannot choose to do something wrong. A human, on the other hand, is morally relevant insofar as we have this autonomy. This moral worth grants every person an inherent dignity that should be respected. “To be a person is to have a status and worth that is unlike that of any other kind of being: it is to be an end in itself with dignity. And the only response that is appropriate to such a being is respect. Respect is the acknowledgment in attitude and conduct of the dignity of persons as ends in themselves. Respect for such beings is not only appropriate but also morally and unconditionally required.” [2] This same logic is echoed in Kant's second formulation of the categorical imperative.

War treats people as means to an end. Soldiers lives are treated as tools used to reach a desired goal: victory. They are treated as means to an end, totally without respect.

C3: Innocents

I think we can all agree that the deaths of innocent people is morally wrong. The bear no responsibility in the conflict, and so their deaths are unjust. All wars have led to innocent deaths. Consequently, all wars are unjust, because they unjustly kill innocent people.

"What is overlooked by those who believe the benefits of the war outweigh the costs is that killing even one innocent person to benefit others violates the most basic human right--the right to life...What Blackstone meant when he characterized the right to life as a God-given right is that it is beyond the power of any mere government to abrogate or repeal. Innocent people may not be killed or injured by the state, even when a majority believes it serves the greater good...killing the innocent to advance the cause of freedom of electoral choice or any other purpose, however worthy, must be regarded as wrong. We denounce terrorists because when the freedom of self-determination they seek is weighed in the balance against the right to life of innocent people, it is the right to life that our collective conscience has decided should prevail.” [3]

PRAGMATISM vs. JUSTICE

We agreed in R1 that Justice =/= Pragmatism. I have argued that war is unjust, but I will not dispute that war is sometimes pragmatic.

Simply because an action is necessary, does not mean that it is moral. A government has certain pragmatic concerns that it must take into account, and sometimes that leads to war. This is a key distinction to make.

Prof. Gary Woller explains: “Appeals to a priori moral principles…often fail to acknowledge that public policies inevitably entail trade-offs among competing values. Thus, since policymakers cannot justify inherent value conflicts to the public in any philosophical sense…the policymakers' duty to the public interest requires them to demonstrate that…their policies are somehow to the overall advantage of society.”

SOURCES
3 - Savoy, Paul (2004). The Nation, 278, 21. p.16. [Paul Savoy, a former assistant district attorney for New York County and past dean of the John F. Kennedy University School of Law in Pleasant Hill, California]

Thanks! Over to Pro...

Debate Round No. 2
janetsanders733

Pro

janetsanders733 forfeited this round.
bsh1

Con

I extend all points.

I await Pro's next round arguments!
Debate Round No. 3
janetsanders733

Pro

janetsanders733 forfeited this round.
bsh1

Con

Pro drops all my arguments. Please extend them.

War may be pragmatic, but that doesn't make it just. Thanks, and please VOTE CON!
Debate Round No. 4
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by janetsanders733 7 months ago
janetsanders733
@LeDoctor War is just when in self defense or when a nation has threatened the value of another nation. I will expand more in my debate
Posted by Le.Doctor 7 months ago
Le.Doctor
The cause of war is sin? Well explain to me why you think war is just ? And yes I believe that war should never be the solution, it COULD be a solution iff there is a certain attack that WILL kill at least 10,000people bc before that the number of people who will go into the war and the people who will die on each side will be much more than the original people killed. I am not a cruel person saying that those 10,000 people don't matter but..... Never mind this goes back to utilitarianism vs libertarianism.
Posted by janetsanders733 7 months ago
janetsanders733
@LeDoctor Again, it depends on the circumstnaces. The cause of war is sin.
Posted by Le.Doctor 7 months ago
Le.Doctor
Hahaha but you see the thing is that maybe not to that extant but that is what happened in Afghanistan and yet Americans throughout America don't Care about it beacause of an incident that happened 12 and a half years ago. Now I am not saying That Americans should not have retribution for their lost loved ones but it was the Taliban who killed them, anyway that's besides the point. Tell me this what is the main reason for War? Is it a pre-strike against enemies? Is it a way to coercing other people into listening to you? And btw if in the case of Rhonda( genocide) where thousands of people died yet was that stil a "just" war? Sorry @bsh1 if I went on a rant and stole some of your ideas or whatever
Posted by janetsanders733 7 months ago
janetsanders733
@LeDoctor Well in a case like that, one would have to label that as "murder" or 'genocide'.
Posted by Le.Doctor 7 months ago
Le.Doctor
Intresting debate I would like to see(read) more but I have a question for @janetsanders733 how do u justify the acts of killing 10,000 or just 1,000 innocent people let's say for example in Afghanistan, can you justify Americas intervention?
Posted by janetsanders733 7 months ago
janetsanders733
@bsh1 sure, yes
Posted by bsh1 7 months ago
bsh1
Question: Just so I know what to prep, do you consider direct self-defense to be war? For example, if nation A is invaded, does it count as war to repel the invaders?
Posted by janetsanders733 7 months ago
janetsanders733
@bsh1 As an ethical/moral situation
Posted by bsh1 7 months ago
bsh1
How would you define "just" as a general concept?

Is it more ethical/moral in nature, or pragmatic, in your opinion?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 7 months ago
wrichcirw
janetsanders733bsh1Tied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Le.Doctor 7 months ago
Le.Doctor
janetsanders733bsh1Tied
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Total points awarded:02 
Reasons for voting decision: Damn you just lost janet