Essay On Justification Of War

Justifying War Essay


     When a person sees all the grisly images of war on the television set they cannot help but think, “This has got to stop”. But what reasons can this person justify their decision on? There are many people in the world who can only argue their opinion through what they see on TV, which of course is not what war is. In William Earle’s essay “In Defense of War” and Trudy Govier’s “Nuclear Illusion and Individual Obligations” we respectively see a pro-war and an anti-war opinion. We must differentiate between the two because Earle’s essay talks about war in generalities but Govier focuses on the nuclear aspect of war. As with most essays discussing similar topics they have their similarities and differences and that will be a big part of discussion here. Subjects referring to the morality and justification as war and exactly what we can use to justify it are some of the few things that will be mentioned. These will also be discussed in ethical terms and what part of ethics they fall into. Along with this will be an analysis of why each essay falls into its given category. The strengths of each essay will be mentioned as well as the weaknesses and a comparison as to which is the stronger essay and which is the weaker essay will be provided. The most important part, however, is the basic understanding of the message that the author is trying to get across. These main points will be highlighted throughout the paper when discussing the essay in question along with the provided evidence that accompanies the argument. Finally, a personal take on the subject from me will be provided just to clarify any discrepancies about what is written. I am writing this (aside from the fact it is a major assignment) in hopes that the reader will take these questions seriously and be able to look at both sides of the debate rationally and without fallacy.
     It only seems appropriate to start this out with Williams Earle’s essay, “In Defense of War”. I stand beside him when he provides his opinion because I share the same attitude on this subject. In a nutshell, Earle provides a provocative look at the opposition’s view towards war which is the anti-war opinion. It appears that Earle is not like most writers trying to defend his own argument with his own ideas but what he does is position his argument that war is necessary by unveiling the ideas of the pacifists. He gives us reasons why most people are with this group and it is because media has provided such a false look at the concept of war. When a person sees the consequences of war on their TV (which is usually dismembered bodies and bloodshed) they do not realize that TV is confined to showing what can be shown since it cannot offer any picture to the thought of war. The media does not provide a real look at what war really is. Earle criticizes the underlying presuppositions of pacifism as well as tracing the harmful consequences of it. He believes that the...

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In regards to the original post, you are right--it has certainly become politically correct to argue that war is never justified.  Perhaps some wars could have been prevented through negotiations, etc.  But how long do humans wait while people die from genocide, terrorism, etc., while negotiate before moving to another means of persuasion?

Post #9, you are certainly accurate in your assessment.  Right now, none of know what the outcome of the current conflicts in...

In regards to the original post, you are right--it has certainly become politically correct to argue that war is never justified.  Perhaps some wars could have been prevented through negotiations, etc.  But how long do humans wait while people die from genocide, terrorism, etc., while negotiate before moving to another means of persuasion?

Post #9, you are certainly accurate in your assessment.  Right now, none of know what the outcome of the current conflicts in the world will be, and it might be years before someone can argue about the justification of those wars.

Post #6, do you have numbers to back up your claim that more people have died during the war in Iraq than during Hussein's reign?  I haven't seen any statistics to support your claim.  Additionally, I currently teach a Kurdish student who feels that even though life has been difficult in Iraq, it is still better than it was under Saddam's reign.  My husband has spent over two years in Iraq and has met many Iraqis who appreciate what foreign soldiers are doing there and who long to rid themselves of insurgents (most of whom are not Iraqi) and establish a nation that most likely would not have been possible under Saddam's rule.

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