No winners in war essay

These are letters we received about stories that appeared in the January — February issue of L. Who do you admire? I always thought that there was no one who I would admire in my life. The reasons being because everywhere you look people are shallow, they never think of others.

No winners in war essay

References and Further Reading 1. Introduction Historically, the just war tradition--a set of mutually agreed rules of combat—may be said to commonly evolve between two culturally similar enemies.

That is, when an array of values are shared between two warring peoples, we often find that they implicitly or explicitly agree upon limits to their warfare.

No winners in war essay

It is only when the enemy is seen to be a people, sharing a moral identity with whom one will do business in the following peace, that tacit or explicit rules are formed for how wars should be fought and who they should involve and what kind of relations should apply in the aftermath of war.

In part, the motivation for forming or agreeing to certain conventions, can be seen as mutually benefiting—preferable, for instance, to the deployment of any underhand tactics or weapons that may provoke an indefinite series of vengeance acts, or the kinds of action that have proved to be detrimental to the political or moral interests to both sides in the past.

Regardless of the conventions that have historically formed, it has been the concern of the majority of just war theorists that the lack of rules to war or any asymmetrical morality between belligerents should be denounced, and that the rules of war should apply to all equally.

That is, just war theory should be universal, binding on all and capable in turn No winners in war essay appraising the actions of all parties over and above any historically formed conventions.

The just war tradition is indeed as old as warfare itself. Early records of collective fighting indicate that some moral considerations were used by warriors to limit the outbreak or to rein in the potential devastation of warfare.

They may have involved consideration of women and children or the treatment of prisoners enslaving them rather than killing them, or ransoming or exchanging them. Commonly, the earlier traditions invoked considerations of honor: Robinson notes that honor conventions are also contextually slippery, giving way to pragmatic or military interest when required.

The just war theory also has a long history. Parts of the Bible hint at ethical behavior in war and concepts of just cause, typically announcing the justice of war by divine intervention; the Greeks may have paid lip service to the gods, but, as with the Romans, practical and political issues tended to overwhelm any fledgling legal conventions: Augustine provided comments on the morality of war from the Christian perspective railing against the love of violence that war can engender as did several Arabic commentators in the intellectual flourishing from the 9th to 12th centuries, but the most systematic exposition in the Western tradition and one that still attracts attention was outlined by Saint Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century.

In the Summa Theologicae, Aquinas presents the general outline of what becomes the traditional just war theory as discussed in modern universities. He discusses not only the justification of war but also the kinds of activity that are permissible for a Christian in war see below.

Aquinas's thoughts become the model for later Scholastics and Jurists to expand and to gradually to universalize beyond Christendom — notably, for instance, in relations with the peoples of America following European incursions into the continent.

The most important of these writers are: In the twentieth century, just war theory has undergone a revival mainly in response to the invention of nuclear weaponry and American involvement in the Vietnam war.

Conference proceedings are regularly published, offering readers a breadth of issues that the topic stirs: What has been of great interest is that in the headline wars of the past decade, the dynamic interplay of the rules and conventions of warfare not only remain intact on the battlefield but their role and hence their explication have been awarded a higher level of scrutiny and debate.

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In the political circles, justification of war still requires even in the most critical analysis a superficial acknowledgement of justification. But, arguably, such acts do remain atrocities by virtue of the just war conventions that some things in war are deemed to be inexcusable, regardless of the righteousness of the cause or the noise and fog of battle.

Yet increasingly, the rule of law - the need to hold violators and transgressors responsible for their actions in war and therefore after the battle - is making headway onto the battlefield. In chivalrous times, the Christian crusader could seek priestly absolution for atrocities committed in war, a stance supported by Augustine for example; today, the law courts are seemingly less forgiving: Nonetheless, the idealism of those who seek the imposition of law and responsibility on the battlefield cf.

Geoffrey Robertson's Crimes Against Humanityoften runs ahead of the traditions and customs, or plain state interests, that demean or weaken the justum bellum that may exist between warring factions. And in some cases, no just war conventions and hence no potential for legal acknowledgement of malfeasance, exist at all; in such cases, the ethic of war is considered, or is implicitly held to be, beyond the norms of peaceful ethics and therefore deserving a separate moral realm where "fair is foul and foul is fair" Shakespeare, Macbeth I.

In such examples e. The continued brutality of war in the face of conventions and courts of international law lead some to maintain that the application of morality to war is a nonstarter: But there are those of a more skeptical persuasion who do not believe that morality can or should exist in war: But as there are several ethical viewpoints, there are also several common reasons laid against the need or the possibility of morality in war.

Generally, consequentialists and act utilitarians may claim that if military victory is sought then all methods should be employed to ensure it is gained at a minimum of expense and time.

However, intrinsicists who claim that there are certain acts that are good or bad in themselves may also decree that no morality can exist in the state of war: Alternatively, intrinsicists may claim that possessing a just cause the argument from righteousness is a sufficient condition for pursuing whatever means are necessary to gain a victory or to punish an enemy.

A different skeptical argument, one advanced by Michael Walzer, is that the invention of nuclear weapons alters war so much that our notions of morality—and hence just war theories—become redundant.

In War There Are No Winners « Larry | This I Believe

However, against Walzer, it can be reasonably argued that although such weapons change the nature of warfare for example, the timing, range, and potential devastation they do not dissolve the need to consider their use within a moral framework: Whilst skeptical positions may be derived from consequentialist and intrinsicist positions, they need not be.PEN America is thrilled to announce the PEN America Literary Awards winners.

Our awards are juried by panels of esteemed, award-winning writers, editors, booksellers, and critics. A ‘hot’ war ended in either peace or death, a cold war however brings no peace and no honour for those who engaged in a war.

Using this ideology, the terming of the Cold War between America and Russia as a Cold War means there can be no winner or honour at the end of the conflict.

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The Philosophy and Literature Bad Writing Contest ran from to For an essay giving background on the contest, click here.. We are pleased to announce winners of the fourth Bad Writing Contest, sponsored by the scholarly journal Philosophy and Literature..

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War is not a game people play to win prizes or gain recognition for their skill.

Just War Theory | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

After one side surrenders, and a treaty is signed, one side does go home feeling like a winner. Both sides suffer irreplaceable losses. For this reason, there are no true winners in war.

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