Thoughts of a Catholic convert

My Photo
Location: United States

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Jeff McMahan and Just War

There's a thoughtful post at Denny's blog about Just War ... WAR -- An Evil Incarnate?

I've never liked the idea of Just War. It seems disingenuous. There's no gospel foundation for the theory - it's a medieval work-around construct all about justifying evil means with a good end. I'm not saying that there are no circumstances where this might not be worth the cost - stopping the Nazis in WWII is an example of when it would be so - but what seems wrong to me is the Christian attempt to whitewash war for a good purpose as if that kind of war didn't accumulate atrocities on both sides, didn't destroy bodies and souls on both sides. If Christians decide to go to war, they should at least be honest enough to admit there's nothing Christ-ian about that.

Or at least that's what I think, but maybe I don't really understand all the weird complexities of Just War theory. Speaking of which, here's a video talk from 2009 by philosopher Jeff McMahan on "Proportionality and Self-Defense in War" - I found it pretty interesting, especially the questions/answers at the end ...


Anonymous Paul Martin said...

That combination of jingoism and religiosity was a noxious thing in the Middle Ages and has been a noxious thing in modern times as well. I'll never forget George Bush's revealing "slip of the tongue" when early on he spoke of our "crusade" in Iraq.

5:22 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Paul,

Yeah, I just reently saw an article justifying the crusades .....

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Paul Martin said...

Maybe they don't mean "just war" as in righteous. Maybe they mean they think it's no big deal - you know, "just war." Seems like the guys who launch these things are seldom on the front lines themselves...

Gosh - this is the first time I ever see a dirty word for "word verification." It's one that's kind of gone out of style but anyone our age would sure know what it meant. These kids out there working at Google or wherever need to study obcenities of the past! And so I blush to enter...

8:23 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Ha :) No, they mean righteous war not "oh, it's only war".

Funny, I know the verification word must be there but it being mt blog, it doesn't show up for me.

12:14 PM  
Blogger cowboyangel said...

"Just War is just war." It is disingenuous. Just one more rationalization for "Christians" who suck up to power.

7:32 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home