Cum Petro et Sub Petro

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

St Augustine's Just-War Theory

The classic Just-War Theory has its origins in Christian theology. Saint Augustine is usually indentified as the first individual to offer a theory on war and justice. The Saint referred to the Bible and regarded some wars as necessary to amend an evil. Saint Thomas Aquinas revised Augustine's version, creating three criteria for a just war: the war needed to be waged by a legitimate authority, have a just cause, and have the right intentions. The moral justifcations for a war are expressed in jus ad bellum; whereas, the moral conduct of the war is expressed in jus in bello. The Just-War Theory is a set of rules for military combat.
  • 1. Last Resort
  • 2. Legitimate Authority
  • 3. Just Cause
  • 4. Probability of Success
  • 5. Right Intention
  • 6. Proportionality
  • 7. Civilian Causulties The use of force must distinguish between the militia and civilians. Innocent citizens must never be the target of war; soldiers should always avoid killing civilians. The deaths of civilians are only justified when they are unaviodable victims of a military attack on a strategic target.
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