Augustine 's Just War Theory Essay example

Augustine 's Just War Theory Essay example

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Augustine’s just war theory, jus ad bellum and jus in bello, provides a series of criteria of which, in theory, must be met in order for a war to be considered just. The criterion is then separated into two segments. Jus ad bellum refers to the morality surrounding going to war or when is going to war justified. Jus in bello refers to the moral conduct within war or how does one conduct a just war. When going to war and conducting war, these principles and guidelines must be followed or the morality of the war is not considered just by Augustine’s doctrine. However, there are many criticisms of Augustine’s principles.
Augustine’s jus ad bellum, the former, describes the necessary and sufficient conditions for justifying engagement in war. Augustine clearly lists what he believes to be the only basis that wars can be initiated justly on. The first principle of jus ad bellum pinpoints what is acceptable as a just cause. This focuses on if a sufficient wrong has been committed to where war is the most suitable response. Augustine lists scenarios of which he believes war is the correct and acceptable response in this principle. He also states that the reason for going to war must be just and more just than the cause of one’s enemies. This means that going to war should be a response of only justice and righteousness, not because of minuscule disagreements between nations. (1*)
A just cause is then considered in situations where a nation is defending its state from invasion and attack; where a nation is defending the safety and honor of the state; to avenge injuries and or punish a nation for its failure to discipline the wrongdoers and their actions; to come to defense of a nation’s allies; to gain the return of things wrongfully t...


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...ing with the repercussions of human wrongdoings, justices and injustices. This is the implication and nature of human beings. We are not always capable of making the best decisions. Only the highest authority must know what truly is just and unjust. Augustine is aware of this himself. To make up for this Augustine attempts to give this ability to the political authorities hoping they would act justly. But seen clearly in the acts of today’s terrorism, wrongdoings, and judicial rulings, the origin of corruptness takes place in the hands of those who are granted with the position to act and rule justly. Augustine’s just war theory is applicable for a more sensible and morally sound society. Its applications do not hold much weight now because of our society’s inability to judge morally, correctly, and justly all the time like the supreme good and the highest authority.

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