Justifications of WW1

Essay by MasterChiefUniversity, Master'sA+, May 2004

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Countless wars waged have been waged throughout the course of human existence that have killed millions of people. Two World Wars alone can account for a fair share of double-digit slayings. At any given time there may be numerous smaller wars being waged through out the world and given the enormous loss in human life, the issue arises as to whether, and under what conditions is war justifiable.

Justifying the atrocities of war is an arduous task because there seems to be only one ethical and moral justification available in defense for an act of war: one must show that the alternatives to war would in effect bring about grand misery. War is a life and death decision, yet unfortunately these decisions have been made quite casually. The select few who govern the vast majority rarely experience war personally; they merely negotiate people's lives from a distance. This separation from the event causes officials (who swear to serve in the best interest of the public) to scarcely consider moral and ethical criteria in their discussions.

This lack of attention (to what any scholar would call essential material) is precisely what leads to an unjust battle that entangled the world in the First Great War.

With his "Just War Theory", Nick Fotion tells us that in discussing a war, we may take one of four outlooks with regard to it. One may assume the realist position, which understands the view that war is neither good nor evil; therefore, the concept of morality has no relevance during war. If the realist position doesn't seem a good one, the militarist position is offered. It presumes that war is what makes a man. A third take one can assume is that the pacifist. The criteria for this stance is to understand war as...