Thursday, March 13, 2008

War and Morality Part 2

That night grandpa and I were laying out in the back yard just gazing up into the sky and admiring the beauty that could be seen as the stars sparkled and moon glowed in all its splendor. Grandpa had said that it seemed to reveal the universe in all of its purity and marvels that were forbidden to man therefore could not be seen as tainted. Then he spoke;

"Now, boy, everything I have said about war so far does not mean that it is not legal. Our Constitution recognizes that war is a very legitimate act of governments, as does history. But do not confuse legality with morality. Moral actions are those actions that we believe God permits us to do. Legal acts are those acts that we know that government allows us to do.

And I will grant as a given that the sources from which we derive morality, such as the Bible or Koran, will portray that God appears to sanctify certain wars fought. But we cannot forget that this is based on a belief not a fact.

We also need to remember that God gave us a free will. This means that while God seeks man to act morally He will not force morality upon him. We must also remember that the founding fathers founded this nation based on the belief that all powers and authority of governments are derived from men not from God as formerly believed. This in itself recognizes the concept of free will. It is the recognition of these facts that there is so much controversy about the idea of such a thing as a just war.

So, is there such a thing as a moral or a just war? Regardless how anyone answers this it must be admitted that the answer is based upon a belief and not a fact. But it can be declared as a fact that if we accept that people have certain inalienable rights that war violates them. And if we consider that a violation of these rights is immoral then war is immoral. This would be true even if we justified it by saying that we are only defending the rights we possess. For to accept this is to declare that the end does justify the means.

War is the ultimate act used when we cannot persuade others to accept our position on an issue or issues. That can be seen as a reason that when war has been declared victory is or should be the only outcome. For if victory is not achieved we must accept the position of the enemy. This is in itself is a recognition of immorality if we accept the concept of free will.

For then a position is imposed on another rather than allowing him to take on a position willingly and by his own free will as persuaded. So, while we may say that wars can abide by the laws of necessity we would have to question whether or not war abides by the laws of morality. This would be especially true if the unrighteous side was victorious which is always a possibility."

11 comments:

Karen said...

Hey Griper!

Hmm... I'd say that war is never a GOOD thing, just like killing is never a good thing, but is sometimes necessary.

The Griper said...

my personal position also, karen but we need to realize that it is still debatable from a point of view of morality.

Goat said...

What was it Mill said about war not being the ugliest of things? War can be just when it defends the free will of man to choose.
I have seen your posts a few places as I am sure you have seen mine, I am going to add you to my blogroll I just request the same.

Gayle said...

Good morning, Griper!

I think as long as mankind exists there will be wars. It unfortunately seems to be the nature of the beast. Is it morally correct to kill our fellow man under any circumstances? I don't know, but if we had let Hitler continue on we would now be a country without God (and many secular progressives and Atheists are trying their darndest to make that happen anyway) and speaking German, or we might even be speaking Japanese! The Japanese put up one heck of a fight! If we are not very careful we could also end up speaking Arabic. No, I don't believe wars are moral, but I do believe they are unavoidable as long as their are dictators in the world who want to rule the world.

The Griper said...

goat,
if you would have noticed i already had you on my blogroll.
"War can be just when it defends the free will of man to choose."

that is just it, goat, wars, by its very nature, is the act of imposing your will on another. and both sides are guilty of that. the "intent" may be to defend free will but the "means" of doing it is by imposing your will on another. and the end, if sucessful, supports the intent but not the means. so, we have the end justifying the means which is just the opposite of how we view it if just. we abide by the rule that the end does not justify the means.

The Griper said...

gayle,
"No, I don't believe wars are moral, but I do believe they are unavoidable as long as their are dictators in the world who want to rule the world."

that is the meaning behind the idea of a necessary evil that i spoke of.

Goat said...

Well then I just reciprocated the favor and many thanks for the very fine company you placed me with. War is never a good thing but it can be just when it does not mean the taking of territory, which we have never done, the Indian wars being the exception, but in the freeing of people from the unjust rule of tyrants so they may rule themselves. The Old Testament is full of examples of a just war as my coblogger is very adept at pointing out in the defense of Israel.

The Griper said...

goat,
what about "our" so-called civil war? even Lincoln recognized that the southern states was no longer a member of the U.S. but a member of the Confederacy with its own government set up. in his emancipation proclamation.

the south is only a member of the US because Lincoln imposed the will of the U.S. on them. and they weren't being ruled by a tyrant but by a President.

as for God's approval in the old testament i recognized and addressed that in part two.

and remember also, if we use the old testament as a source, God also approved of slavery there which we no longer consider as moral. it would be pretty hard to convince someone that God approves of war then not say that God also approves of slavery by use of the Bible.

in fact this would be an argument
that would support my argument better than your argument

so it all goes back to what i said war may not be moral but we recognize it as a necessary evil.

Goat said...

HMM, you are very good at amking me think for sure, good points and I am one that believes that the South had the right to fight for the rights of the individual states to decide on their own. You are correct that Lincoln imposed the will of the feds on the south but the Feds did not initiate the war. We seceded under our Constitutional rights just as Montana is threatening to do if the 2nd ammendment is not upheld.
A great discussion on the Constitution can be found here
http://biggirlpants.typepad.com/

The Griper said...

if you speak of fort sumpter. then yes the feds did initiate the war. when sc seceded from the union that fort no longer could be declared as federal property but the property of the state of sc. when the union army refused to give it up as demanded the south had every right to take it forcefully.

you do not need to fire the first shot to initiate trouble. you only need to refuse to do as rightfully commanded to do. they were given an eviction notice and the feds refused to abide by it.

Goat said...

Good point

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