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War and Peace: Part One

The purpose of this Prezi is to discuss various philosophers views on war and peace throughout history.
by

Cloud Strife

on 14 July 2011

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Transcript of War and Peace: Part One

War and Peace: Part One This weeks readings showed much insight in the different viewpoints that people pondered upon war and peace. China’s Period of Warring States encouraged so many philosophers that the period became known as the Period of the Hundred Schools. Many new ideas were brought on about solutions to ending wars and bringing about peace and stability. The reason behind this great increase in philsophers was because not many people wanted war to continue and people sought out methods to end warfare and conflict while bringing out peace. Another example in history of a burst of philosophers is the Peloponnesian Wars. Periods of warfare and disaster are stimulating for thinkers because of all the horrible conditions leading to people hoping to solve them and end them. The main difference between war and peace is that war causes horrible actions and much death while peace allows for prosperity and success. In Mo Tzu’s treatise, “Against Offensive Warfare,” Tzu made analogies between war and individual acts of violence or theft. Tzu mades these arguments quite convincing by increasing the horridness of each act and he asks the reader how one can condemn the small atrocities which people make and yet at the same time support the same actions when they are conducted on a large scale by countries and armies. One of Tzu’s strongest arguments is the distinguishing between righteousness and unrighteousness, stating that, “The gentlemen of the world are confused about the distinction between righteousness and unrighteousness.” These analogies could not be used to oppose defensive warfare for the main way that Tzu supports his argument is by condemning wrong acts, and defensive warfare is comparable to preventing wrong acts. Sun Tzu does a great job with his suggestions of ways to win a military victory in his writing, “The Art of War.” The best way to end warfare is though nonviolence, and the best way to do this is to be skillful and thoughtful, thinking of ways to disrupt an enemies strategy and to also avoid conflict. This use of nonviolence can be seen in ways other then warfare, such as with interactions between people. People can avoid conflict through agreements and thinking ahead to avoid any arguments or conflict at all. It is not always possible to avoid conflict, for humans are instinctively aggressive. Compromise is definitely one of the best ways to solve a problem and is sometimes an efficient way but not always. For appeasement will sometimes not get a person anyway, like with Hitler and pre-World War II. The nations of Europe appeased Hitler, giving into his demands and all he wanted was more. There are many ways to resolve conflict, such as surrendering, making a agreement in the middle, perhaps even making an alliance with an opposing factor. The best way to end conflict all depends on the situation, but the thing which is most wanted is peace. St. Thomas Aquinas believed that in order for war to be just there were three things which had to be necessary. These three things were that the authority of the monarch must be the one who commands war to be waged, a just cause is required, and it is necessary that those in conflict should have a rightful intention and intend the advancement of good and the avoidance of evil. Aquinas replies to each of the objections, while citing both the Bible and writings of the Church father, such as St. Augustine. In reply to the first object, Aquinas states that if one is commanded to take the sword to arm themselves by the authority of a monarch or judge then they do not deserve punishment. Those who take sinful use of the sword will be “punished eternally.” He replies to the second objection with a belief that even though one isn’t supposed to protect themselves they sometimes might have to for the common good. The reply to the third objection by saying that some wars are aimed to bring prosperity and peace to a nation. His reply to the final objection is that the only warlike battles of arms that are inordinate, perilous and end in slaying are forbidden, but those which invoke the mind and avoid sinful things present no danger. Many of these ideas are questionable, and that war can be a good thing and lead to good things at times, but peace is much more preferable. There primary element which is depicted in the painting, “The Progress of an Aztec Warrior,” is the advancement of rank throughout an Aztec person's life. It seems as if Aztec people start off as slaves and then rise up to become warriors, and the more people which they capture to be sacrificed, the higher rank a warrior obtains. The highest rank appears to be a shaman of some sort, which I’m sure takes many sacrifices to become. Human sacrifice is not a valid justification to warfare by any means, for no one should ever be sacrificed for anyone or anything. In today’s society, people are killed for disregarding cultural beliefs and being different, this should not be occurring and people should have the freedom to choose their beliefs and ways of life. In Margaret Mead’s essay, “Warfare: An invention - Not a Biological Necessity,” Mead expressed her belief that people can change by learning from other cultures. Margaret uses her experience with other cultures to refute that inherent aggressiveness of humans makes warfare inevitable. Her main points is her examples of societies which do not know of warfare and through this she tries to convince the reader that people can be changed and that other methods can be used to resolve a conflict. War and aggressiveness has always been seen in humans, even though there are good aspects of humans there will always be evil aspects as well. In a perfect world, war could be avoided, but our world will struggle to ever be without war or conflict. Some primitive societies have fewer tendencies towards warfare, but at the same time some do not for warfare and conflict will always be present while humans have a desire to survive and prosper. According to Mead, war can be replaced as an invention by recognizing the defects of warfare and someone must make a new way of resolving things. People must believe that an invention to warfare is possible and make warfare obsolete.
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