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THEO 303 (Su '15) T16 - Morality of War

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Hartmut Scherer

on 15 June 2015

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Transcript of THEO 303 (Su '15) T16 - Morality of War

Sources and Image Credit
Adopted key thoughts from our textbook
Moral Choices.
Morality of War
1st Century Christians - Members of the Military?
- Christians with a Jewish background
- Christians with a Gentile background (Roman
military persecuted them)
- soldiers swore allegiance to Caesar
Just War
justified as
Understanding Matthew 5:38-48
- forbids resistance or retaliation with respect to evil
Romans 12:18-21
- goal: try to be at peace with everyone
1 Peter 2:18-24
- follow Christ’s example; trust God and use
nonviolent means of resisting evil
preemptive attacks
reversing injustice
- asks us to love our enemies
- Jesus is addressing personal relationships
- no records of converted soldiers being asked
to give up their profession (gospels and Acts)
Critics of pacifism:
- cannot control actions of others
- violence and retaliation are ruled out
Criticisms of Pacifism
- use of violence in general
Just War - Romans 13:1-7
- divinely given responsibility to use force only as
necessary to secure justice
Two criteria for just war
jus ad bello
(justice in going to war)
Nuclear Weapons in a Just War
- war is not conducted with proportionate means
- it sounds like complete nonresistance
- it can’t be right to stand by and let your family
be harmed, or even killed.
- view of the state in Romans 13:1-7
- it is legitimate under God for the state to use
- individuals participated with the state in the
exercise of its God-given responsibilities (Bible)
- Citizens are called to support the state
- Christians can be involved with the state today in
the exercise of the same legitimate God-given role.
jus in bello
(justice in the conduct of war)
- just cause
- limited objections
- just intentions
- last resort
- formal declaration
- proportionate means
- respect noncombatant
Bonhoeffer and Hitler
- either choice was evil
Enhanced Interrogation and Just War
- enhanced interrogations are used to gain
cooperation (not to gain intelligence)
Free Writing
- You are asked to
write 3 words
which you
personally think were of special importance in
today’s class
- does not respect the immunity of noncombatants
Terrorism and Just War
- usually they also kill civilians
- not limited in their objective
- felt obligated to choose the lesser evil
- saw the danger in pacifism allowing evil to go
- just cause - prevented attack on LA
- just intention - CIA would not have been able to
obtain critical info with enhanced interrogations
- last resort -less harsh interrogation was used before
- proportionate means - innocent lives were saved
- Then, your are asked to do some
free writing
minutes) based on any
one of the words
- Next, spend ~10 minutes in groups of 3-4
what you’ve written
. Each group should come up
with questions they would like to ask in class.
Full transcript