Since the beginning of our existence, humans have been fighting one another for a variety of reasons. Biologically, we’re wired differently from others, and thus we won’t see eye to eye to everything. What people tend to forget nowadays is that humans are still part of the animal species; we are still called Homo sapiens. What separates us from the animal kingdom is our advanced brain and our skills to develop a civilized community. Yet, instinctively, humans still act like animals, and we can see that when we turn to our uncivilized personality to gain an advantage; usually, this is war.
I believe that there’s always a good fight - one where one’s values win. When one fights for their values, it’s reasonable and sometimes even necessary. “It is necessary that the intention of those who fight should be right; that is to say, that they propose to themselves a good to be effected or an evil to be avoided” ( It’s a beautiful journey that can give a purpose, and could have a positive outcome. "The Good Fight is the one that we fight in the name of our dreams" (Paulo Coelho). But it’s not justifiable when our values are won by moving over dead bodies. Although humans are naturally greedy and always try to satisfy their needs and desires, it does not justify shooting other people to pieces. When one needs to satisfy their insatiable needs, it does not justify mutilating and torturing other people. When one’s desire is peace, it does not justify bombing other people to dust. “Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity” (George Carlin). My point is that if people want to get their point across or achieve their goals, it is not morally right to harm other human beings while doing so. Taking into account that morals are subjective to every country, race and even an individual, killing a person's mind or body is not just - War can not be morally justified.
changes made to 2nd draft: As suggested by Jun, I had to finish it first. I tried, but only got the majority of that done. Also, he suggested I elaborated more in the second paragraph on what I actually meant with a "good fight". My third paragraph also seemed to be vague and fairly subjective, so he also suggested I use more facts to support whatever it was I meant. So I made use of examples and facts to support my ambiguous theory.
Since the beginning of our existence, humans have been fighting one another for a variety of reasons. Biologically, we’re wired differently from others, and thus we won’t see eye to eye to everything. What people tend to forget nowadays is that humans are still part of the animal species; we are still called Homo sapiens. What separates us from the animal kingdom is our advanced brain and our skills to develop a civilized community. Yet, instinctively, humans can act like animals, and we are able to see that when we turn to our uncivilized personality to gain an advantage; usually, this is war.
A conflict where one fights for their values is reasonable, occasionally considered healthy, and can definitely be justified. But it’s not justifiable when those values are won by moving over dead bodies. Taking into account that morals are subjective to every individual, on no occasion is destroying a person’s soul and or body acceptable. Therefore, “[war] that fills us with ferocity, turns us into thugs, into murderers, into God only knows what devils ... that multiplies our strength with fear and madness and greed of life, seeking and fighting for nothing but our deliverance” (Remarque, pg), war involving body-force can not be morally justified.
Torture, mutilation, and murder may, however, be necessary. There are certain situations that demand a military response when time is of the essence and other methods fail. World War II is a prime example of this. Adolf Hitler’s means were ghastly, for he invaded Germany’s neighboring countries and slaughtered women and children in order to accomplish his desire for “Lebensraum” or “Living Room” for Germany. This desire of his cost over 60 million lives, being the deadliest military conflict in history in absolute terms of total dead.
Thomas Aquinas stated in his Just War Theory that “it is necessary that the intention of those who fight … is … that they propose to themselves a good to be effected or an evil to be avoided” (Thomas Aquinas). The Allies opposed the aggression of the Axis powers, trying to avoid an evil, and therefore their actions were just. One of Montesquieu's laws of war affirms that “the life of governments is like that of man. The latter has a right to kill in case of natural defence: the former have a right to wage war for their own preservation” (Montesquieu, Of Laws in the Relation they bear to Offensive Force). Since the Allies also acted in self-defense, their responses were well founded. Murder can’t be morally justified, but it can be [adverb] justified.
The only war that can be morallyjustified is one that does not involve body-force. There are always alternative strategies that doesn’t direct its means towards physical violence, such as Satyagraha. It’s a policy of passive political resistance, meaning “clinging to truth”. It’s a positive and spiritually based form of resistance that starts in the heart of the resistor and inevitably produces creative action. Specifically advocated by Mahatma Gandhi, Satyagraha was used against British Rule in India, and at the famous Salt Satyagraha march of 1930.
changes made to 3rd draft: What did I change? Basically everything. I changed the entire direction of the essay, because reading Haruki's essay made me realize what it's supposed to look like. He gave many great suggestions for this essay, but I decided I wanted to solidify my theory rather than following a vague idea that I haven't set my mind on yet. But, if I didn't change everything about my essay, I would've added a thesis in my introduction and elaborated on it in the second paragraph as Haruki suggested. I would also use more specific examples in my third and fourth paragraph to support my "non-existing" stance. And I would've fixed quite a few grammatical errors. Quite a lot, I mean. Thank you, Haruki.
War is a perplexing human activity that, over time, humans have become executive masters of. We’ve developed into efficient killing machines by producing weapons of mass destruction, murdering millions of people in a matter of a few decades. As the number of fatalities has risen over the years, I question myself: For what cause? Nothing is static; everything is evolving and after all these years of evolution, warfare and onslaught, I have come to the conclusion that it is nearly impossible to alter the need for more that’s so instinctively inherent to human beings. War is a state of armed conflict between different countries or different groups within a country and peace is a state or period in which there is no war. As one initiates war, one suppresses peace. Therefore, rules and principles of war are established - Jus ad bellumbeing an example - to justify and control the declaration of and the engagement in war. This is an international law, but my view is that war can only be justified in case own values, property, and/or freedom without intervention are seriously jeopardized. Murder cannot be morally justified, but it can be pragmatically justified if it’s out of self-defense.
Obviously, war should be avoided at all cost, unless absolutely damn necessary. Certain situations demand a military response when all non-violent options are exhausted. Still, these responses should be executed in a way whereby innocent lives are spared wherever possible. Self-defense is the only just cause to engage in war, but even the use of defensive force has limitations. A person has the right to kill when that person reasonably believes that it’s to prevent great bodily harm and/or death. And as Montesquieu, a French lawyer and political philosopher,, states: “[Nations] have a right to wage war for their own preservation” (Montesquieu) and therefore they have the right to kill in case of defense just as a person has. According to the principle of proportionality, “violence used in the war must be proportional to the attack suffered” (Jus ad bellum). For example, if one country invades and seizes another’s territory, the other has the right to retrieve its land. But if the second country invades and annexes the first country, this military action would be disproportionate and it wouldn’t be a just war anymore, but rather just a war.
As we try to conceptualize just causes for war, we should also consider unjust causes for war. In order to do this, we should focus on the main drivers behind war: religion and expansion drift of countries and/or leaders. Both of these we see plenty of in the world. Let’s take the conflict with ISIS for example. ISIS is driven by religious motives; they want to enforce their view of conservative Islamic traditions on nations around the world. So far they’ve murdered approximately 30.000 people, evoking fear through Social Media. The Korean conflict is another example. The division of North Korea and South Korea occurred at the end of WWII and to this day tension still resides between the two. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who reportedly had 70 people executed, is driven by expansionary motives. As North Korea faces increasing isolation, they begun developing nuclear weapons. Both of those are examples of extremism and when dealing with extremism - both religious and political - a careful approach will not always be adequate. Certain elements need to be eradicated purely because these by themselves are a threat to world peace.
As Thomas C. Foster says in How to Read Literature like a Professor, “It’s all political” (Foster). There will always be ceaseless series of political conflicts that’ll lead to disquietude in the world, but if we look at the practical definition of peace, it’s a state or period in which there is no war. As Chuck Palahniuk wrote for the famous movie Fight Club: “Only after disaster can we be resurrected” (Palahniuk), and we can see the sense of unification that parts of the world share to-day. Conflicts in the world - how horrible and horrendous they may be- are mostly local and aimed at controlling escalation rather than on expansion drift and/or proselytism. Most conflicts are generated by extremist behaviour and we are seeing that the world is basically united in the vow to eliminate such extremism. For example, the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussel, where landmarks over the world lit up in the color of the countries’ flags to express sympathy and support. There are various methods to go about dealing with conflicts like these. For example, “[Kropp] proposes that […] the ministers and generals of the two countries […] can have it out among themselves. Whoever survives, his country wins” (Remarque, 41). But how sad it sounds, a certain fear for others and consequences of conflicts is still one of the better deterrents. This should, however, not escalate to things like an arms race - like we’ve seen in the past during the Cold War - but it can create some form of stability.
Is widespread and long term peace humanly possible? Yes. Remarque remarks inAll Quiet on the Western Front that “quietness is so unattainable for us now” (Remarque 121) and to a certain extent he’s right. But since WWII there has been a general worldwide “agreement” that such a war should never happen again. And it hasn’t! What’s important in maintaining long term peace is a balance power, meaning that there’s not a single party that is absolutely dominant and could exercise control unilaterally. But as I see it, the opposite of war is not peace. It’s love, and all human beings are a manifestation of it. If we can “reject the basic assumptions of civilization, especially the importance of material possessions” (Palahniuk) and put aside our differences, just imagine what our world would look like. “ We [would be] satisfied and at peace” (Remarque 1).
changes made to final draft: As suggested by Anna S. I corrected some grammatical errors and switched the order of ideas a bit that to her would be more sensible. I also explained how North Korea is driven by expansionary motives and I've also corrected my MLA citations - hopefully I've corrected them correctly. As mr Shaffer pointed out, my essay had no structure, because I didn't follow up my thesis in the rest of the essay, making it a unstructured essay that sounds like me rambling. So I tried linking my body paragraphs to my thesis somehow without changing to much of the essay I had so far.