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A Just War - Essay Example

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This paper attempts to answer the question of whether or not the war in Iraq qualifies as a just war according to Catholic Doctrine. This paper will first examine what a just war is according to Catholic Doctrine and then apply the definition to the Iraq War to determine whether it is a just war.
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A Just War
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Download file to see previous pages The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.
These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the "just war" doctrine. The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.
The first question the definition brings is who has "the responsibility for the common good" This is Catholic Doctrine so one would assume that the leadership of the Catholic Church is responsible for defining it for the Catholic community. The doctrine does put the responsibility on the leadership of the Catholic Church and that would be the Pope. But, the Catholic Church turns that responsibility back to the people when they ask the community to keep them informed (Catholic Answers). The Pope and the Church pass some of this responsibility to the members of the Church by educating the people of the church (using the Catechism).
The idea of condoning a war would seem to be in direct conflict with many of the scriptures and teachings of the Catholic Church and the Bible. ...
This gives the impression that when challenged one should not react in an aggressive manner (according to the Bible). This contradicts Catholic doctrine that allows for the evaluation of war as just or unjust. To condone war would mean acceptance, to some extent, of Catholic Doctrine over the writings of the Bible. In order to evaluate the Iraq war as just or unjust according to Catholic Doctrine (Catechism) the teachings of the Bible need to be set aside as not relevant. The Catholic Church is assumed to have evaluated it all for its congregation and given its rulings in its Catechism (like a judge interprets the law when making a ruling in a court case). Evaluating the Iraq War will be done assuming the Catholic Catechism is the law.
2. Just or Unjust War
The first part of the Catechism to be examined is this: "the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain."(Catholic Catechism paragraph 2309).
This question challenges whether the Iraqi leadership (or the country itself) is expected to cause lasting, grave, and certain damage to the community of nations. During the first Gulf War it was evident that Iraq (the country) intended to take over Kuwait and cause great harm to Israel and any other country that was part of the coalition forces that liberated Kuwait. When the World Trade Center was bombed it was clear that it was an attack on the United Statesbut initially unclear who was responsible. The men who carried out the attacks on 9-11 were from the Middle East and were apparently funded by Osama Bin Laden. "Osama bin Laden Promises More Attacks on United States" (ABC News, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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