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Is war ever justified?

J: War cannot be justified because justice is the perception of the aggressor. If we feel that
our rights, freedom, land, or produce is being taken away or is lacking, we start a war.
However, war causes the death of innocent lives and there is no way, that that can be
justified.
M: Well, world peace is inexistent and there is evidence that supports that. In human
nature, we are prone to becoming greedy and so the only way to have what we think is
ours, is by starting a war. Doesnt that justify it? Human nature?
E: Are you saying that we cant negotiate civilly and that greed is a big part of human
nature? In many third world countries, people are unemployed, do not have basic health
care, and are malnourished. They do not have, in general, basic human rights, yet they are
not fighting for it, but merely living with it.
J: Yes, unfortunately, people are living under conditions that seem unjust and they do not
start wars over it. But isnt that because of the defects in their government? I dont think
their country is poor, but poorly managed. On a daily basis, they receive donations
worldwide. It is more an issue of their government rather than affordability. An example is
the large amount of oil in Africa. Oil is a produce that many countries need but instead of
using it to properly run the country, the government is just profiting from it for himself. That
ties into human greed.
E: I agree with that. I also think that war cannot be justified because of the negative
impacts that occur as a result of war. What is the good of war? War is bloody, nothing good
comes from it, it's just innocent lives lost. Resolution is the way, to talk things through and
to come to a mutual agreement. A negative thing cannot be turned into a positive one
through justice. Not only are soldiers sacrificing their lives on the battle field for our
country, but innocent people die in vain. When America bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki
in WW2, around 200,000 people died instantly or through the radiation.
M: I agree that war never really ends well. Going back to the original opinion Jacqueline,
you said the death of innocent lives cannot ever be justified. And you, Erin, said it has a
negative impact. What about in the circumstances of self-defence? If our country is
invaded, we need to defend ourselves to protect our citizens. Yes, some innocent people
are going to die but if we do not defend ourselves, our entire country will act in slavery.
J: Slavery is at the extreme point in war. But we also need to think about why they are
being invaded. Is it purely out of human greed or is it because they are suffering from an
injustice that outweighs the injustice suffered by the invaded party? Say if a guy is starving

and homeless. One day, he steals a meal off a local restaurant. Who is suffering more?
The owner who lost no more than $15 or the guy who has no food and is resorting to theft?
E: So if war is carried out by the injustice suffered from the aggressor, how do they define
what justice is?
J: That goes back to basic human rights. Not everyone has a job or is educated but
everyone needs to have access to crucial resources such as food, water, and shelter.
M: In most cases, war is carried out through greed. If the protection of human rights or selfdefence drove the cause for war, it can be justified.