ENGL 101 Fairness and War: Killing of innocents Discussion

timer Asked: Feb 5th, 2019
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Discuss the idea of “fairness”--justified human intent and action—in relation to a war in which innocent people and children are certain to die. (You may decide such a war would be entirely unfair, that any dead child rules out fairness; that the reason for the war entirely justifies the incidental killing of innocents and children; or anything in between. You can use an example from history or construct a hypothetical war of your own, but do discuss particular circumstances. Support your thesis with reasons and good reasoning!)

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School: Boston College


Running head: FAIRNESS AND WAR


Fairness and War
[Institutional Affiliation(s)]


Fairness and War

Most arguments on war focus on fairness to justify the intent. Is the method of war fair?
Is the military fair? Are the airstrikes on Syria fair? Is using chemical weapons fair? Similarly,
the arguments relating to fairness have a long tradition in Western civilization. No idea in
Western culture has been more consistently linked to morality and ethics than the concept of
fairness (Zupan 2017). Since time immemorial-from the writings of Greek philosopher Plato in
the Republic, to the late John Rawls’ writing on A Theory of Justice-every significant scholarship
on ethics has held that justice, as fairness, is the central core of morality. Therefore, what is the
idea of fairness about a war in which innocent people and children die?
There has been a long tradition of legal, philosophical, and religious thinking, since the
ancient Western world, concerning justification(s) for a leader or state using force against another
leader or state. As such, it has become convenient for jurists, political leaders, and ethicists today
to merely appeal to the tenets of the just war doctrine as the basis for either criticizing or
justifying particular wars (Lazar 2017; Wise 2017). The issue of fairness in war evoked intense
debate regarding the preventative war doctrine based on the American invasion of Iraq in 2003.
However, as the years have progres...

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