Morality in war

Topics: Morality, Ethics, Moral Pages: 3 (959 words) Published: February 23, 2014
Morality in War
Is war ever moral? I feel that War is a necessary part of life. Sometimes force is the only way to defend yourself or others. We are all equals, and It is immoral to take the life of anyone, but it is also immoral to let the life of anyone be taken. We have a responsibility to help each other because cooperation is the only way the human race can survive; we also have a right to defend ourselves. This means that if someone else is threatening you or anothers life, and you are capable of helping, you have an obligation to protect yourself or them. Lethal force will never be moral, but what if it’s the only way to protect someone? Let’s say that an attacker has broken into your house and is holding a gun to you and your family. You also have a gun pointed at the assailant. In this hypothetical situation we must assume that the only way to save your family is to kill the attacker. You must make a choice to kill the attacker or let the attacker kill you and your family. Both options are immoral, so one has to ask if it's more immoral to kill the attacker, or to let the attacker kill your family? The obvious choice to me is to kill the assailant. I feel this is the right choice because of two reasons. One, our responsibility to protect ourselves and our family is larger than the responsibility to not do harm to another. The second reason has to do with the proportion of damage. The attacker would be doing more harm in killing my family and me then I would be doing in killing him. This example allows us to see, on a small scale, when lethal force is necessary. Things get more complicated when we look at entire countries rather than just one family, but my view point remains the same. Lethal force is only permitted when it is the only option to defend yourself or others. War is necessary because people sometimes make immoral decisions that put others in a position where there is no other option, but is war ever moral? Killing is always immoral, and...
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