What is war? (part 1)

… and I’m back

This year is to be dedicated to the issue of Just War. Is it a valid social concept, and is it a valid Christian concept? (There might be two different answers for this)

The first question is: what is war? How is war different from any other kind of violence?
For the next few posts, I’ll try and explore this idea in a preliminary way, and highlight some of the very important concepts that need to be considered deeper.

For your consideration:

  • Killing the average person in the street is probably bad
  • Killing a person while they are attempting to kill another person is probably not as bad

What is the difference?
Firstly, there is the issue of doing more good with your action than bad. By killing one person, you are stopping another person from being killed.
But if the only reason is “cosmic balance”, then the net result either way is that one person is dead. So why is intervening better than letting it happen?

So, secondly, there is the issue of guilt and innocence. The person doing the killing is breaking the law, he is committing a sin. So when it is a choice between his life and another’s, he is in some way now less worthy of living because he is actively and intentionally threatening the life of another.

So legality is a very important concept when considering violence and war (to be considered later)

But what about a person who is going to, unknowingly and unintentionally, kill another person? Should you kill them to stop it?


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