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Justifying War

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  • April 2005
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When a person sees all the grisly images of war on the television set they cannot help but think, "This has got to stop". But what reasons can this person justify their decision on? There are many people in the world who can only argue their opinion through what they see on TV, which of course is not what war is. In William Earle's essay "In Defense of War" and Trudy Govier's "Nuclear Illusion and Individual Obligations" we respectively see a pro-war and an anti-war opinion. We must differentiate between the two because Earle's essay talks about war in generalities but Govier focuses on the nuclear aspect of war. As with most essays discussing similar topics they have their similarities and differences and that will be a big part of discussion here. Subjects referring to the morality and justification as war and exactly what we can use to justify it are some of the few things that will be mentioned. These will also be discussed in ethical terms and what part of ethics they fall into. Along with this will be an analysis of why each essay falls into its given category. The strengths of each essay will be mentioned as well as the weaknesses and a comparison as to which is the stronger essay and which is the weaker essay will be provided. The most important part, however, is the basic understanding of the message that the author is trying to get across. These main points will be highlighted throughout the paper when discussing the essay in question along with the provided evidence that accompanies the argument. Finally, a personal take on the subject from me will be provided just to clarify any discrepancies about what is written. I am writing this (aside from the fact it is a major assignment) in hopes that the reader will take these questions seriously and be able to look at both sides of the debate rationally and without fallacy.

It only seems appropriate to start this out with Williams Earle's essay, "In Defense of War". I stand beside him when he...

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