Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Just War theory and the Gaza War
Andrew Sullivan is conducting an interesting discussion on his blog about Just War theory and the Gaza War. I think that he has brought up many interesting ethical issues about how to judge whether a war is worth prosecuting. One problem for me in his discussion is that it seems to be firmly based in the Catholic Just War tradition - he mentions the Catechism and other Catholic documents. It is troubling to me that he does not seem to be aware that not everyone would accept the Catholic Just War tradition as a basis for discussing this issue. It's a little startling to me that he and his other Catholic interlocutors mention the Catholic documents so frequently when the combatants in this particular war are primarily Jews and Muslims. I think that in order to discuss whether a certain war is just or not that we should be discussing it from a more ecumenical or even secular basis. There is also a Jewish Just War tradition, which I taught to the students in my Judaism class several years ago during the run-up to the Iraq War. I'll try to dig up my notes and post something about it here.