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Aspects of human nature - like our capacity for language, reasoning or emotions - are amenable to scientific analysis that looks at where they come from and how they work, using tools like evolutionary biology, genetics, or neuroscience. But not everything about us that is important is innate. Many deeply entrenched features and characteristics of human life are contingent not essential.
They come from our human history, not our human biology. Such aspects of the human condition - like marriage, sports, and war - resist scientific analysis and must be studied in a more humanistic way. The key to grasping the difference between these two distinct modes of anthropology is to look beyond how important and even seemingly ubiquitous certain characteristics are in modern human populations. We must insert a question mark between the empirical fact that a feature is characteristic of human life as we know it, and the empirical claim that this feature stems from human nature itself i.
Sometimes this is easy to tell. No one - I hope - would argue that cooking is part of human nature, despite its ubiquity and importance in our evolutionary history , because it so obviously requires external tools and resources that it is clearly an invention.
Sport is also obviously not part of human nature since it has appeared too recently. Playing games is not the same thing, though it obviously shares some constitutive elements. But some features of human life have long confused researchers who mistake their contemporary dominance for biological naturalness. I will look at three particularly controversial cases: war, religion, and gender. War War is an unfortunate and seemingly intractable aspect of human existence that is often attributed to human nature - i.
The scientific theories of the naturalness of war are definitively refuted by this lack of correlation, a fact they studiously ignore. Though some such theories may be relevant for understanding the course and nature of contemporary warfare, they do not explain the existence of war itself. So what is war? In her essay Mead argued that war should be understood as an invention that has wrapped itself around us, bringing immediate gains to those who pick it up and master it, and immediate losses to those in their proximity who fail to do so.
That makes it part of humanity's history, mediated by our human experience, rather than the direct product of either our genes or the universal iron laws of economics. Religion Religion is generally taken to be an autonomous and distinct aspect of human nature whose origins and operations are amenable to scientific analysis.
Just war theory
Scientists have been busy searching for the 'religion gene' in our DNA and trying to capture the 'religion brain module' at work by scanning the brains of people at prayer. This investigation assumes that religion is a natural feature that is stable enough to withstand scientific scrutiny. But religion as we normally understand it is actually a package that bundles a number of distinct features: specific ideas about supernatural agency, moral codes, rituals, certain kinds of experiences, membership of a community of fellow believers, and specialist institutions like churches and clergy.
The School's adherents reasoned that war should be a last resort, and only then, when necessary to prevent an even greater evil. Diplomatic resolution is always preferable, even for the more powerful party, before a war is started. Examples of "just war" are:.
A war is not legitimate or illegitimate simply based on its original motivation: it must comply with a series of additional requirements:. Under this doctrine expansionist wars, wars of pillage, wars to convert infidels or pagans , and wars for glory are all inherently unjust. Catholicism portal. The just war doctrine of the Catholic Church found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church , in paragraph , lists four strict conditions for "legitimate defense by military force": . Although the criticism can be made that the application of just war theory is relativistic , one of the fundamental bases of the tradition is the Ethic of Reciprocity , particularly when it comes to in bello considerations of deportment during battle.
If one set of combatants promise to treat their enemies with a modicum of restraint and respect, then the hope is that other sets of combatants will do similarly in reciprocation a concept not unrelated to the considerations of Game Theory. Just war theorists combine a moral abhorrence towards war with a readiness to accept that war may sometimes be necessary. The criteria of the just war tradition act as an aid to determining whether resorting to arms is morally permissible.source link
Chapter 7: War and Peace | Reading the World, 3e: W. W. Norton StudySpace
Just war theories are attempts "to distinguish between justifiable and unjustifiable uses of organized armed forces"; they attempt "to conceive of how the use of arms might be restrained, made more humane, and ultimately directed towards the aim of establishing lasting peace and justice ". The just war tradition addresses the morality of the use of force in two parts: when it is right to resort to armed force the concern of jus ad bellum and what is acceptable in using such force the concern of jus in bello.
Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin defined only three types of just war,  all of which share the central trait of being revolutionary in character. In simple terms: "To the Russian workers has fallen the honour and the good fortune of being the first to start the revolution—the great and only legitimate and just war, the war of the oppressed against the oppressors.
In that manner, Lenin shunned the more common interpretation of a defensive war as a just one—often summarized as "who fired the first shot? Which side initiated aggressions or had a grievance or any other commonly considered factor of jus ad bellum mattered not at all, he claimed; if one side was being oppressed by the other, the war against the oppressor would always be, by definition, a defensive war anyway.
Any war lacking this duality of oppressed and oppressor was, in contradistinction, always a reactionary, unjust war, in which the oppressed effectively fight in order to protect their own oppressors:. Clearly, the application of the term "defensive" war, or war "for the defence of the fatherland" in such a case would be historically false, and in practice would be sheer deception of the common people, of philistines, of ignorant people, by the astute slaveowners.
Precisely in this way are the present-day imperialist bourgeoisie deceiving the peoples by means of "national ideology" and the term "defence of the fatherland" in the present war between slave-owners for fortifying and strengthening slavery. Anarcho-capitalist scholar Murray Rothbard stated: "a just war exists when a people tries to ward off the threat of coercive domination by another people, or to overthrow an already-existing domination.
A war is unjust , on the other hand, when a people try to impose domination on another people, or try to retain an already existing coercive rule over them. Jonathan Riley-Smith writes,. The consensus among Christians on the use of violence has changed radically since the crusades were fought. The just war theory prevailing for most of the last two centuries—that violence is an evil that can, in certain situations, be condoned as the lesser of evils—is relatively young.
Although it has inherited some elements the criteria of legitimate authority, just cause, right intention from the older war theory that first evolved around AD , it has rejected two premises that underpinned all medieval just wars, including crusades: first, that violence could be employed on behalf of Christ's intentions for mankind and could even be directly authorized by him; and second, that it was a morally neutral force that drew whatever ethical coloring it had from the intentions of the perpetrators.
Just War Theory has two sets of criteria, the first establishing jus ad bellum the right to go to war , and the second establishing jus in bello right conduct within war.
Margaret Mead's Theory
In modern terms, just war is waged in terms of self-defense, or in defense of another with sufficient evidence. Once war has begun, just war theory jus in bello also directs how combatants are to act or should act:. Catholic church, issued a letter that all Catholics were to support the war. Our Lord Jesus Christ does not stand for peace at any price Every true American would rather see this land face war than see her flag lowered in dishonor I wish to say that, not only from the standpoint of a citizen, but from the standpoint of a minister of religion I believe there is nothing that would be of such great practical benefit to us as universal military training for the men of our land.
If by Pacifism is meant the teaching that the use of force is never justifiable, then, however well meant, it is mistaken, and it is hurtful to the life of our country. And the Pacifism which takes the position that because war is evil, therefore all who engage in war, whether for offense or defense, are equally blameworthy, and to be condemned, is not only unreasonable, it is inexcusably unjust.
Jus post bellum concerns justice after a war, including peace treaties, reconstruction, environmental remediation, war crimes trials, and war reparations. Jus post bellum has been added to deal with the fact that some hostile actions may take place outside a traditional battlefield.
Jus post bellum governs the justice of war termination and peace agreements, as well as the prosecution of war criminals, and publicly labeled terrorists. This idea has largely been added to help decide what to do if there are prisoners that have been taken during battle. It is, through government labeling and public opinion, that people use jus post bellum to justify the pursuit of labeled terrorist for the safety of the government's state in a modern context.
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The actual fault lies with the aggressor, so by being the aggressor they forfeit their rights for honorable treatment by their actions. This is the theory used to justify the actions taken by anyone fighting in a war to treat prisoners outside of war. Orend, who was one of the theorist mentioned earlier, proposes the following principles:.
These theorists do not approve of war, but provide arguments for justifying retaliation when another starts war. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the science fiction novel, see Just War Doctor Who. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources.
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Warfare an invention not a biological necessity thesis
Adler G. Prehistoric Ancient Post-classical Early modern Late modern industrial fourth-gen. Blitzkrieg Deep operation Maneuver Operational manoeuvre group. Grand strategy. Military recruitment Conscription Recruit training Military specialism Women in the military Children in the military Transgender people and military service Sexual harassment in the military Conscientious objection Counter recruitment. Arms industry Materiel Supply chain management. Main article: Jus ad bellum.
A "just war"—if there could be such a thing—would not require conscription. Volunteers would be plentiful.