The Immorality Of War

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade October 2001

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The Immorality of War Wars are immoral. The distinction between the rights and wrongs of war is a significant concern to many people. It is difficult to determine whether a war is right or wrong. Many wars shared the idea that both sides believed they were right. It appears that President Truman was right to drop the atom bomb onto Hiroshima to end World War II. Truman claimed that the purpose of bombing was "to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans."� (105) However, thousands of innocent people died needlessly as a result. If a country engages in an act of war with the intention to attack innocents, it is immoral.

There are no moral judgments in war. War lies beyond moral judgment. War is a world in itself, where self-interest and necessity prevails. People do what they must to save themselves and their communities without moral considerations.

According to Richard Wasserstrom, "in matters of war (but not in other matters) morality has no place."� (103) War is an activity in which everything is morally permissible, including killing and violence. It is unfair that wars are "decided on grounds of national interest or expediency rather than by appeal to what is moral."� (104) Under no circumstances should a person kill another human being. In wars, acts normally illegal are made legal. Wasserstrom states in his essay, "On the Morality of War"�: "After all, if flame throwers are deemed perfectly permissible, if the bombing of cities is applauded and not condemned, and if thermonuclear weapons are part of the arsenal of each of the major powers, then the remaining moral prohibitions on the conduct of war are sufficiently insignificant to be ignored."� (105) In this quote, Wasserstrom explains how war...

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