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The Philosophy of War

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The Philosophy of War
Derek Garner
PHI 103 Informal Logic
Instructor Michael Larson

The Philosophy of War War can be defined in many different ways. It can be a conflict between nations or states or between schools of thought or ideologies. J. Locke states, "the state of war is a state of enmity and destruction" (pg 1). Every human being has the right to defend themselves against threats of violence or destruction. If someone attempts to enslave another, they have the right to protect their life against someone who is trying to obtain absolute power by whatever means necessary. By the law of nature, man or country has the right to destroy that of which threatens them. In order to identify the premises, we must first realize what causes war. Theorists claim that man is a product of his environment, but he also possesses the power to change that environment. Some often presume that mankind, as a whole, is subject to forces that prompt him to wage war, due to a culture or political nature. According to J. Locke, "men living together according to reason, without a common superior on earth, with authority to judge between them, is properly the state of nature" (pg 2). The premises are clear when it comes to war. Man has a preservation to protect himself and his possessions. He also has the right to protect his land and his country. In the end, man will have to answer, for his sins, to a judge or a higher power. The state of war ends when both societies are subjected to a fair determination of law. This argument has strong and inductive components. The points that are made adhere to the principles of a strong argument. The argument of whether war is philosophically or morally correct is up for debate. War is usually a word that people associate with death and destruction, but there are several different types of war. Most wars have to do with power or competition. There are wars against nations, against drugs, against other people who threaten to harm you, and the biggest war of all is the war that rages within ourselves. In the original argument, war was identified mostly as a philosophical one. History has taught us that war is more of a way to control or gain power at the cost of human lives. War is neither good for the economy or its resources as it turns cities and countries into rubble. What do human beings really gain when they are at war? War has changed the world, for the worse, forever. The ancient world used war as a way to glorify its people and its nation, but times have changed. We now use war as a way of mass destruction. Technologies and applications that are created today to make lives easier are easily turned into products that can wage war in more of a destructive manner than ever seen before. It is our duty, as a society, to come up with ways to make peace instead of war. The impact of war on people is substantial. Not only do soldiers have to do battle on the fields they also have to deal with the repercussions of war after they return home. This includes severe, life altering injuries, as well as, post traumatic stress disorder. This affects, not only the soldier, but also their families. All of this is a heavy price to pay when it comes to war. Even though man has the right to destroy that which threatens him, no one really wins in the end.

Locke, J. (1689). Of the state of war. In Second treatise of government. Retrieved from
Mosser, K. (2011). An introduction to logic. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc
Tsai, R.L. (2015). Three Arguments About War. Constitutional Commentary, 30(1), 1-59.

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