The definition of war has changed over the centuries. In the OED, war was described as a large-scale conflict, while this definition allows for more flexibility. It may now include wars between state entities, non-state peoples, and non-declared actions. The term war has evolved to encompass highly organized, politically-controlled warfare, cultural wars, and guerrilla uprisings. Some societies have tried to avoid war by making the process more efficient and reducing losses.
The current view of war has been shaped by the defeat of fascist states, the shock of the first nuclear attack, and the increasing importance placed on individual life. This view is often backed by left-wing thinkers, who argue that wars serve the interests of the powerful. The debate over war focuses on its causes, but the debate about what war does and why it is necessary is a fundamental question that continues to divide societies. But there is a logical explanation for war.
One theory of war is called “absolute warfare.” This view emphasizes that every member of society has an obligation to protect the society. While they may be unable to help, all able-bodied civilians are required to help protect the society. Such a view is supported by the literature of war propaganda, penal morality, and definitional politics. The arguments behind this view are complex, but they can be useful in illustrating the morality of war.
Philosophical analysis of war has a long history. The twentieth century saw a surge in research into the causes and effects of war. Post-World War II research focused on the causes, conduct, and prevention of war. These theories have become a part of human culture, shaping expectations and determining human behavior. While various schools of theorists recognize the impact they have on human life, they also realize that war can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Attempts to avoid harm to legitimate authority and the right kind of victims constitute the goals of war. The right intention, proportionality, and last resort are some of the criteria that help establish justifications for war. Generally, belligerents must distinguish between military objectives and civilians and attack them intentionally. However, this definition is not enough to justify war. There are other criteria that can be used to determine the legitimacy of war. So, what are the characteristics of a just war?
The reasons for war may differ between those ordering and undertaking it. The motivations of the leadership, the military, and the population must be aligned to support the decisions. For example, in the case of Kadic v. Karadzic, the leadership of Rome may have wished to annihilate rival Carthage, but the people of Rome may have tolerated the conflict. Likewise, the Carthaginians could have been associated with child sacrifice.
The metaphysical causes of war are multifaceted. One view focuses on the political and ethical nature of man, while another views the ethical and biological aspects of war. In each of these cases, the cause of war is a complex process, with various causes. The three primary causes are human nature, culture, and political. The last is the most controversial because it is a broad topic and has many subtopics. And each of them requires a thorough investigation of all aspects of the thinker’s beliefs.