Just War Theory

Just War Theory


War matters raise a lot of concerns based on the fact that war comes with implications on humans including death. Armed conflicts often affect the health of the people and it endangers their lives besides destroying their livelihoods. From a sociological view, conflicts are very common and they trigger desirable changes in society. Wars also raise ethical concerns regarding effects that it has on the society.

In the past few years, societies across the globe have developed a wide range of sophisticated weapons to enable them to respond effectively and efficiently in the event of a conflict. They are additionally motivated by other reasons including the need for protection, self-defense, and deterrence among others.

In modern society, one of the challenges that humans face includes threats that arise from the use of nuclear weapons.

Just War theory Conception

The just war conception theory supports the use of nuclear weapons in different war scenarios. The prepositions that the theory holds are also grounded on universal, natural, and divine-human rights. In this relevance, states and individuals are justified to pursue a certain degree of violence to defend the privileges and rights of populations at risk.

In this same respect, the use of nuclear weapons to defend the privileges and rights of populations is highly justified. States can use the weapons to safeguard the well-being of their citizens in the event of conflicts given the fact that the weapons effective in wars and highly destructive. They can also effectively counter the effects of negative attackers and prevent them from engaging in further attacks.

The recognition that the adverse effects of nuclear weapons are significant, and prevent states from engaging in war with nations that possess the weapons in piles. The just war model also protects the use of violence by law enforcement officers within the confines of a state as long as its aims are specific with justified objectives and goals. It implies that war methods often used should always be in line with set moral standards.

These conditions governing the use of the weapons aimed at ensuring that the theory of war is justified even though aggression and violence are also used. Set goals also are also tailor-made to benefit the greater population in the society. In the prevailing environment, states plan to use nuclear weapons for many reasons. Even so, they should only be used to pursue just causes only. Recent trends also ascertain that countries often justify the use of nuclear weapons for their unjust causes (Granoff, 2000). They also prefer to use them to assert powerful positions across the globe.

The just war theory also states that fighting in wars should be used to attain justice (Granoff, 2000). It is one of the principles of the theory and in this regard, states can engage in war to protect their populations from the effects of unjust aggression by external parties. This is a position that also permits the use of weapons to prevent citizens from the effects of conflicts and wars that are known to threaten their general well-being.

The other provision also requires countries to wage wars against authorities of sovereign states. From an ethical point of view, fundamentally, leaders are responsible for caring for their populations. State leaders have a responsibility to mobilize different resources and use them efficiently to protect their populations. With respect to the making decisions, ethical models also assume that the leaders have the capacity to make sound decisions favoring the interests of their subjects.

Since states make resolutions that reflect the concerns and values of their citizens, it is an indication that the state makes decisions to engage in war to address the interests of its subjects. The rights of the state can therefore not go beyond the entitlement of the populations at a given point.

This also reveals that a state’s privileges to ensure self-defense are very consistent with individual rights aimed at achieving similar goals. Therefore, individuals in a country have an exclusive opportunity to exercise their liberties and rights with regard to self-defense in a collective and coordinated manner. This is also desirable bearing in mind that it enhances the achievement of security objectives and set goals.

Additionally, the provisions of the theory demand that any intention to engage in war should be devoid of self-aggrandizing motives but pure. This is also aimed at ensuring that the reasons for engaging in war should be based on goals and objectives that are well defined. From this point of view, the proliferation of nuclear weapons comes with different disadvantages.

The theory seems to encourage superior states to engage in harmful and destructive activities by assuming their unfair tendencies. What’s more, in a bid to counter negative effects emanating from the use of nuclear weapons by developing countries, superior nations often resort to using the weapons to prevent any form of attack. In this relevance, the scenario, in the end, compels such nations including the US to use nuclear weapons for unjust reasons.

Presumptions made theoretically indicate that it is very important that the success of engaging in such wars is guaranteed before taking the bold step. At this point, it is worth noting that distinguishing violence and aggression has negative impacts on humans and their environment. They expose warring activities to benefit analysis aimed at minimizing any possible risk.

Additionally, provisions of the theory require that engaging in warring activity that could involve use of nuclear weapons should be carried out by the competent authority. Law enforcement officers of nations and states in this respect assume accountability for ensuring that the weapons are used responsibly.

Presumably, they are in a position to make sound decisions at all times and avoid cases of spillover adversarial war effects. Additionally, the theory requires that opting for nuclear weapons should only be under circumstances where peaceful options have been exhausted.

The requirement in regards to using of minimal force in the event of war is additionally imperative to note. The degree of force used in this regard while fighting is necessary if set goals and objectives are to be achieved. This is also very instrumental in preventing arms wastage as well as the destruction of property.

It is equally important to note that proportionality is very crucial in the event of war. This is a proposition that seeks to create a balance between positive and negative war effects. For example, if war is aimed at defending citizens and protecting their general well-being, it is imperative that it should not be carried out at the expense of human suffering, destruction of the environment, and loss of species.

The provisions of the theory additionally direct that the use of nuclear weapons should be on the retaliatory attack against those that deserve to be attacked. This often comprises enemies that target the population or the state. It is also essential in protecting innocent populations from suffering and in ensuring that all acts are pursued in a way that is humane.

The morality of Nuclear Weapons

Many nations across the globe according to current trends are taking appropriate measures to protect themselves from nuclear weapons acquisition. The weapons are more superior compared to traditional models and they empower countries to engage in warring acts and conflicts at any given level. Given the destructive nature of nuclear weapons, it is imperative for states and individuals to exercise a high level of responsibility during the use, acquisition, and storage of the weapons.

From a personal point of view, possession of weapons is ethical because states obtain them for self-defense among other reasons. In other cases, the need to acquire weapons is made by citizens of a given nation. Today, citizens play a very crucial role in decision-making when it comes to using national resources. Many countries have clear guidelines governing the use of resources and have embraced democracy.

Therefore, the process of acquiring weapons is highly acceptable. From an opposing view, nuclear weapons proliferation comes with disadvantages because it compromises states sovereignty. The just war theory seemingly posits that nations are very essential social entities that should be given an opportunity to operate independently.

They also have a capacity to make wise and informed decisions including whether or not to explore nuclear weaponry or possibly desist from the practice. Both the society and individual states suffer the effects of nuclear weapons use as it attracts external influence in decision making as well as state operations. These are international instruments that legally govern the use of nuclear weapons.

Contradicting the legal requirements on the other hand puts states at risk of external attack and interference. Therefore, decisions based on the type of weapons that states should use are often made by external parties.

Using nuclear weapons in warfare has also raised a number of ethical concerns. It has a high degree of energy and power where the effects of nuclear weapons explosion undermine proportionality. As earlier indicated, the concept requires that the impact of nuclear weapons should not exceed its positive effects. High-power nuclear weapons are known to cause massive losses.

The weapons do not benefit the users and they cause a lot of harm to the population. With technological advancements, there are weapons that can be used efficiently and indiscriminately. The decision relating to the size of weapons to be used in selected scenarios however lies on a nation’s authority. Ethical leaders are also more unlikely to use weapons when it comes to the fighting of low-level wars.

Additionally, the manners in which the weapons kill targets raise moral issues. The weapons fundamentally blast, sends harmful radiation, and heats to kill. The negative effects of radiation however spill in most cases to innocent populations. Therefore, it cannot be disputed that deaths caused by nuclear weapons are innumerable. This also seemingly raises a lot of concerns in regards to discrimination.

Besides killing the targets, radiations are harmful to the health of innocent populations. The use of the weapons is also immoral based on the fact that in the aftermath of nuclear weapons attacks, the human health of current and future generations is affected as well the environment. Physically, the use of weapons causes the destruction of land resources and natural species that are naturally found in the environment. This is an indication that the weapons compromise the general well-being of different species.

The natural environment is additionally home to wild animals among other species. By destroying the environments, their habitats are also destroyed and it is unethical given the fact that human beings depend on them for their survival. The use of weapons also indirectly denies human beings an exclusive opportunity to share their natural resources. In essence, the sustainability concept requires that individuals should safeguard the environment for well being of present and future generations.

It also recognizes that future generations just like current generations are entitled to benefit from natural resources. Radiation also prevents the regeneration of natural resources by persisting in the environment. Besides its puts the health of the populations at risk especially those that will inhabit the location in the near future. It is also improbable that there are areas that are inhabited in prospect with the growing human population.

The use of the weapons is additionally not morally acceptable based on the fact that it encourages external or international aggression. In this relevance, the effects of utilizing the weapons go beyond national boundaries. The risks also affect populations across the borders. Characteristic aggression also affects the culture of different nationals negatively especially on landscapes that they are closely attached to.

It is at this point that is worth noting and acknowledging that populations tend to be more connected to their physical locations. As a result, their existence and survival are greatly determined by the availability of natural resources close to them. Cultural practices and values that they hold in high regard are also usually defined by their physical environment and landscapes.

By destroying the landscapes and their geography, the use of nuclear weapons has a great negative impact on the culture of the populations. What’s more, political interferences caused by the weapons often affect the psychological well-being of the states and nations too. It places them in a position of uncertainty and it becomes very difficult for them to pursue their economic and social goals as well as their set objectives.

For individuals to function well, it is imperative and widely agreed that security is of the essence. It is essential to create peaceful co-existence as provides the most ideal conditions for growth and development.

Nuclear weapons also undermine the general well-being and political privileges by threatening the rights of citizens. The use of weapons creates a lot of fear that makes citizens lose confidence and trust in national leadership and government. In most cases, citizens also presume that the government is not taking appropriate measures to protect them as required.

This is a matter that has diverse effects with respect to discrimination requirements. Additionally, besides causing harm to the population physically, the effects of using nuclear weapons cause a detrimental impact on the cultural, health, psychological, and political well-being of the society. From this approach, the use of nuclear weapons is not morally acceptable and should be avoided by all possible means.


The use of nuclear weapons in war is a very sensitive affair based on the fact that it has huge implications they have on well-being and the existence of humanity. The just war theory supports the utilization of weapons under specific conditions and circumstances. The guidelines that the theory focuses on accredit nuclear weapon usage in times of war.

Additionally, the theory supports the fact that states should use arms in pursuit of justice and self-defense. This is a very critical issue in ensuring that states protect the interests of their citizens against external attacks. According to the theory, the degree of harm should also be proportionate to the benefits that the alternative provides and should be used following an after analysis that had to be undertaken and its success level clearly determined.

This provision also restrains the states from using intense violence and excessive forces as it compromises the general well-being of the innocent population in the society and the environment at large. Nuclear weaponry should also not be employed by incompetent personnel. It is imperative for only competent personnel to use the weapons including law enforcement officers and the military.

The main objective of the directive is to minimize risks associated with the use of weapons by incompetent staff. The proliferation of weapons is also unethical because it encourages engagement in nuclear wars. Nonetheless, the acquisition of nuclear weapons is morally acceptable because of the effects of armaments on states. The weapons have adverse effects on innocent populations thus making them immoral.

Nations should also take appropriate measures to ensure that nuclear weapons are only used for justified purposes as earlier noted in the study. Besides the impact on the welfare of the innocent population, they destroy natural habitats and the environment. This implies that they harm natural species that play a crucial role in protecting livelihoods of humans. They deny the populations a chance to benefit from existing natural resources. More importantly, using the weapons consists of economic, social, cultural well being of the population and state security across the globe. This is based on the fact that nations sustain and establish very close relationship with the environment. The effect of nuclear weapons is undoubtedly adversarial hence the need for nations to ensure that appropriate measures to prevent their use and proliferation.


Granoff, J. (2000). Nuclear weapons, ethics, morals, war. Brigham Young University Law Review, 2000 (4), 1413-1442.

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