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Thursday, March 17

March 17, 2016
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WWTWWT:  Today we talked about just war doctrine, as proposed by Augustine and Aquinas (among others). For a war to be considered “just,” it has to meet at least four criteria:

1. Just cause. That is, there has to be a really good reason for going to war. (Was America entering World War II a “just cause”? Most people would probably say yes. Was America’s “regime change” in Iraq just, especially after the attempts to directly link Iraq to WMDs and 9/11 didn’t pan out? Opinion is decidedly more mixed.)

2. Proportionality. The response should be proportional to the provocation. It’s not war, per se, but if someone cuts you in the lunch line and you burn down their house that night, most people would say your response is out of proportion.

3. A reasonable chance of success. It is thought to be unjust if you commit your side to a war it has no chance of winning, therefore losing lives needlessly. (Some people feel this way about our strategy in Vietnam: that because we did not give ourselves the best chance to win the war, the war was unjust for that reason.)

4. Proper authority. In our country, this is the president — often with the blessing of Congress. When the president does not seek Congressional approval to commit our troops to combat, the result is usually controversial. Although some have contended that the president does not need Congressional approval to wage war, it seems clear that this idea makes people uncomfortable. That has something to do with the understanding that proper authority is an important part of just war theory.

Over the break, I would like for your to read the short section on the Medieval Period in your textbook, as well as the sections on Augustine and Aquinas. We’ll be skipping close to a thousand years between those two guys, which is a very large gap; the defense is that it encompasses the Dark Ages that followed the fall of the Western Roman Empire, when the barbarians stormed the gates and not a whole lot was happening philosophically.

We are leading up to a midterm exam the week of April 4. More details as they become available.

Book History: Today we continued working on your books – we added boards and spine. Note that we are doing this in a very old style.

Siren: LAVA on the Road rehearsal.

Daily Prompt: Today we played a little Liebrary (note to self: NEVER DO THIS AGAIN :)). You worked on the associated prompt, which was to use one of the generated lines to inspire a new piece, for 20 minutes. If you were absent or missed this due to the reading practice, please replace this activity with a prompt from the website.

Survey (all): No class due to dance.

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