Simpson's Theory on Just war vs. Lackey's.

Essay by damon79University, Bachelor'sA, November 2003

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Simpson and Lackey both have differing theories on what constitutes a just war.

The primary point that they disagree on is that of self defense. Lackey's theory requires

and actual attack to have taken place, while Simpson's theory regards the threat of harm

as sufficient cause, under certain circumstances to justify the use of force on the grounds

of self defense.

Lackey's position, at least to me, makes more sense. In order for an actual threat

to exist, and an actual belligerent action must be taken. Simpson's position has to do

with a perceived threat of harm. The problem with this is perceptions can be skewed by

biases and stereotypes. This taints any cause for war, whereas Lackey's theory, the

aspect of self defense can never be tainted. Self defense is legitimate in both criminal

and civil law, so it makes sense that it is legitimate on a global scale.


believe that Simpson leaves out the people's factors of emotions and feelings in his

theories, where one would think they would necessary when one has to perceive

something. While Lackey's notion of self defense is so cut and dry it is by far more

objective, and can be used on a scale far wider than Simpson's.

The ideas all behind Lackey's theory are also stronger than that of Simpson's.

Self defense against an attack prevents unwarranted aggression. By making self defense

a requirement for just war, all the countries that follow this theory will they never be

aggressors towards others. If countries can be eliminated as aggressors, we can decrease

the number of wars. Fewer wars mean less suffering and casualties. Less suffering and

casualties leads to the advancement of the human race, which is what should be every

nation's goal. So, justifying war by self defense will inevitably...