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Tinashe Shamhu

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Is war a necessity or something that should be avoided at all cost?

War can be an unpleasant experience but sometimes it seems like it is tool which can be used to bring about peace. In the same way it can be a tool used for tyranny and greed. Is it a good thing for people to desire eternal unquestionable peace or is war a means of bringing about that peace?

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  • Jul 26 2011: Peace is certainly a necessary desire. Whether or not one is able to always follow that desire is a complicated and murky question. I think the vast majority of wars in human history have been completely unnecessary, having been fought for all the wrong reasons. But what about fighting wars to stop genocides? Admittedly, WWII was not fought for this reason, and the west has very seldom committed troops to stopping one successfully. I'm wondering do the individuals holding anti-war positions agree with this idea, and just label such wars as "peacekeeping" or do they think that protesting while allowing a genocide to take place is a real solution? My personal view is that the dichotomy presented by the original speaker is a bit misleading, because I'm inclined to say "both" avoid war at almost all costs, and only when faced with a problem that has no other solutions, a problem of such magnitude that the negative consequences of the war are smaller, should one even consider initiating a war. Such a problem in my view would just about always involve genocide or warmongering, although I'm inclined to make an exception for issues like slavery or other situations where there is no genuine alternative and a massive level of human suffering that needs to be dealt with expediently. That being said, most wars are about resources, power or ego; causes that are never just.

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