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Ethics of War

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War is, unfortunately, a spectre that dominates our present reality. The question of whether war can ever be justified has long been the subject of intense debate, and one that has not simply been the concern of politicians and academics but rather, given its effects, nearly all of us.

“Human beings have been waging wars against one another from time immemorial and the question of whether the deliberate destruction of life can ever be justified is equally well established. The world’s major religious traditions regard human life as sacred and promote compassion to fellow human beings. Yet in the past religious leaders have declared it a religious duty for believers to enter battle and thus catalyzed some of the most horrendous wars in human history. From 11th century crusaders to 21st century suicide bombers, individuals have used God to rationalize the annihilation of others. How can we differentiate an honourable individual defending their life, values and homeland from a sadistic barbarian guilty of war crimes. What is a ‘Just War’? Are some weapons intrinsically evil? Do international conventions serve a useful purpose?

We explore the above with Tim Winter, internationally renowned scholar voted Britains most influential Muslim thinker and Dean of Cambridge Muslim College

This talk is part of the Explore Islam Week 2014 (EIW) series.

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