Philosophical Questions About War That Will Make You Think

The majority of present-day generation may not have seen any wars within their lifetime, but they are aware of what a state of war entails. This awareness is brought about largely due to the historical accounts of these events that have been carefully documented. These records exist to educate us about wars and all that it implies.
OpinionFront Staff
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
We make war that we may live in peace.
― Aristotle
War is defined as a state of armed conflict between different nations or states or different groups within a nation or state. Over the course of time many different wars have been fought, some on a small scale and some on such a large scale that they were called World Wars. The reasons underlying them may be different, but all instances of this phenomenon have brought with it extreme violence, social disruption, and economic destruction. Some were waged to expand territorial borders, some to gain rich and prosperous geographical features like mines, farmland,etc, and a few others were fought to overthrow tyranny and oppression. The recurring result in all cases was a transfer of power from the defeated to the victor. But this victory was achieved at what cost?

To fully understand the implications of this phenomenon, one must examine it from a philosophical standpoint, since only then will one be able to gain an insight as to how it works, what it consumes, and what it generates. This insight allows one to weight the pros and cons associated with a situation and assess if war really is the best option out of all other possible solutions to achieve a desired end goal. One must, hence, ponder over questions related to all aspects of it. You can also read through these war quotes.
Philosophical Thought-provoking Questions about War

● Can war ever be eradicated?

● What constitutes a war crime?

● Does the concept of a just war actually exist?

● How do nations afford the astronomic costs of war?

● Is war moral and ethical, and can it ever be justifiable?

● Are humans addicted to the destructive power of violence?

● Why does the resolution of conflicts boil down to the act of war?

● If you were tortured by enemy forces, would you betray your country?

● Why is human nature prone to aggressive activities that result in atrocities?

● How are conflicts resolved by the bloodshed and death of people?

● Is the sacrifice of the life of your child or lover to support a war, worth it?

● Why do religions that spread the message of love and peace, cause so many wars?

● Who decides whether the government of a country can wage war on another country?

● What joy is there in winning a war, when so much loss and pain is associated with it?

● Since all the involved parties suffer extreme losses, isn't war a futile undertaking?

● If a nation willingly leads its citizens into war, does it really care about its citizens at all?

● When one country decides to wage a war against another, why do the other nations not intervene?

● Should wars really be fought for the beliefs of people or their race, culture, traditions, or skin color?

● Despite the general awareness of the harms of nuclear weaponry, why are they still
manufactured and used?

● Why do prisoners of war and the civilian citizens have to face the consequences of their
nation's decisions?

● "All is fair in love and war", but is the use of chemical and biological weapons ethical and fair to the victims?

● If the United Nations was formed to work towards maintaining world peace, why are there wars still being fought?

● Isn't a war between nations, that differ on the scale of development, already rigged in favor of the developed nation?

● If you were offered a better life and privileges, would you defer to the enemy or become a double agent for them?

● Would you go against your beliefs and morals in doing something for your country, if it would help in avoiding a war?

● How is any religious war considered holy, when it involves the loss of human lives and incurs considerable bloodshed and grief?

● Why is war a viable option, when it is common knowledge that it is a venture that costs huge quantities of precious human lives?

● After every major disastrous war, humans vow to never let it happen again, yet that event comes to pass again eventually. Why is that?

● If the country which is waging war is truly democratic, then why does the dissent of the
people have no effect on the government's decision to engage in war?

● Why are people intolerable enough of other people's life choices that they declare a war against them? (with respect to religion, sexual orientation, etc)

● It is said that there is glory in war, but what glory is there in sending scores of men into battle to die, men who are someone's brothers, sons, or fathers?

● Killing a man for your personal reasons is a crime, yet why is it not a crime when men are killed on the battlefield for the ambitions and greed of the country's rulers?

● Why is the budget for the defense services in each country larger than the budgets for other endeavors of agriculture, scientific research, infrastructure development, etc?

● When countries claim to intervene in the affairs of other countries in order to aid them, why does it involve the deployment of the armed forces? And how does a gesture of aid transmogrify into an all-out war?

● The continued use of the war in conjugation with opposing anything, has led to people
being desensitized to the term, leading them to forget the real moral implications of it. Why is that this is not being addressed?

● Wounded and injured soldiers in a war are deemed brave and honorable, but what good is that honor and bravery which has taken away from them a better future, and excluded the lives they could have had if they had not had any injuries?

Quotes that Question the Validity of War

● How is it possible to have a civil war? ― George Carlin

● Dad, how do soldiers killing each other solve the world's problems? ― Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

● How can you have a war on terrorism when war itself is terrorism? ― Howard Zinn

● If you could change War's name, do you think you'd change its nature? ― Jarod Kintz

● Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters? ―
Laini Taylor

● 'Peace?' said Vetinari. 'Ah, yes, defined as period of time to allow for preparation for the next war. ― Terry Pratchett

● How is the world ruled and led to war? Diplomats lie to journalists and believe these lies when they see them in print. ― Karl Kraus

● All wars are sacred,to those who have to fight them. If the people who started wars didn't make them sacred, who would be foolish enough to fight? ― Margaret Mitchell

● Why do we electrocute men for murdering an individual and then pin a purple heart on them for mass slaughter of someone arbitrarily labeled "enemy"? ― Sylvia Plath

● What do nations care about the cost of war, if by spending a few hundred millions in steel and gunpowder they can gain a thousand millions in diamonds and cocoa? ― W.E.B. Du Bois

● Lest I keep my complacent way I must remember somewhere out there a person died for me today. As long as there must be war, I ask and I must answer was I worth dying for? ― Eleanor Roosevelt

● What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy? ― Mahatma Gandhi

● The fact that war is the word we use for almost everything-on terrorism, drugs, even
poverty-has certainly helped to desensitize us to its invocation; if we wage wars on everything, how bad can they be? ― Glenn Greenwald

● Have we raised the threshold of horror so high that nothing short of a nuclear strike qualifies as a 'real' war? Are we to spend the rest of our lives in this state of high alert with guns pointed at each other's heads and fingers trembling on the trigger? ― Arundhati Roy

● The crux of the matter is whether total war in its present form is justifiable, even when it serves a just purpose. Does it not have material and spiritual evil as its consequences which far exceed whatever good might result? When will our moralists give us an answer to this question? ― John Hersey

● I don't care a damn about men who are loyal to the people who pay them, to organizations...I don't think even my country means all that much. There are many countries in our blood, aren't there, but only one person. Would the world be in the mess it is if we were loyal to love and not to countries? ― Graham Greene

● War can condition a person to be resilient, tolerant, dependable, strong, and capable of so much more than one who had experienced nothing of it; it can bring out the very best in us, but also the very worst. Where is it, I ask, the proper conduit through which a soldier should be raised from whence they would become an upstanding citizen of the world, instead of a single country? ― Mike Norton

Despite the regularity with which wars are fought, it is not a normal human phenomenon, and people are not programmed to engage in such debilitating conflicts. It is a fairly recent development, produced after the formation of state societies. Prior to that, ancient civilizations such as the Indus valley civilization and the Jomon of Japan, have existed and prospered peacefully for over 10,000 years, and never engaged in internal and external warfare.