WHY DO WE FIGHT WARS?

While I was commenting on Don’t Be Afraid. We Are At War. (artaxes.wordpress.com), I had what struck me as a relatively original thought. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone has gotten this idea before, but I have never heard anybody put it quite this way.

What happens during a war? We use wars to resolve our differences. Our most grievous differences involve settling differences over right and wrong. These are matters of the soul, not the courtroom. These are metaphysical differences, not a search for the facts of a matter.

Our wars are about differences are over what constitutes a crime. What is determined in a courtroom is whether a crime was committed and who is guilty of the act.

Consider that good and evil represent differing ideologies. In the Christian world view, it is good to love God and obey His commands. However, Satan differs with God. His ideology is based upon the worship of self. In particular, Satan would replace God and would have all Creation worship him. That, of course, was the sin of Adam and Eve.

https://artaxes.wordpress.com/2022/09/06/dont-be-afraid-we-are-at-war/#comment-623

Some will say that many wars are just a matter of theft and enslavement. Did ancient Rome, for example, want anything except other people’s land and wealth? Didn’t Rome just want more people to enslave? Yet, when we say that we forget something important. The people of Rome understood that the people they conquered were people too. The people Rome conquered were generally every bit as capable and commendable as the people of Rome. Therefore, robbing, enslaving and killing them felt wrong because it is wrong. Nevertheless, Rome did not want to give up its empire, its wealth, and its slaves. So, the people of Rome had to justify their conquests. They had to come up with a rationale for engaging in conquest and crucifying rebels.

With that in mind, consider this question and answer.

Did Rome attempt to justify its conquests?

Context of question: In college, a history professor said they did not — maybe (not sure if I recall correctly) that ideas like that are modern and Rome wanted the slaves and treasure and so they just went ahead.

Answer:

Yes, they did. They argued that their conquests bring benefits of peace, civilization and prosperity to the conquered lands. This point of view was expressed not only by native Roman writers (like Cicero) but also by some writers from the conquered nations (Polybius, for example).

In the case of Greece, they certainly did not bring civilization to Greece, just the opposite happened. But they brought peace. The whole history of ancient Greece is the history of continuous cruel warfare between the city-states. And all attempts to stop it and unite the Greek states before the Roman conquest failed. Writers of that time perfectly understood that “Greek freedom is essentially the freedom to make war on each other”, I don’t remember which (Greek) writer said that.

The same argument was used by some British empire builders (The “burden of white man” as Kipling called it). Some modern scientists agree with this argument, for example:

Ian Morris, War! What is it good for?: Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots, 2014.

https://history.stackexchange.com/questions/33842/did-rome-attempt-to-justify-its-conquests

Some like to think of our ancestors as complete savages who had no qualms about raping and pillaging their neighbors, but there is little reason to think that our ancestors were much different from us. Consider this observation by the Apostle Paul.

Romans 2:12-16 New American Standard Bible

12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the Law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law instinctively perform the requirements of the Law, these, though not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of mankind through Christ Jesus.

We know in our hearts how our Lord God wants us to behave, but we don’t always behave as well as we should, but many do try. Because the Romans had had a republic and strived to justify their conduct, they did something different from most of the conquerors of the past. They spread the Roman system of justice, a relatively good system of justice, to the peoples they conquered. Roman justice was hardly perfect, but by the standards of the time it was fair. Hence most of the people Roman conquered were not in constant state of rebellion.

So, how does this relate to Don’t Be Afraid. We Are At War. (artaxes.wordpress.com)? artaxes doesn’t agree with my commentary on his post. Here is the crux of it.

Ideology
“A set of doctrines or beliefs that are shared by the members of a social group or that form the basis of a political, economic, or other system.”

What you describe are no typical ideologies which almost always come with a moral justification (aka being good).

To conclude:
You couldn’t give a convincing argument why mentioning the devil is more important than identifying the ideology of the people who are causing harm worldwide. Neither did I hear any refutation of my evidence or my reasoning. The only argument I’ve heard so far is essentially: I don’t like it.

So be it.
Perhaps I’m wrong but this is my impression: You seem to shy away from stuff like WEF because that sounds too conspiratorial and one doesn’t want to be called a conspiracy theorist these days.

The irony is that while conspiracies are by definition done in secret, there’s nothing conspiratorial about the WEF, the Great Reset or Build Back Better. It’s in your face and totally in the open. Hell, they even bragg about it.

from https://artaxes.wordpress.com/2022/09/06/dont-be-afraid-we-are-at-war/#comment-627

The odd thing about artaxes comments is that I don’t have a problem with identifying the specific ideology and strategies of our out of control ruling class any more than I would trying to understand what makes Communists or Nazis so dangerous. To defeat an enemy, it helps to understand how he thinks.

Understanding the enemy, however, is not enough. To win a war, we also have to understand why we are fighting, what it is that gives us the resolve to fight.

Here is the fundamental issue in our conflict with our current government.

Isaiah 5:20-21 New American Standard Bible

20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
And clever in their own sight!

Our leaders have become too full of themselves. Instead of being content to keep the peace and let their fellow citizens run their own lives, they would impose their noxious values upon the rest of us. It is our opposition to those values and our willingness to uphold our own values that motivates us to stand against them. Afterall, they are our leaders. Like it or not, they have great power over us. Yet because they demand that we believe that what is evil is good and what is good is evil we have no choice except to oppose them.

Without violence? I hope so, but self-defense is an inherent human right.

If the kings deprived them of their cherished freedom to make war on one another, they also protected them from other cities and from barbarians.

11 thoughts on “WHY DO WE FIGHT WARS?

Add yours

  1. I once explained the reason for wars, and why there can be no world peace, by going back to the individual and family. It went something akin to this: how many people get along with all of their siblings and neighbors? All of the time? If we all struggle with remaining calm and thoughtful, have difficulties within our own families, and also with the next door neighbors, multiply that by billions and the difficulty is clear. That’s why we have a constitution and with responsible people, better laws, and within do the best we can. And we pray.

  2. Tom,

    According to the Bible, we war to punish sinners.

    https://www.gty.org/library/questions/QA65/What-does-the-Bible-say-about-war-Is-there-ever-a-just-reason-for-it

    Problem is we need wisdom and love in the Bible to understand why we have to keep punishing sinners.

    Or in other words, if we never teach wisdom and love in the Bible to our youth, they will never understand the concept of sin and grow up to become leaders who wage war because they do not understand how Wisdom and Love teachings in the Bible will teach them the path of peace instead of war will prevent them from being punished by the Lord.

    Sad, we just keep repeating in every generation because we just cannot seem to wise up and believe we are all prone to the sin of vanity to believe we know better that our Maker.

    And the result keeps repeating every new generation falls under the spell of leaders who were never taught to understand the Lord’s directions are the wisest path to lead us to peace instead of war.

    Or if they were taught, repeated the same folly of King Solomon to believe he is capable of having the same wisdom to solve all the madness and folly as his Maker.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    1. Excellent comment. Thanks.

      I think a society will get things throughly mangled about every 80 years. By that time few are around who well remember the last time that society made a big huge mess.

      Because we have made so little effort to teach our children Biblical wisdom, this mess will be worse than usual. Too many lack the capacity to recognize evil even when they are the one doing it.

  3. For the sake of truth and clarification I have to say this: The nature of our difference was not the question of why we fight. It was about identifying the enemy.

    Your original comment:
    “I am not certain what to make of parts of artaxes’ post. I don’t know much about the World Economic Forum. The statement we are war strike me as appropriate, but I think artaxes, even though he knows the solution, has trouble identifying the enemy. Who is behind what we are seeing?”

    My original reply:
    “Thanks for the reblog.

    I think you’re missing the point. There was never any doubt who the big general is. (Genesis 3).
    That doesn’t help much if we don”t know where his foot soldiers are.”

    From there it developed into an argument over why I should or shouldn’t refer to satan.
    I don’t think you made a convincing case.
    The question was not why we fight but who or what we fight.

    Furthermore, I don’t think this assertion can stand up to a rigorous test.
    “To win a war, we also have to understand why we are fighting, what it is that gives us the resolve to fight.”

    How many poor dumb bastards, to use Patton’s words, were winning wars for the fame and glory of a general, the power and riches of a king or the profit of a business man while believing they were fighting for something completely different?
    If you don’t know why you should fight then it’s better to not fight at all.

    The slave who wanted to be free, the man robbed of all his posessions and the man threatened to be killed knew more than anyone else why they were fighting. No lofty ideals, no theology and no objections to some values comes even close to their motivation.

    You’re free to expand a failed argument but I have neither the time nor the inclination to participate.

    May God help you in the coming storm.

    That’s all.
    Out.

    1. Artaxes

      Who we fight has everything to do with why we fight.

      Ephesians 6:12 New American Standard Bible

      For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

      No other struggle matters.

      No man can serve two masters. Our ideology ultimately depends upon whom we choose to serve.

      May our Lord help us both.

  4. Interesting post.

    Somebody smart once told me that we fight wars to claim territory and resources. It’s only the US that has tried to confuse matters by introducing morality, like pretending we’re just there to, “win hearts and minds.” Or “peacekeeping missions.” Or “encouraging, democracy.” All in good humor, but the British were far more honest, they were, “claiming territory, enslaving the natives, and raping the land of its treasure.”

    In a spiritual context, I take the notion of war being about seizing territory seriously. We are claiming Christ’s dominion over our environment, our children, our communities.

    1. Glad you added the spiritual context.

      Part of the difference between British and the Spanish during the colonial period is that the British were not as brutal. I think Parliament made a difference.

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