Paul Ramsey

Catholic Statecraft’s Disagreements with Realism

Realism and the just war ethic both pursue war in certain contexts, so they can appear to be close cousins. But the just war ethic shares less with realism than realism shares with pacifism.

Paul Ramsey and the Recovery of the Just War Idea
Paul Ramsey and the Recovery of the Just War Idea

There are three important reasons why Paul Ramsey’s “The Just War” should be remembered and read by those who haven’t yet encountered it, or reread by those who have.

Theology and Border Walls
Theology and Border Walls

While the just war tradition has typically focused on international conflict, just war logic has rarely been used to analyze the ethics of border security and border walls. This failure is to our detriment.

Covert Operations: Just War or Dirty Hands?
Covert Operations: Just War or Dirty Hands?

Two Christian schools of thought might support covert operations and espionage: the just war tradition and a kind of “dirty hands” moralism. The dirty hands view says all those in political power must unavoidably resort to evil for the common good. The just war tradition has a different approach.

United Methodist Social Principles: Christian Social Principles or Political Preferences?
United Methodist Social Principles: Christian Social Principles or Political Preferences?

The United Methodist Social Principles fails to explain how the authors derive their conclusions from the authority of scripture, which should be the ultimate rule and guide for Christian social principles. And it fails even to reference the long and illustrious history of Christian reflection on these questions.

Just War & National Honor: The Case of Vietnam
Just War & National Honor: The Case of Vietnam

Just war theorizing has typically left the issue of national honor untouched, although warriors and statesmen routinely emphasize the importance of vindicating the sacrifice of the fallen. Does prolonging a war in order to assuage or vindicate national honor comport with the just war tradition?

The Distorted Image of God Imago Dei
The Distorted Image

Too often in our contemporary discussions about justice, Christians have turned to the idea of the “image of God” as the grounds for our social and political ethics.

Reading Augustine
Reading Augustine

Augustine’s influence runs deep and broad through Western Christian doctrine and ethics. This paper focuses on two particular examples of this influence: his thinking on political order and on just war.

Sex, Lies, and Spies
Sex, Lies, and Spies

We can make a clear and convincing case that the Christian tradition may support the idea that lies told for the public good are justifiable. When spies tell such lies in the line of duty, their deceptions fall into that category and, so, are justifiable. Can the same be said for sex in the line of duty?