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W

In the western intellectual tradition there are broadly two ways of looking at war. One sees it as inevitable, even good under certain circumstances. The other sees war as the consequence of particular things or conditions, hence in theory at least not inevitable, and always bad - even if no moral alternative exists. This second school of thought can be further subdivided into the pacifist variety which argues that war is never justified and the 'just war' type wherein war is justified only if certain strict conditions apply and the war is fought in a particular way. Briefly, the war must be fought in selfdefence, it must have a just end, it must be the last possible resort, and the expected benefits must exceed the costs. The fighting must be limited in scope and confined to combatants, it must be done according to certain rules, and it cannot include wanton cruelty. Both the pacifist and just war arguments derive mainly from Christian theology.