Chess grandmaster Sergey Karjakin received a six-month ban from the international competitions, and his appeal was dismissed. When the international chess federation FIDE initiated the case, it accused Karjakin of supporting the unjustified war:
“FIDE Council condemns any public statement from any member of the chess community which supports unjustified military action…”
(The concepts of “justified war” or “just war” can be found in the encyclopaedias.)
However, Karjakin not only approved that war but also presented some arguments to convince us that this war was justified.
In sum, Karjakin’s fault seems to be the following:
He tried to justify the unjustified war.
If a sportsperson tries to justify the unjustified war, it results in 6 months ban from international competitions.
But what if a sportsperson presents strong arguments to justify the unjustified war? Whether the punishment should also be more serious? For example, it results in a 6-year ban from international competitions.
But what if a sportsperson succeeds in justifying that war?
He presented compelling arguments to justify the unjustified war.
Probably, that sportsperson should be jailed for 170-years. Because it is impossible to justify the unjustified war, and if someone succeeds in doing the impossible, it should be regarded as the greatest crime.
In the West, the present Ukrainian war (the Russian invasion of Ukraine) is declared an unjustified war (and also “unprovoked”). And in the newspapers, we often see slogans like “Justifying the war will not be tolerated!” The chess player Karjakin’s case is only an example.
However, intuitively, there seems to be some contradiction or inconsistency.
From one side, there is the concept of just war. On the other side, the attempts to argue that this war is a just war have been made illegal and even punishable. Such attempts might even be regarded as making war propaganda explicitly unlawful in many countries.
But the philosophers have to look at the problem more generally. We must consider wars and other propositions, actions, and policies too.
For example, would it be reasonable to declare that the existence of God is not proved and, therefore, any attempts to prove the existence of God should be suppressed?
And indeed, we have seen analogous practices in several other areas. For example, censoring the “climate sceptics” or “vaccine sceptics”.
In all such cases, it is assumed that some theory T is already known to be true — and any attempts to provide arguments to the contrary are suppressed.