师出有名 – Chinese philosophy and culture

shīchū-yǒumínɡ 师出有名

Fighting a War with a Moral Justification

兴兵开战要有正当的名义或理由。泛指做事有正当的理由。它包含两层意思:其一,师直为壮,谓出兵理由正当,则士气旺盛,战斗力强,否则难以服众;其二,无故不得兴兵,防止因贪、怒而穷兵黩武。其核心在于强调战争的正义性。这是文明精神的体现。

To wage a war, one must have a legitimate cause, just as we ought to have such a reason in doing all things. The term has two meanings. The first is that moral justification is a source of strength when waging a war. With moral justification, the troops will have high morale and strength in fighting. Without it, it would be difficult to command the troops. The second meaning is that war must not be waged without a just cause. Greed or anger should not be allowed to lead to militarism and aggression. The underlying notion of this concept is that war can only be fought with a just cause, which represents the spirit of civilization.

引例 Citations:

◎师必有名。(《礼记·檀弓下》)

(出兵必须有正当理由。)

A military campaign must have a moral justification. (The Book of Rites)

◎顺德者昌,逆德者亡。兵出无名,事故不成。(《汉书·高帝纪上》)

(顺应道德就会昌盛,违背道德就会灭亡。出兵没有正当名义,事情所以不会成功。)

Those who have virtue thrive; those who go against virtue perish. If a war is waged without moral justification, it will not succeed. (The History of the Han Dynasty)

◎庶几义声昭彰,理直气壮,师出有名,大功可就矣。(朱鼎《玉镜台记·闻鸡起舞》)

(希望正义的声音广为传扬,理由正大而气势雄壮,出兵有正当的名义,这样才可建成大功业。)

I hope the voice of justice will be heard everywhere. Be bold and confident when fighting a just war. When a military campaign has a moral justification, great victory can be achieved. (Zhu Ding: A Tale of a Jade Dressing Table)

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