This story may sound familiar, considering that it is basically from a book I am reading, but it to me it seems to confirm something I already thought.
Somewhere out in the galaxy there is a small town of people who inhabit a planet with other intelligent life. The town is closed off from them by a large electric fence that stand between them, and encloses the town. From this town a young priest has been going out to visit these aliens to convert them to Catholicism. One day a group of them cling him to a tree for several days until he dies. The death was intentional.
The small town is outraged. These aliens have killed some of them before, they have even tortured people, by cutting their bodies open while still alive until their bodies were deformed but somehow attached. The town had always feared them ever since the first time and no one had much even dared to think of going out the gate, but never had someone like a priest been killed. A peaceful and loving religious man who spread the word of God.
In rage, a man gathers together a group of men, and decide to go out and give justice to the murdering beasts. Surely the town wanted justice for the murdered man, as no being, human or not, should be allowed to kill with such violence, and an innocent priest at that!
They gather torches and weapons and head past the gate. Through their path they burn down the alien's forest and kill many of them. All the while they chant the name of God in honor of the town's murdered priest.
So would you label this as war or murder? And why?
Also do you consider war to be murder? If no, what is the difference?