The concept of war is approached in the framework of the sociological theories of conflict, as the author believes war to be a particular and extreme form of conflict. The relationship between war and conflict is the same as that between genre and species in the classifications. In phenomenology, moreover, conflict is highlighted as a veritable structure of reality in general, and of living beings in particular. Living beings are transformed by natural selection, the food chain decrees the death of the weakest link, the struggle for survival informs every existential relationship and life thrives amid the death of other living beings.The author uses the recent conflict in the Middle East to illustrate Max Weber’s thought by drawing the cultural and religious analogies that exist between Islamic thought and Calvinist thought, reaching the conclusion that the legitimisation of human actions derives from material success. It follows that a war that is won becomes a legitimate, right war. If the structure of life is struggle and war, then death, as the immediate fate of at least part of the adversaries, ineluctably and inevitably awaits all living beings, be they vegetable, animal or human, and the positive aspects of this structure seem to need to be noted, in the interests of avoiding a lapse into Gnostic pessimism. Conflict is also the quest for freedom; war, as the functional equivalent of death, frees the field of the conservative political and institutional fossilisations of the past and opens the way towards the future and social transformations; death then takes the form both of the end of old life stories and of the beginning of new ones.