1. List some good reasons for a country to go to war. 2. Imagine you work for the UN. You are part of a committee formed to create some rules for the conduct of armies during war. List 5 key principles. Are there any exceptions to these principles? Is war ever just? Three points of discussion:
Jus ad bellum The justice of resorting to war. Jus in bello Just conduct in war Jus post bellum Justice at the end of war Utilitarianism War is mischief upon the largest scale (Bentham) 1. Do you think Utilitarians ever see going to war as acceptable?
2. What criteria might they have to ensure this occurs? 3. Are there any other key points you think Utilitarians would make about war? Utilitarianism Justification 1. Any war justified as long as it brings about more overall happiness than suffering i.e. Its a last resort High probability of success
Proportionate (respects principle of utility) 2. Not just self-defence: defence of other nations (for values, for territory, to bring peace). 3. Not national utility overall utility. Any issues? How do we calculate the benefits of war?
Rule Utilitarianism How would a rule utilitarian justification be different? General rules should be agreed on by each state, that would maximise utility They should be followed in every situation, regardless of the utility of that individual war Is this what happens? "From our point of
view and the UN Charter point of view, it was illegal. Kofi Annan, September 2004 (United Nations Secretary General) Utilitarianism - Justice In War Would the use of... a) Chemical weapons b) Torture
c) Bombing of innocent civilians be justifiable in UT? Utilitarianism In War Act: Any act of war is justifiable, as long as overall happiness is increased. However all consequences must be considered. Rule: Principles agreed based on principle of utility, individual acts of war are just if they follow these rules.
Preference: Take into account the preferences of all involved, consider which action maximises those preferences. Deontology Going to War When might a war be considered just? Think about... The use of reason vs. The inclination of emotions What we said about Kant's view of criminals. Respecting peoples autonomy & freedom Not looking at consequences but duties. What
duties might states have? Three most important points: Deontology Going to War Humans have a duty to leave the state of nature (which is governed by desires) and enter a rightful condition based on reason. States also have this duty. In individual cases, this functions because there is a law-making state that exists above the individual and keeps them in line.
But this does not exist for countries, so they often fall out of their rightful condition and resort to fighting rather than rational discussion. Deontology Going to War Kant saw acts of war as moving us further away from the rightful condition. Wars represent the opposite of solving a dispute by reason, which the rightful condition enables. For Kant, the only just war therefore would be acting in self-defence and its purpose would be to return to peace. Much in the way that an individual has a duty to protect his or her life (and so can kill to prevent being killed), so a
state has a duty to protect itself. Deontology Going to War Kant believed that human rationality would lead eventually to a state of perpetual peace with some sort of league of states established that could settle disputes between individual states much as the government settles disputes between individual
people. Does this sound familiar? Justice in war Because we are trying to get back to the rightful condition war should to be fought in the most rational way: The way that will enable peace afterwards. Would... a) Chemical weapons b) Torture c) Bombing of innocent civilians
... be justifiable? Why / why not? Justice In War No methods that lead to deep seated hate would be justified, as peace in the future would be harder. No methods that lead to continuing damage against the state would be justified, as this would lead to further resentment in the future and would make it harder to maintain peace. What are some of the methods used in recent wars? Is
Kant right to say this has made future peace harder? Virtue Ethics Resorting to war 3 most important points: Virtue Ethics Resorting to war 3 most important points: 1. War isnt a part of eudaimonia 2. But may be necessary to secure Eudaimonia, therefore war should be about securing peace. 3. Have to follow the doctrine of the mean: wage
war for the right reasons, at the right time etc. However: What would a virtuous leader truly do? Virtues: - Courage - Compassion - Justice - Fairness Vices:
- Anger - Vengeful - Aggressive - Greed Virtue ethics might argue that war can be correctly chosen by a virtuous leader only in rare 'supreme emergencies' when faced with enemies as evil as Hitler. However, a truly virtuous leader would find new answers to most other difficult issues. Virtue ethics Justice in war
How would a virtuous soldier behave? What types of things might be considered virtues in the military? Does fighting in war naturally bring out vices? Examples? Why might this be an issue for virtue ethicists? Virtue ethics Justice in war A soldier is not only expected to be courageous and truthful but is also expected to develop military
virtues including discipline, obedience to superiors, loyalty to comrades and patriotism to their country. Warfare however is a dehumanising experience, and soldiers may be tempted or encouraged to develop dispositions that are clearly vices: to be cruel, to spread fear, to dehumanise their enemy. Homework 1. What arguments have the different approaches given concerning how we should act after war? 2. Why might their views conflict here?
3. Is there any ethical argument for pacifism (never engaging in fighting)? If so, are there any problems with this argument? All Justice After War We can apply similar arguments to the end of war as well: Given that one criteria often used for a just war is to fight to defend peoples rights against violent aggression, at the end of the war, those rights should be secured. Given that resorting to war and the use of force during war should both be proportional to the end, we can also apply proportionality to any
peace settlement. The settlement should not be a form of revenge, which will likely fuel resentment and further aggression, but involve reasonable terms and contribute to peace and happiness in the long term. However, this utilitarian consideration may conflict with a Kantian one, that aggressors should be punished (as this is the reasonable thing to do). Summary Homework Table Utilitarianism Resorting to War
Conduct In War Justice After War Kantian Ethics Virtue Ethics Overall Is war ever truly justified?
Pacifism argues that war is always unjust. There are both utilitarian and deontological arguments for pacifism: On utilitarian grounds, we may argue that aggression by a state does not need to be resisted by war, as there are other means, less destructive but just as effective, such as a very widespread campaign of civil disobedience and international sanctions. However do these responses always
work? What if an aggressor responds to such campaigns with force? War may be the only means to resist, and can therefore be justified. Overall Is war ever truly justified? If Adam is threatening Barrys
life, Barry may kill Adam if no other option is available. A deontological argument for pacifism argues that war always involves violating our duties. But is this right? Kant didnt think so, and many deontologists argue that there is no duty not to kill another human being who is threatening ones life. The maxim would be along the lines of Kill
someone who is threatening your life if there is no other option available. However, Kant would say the force we may use should be proportionate to the situation. Overall Is war ever truly justified? A third argument for pacifism is that while it is theoretically possible for a war to be just, if it meets the conditions described above, no actual war has or, given human nature, can meet the conditions for being just.
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