|Read Michael Kulzer (sp?) Why was WWII different?
Ethics of War - Wednesday, January 23, 2008
How do we define War?
shapes what it means normatively
surrounds claim whether war is good or bad
can’t invoke moral reasons
forces us to ask: “what kind of terms can we use to talk about war?”
Characterization of killing of innocents
Can be argued that war is equivalent to murder
Cause of War
claim that if cause is just, then war is just
Morality of war vs. various moral claims we can make once war has begun
5) Are people on our side special?
Equal human beings have equal moral consideration
We consider our side more important and justify killing others, not our own
Definitions of War
Most prevalent view:
1) Orren claims that war is public policy, extension of legislative action; particular kind where the use of violence is to further our ends. Kind of policy that is legislated, self-conscious and involves violence.
2) Barbara Cohen: war is break-down of rule-based relations or civil relations between states; not anarchy but losing of bearing.
3) War is Hell; antithesis of law and rules; violence and killing and all the horror they imply
4) Conflict solely between states
5) the elimination of something with use of force
What difference does it make what definition one takes?
If we vote on it, it confers democratic legitimacy and therefore we can consider it moral
Policy comes institutions which leads to break down; war might be solution to break down
If individuals have consented to it, there may be morally salient reason to go to war
Looks rational and leads to more reasons; without rationales
2) Civil relations break down
- loss of agency, seems passive and natural (may be precursor to war); break down doesn’t give you reasons; some people want it out of policy to disregard aberrations
3) War is the antithesis of law
- in favor of anti-war positions; subtract the ability to talk about causes, interests;
- if defined this war, can’t come up with rules and laws of war
- handy definition for those who want to argue against war and those involved
- distinctions are rule-based
- can’t invoke something like democracy here
- moral implications before the war: everything before could be justified as moral since we want to avoid war as hell
Stanford Definition: war between nation-states and nothing else; by calling it conflict between nation-states, eliminate types of wars such as civil wars, ethnic cleansings, revolutions, guerilla warfares where groups aren’t associated with political groups
What is the importance of including the state?
Nations: collection of people
State: government run borders
Morality can’t even be discussed when it comes to war
Need to see that war is necessary, not an issue of morality
Morality doesn’t enter into the question when interests are considered
Ignore the issue of morality
Realist says that morality is not what the issue is
So obscene since it involves killing of innocents and tarnishes discussion of morality
Realist: war is power play and never go to war for moral reasons just for self-interest and survival
While the two are not wrong, not really amoral
Realist might be making moral claim himself
For realist, self-interest is non-moral value
Wars are amoral because made by states, not individuals
States don’t have moral intentions
Democracies tend to have states more susceptible to moral charges
All Wars are Immoral
All wars violate their right to life
All wars involve killing (sometimes justified); therefore, has to be unjustified or killing of innocents which is equated with murder which is wrong by nature and then, therefore, war is wrong since murder is wrong.
Need to think of the number of innocent civilians we’re saving but then what if we’re killing innocent civilians in order to save others
Direct consequences when you know people are going to die
Who are the innocent?
Monday, January 28, 2008
Is all murder because necessitates killing of innocents?
Moral vs. amoral?
Who is an innocent?
What role does consent play?
If all consent to war, can’t be viewed as murder.
Why is WWII different? War might be murder but there are some cases where rules might be broken.
Even if war is murder, murder is justified.
Dstinguishing between justice of war (the cause) and justice in war (the ethical nature of tactics)
Klaussewitz’s notion: Sherman’s idea that anything goes into the war; war is hell
First place we should look to as cause of war: elimination of evil
Can fight a war if it’s to eliminate evil apart from self-defence
Walzer is trying to have it both ways: we are killing innocents but it’s justified because we’re eliminating evil AND rules are not absolute
Walzer has a rule that is steadfast but it can be broken therefore, what happens to the rule
War as Murder
Intentional killing of the innocent
Is there anyway that saying war isn’t murder?
Implicated individuals – people are involved in economy and are empowering military (tacit guilt)
Despite killing of innocents, we’re saving more innocent lives Justified killing
By not intervening, responsible for many more deaths: choice is between killing or let die
Murder is a means to an end;
Difference between killing innocent on purpose
Omissions vs. actions
Who can be construed as innocents?
Those against the war
Implicated or not implicated:
Soldiers are carrying out the war and if you don’t kill them ( in self-defence), you will be killed yourself so does not equal murder
Children innocent implicated if seen as resources of nation
If you adhere to a nation-state, then you are part of a nation-state that is at war and therefore you are implicitly implicated ( John Locke, Treaty II)
Are you identifying people as individuals or members of nation-state?
If you are completely not implicated, can be viewed as murder
If everyone’s implicated, then might be viewed as justified
If you haven’t consented are you part of the enemy?
What is consent:
Locke’s second treatise if you benefit from nation’s services, you have tacitly consented to nation and are subject to its conflicts
If you consent, you give up the right to life
Protesters/ anti-war activists
Those who are drafted but against war are not any more innocent
Those who need to be a soldier for economic reasons
What is the relevance of knowing that the war is right?
People believing may be abetting in the war
Might care because of assumption that if they believe it, they’re abetting the war but if they don’t, they’re frustrating the effort
Clausewitz’ War as limitless violence
Anything that is limited is accepted wont be able to make Walzer’s distinctions
Causes of War:
Aggressive War to End Evil (WWII: Nazis would have destroyed human beings and, maybe, civilization)
Self-defense: might involve pre-emption which looks aggressive.
What is the deal with self-defense that makes it more justifiable?
Walzer – appeasement is alternative to going to war
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
1) Reasons to go to war vs. tactics in war
2) Claim that “If a war is justified, anything goes in the war.”
- If the ends are justified, then the means are justified
- Moral system such that anything that helps “our” side is acceptable
- war is awful and anything that makes the war shorter is justified ( more of an evaluation of the means)
Reasons War might be justified (pertaining to ends)
- Wars of aggression always wrongs and self-defense is strongest argument to justify war
- Defend yourself against threats, violence, future acts of violence?
- Controversy over who is being defended: nation-states or individuals?
What’s Wrong with Aggression?
- assumption that war is wrong and necessary evil
- violation of others’ rights
- depriving others of their consent
- lack of positive justification what about humanitarian justification
- starting war is a lot worse than second step: allows individuals who are being aggressive to blame someone else; intervening to stop what others are doing
- Intervening on behalf of human rights is still aggression
How is self-defense justifiable?
- haven’t started it you’re reacting
- you’re saving yourself
- you’re not determining the situation, they are
- lose moral responsibility when you’re on the defensive you’ve been given the choices and other side is morally respsonsible for giving you the choices
- still need scenario where nothing else is possible
- moral responsibility may not be completely distinguished
- Walzer’s Reasons:
1) didn’t get to choose
2) Rights are being violated, you’re not violating others since they’ve already made aggressive
3) You’re preserving your life
- As legal model, self-defense is secondary goal primary goal is not to kill someone but to stay alive
Walzer’s Justifiable Reasons to self-defense
1) Manifest intent to injure
2) Degree of active preparation to make intent in question a positive danger
3) General situation in which waiting greatly manifests the risks (doing nothing is too risky and it’s better to defend) can’t really asses the risk beyond particular cases ; if risk analysis is so impossible, then self-defense plea might be hard
What doesn’t work: a threat that isn’t imminent since you can wait; risk is hard assess; if start preparing for threat, you might look like aggressor; an attack is also not very self-evident (embargo = attack?); what constitutes self-defense preemptively and later down the road; where do allies come into view
Who is the self/ are states same as individuals?
What is it about community: is it divided or unified?
If representative doesn’t represent all individuals or if there is no consent.
Legitimacy of government
Limit of analogy: states can’t be literally be killed
Government overthrown? What about territories?
Entities that could die: democracy and freedom;
States are constantly changing and therefore can’t be like individuals
If you can’t come up with essentialist definitions, doesn’t mean we can’t talk about self- defense
Essentialists require links between state and individuals to talk about self-defense
If whole point of war is to defend state as a group of individuals, then good shape because state is just individual multiplied
Realized killing innocents but trying to save civilization
There has to be no other options
Had to resist evil of Nazi ideology – different here because ideology that deprived certain groups of life killing is not used as means to an end but an end itself ; way of life could be fundamently different
World War II is spacial case
Alternative was appeasement: to judge decision to go to war was to look at reasons not to (appeasement)
Nazi is inherently expansionist
Appeasement is controversial
Does not define evil very well but assumes that there is nothing worse than evil
Walzer wants to say that evil is worse than injustice
Evil refers to ideology, not the people
Difference between killing and death
Utilitarian: no difference between killing and death both end up dead
Deontologists (focus of the actions themselves as opposed to the consequences): fact that you do the killing makes it worse; somebody died and somebody got killed and I did it
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Preeventive vs. Preemptive War
Prospect of an attack for both but timeline differs: preemptive war usually immediate
Any war that might destroy you and you prevent
Almost all philosopher construe preventive war as unjustified with some as acceptable
Terrorism: makes a difference when discussing the issue: terrorists don’t constitute an entity or state + don’t use conventional warfare idea that defense is more necessary because their attack means defense might then be too late; speed of attack and lack of intelligence; difficult as well to assess legitimacy of threat and how prepared they are; terrorists aren’t deterred in the same way; can’t always tell the difference between civilians and terrorists
Why would anyone justify preventive and preemptive war?
Utilitarian view: fewer people will die if you don’t wage the war ( save as many lives as you can)
Need enough evidence to verify coming attack
Preemptive War Easiest to Defend
Prevent war justified
Crawford: Truly in self-defense when self is narrowly defined, i.e. that being physical existence and not including national interests, moral principles (liberty, equality, etc.); What about food, water, shelter (pg 32.)?
Only if they lead to reproduction of individuals in place;
1) Wants to exclude anything that leads to aggression
2) Needs to be PROOF of imminent attack
3) Preventive war has to reduce the threat and (4) have to do so in a way that military force is necessary
What does she mean by existence? Existence as a human being – wants the bare minimum. Is she justified in narrow conception?
Doesn’t talk about survival of community that may include religion or culture, starting point that limits a lot of justified preventive attacks; she should have talked about identity that is spiritual --- more robust and leads to preemptiveness; surviving physically is the very least that we need for everything else and we can’t get it back; other things (like religion) we can’t get back
What if there isn’t a preventive war?
Why is it more difficult to defend preventive war? It is a potential event that may not ever occur (not the same as future event); it may not necessarily be evidence-based ; danger is uncertain; may lead to justification of other aggressive acts and violation of human rights
Iraq: tyrannical country that
Evidence is the difference
Agression may not even be viewed as such if the state is not legitimate or they are violating human rights
Difficult to say that country is illegitimate but easier to say that they violate human rights
A lot of these arguments come down to how evil the opposition is ( like Walzer argued with WWII )
Iran and case of preventive war?
Back-firing effects of prevention
Preemptive war is also preventative; if preemption war is anything but in the present, it is preventative
One way, is an endless war that can’t be stopped
Good terrorist don’[t tell people where they are and when they attack
If you can’t get evidence from terrorism, then issue becomes problematic
What’s the deal with human rights?
Monday, February 11, 2008
Even when preventable war is not justifiable in general, (1) rogue states and (2) international sanctions are two exceptions
Are these good exceptions?
- Not so much what particular state has done but identity of rogue states
- Bush claims that rogue states are justification for preventive war
- David Lubin defends preventive wars; projectory of rogue states makes it an imminent attacker; rogue state for him assumes that it is going to attack can’t demonstrate it empirically but empiralistic matter ; p189,
- Bush’s definition: brutalizes own people, disregards international law, against US
Why dealing with rogue states?
questions of boundaries and sovereignty drops out
for rogue states, boundaries aren’t legitimate and then we can intervene
in terms of international law, going to be hard to decide which boundaries count and which don’t
Don’t have to worry about violating boundaries of unjust states
Definition of rogue is made by intervening party can we have international standard of rogue state?
Is rogue state an awful, evil state or is it distinct from what Walzer describes?
Distinct from evil, more off balance that needs to be set right
They are independent; not conforming to the “rules” that tend to be international laws rather than good or evil
Rogue states can theoretically be put back on the right track
Less of moral condemnation but break down of rules rogue states try to change the rules;
Connotes unpredictability and anarchy (preventive war might not work so well)
Morality in regards to rogue states?
Danger in invoking idea of rogue state?
Yes, if the idea is malleable (e.g. George W. Bush’s inclusion of a rogue state hating the US)
Also, idea is discriminatory and may be relative to powerful nations
Invokes identity claim and not criteria more than just shifting criteria
Saying the North Korea is rogue and not that it may attack us: making assumption that it does actions that are associated with rogue states and turns actions into evil moral agent unifying notion that allows people to argue that anything that goes on there is wrong ; whatever it does is because it is a rogue state
Used because you can argue for preventive war and still make exception
actions are done as part of larger organization and legitimatized
if you go on your own, no accountability actions won’t be seen as selfish if you act with others
International law provides legitimacy from higher body; legitimacy claims between you and those who believe what you are doing is right
Utilitarian claim associated with legitimacy
If you’r not rogue, you’re legitimate and actions can be approved
Utility doesn’t normally count because it’s not high enough in position of morality
International law is not legitimate if you deal with utilitarian defense of legitimacy
Rawles get away from utilitarian sense of legitimacy he substitutes legitimacy with justice
Once you place law on utility, legitimacy is up for grabs
anyone can be wrong, so if people believe an idea , doesn’t make it “right”
limitiations in regards to law
IDEAS OF LEGITIMACY
Political philosopher: to be legitimate, can offer good reasons for actions to an audience that may accept these reasons
Controversial points what is a good audience and what are good reasons?
Good reasons given for legitimacy: social contract/consent; state legitimate if everyone consents to be part of states
MLK: based everything on natural law
Legitimacy normally viewed as: justice, natural law, or rights,
Nonutiliatarian, usually objective look
Agreement that aggression cannot but justified for war
IS there a difference between aggression and humanitarian aggression?
Walzer’s three conditions for acceptable intervention:
a particular set of boundaries contain two sets of communities with one already engaged in act of independence; two different groups in boundaries, one of which asks for our helps
when one outside group/country has already intervened on behalf of the warring group inside the boundaries
extreme violation of human rights
MICHAEL WALZER ON AGRESSION + INTERVENTION
- Walzer: humanitarian intervention not same as aggression
- Can talk about intervention as not aggression because we are intervening to counter aggression that has already taken place
- Cynical view he gets around: when you intervene, starting from step one doesn’t matter if you’re countering someone else’s aggression, you are still being aggressive
- Walzer: if things are so extraordinarily bad, then we can intervene
Problems with nation states intervening is that they have so many different interests
Reasons not to intervene
Walzer: generally shouldn’t intervene because staes have rights to self-determination should make all decisions in terms of solving all own problems; don’t intervene because of identity and own problems;
Boundaries are very important for Walzer
Where does right to self-determination come from: Mill had the analogy self-creating ideology; sovereignty over one’s self being applied to nation state; self-determination, however, is liberal right that is not transferable
Rights: natural rights vs. described rights (from society)
in terms of states, good to have right to self-determination because there are better results and have states that people want within the boundaries
What difference does it make that
Hard to come up with natural right theory for self-determination
For states, can describe self-determination in terms of states
Mill: individuals have soverienty over themselves (he applied state model to reorient individuals); individuals can choose better for themselves and when other choose for you, set up domination and great deal of power
Exceptions when intervening is justified
Politcal communities when one is engaged in military struggle for independence
Can intervene if you’re effective and don’t kill many people
This is justified because it seems that you are not uninvited and consent may be seen as coming from the country where you’re intervening
No unified countries and therefore not everyone is contracted; no “self” in self-determination
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Walzer’s Argument against intervention
In terms of (1) social contract
right to self-determination: usually come with social contract to get particular community which then creates social contract (chick and egg dilemma)
blanket statement against intervention and uses social contract descriptively
(2) Nature of political community
- right to self- determination on what makes good political community made up of members whose identity is based on making rules for community; to be a member, have a say in what community looks like
- This is ground to right self-determination
when boundaries contain two types of conflicting people, one of which is rebelling
when another country has already intervened
violation of human rights is just so terrible
Dealing with (2)
equivalent to defending nation-state against aggressor
applies right to self-determination elsewhere
intervening is supporting principle to deny intervention in general; right to sovereignty is not threatened already broken down
permissible claim: reinstating a sovereign state doesn’t clarify where the duty is whereas (3) seems more of a duty
Dealing with (3)
unconscious able to stand by and let people suffer
utilitarian claim: more people are going to die if you don’t intervene
people’s moral sensibilities: can people really stomach destruction without doing anything
doesn’t make this claim but also idea that condition is so bad that intervening wont make anything worse
different because of its direct appeal to morality
no counter-argument could arguably work
doing nothing may be viewed as worse
need to show what is terrible since Walzer’s theory begins with self-determination, he can show that right to self-determination is not possible with all these things happening if you’re killing people, they can’t self-determine themselves
As part of exception (3), Walzer includes the term “human rights” and its gross violation
argues that there are no natural rights; rights are not to be discovered but stipulated or described
rights are bound by boundaries of political community or state
Question isn’t if our rights are being violated but should individuals have them in the first place
Without rights, they are not being violated in the first place
Political community that has no stipulate rights and no natural rights, no basis for intervention and Walzer’s claims don’t work
Human rights come in two flavors: positive (State has to guarantee something – food, shelter, etc. ) and negative (actions of the states perform violation that take away rights)
If individuals don’t have natural rights, state don’t either
Would make us think that there’s nothing wrong with intervention BUT claims that while we can intervene to protect human rights, can’t do so militarily because there are no rights to restore AND itself is a violation of human rights
Analysis of Norman
skeptical of societal interpretation of human rights, e.g. UN’s right to leisure
Why no natural rights? Rights have a history and evolve in a particular context where you need to protect individual’s body or property no natural context and politically constructed
Natural rights were not discovered
Counter: rights are natural because if we don’t have them, can’t function as human beings
Do you need a right to manifest these necessities? Are the rights just protections?
May go to far in saying that if can’t prove human rights are natural, can’t intervene in favor of them
Natural fact that can study in body AND natural being necessity, survivability even though we can’t discover might have come up with latter without debunking everything
Idea that if society is natural, then rights are natural Norman doesn’t take this position into consideration; could be argued against by saying that society isn’t natural