Download PDF by Sidney Axinn: A Moral Military

By Sidney Axinn

ISBN-10: 1592139574

ISBN-13: 9781592139576

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However, as soon as we say this, we find that we have moved from the position that each individual is to be an absolutely ultimate moral object to the view that the social utility of preserving the species may justify exploiting individuals for the sake of the species. Are these views consistent? Can there be degrees of absolute respect for individuals? To take individuals as moral objects requires that there continue to be such individuals. If the continuance of such moral entities requires the risk of exploiting them, this risk must be suffered.

The familiar part is the notion that all humans are in the same situation, that they have the same nature and the same ultimate history: They are to die, and they know it. With regard to the brotherhood of man, the unfamiliar aspect is the insinuation that it is not natural and right to fight against one’s enemies. It is quite understandable to feel that, while all men are brothers, one may be justified in fighting against one’s brother on some occasion. If all humans are equal moral objects, how shall we think about war?

3 Why improper? Because the objective is to win by fair means, if we are all of equal moral value. If we use a principle or rule that they cannot use, we are unfair. If we know the truth and they do not, we—but not they—are able to use the liar’s rule, the rule that the speaker may convince the audience of something that he or she knows to be false. So, fairness requires that if one side cannot properly lie, neither can the other. Many examples of fair and unfair rules are obvious. What happens, though, when one side takes an action, but the other side cannot retaliate in kind?

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A Moral Military by Sidney Axinn

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