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Lecture 14

LEC14 – Proportionality and Necessity - Discrimination Oct 27 2009

Course Code
Tom Hurka

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PHL378: War & Morality
LEC14 Proportionality & Necessity / Discrimination
Oct, 27th, 2009
Variables for Proportionality Weighting
! responsibility is diminished when the wrongful act intervener is also the person who suffers the
! responsibility is diminished when the harmful third party action is after your action
After (diminished)
Same Person (diminished)
Suicide Bomber
Voluntary Shields
Different Person
Bomber victims deaths /
Infrastructure for civilian's basic
needs are not repaired by the
government after the bombing
Involuntary Shields
! against discounting: when you make moral choices, you have to make them in the world as you
find it and not worrying about how it came to be that those effects will follow
! in favour discounting: evil people should not be protected by their moral character, if you do
not discount, then evil people are morally benefiting by his evil choices
Weighting of Relevant Good vs. Relevant Evil
! defence of national sovereignty
! usually this has JC and satisfy proportionality (except the case in which global nuclear war
might result, Cech Slovakia case & Russia)
! this makes sense if you give fundamental rights to states
! when aggressor attacks, the existence of nations are threatened just as in the domestic
analogy, persons under threat are allowed to kill, so too do the states have the right to kill
! more plausible idea is that states get their rights from the more fundamental right of persons
! based on this states have a right to defence if the aggressor threatens to kill (ie. genocide)
! when the ultimate threat does not threaten the right to life of citizens, but the threat is
political self determination, in this case, this does not justified killing
Hurka: Why we are able to use more force in Voting Analogy
! wars of defence against aggression towards political self determination satisfies proportionality
b/c of these 3 conditions:
i) in normal domestic analogy only one person's right is violated, but in the state domain, many
ppl's rights are violated and for an indefinite time
ii) aggressor isn't going to kill, but threatens to kill, hence the fact that he threatens to kill for
something within our rights gives us right to use more force
iii) a man's home is his castle, there is special significance to defending yourself and your home,
this can be applied to the nation
! 1500 writer on Just War Theory
! you can use more force to defend the state than the individual, b/c there is more quantitative
good derived
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