LEC21 – Supreme Emergency Nov 24 2009

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16 Aug 2010
PHL378: War & Morality
LEC21 Supreme Emergency
Nov, 24th, 2009
! supreme emergency = modern deontology
! deontology: opposite of consequentiallism, you should do an act not because it’s the right
act whether or not it produce good consequences is irrelevant, and whether or not it had the
right intention is also irrelevant
! Waltzer: if there is enough at stake, as in the early part of WWII, then targeting civilians in
violation of discrimination condition can be permitted
! supreme emergency is not satisfied with war on japan
! supreme emergency is not satisfied with later war against Germany in WWII
! Post WWII, there is general agreement to not target civilians
! pg. 264 Waltzer
! Truman's defense of Hiroshima bombing
! the ppl we bombed in Japan does not have full rights not to be attacked b/c they violated the
War convention
! sliding scale argument
! Waltzer says that only combatants are legitimate targets and that this is not a good argument
! pg. 231
! criticizing the sliding scale
! the rights of civilians is still present even in supreme emergency, we just override it
! pg. 259
! bombing of German civilians is a crime
! Tragic Moral Dilemma
no matter what you do, you do all things considered something wrong
! pg. 252
! 2 conditions for SE
1. imminent / close threat
! if not imminent, then its not last resort
2. danger / serious threat
! higher benefit: cost quantity such that the benefit of intending the death of civilians
must be a lot greater than the costs
! pg. 254
even if the danger only threat for a single nation as opposed to a group of
people, then SE can still be obtained (only when it entails enslavement,
! 2 conditions both must be present for Supreme Emergency
! Truman's defence for bombing
! utilitarian consequence
shorten agony of war
! Japanese civilians has less rights b/c of their government
! No restraints on war if you are fighting Justly, the destruction you caused is on the
consciousness of the side that started the war
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