Wasserstrom (P. 115)
• War and moral nihilism (that there is no morality in war)
• Nihilists believe there is no relation between war and morality
o Descriptive “the way it is” (what you see is what you get)
o In war, morality rules don’t apply (that’s our nature)
o Prescriptive “should seek self-interest” (otherwise, being foolish)
involves with a should
o Analytic “no connection” between war and morality (no relationship
at all, goes beyond descriptive)
• If analytic is correct, there is no trouble defining moral rules
• Assessing the morality of war
o View war as a game
• Duty to minimize unnecessary harm war and morality are connected
• War cannot be ruled out morally
• Issue of self-defence
• War and innocents
o What counts as innocence?
o Do any innocents exist? He rejects the idea that everyone is guilty
o When is the death of innocents immoral? If always, a pacifist
(Wasserstrom says if you act reckless and people die; intentionally kill
people, that’s a moral problem)
o The relation between the immorality of killing innocents and the
immorality of war?
Ryan (P. 124)
• “The Morality of Pacifism”
• “Fellow-creaturehood” gets in the way (page 124)
• “necessary distance”
• Pacifism as moral position, not idiosyncrasy
• Negative bond vs. deeper bond
• Objectification as absolutely wrong
• Persons vs. things
Steinhoff (P. 100)
• “Torture: The Case for Dirty Harry”
• Prohibition of assault against the defenceless (page 100)
• Principled distinction between combatants vs. non-combatants (“fair fight”)
• Principle of proportionality
• Steinhoff: Alleged prohibition and principle of fairness have no force
• Higher burden of justification?
• Forced self-betrayal?
• “Torture is easier to justify than killing even from a first-person perspective”
(page 102, left)
• “self-betrayal” not limited to torture • Moral relevance of “immediate emotional reactions”?
• Empathy with the living, not the dead
• Assault against the defenceless but threatening
• “the person’s culpably causing the threat of harm”
• Diversion of aggression back onto aggressor (page 104, left)
• Feigning is neither an excuse nor a compelling condemnation of defensive
• Guilt by association (page 105, bottom)
• Question of tyranny?
• “The liberty of the innocent” (page 105, right)
• If we can justify punishment, why can we not justify torture?
• “Consequences count”: rejection of moral absolutism; justification of torture
(not just excuse)
Wolfendale (P. 107)
• “Training Torturers: A Critique of the ‘Ticking Bomb
• Arguments from utility, self-defence, and necessity
• “Permitting torture means permitting torturers