Thursday, December 16, 2010

Just War Conclusion

The Just War paper turned out pretty darn good, imho. Here's the final paragraph:

  The goal of the Just War tradition should be to make each subsequent war more just than the last. Interestingly, to do this requires well-trained standing armies. Standing armies are anathema to a lasting global peace. As Walzer puts it, “[o]ne does not abolish war by fighting it well; nor does fighting it well make it tolerable” (45). Yet until the time comes that “the wolf shall live with the lamb,” this tradition serves to reduce the amount of suffering resulting from war by restricting both when it is fought and how it is fought.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Afghanistan and Just War

I just saw this story this morning: insurgency and thought of Michael Walzer's Just and Unjust Wars. While I don't have time to go into too much detail or properly cite, the issue at hand is legitimate authority. If legitimate authority is only ever taken to mean "the government," then revolutions against oppressive dictators are never just. Walzer nuances the idea of legitimate authority to include insurrection against an established government. He believes if the insurrection has enough popular support to be self-sustaining, it thus becomes a legitimate authority.

It doesn't appear that the Afghan insurgency has reached that level yet, or that it is anything other than a military organ (as opposed to having a political wing as well), but it is worth keeping an eye on.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

First Step Toward a Thesis

I won't be defending my thesis until Fall 2011 but for some reason I got a bug up my butt to start putting stuff down on paper (well -- in a word processor).

Just Sex: A Theory for the Moral Use of Sexuality

Obviously comes out of my Just War research. There were just too many similarities between war and sex to overlook. Of course, taking the analogy too far will go from clever comparison to false analogy so I gotta be careful how far I take it.

The question is basically: "When is it OK to have sex?"

The traditional rule of "No sex until marriage" is simple and easy to apply when it comes to judgement (not to mention how hard it is to apply in practice!), but views marriage as a state of being as opposed to a process. It also has other drawbacks. I wouldn't use "obsolete" because I don't even think it would have been a great rule for 2000 years ago, but it seems less applicable in the 21st century as we put off marriage longer and longer.

Rest assured I will not be arguing for wanton hedonism and multiple sexual partners.

I'm sure there will be more to come in future posts.