By Sidney Axinn
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Additional resources for A Moral Military
It is, according to the moral intuition of this viewpoint. What can be said on this matter? First, we do expect that in a conflict a strong individual or group will in fact defeat a weaker individual or group. Is this expectation a basis for the morality of the outcome? Should we prefer to have the powerful defeat the weak? Does might make right? Yes, according to 20 / C h a p t e r 2 the democratic position. It is better to serve a large number than a small number. And, if that is better, then the sacrifice of the small number is justified.
Such a war cannot be won. Therefore, Hobbes holds that the first and fundamental law of nature for reasonable individuals is to seek peace and follow it. ”16 This analysis of the features of individualism leaves us with several consequences. First, the dignity of relying on one’s self must be balanced against the problem of the shortness of such a lifestyle. As an admittedly selfish individual, the most effective thing to do is to be a pacifist, to seek peace. If the first and basic effort to live in peace should fail, are there any limits to how one may fight?
This idea is the principle of lex talionis, the Roman law of retaliation, which holds that punishment can properly be equal to the offense. Accepting this principle provides a rationale for capital punishment and, under parallel circumstances, for war. Of course, to hold that punishment can be equal to the offense does not mean that it must be equal. The principle that all of humanity’s members are equal moral objects is also a common assumption for pacifists. One pacifist view is that because all humans are equal ultimate moral objects; war and capital punishment are simply not permitted.