The Ethics of War 7 forelesning Subjective and
”The Ethics of War” 7. forelesning
Subjective and objective justification We are objectively justified if we act according to ’objective ought’ Objective ought = the best action from ”God’s perspective” (or that of a fully informed third party) We are subjectively justified if we act according to the subjective ought Subjective ought = What I ought to do given my beliefs (does not matter if beliefs are true, but they must be reasonable)
Uncertainty n n n Epistemic: (Objective) facts not known (to the agent) (Objective) facts created by action Normative: what are my moral obligations? (pluralism) Conceptual: how should we define the relevant terms?
Ignorance n n n ”Invincible” (Vitoria) Exculpating (Mapel: ”if unreasonably demanding”) Culpable
Oppgave 1 En ambulansesjåfør som kjører med en dødssyk hjertepasient i bilen blir stukket av en veps, mister kontroll over kjøretøyet og treffer en fotgjenger som dør i sammenstøtet. Er sjåføren ansvarlig for fotgjengerens død?
Oppgave 2 Per er en ansvarlig sjåfør som alltid passer på å holde bilen i teknisk stand og holde fartsgrensene. Per tar bilen for å besøke sin mor. Mens han kjører blir Per stukket av en veps, mister kontroll over bilen og treffer en fotgjenger som dør i sammenstøtet. Er Per ansvarlig for fotgjengerens død?
Noen punkter til diskusjon n n Er det forskjell på casene? Hva er sjåføren(e) ansvarlig(e) for? Er sjåføren(e) klanderverdig(e)? Hvis fotgjengeren hadde en strålepistol (!) som kunne pulverisere bilen og sjåføren, ville hun hatt rett til å bruke den? – mot ambulansesjåføren? - mot Per?
Mc. Mahan’s analyse n n n Både ambulansesjåføren og Per er ansvarlige (men IKKE klanderverdige!) for fotgjengerens død. De representerer objektive, ”urettferdige” trusler Bygger på prinsippet om ’objektivt ansvar’ (strict liability/causer pays) De handler med intensjon, uten objektiv rettferdigjøring, og aksepterer risiko Fotgjengeren har følgelig rett til å forsvare seg med strålepistolen (sjåføren mister sin rett til liv) Mc. Mahan: sjåføren er analog med soldater på urettferdig side.
Har Mc. Mahan rett? n n n Er det relevant at de ikke handler med ”objektiv rettferdiggjøring”? Og er det riktig? Å kalle sjåføren en urettferdig trussel forutsetter at sjåføren bryter med fotgjengerens rett til liv. Gjør han? Er fotgjengerens død en del av handlingen? Er objektivt ansvar/causer pays prinsippet rettferdig? Er sjåførene analoge med soldater? De handler intensjonalt, dødsfallene følger kausalt av deres handlinger
Soldier’s responsibility ad bellum n n n Are soldiers responsible for the wars they fight? The decision to go to war is not the soldier’s decision But responsible for their participation? Problem with the ”gladiator model”: - soldiers are (normally) not driven by fear or coercion (Ryan: Soldiers as ”grunts”. Walzer’s empirical assumption is false, soldiers do no see themselves as victims! Does this make them co-responsible (inculpate them) if the war is unjust?
Inculpation/co-responsibility (complicity doctrine) Chris Kutz: ”Complicity functions as a distinctive form of moral and legal responsibility that links agents to outcomes by way of their participation in a collective effort and largely independently of their individual causal contributions” (Shared criminal intent) (”The Difference Uniforms Make” 2004)
Two views on soldiers’ responsibility n n It is not the soldiers’ responsibility to ask questions about the justice of the war (Ryan) Soldiers are autonomous moral agents. They are responsible for their participation in the communal project (e. g. , unjust war) (Rodin, Mc. Mahan)
Different kinds of responsbility n n Causal responsibility Agency responsibility Moral responsibility/liability to praise and blame Role responsibility
Agency responsibility n n n Responsibility for action, that is, for acting according to reasons Attribution of agency responsibility answers to question: ’Who did X’? Not acting is also acting, if one decides not to do something, according to reasons.
Moral responsibility n n Liability to praise and blame Presupposes agency responsibility + moral standards Moral omission: failing to act according to moral reasons
Role responsibility n n n Responsibility attribution answers to: ”Who does X belong to? ” ”Who is in charge of X? ” Involves a predefined set of obligations, assignments, permissions and expectations that define the role These standards demarcate what we may be held responsible for Specific and ”general” role responsibility (”the role responsibility of moral persons” Specific role responsibility may conflict with the standards of general moral responsibility
An example of role responsibility “It is clearly not right for the executioner to kill an innocent man, but an executioner is still obliged to do so by his job; indeed, he is obliged to ignore issues of ultimate guilt or innocence, which is why – if an innocent man is executed – he is not responsible for that fact. Nor is he responsible for the fact that the innocent man’s rights are violated. The state is responsible for that. ” (Ryan forthcoming 2007: 13)
Shared responsibility n n Ultimate responsibility: Who killed soldier (b)? State A (aggressor) Initiator responsibility: Who killed soldiers (b) and (a)? State A (aggressor) But does ultimate responsbility absolve everyone else of responsbility? (Cf. complicity doctrine) Hit-man!
Analogy soldier/executioner n n Duty not to question the decision (verdict or ad bellum) Reason: Would undermine the system Role responsibility can trump general moral responsibility if it is necessary to maintain the institution. But only if the system is legitimate
What if the institution is unjust? “[S]uppose the executioner works within a system which is radically flawed: he knows that at least half of the men he is asked to kill are innocent because the judges are incompetent and the system is corrupt. A man who continued to kill under these circumstances would be something like a murderer. ” (Rodin 2002: 170)
Disanalogy - executioner and soldier - - If executioners refuse to carry out the sentences, no one would be innocently executed. If soldiers refuse to fight, there will be no unjust killings in war. But: The death penalty is not necessary for upholding important moral values. And it is precisely because the military is necessary in order to protect important values that it is a legitimate institution in the first place (and one of the reasons why the death penalty is not) If soldiers were not permitted to take the moral risks that soldiering entails, there would be no soldiers available for just wars.
The soldier’s responsibility Role-responsibility: Duty not to question orders (ad bellum) Duty to refuse illegal orders (in bello) (Nürnberg) But if the ad bellum orders are illegal, should they also refuse to fight in the first place? Can they know? Inculpation requires knowlegde (necessary for shared intent) or culpable ignorance
Uncertainty, again (1) (2) (3) (4) (objective) Conceptual uncertainty: What constitutes an act of aggression? (objective) Epistemic uncertainty: How do we know when a war is proportional, necessary, and with reasonable hope of success? (Subjective) epistemic uncetainty: how can we except ordinary citizens and soldiers to know when a war is just or not? (2. makes this even more problematic) Normative uncertainty: What are the proper obligations to follow? Universal morality of particular obligations to family, comrades, country? Who decides which values should trump? (Williams)
Summing up… n Soldiers are responsible agents, but are they morally reponsible for their participation in an unjust war? n Given uncertainty, can they be said to share criminal intent? n Depends on: (1) How we assess risk (if taking the risk is impermissible, we must bite the bullet: no soldiers in just wars? Or all moral luck? ) How we assess the reasons they act on (subjectively) How we conceive of political labour division. Going to war is a political decision to make. Soldiers already carry the burden of this decision. Should they risk being held accountable too? (2) (3)
Practical consequences - - If soldiers are morally responsible for their participation in an unjust war, what would be the consequences for the law: Should soldiers be punished for their participation in an unjust war? How do we try them fairly?
Republican freedom n n Freedom as non-domination A non-coerced act is not free if it is carried out under the threat of coercion Ryan: the state’s (political) right to conscript. If all soldiers refuse to take the risk, the state will conscript them. If they object, the state will have to enforce more coercive measures, up until the point were they can no longer refuse.
Causal responsibility n n In the strict sense any is cause ”responsible ” for its effect X is causally responsible for Y if ¡ n ”Per” is causally responsible for the death of the pedestrian because if ¡ n n n Y would not be the case without X ”Per” had not driven, the pedestrian would not have died Causal responsibility relevant for moral responsibility. But causal responsibility is not sufficient for moral responsibility. Is it necessary?