War does not change Morality


It is often said that “all is fair in love and war.”

A first impression we might get would be that morality is an object of convenience, to be discarded whenever greater imperatives require it. These imperatives might include: state security, political, social or other particular interests. In other words, morality is seen as a rather flexible set of rules that are only as important as certain figures of authority deem them to be. Or alternatively, rules set aside by the rulers to be followed by the ruled.

Now we’re heading somewhare – morality can thus be condensed into one edict to be followed with necessity and sufficience: “Do as you’re told!”
That can’t sound right. Yet, it’s the logical consequence of the beginning statement. So if that is unacceptable, there must be some way to establish a general and universal set of moral principles. The avenue towards that is also called the moral razor .

In short, for a moral principle to be valid, it must be valid for all men, for all time, regardless of circumstance. If theft is wrong, it must be wrong for everyone, regardless of circumstance. Thus, murder is wrong, wether in peace time or during war, wether performed by the military, or by common criminals, be it for purpose of retaliation or “for the security of the nation.”

The real danger of treating morality like expendable baggage is to look at the consequences. If war excuses otherwise objectionable behaviour, then objectionable people will tend to join the military. And political leaders will see war as the perfect means to achieve objectives, as well as justifying themselves in the process.

Have a nice time.

P.S. By August 6 – tomorrow, there will have been 61 years since the Hiroshima bombings. LewRockwell also has a good piece on the story. “Teaching Stalin a lesson” for the small price of 200,000 lives. Indeed.


2 comments so far

  1. Static Brain on

    You are so right. Morality has become like a dish towel. It can be picked up when useful, and then thrown down when it gets in the way.

  2. Static Brain on

    Almost forgot to tell you that I added you to my political blog roll as “No Government”. 🙂

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