2
   

War vs. Murder

 
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Aug, 2009 06:43 am
@RDRDRD1,
RDRDRD1;82686 wrote:
It's a "technicality" except to the dozens of people you thought it justified hanging. Tell their families they died for a technicality.

You seem to ascribe to the "might is right" philosophy subject only to the condition that the might is excercised with adequate finesse, at acceptable expense and satisfatory result. Are you on Richard Perle's payroll?
Your misreading of my reply is so egregious and so off the mark that I'm not going to bother with much of a response until you look again. For god's sake pay me the respect of reading what I wrote and not going on some flight of fancy.

My points, however, in case you can't be bothered to actually read my post, are these:

1) The IMMORALITY of the Iraq war stands on its own irrespective of UN approval

2) UN approval does not make a war moral; and UN disapproval does not make it immoral

3) The Bush administration got congressional approval with a whole bunch of trickery and deception; they might have gotten UN approval the same way -- and this makes legal approval tainted


The UN functions best as a diplomatic body.

It does not function well at all as a legal body.
0 Replies
 
RDRDRD1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Aug, 2009 07:08 am
@Mathematicaverde,
Salima, we now know that the Bush administration was absolutely determined to attack Iraq from the outset, well prior to the 9/11 attacks. They needed a pretext to legitimize what is a pretty awful war crime. They couldn't even do that right and Colin Powell is going to have to live with his part in the charade for the rest of his life.

They sent in weapons inspectors. They told them where and when to hit. They kept taking the Iraqis totally by surprise and kept coming back empty-handed. Eventually it became clear that the Blix crew was in Iraq for pretext purposes and when that backfired they were pulled and hushed.

If one needs evidence of criminal culpability, it's abundant in the way they lied, again and again and again. They weren't simply ignoring contrary intelligence, they were doctoring evidence and lying about it. That's what criminals do. To them the end justified the means, the credo embraced by all tyrants.
0 Replies
 
Strodgers
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 06:57 pm
@Mathematicaverde,
Someone breaks into your house to rob the place; the owner of the house uses his gun to kill. If he didn't know that the intruder was carrying only a knife, he would not be considered a murderer. Except by the intruder's family.

One can murder in war; if a soldier kills a civilian of an "enemy" nation, he is court-martialed if that civilian is shown not to have been a threat. It has happened in Vietnam, I don't recall the officer's name who was responsible.
salima
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 07:39 pm
@Strodgers,
Strodgers;83645 wrote:
Someone breaks into your house to rob the place; the owner of the house uses his gun to kill. If he didn't know that the intruder was carrying only a knife, he would not be considered a murderer. Except by the intruder's family.
QUOTE]

i would also consider this homeowner a murderer. if someone is going to rob another that is not a justifiable reason to kill them. how much money is worth someone's life no matter what kind of person he may be? there are ways of locking up a house and alarm systems that would contact the police.

attempted robbery is not attempt to do bodily harm or assault. in addition, i thought there was something built into the law that designated a person must prove he had no way of escaping the situation before he is excused for using a self defense plea. this was hotly debated; most people i heard discussing it were of the impression that a person's home is his castle and once someone has intruded they are free to do whatever they please. this is also a source of great emotional furor among those who insist on the right to bear arms. i believe i have a number of arms in my home among my household items-i dont see the need for firearms.
0 Replies
 
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 08:00 pm
@Mathematicaverde,
When someone breaks into your house. It is difficult to discern whether all they want is your property or if they intend to do harm to your person or your loved ones. It is not murder to kill in defense of ones own life or the life of your family or loved ones.

It is unfortunate, and taking a life (any life) is always a serious matter but people put themselves in situations (threatening another with a gun, breaking into a home, approaching a child with a knife, kidnapping a child, attempted rape) where they may forfeit their life.

In some instances forfeiting your property also endages your life (your house, your crops, your livestock). Many a cattle rustler or horse theif lost his life in early western america because those actions endangered the lifes of others and disrupted the social order on which survival depended.

The religous commandment properly translated is "Thou shalt not murder" not "Thou shalt not kill" and taking a life in sefl defense, in defense of your family, even your community or your nation is killing but it is not "murder" (willful, premeditated, voluntary taking of a life.)
0 Replies
 
RDRDRD1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 08:16 pm
@Mathematicaverde,
It was one Lt. William Calley and his platoon massacred scores of women & children (the youngest were infants) at a village called My Lai. Calley was indeed prosecuted, placed under house arrest and promptly pardoned by Nixon. Those who attempted and succeeded for months in covering it up went on to stellar careers. One became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I believe Calley's immediate superior, a Captain Medina if memory serves, was not charged with anything.
0 Replies
 
Strodgers
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 10:25 pm
@Mathematicaverde,
I stand corrected, however, the population put pressure on the government to. He was still convicted. Unfortunately, if the people overwhelmingly wanted Charles Manson freed, he'd be too.
But I still thank you for the correction.
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 12:59 pm
@Mathematicaverde,
War = for the common good of all.

Muder = self serving
Pyrrho
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 01:39 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;132399 wrote:
War = for the common good of all.

Muder = self serving


I don't think that is a satisfactory distinction at all. If some right-wing nut murdered Obama for the common good, that would not make it an act of war, nor would it make it okay.

"Murder" simply means "illegal killing of a person or persons". Of course, this has nothing to do with the ethical considerations of killing. It is a legal distinction, and whether or not a particular action is "murder" or not is known by reference to the relevant laws.
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 01:42 pm
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;132431 wrote:
I don't think that is a satisfactory distinction at all. If some right-wing nut murdered Obama for the common good, that would not make it an act of war, nor would it make it okay.
You are right, I will make a longer and more forfilling answer. Was just in a bit of a hurry.
0 Replies
 
Tony phil
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 03:11 pm
@Mathematicaverde,
Mathematicaverde;63924 wrote:
I've recently been reading quite a bit about various murder cases and some psychology articles about certain serial killers. Given that some of these killers have reasons other than sadism for committing their murders, I've began to wonder why they're punished and soldiers aren't.

Wars are usually fought for political or religious reasons, and yet when a serial killer kills a particular type of victim he often gets a harsher punishment than if he killed randomly. He certainly isn't excused for the murder(s) once he gives a reason.

On the other hand, we excuse killing and on occasion having innocent casualties as a result of bombings and such events, as long as these criminal actions are done by a country and for a well defined reason.

Why does this huge difference exist between killing as one man presumably in his own country, versus killing in a large gang of men in uniform overseas? Both entities can usually present "good" reasons for doing so and yet we treat them in essentially opposite ways.

I don't intend for my last comments to start a debate on the specifics of each newsworthy event, but here is an example:

Loosely speaking, the war in Iraq started because the American government didn't approve of Iraq supposedly holding weapons of mass destruction, and we also wanted to introduce democracy. Generally, we can define these as political reasons, relating to the promotion of safety and the preservation of rights.

In 1995, a Ryder truck exploded in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building killing 168. Timothy McVeigh orchestrated this bombing because of worries that the United States might soon take away our 2nd amendment right to bear arms. This is also a political reason.

In both of these instances of killing, lives are taken for political reasons, and in each there are certainly a number of civilian casualties, what McVeigh called "collateral damage." Not the intent of either the War in Iraq or the Oklahoma City Bombing, but rather a side effect in an attempt of each party to prove a point.

So why does war bring home heroes and yet mass murder often condemns one to death even when both happen for political purposes?

The last thing I can think of is that the 168 deaths in the OKC Bombing fall closer to 1 then 1,000,000, and thus by Joseph Stalin's infamous words and a simple application of quantitative logic, we can say that the OKC Bombing was a tragedy and the dead Iraqi civilians, however many more there may be, a statistic.

Disclaimer: I am not saying I support the OKC Bombing, nor that I'm a fan of McVeigh or Stalin.

Anyway, I decided to open this for discussion, so I'd love to hear anyone's imput. However, my original intent was to ask...

Can anyone recommend some philosophical literature pertaining to the matter of war vs. murder? Or either of the two alone for that matter? Have any particular philosophers spent a great deal of time writing on this subject? I just thought it up, and I've only taken a few philosophy courses so I'm sure there is someone here who has read more than I. Anyway, thanks guys.





Not that I have an answer to your ending questions, and I'm about as credited as you too haha, but I think that the key factor between the two is not the "collateral damage," as you referred to civilian casualties, but rather how that damage is done. Tim purposely targeted those civilians as a violent act to prove his point, where as soldiers are trained, and ordered to kill other soldiers who are trained to do the same thing. When a strategic bombing run accidentally takes the lives of civilians, admittedly this is unfortunate and can't be compensated, but when you go against laws and target a civilian to instill fear in a political organization so they don't do something you don't particularly like, that's murder.

I enjoyed reading your post though, it's a very interesting notion.
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 03:25 pm
@Mathematicaverde,
Goverments wage war, and usually intend to only kill a selective group of people, those with a certain kind of uniform, should it be a civil goverment.

Murder will often cause more murders, like blood feuds which are very destructive for society. If everybody felt like killing without any kind of govermental punishment, it would become anarchy qickly.

And we all should know anarchy is very bad.
Tony phil
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 03:34 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;132488 wrote:
Governments wage war, and usually intend to only kill a selective group of people, those with a certain kind of uniform, should it be a civil government.

Murder will often cause more murders, like blood feuds which are very destructive for society. If everybody felt like killing without any kind of governmental punishment, it would become anarchy qickly.

And we all should know anarchy is very bad.



yea right bro, anarchy's awesome.

no but this is a good point, without the notion of war what's to stop me from saying, "k killing spree, these people are evil" nothing. So with Governments and Organizations calling the shots (so to speak) it leaves for a much more organized, and further more substancial, act of war rather than some massive killing spree.
0 Replies
 
RDRDRD1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 11:26 am
@Mathematicaverde,
One issue I don't believe has been addressed here is the evolution in the variety and lethality of weaponry in modern military forces used in battle against quite primitive insurgents. It is here that I find the distinction between war and murder can become blurred.

Petraeus, in heading the team that generated the US military's recent counterinsurgency field manual, noted that counterinsurgency is the most labour intensive of all forms of warfare. The government side, if it seeks to win, is obliged to flood the countryside with soldiers to blanket the population with adequate security that wins them to the government side and prevents the insurgents from establishing their own civil, judicial and military order. In other words, this extremely expensive variety of warfare is required to prevent an insurgency from evolving to the next level - civil war. As Petraeus himself has said, in this sort of conflict, heavy firepower is counterproductive.

Assuming these edicts to be true (and they have been borne out by centuries of experience), what are we to make of war fought "on the cheap" as in Afghanistan? By this I mean war we have waged relying heavily on artillery, armour and airstrikes to make good troop level inadequacies and to minimize our own losses even as we realize it will result in excessive civilian casualties and be counterproductive to our aims?

It is axiomatic of Western judicial systems that we are all deemed to intend the logical consequences of our actions provided those outcomes are reasonably foreseeable. In many crimes there is no 'smoking gun' statement to prove intent and so it must be deemed to exist. A gunman, seeking to shoot someone in a crowd, cannot escape liability for murdering bystanders by honestly asserting he never wanted to shoot them. If this same standard was applied to the use of heavy weaponry in civilian areas what would be the conclusion? Commanders might not "want" to cause civilian deaths but if they realize their actions will take those lives, can they claim not to intend them?

We keep hearing a lot of nonsense about "precision guided munitions." Does the fact that you can land your bomb within 10-feet of your target legitimize using a 2,000 pound bomb to take out a valid target standing in the middle of a packed public market? What if it is a mud-walled compound where you can assume innocent women and children are sleeping?

What bearing does it have if you are using these weapons mainly to avoid the massive expense of fielding combat troops or to dodge the likely political consequences of taking infantry casualties? What about "oopsies" where the commander assumes he's attacking an insurgent force and, instead, winds up taking out an entire wedding party?

In the past we have banned 'uncivilized' weaponry such as chemical weapons yet we seem less reticent to use enhanced destruction weaponry today. For example, take the Israeli use of white phosphorus weapons on the UN compound in Gaza. Another example is the use by major powers of air-dropped minefields that lie about ready to claim civilian lives years, even decades, after the conflict has ended. It seems the more robotically we can deploy these weapons the less responsibility we accept for them afterwards.

Few Americans realize it but the Agent Orange their military so liberally sprayed in Vietnam has an effective lifespan of about five centuries and continues to result in thousands of deformed babies every year. The United States, while it has compensated its servicemen who handled the product, rejects accountability for the monstrous disaster it has left in its wake.

I think the moral verdicts in these matters is clear but what of the legal ramifications?
0 Replies
 
MiseryMyMuse
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Mar, 2010 06:31 pm
@Mathematicaverde,
War is state-sponsored, mechanized, premeditated murder. Fourth degree, if you will.
It is legal because law is right by might, and the state, by definition, is the institution with the might. This might, in turn, is the ability to wage war. Therefore, all modern government is founded upon the principle that ability is equivalent to prerogative.
0 Replies
 
Lovepeace
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 12:02 am
@Mathematicaverde,
Mathematicaverde, I absolutely agree with you.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

How can we be sure? - Discussion by Raishu-tensho
DOES NOTHING EXIST??? - Question by mark noble
Proof of nonexistence of free will - Discussion by litewave
morals and ethics, how are they different? - Question by existential potential
Destroy My Belief System, Please! - Discussion by Thomas
Star Wars in Philosophy. - Discussion by Logicus
Existence of Everything. - Discussion by Logicus
Is it better to be feared or loved? - Discussion by Black King
 
  1. Forums
  2. » War vs. Murder
  3. » Page 3
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 09/20/2019 at 05:01:59