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Some moral questions might look obvious, while other might seem not. Morality in philosophy is about question that are not obvious and sometimes question that might not be obvious, as they might seem. There have been several justifications forward for actions that people take, and which a built on different moral theories. The theories will guide an individual on the course of action to pursue or not to purse. This essay will try to explain whether there is a justification for killing. It will evaluate libertarian views as well as Consequentialism and make a conclusion based on the views of the two theories.
As a political tool that is founded on non-aggression and push fro individualism, libertarian theory seems to preclude the support for any violent activity perpetuated by a government. One example of a libertarian movement was the American Revolution. The revolution has been felt as a different war when compared with other wars (Isabell 34). The libertarians view the American Revolution as a good cause that was based on the fight for human rights. It was built on the idea that a government must be in power with the mandate of those who are governed. As a result, this belief was the basis of the war starting a just war. In other words, people should be engaged in a war if they do not belief that the system respects their rights, and that a government must have the authority to rule by the people (Isabell 40).
In his book, War and Conscience, Allen Isbell explores what he calls the justifiable war doctrine, which is when and how a government can engage in a legitimate war. This has also been a big question in the Christian world for several centuries.From the ethical point of view, the conversation of a just war in the Christian community has brought about the doctrine of a just war. Allen highlights several requirements that that fit Christian ethics for a government to pursue a just war. First, such a war must be a last result, because only one side can have a just cause in pursuing a war. Secondly, one must be on the right side, that is the one that is justified in the fight, and the aim of the war must be legitimate. Other factors that must be present while engaging in such a war are that it must be based on a proper spirit and must be waged by people with a proper authority (Mulgan 86).
A libertarian just war is not possible. Such a war would first need to be declared in response to aggression that cannot be appeased by a lesser degree of defensive power. In addition, it nee to be support by state to whom the people have given authority. A state that has the mandate to protect the rights of its citizens, and the war should be declared on behalf of such people only. The fight should be against an enemy state and not the enemy civilian. Finally, such war should be carried out with weapons and strategies that do not target innocent people. This mean, a libertarian can never talk of a justified killing. Consider another example of abortion. A libertarian position, although there are those who oppose this, gives the woman aright to choose. This position does not consider the fetus as a human being. Therefore, the mother has the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy. However, there are also pro-life libertarian positions. Those who adhere to this view opine that the fetus is a person, and therefore has its own rights. These rights require that the fetus should not be killed, as it is a human being.
Consequentialism, other hand is based on two principles; the results justify whether an action was right or wrong (Morton 102). Secondly, the more the good produced by an act, the better the action. In other words, a person sis free to choose an action that produces or maximizes good consequences. Consequentialism allows people or governments to kill if the result is to safe others, or if the actions produces the best actions or outcomes.
A serious or genuine consequentialist would view a war as an activity that has bad outcomes for all the parties concerned. Indeed, war, for a consequentialist should be a negative activity. This is because, either pay to the conflict has done wrong calculations. There are those who are killed in war, there are those who bear the costs of war in terms of costs and opportunity costs scenario. In the case of abortion, consequentialists view the unborn baby as an incomplete person. They see the fetus as one that has no capacity to feel pain. A consequentailst will ask questions about allowing or not allowing the abortion and would be interested I what brings out the best results, or the greatest good. Consequentialism would normally come to the best conclusion, which might favor abortion or not based on the best outcome. They would say the abortion should be allowed if it is beneficial or if it produces the greatest benefit.
Some moral questions might look obvious, while other might seem not. Morality in philosophy is about question that are not obvious and sometimes question that might not be obvious, as they might seem. On rule advanced by Immanuel Kant was that principles in ethics must be accepted universally, that is, all people must support them (Morton 203). This means one should do something if others would do the same under similar circumstances irrespective of who they are. However, it is not possible to get a justification for such a rule. There are many variations in truths even among religious groups or even sects within a religious organization. As caa be seen from the above examples, each has its own justification for killing or undertaking some actions. These actions might not be the same to all the parties concerned. However, it is important to understand the actions we take, and how they affect others. War should not be permitted a much as possible, foe it brings misery even to those who are not directly involved in it. Indeed, any action must be aimed at producing the best results for all people, although this might not be possible.