Bundokji wrote: ↑Fri May 04, 2018 4:32 am
Sam Vara wrote: ↑Thu May 03, 2018 12:49 pm
Excellent! Then we agree that acting decisively and harshly can sometimes be morally better than not doing so! All you need now is to convince me that Trump's actions are not in that category of decisive harsh actions which are morally better than refraining from them.
Morally better from which perspective? The US and western perspective is the moral criteria?
I don't think perspectives have much of a role to play here. If we agree that acting decisively and harshly can sometimes be morally better than not doing so, then we have already escaped from moral relativism. If you think that there is a "perspective" in which the above does not apply (i.e. that there are some perspectives within which acting decisively and harshly are never
the better option) then you need to explain what that perspective is.
You might be overlooking the fact that almost in all moral systems, we don't treat the use of force in the same way we treat soft actions. For example, giving a reward begs less investigation than punishment because the consequence of each action is not the same.
No, I'm not overlooking that fact. I'm not accepting the point that giving rewards "begs less investigation", though, because in all the ethical systems we have touched upon - and the legal systems with which I am familiar - it is not true. Rewarding bad behaviour is universally condemned in Utilitarianism, deontological theories, and virtue ethics. In that category falls bribery, incitement, conspiracy, corruption, and all forms of encouragement or permitting of others to do otherwise avoidable evil.
Your attempt to equate the two by saying " There is no necessary connection between negligence and forceful action, any more than there is between negligence and restraint or appeasement" is futile in my opinion.
Well, opinions are fine, but it would be better to show the futility. One cannot analytically derive the concept of negligence from force, any more than one can derive it from restraint or appeasement.
If Trump wants to use confrontation and force, he owes the public a proper justification. He should give evidence that Assad used Chemical weapons against his own people which he failed to do, and he needs to prove that Iran violated the nuclear deal if he wants to withdraw from it and impose sanctions. Unless he does that, his actions cannot be morally justified.
I agree that he does owe the public a proper justification. But that's another, different ethical question about what leaders should do. There are some things that countries need to keep secret. Diplomacy and warfare are all about not revealing one's plans beforehand, and indeed both activities would become self-defeating if that were not so. We may know later whether he was justified or not. Keeping actions secret is not in itself sufficient reason for them not being ethically justified. Examples on demand.
You claimed that i have not understood you correctly, so please help me to understand you better.
Sure. Your point was:
When the US and the UK invaded Iraq in 2003, i don't think their intention was to bring chaos to the region, but the results of their actions was the death of a million innocent Iraqi people. According to your view, if i understand it correctly, they can be seen as morally blameless because:
1- They lacked hindsight
2- Because decisive actions (confrontation and violence) can be the right moral choice in certain circumstances.
The two numbered points cannot be derived from anything I have said. I have not said that actions can be considered morally blameless because of a lack of hindsight. Nor have I said that the Iraq invasion could be seen as morally blameless because decisive actions can be the right moral choice in certain circumstances. If they could have been derived from what I have said, then (assuming of course that I mean what I said) then it follows that I would have thought the invasion to have been morally blameless.
More generally, your approach which is suspending judgement unless we know exactly what Trump knew to determine how morally justified his confrontational approach is can result in catastrophes.
No, it can't. You or I passing judgement upon Trump is hardly likely to cause or avert catastrophes. This is a theoretical discussion on the internet! I think Trump will do what he wants to do, regardless. Passing moral judgement is an interesting exercise, but irrelevant to the outcome.
This is akin to recommending someone to quit smoking after he gets cancer.
It is, and with the same justification we could change the analogy and say that failing to take action is like refusing to eat, because foodstuffs have been linked to diseases. That's why I'm steering clear of using pop psychology to generate axioms. Everything can be challenged by a counter-example.
How do you define moderation?
I don't, because I'm just showing you that your point is a form of question-begging. It has little to do with my original point.
No worries, but i am waiting to see where did i propose moral relativism?
It looked like it from first glance, but it's difficult to tell whether your point about "perspectives" relates to ethics or not. Either way, I think I have dealt with it adequately above in the sense that our agreement that decisive harsh action can sometimes be justified ethically presupposes at least one point of ethical universalism.