Saturday, February 7, 2015

Warriors And Hero-Labeling

Sheldon Richman makes a compelling case that The American Sniper was no hero

Some questions regarding war, warriors, the military, and support for it all:
  • At what point does a soldier become a hero? 
  • Are any soldiers (of one's own military) not heros? 
  • Can you be a hero if you're on the "wrong" side (a hero in the eyes of the enemy while remaining an enemy)?
  • Are all heros equally heroic?
  • Are all villains equally evil?
  • At what point is a war unjust?
  • Can a originally just war become unjust?
  • If so, how does this change the status of those fighting in it (on both sides) and their supporters?
  • At what point do participants in an unjust war or those using unjust tactics or those engaging in unjust operations bear responsibility for their actions?
  • Are any or all acts unjust if done in support of evil and just if done in support of good?
  • Are any or all acts unjust if done in support of the enemy and just if done in support of one's own side?
  • At what point is a soldier responsible for the moral/ethical intentions or de facto results of the soldier's own actions or the actions of the soldier's own  side?
  • Same question but replace "soldier" with "citizen" and then also "government official".
  • Is it ever justified or morally required that a soldier actively switch sides in a conflict? 
  • Again, same question but replace "soldier" with "citizen" and then also "government official".
  • Can a soldier be held morally culpable for failing to abstain from fighting or for failing to switch sides?
  • If so, under what conditions?
  • Yet again, same questions but replace "soldier" with "citizen" and then also "government official".