Friends and Fans — I have retired from my work as a public intellectual, so Philosophy in Action is on indefinite hiatus. Please check out the voluminous archive of free podcasts, as well as the premium audio content still available for sale. My two books — Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame and Explore Atlas Shrugged — are available for purchase too. Best wishes! — Diana Brickell (Hsieh)


War

  • Q&A: Doctrine of Double Effect: 3 May 2015, Question 1
  • Question: Is the doctrine of double effect true? The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy says: "The doctrine (or principle) of double effect is often invoked to explain the permissibility of an action that causes a serious harm, such as the death of a human being, as a side effect of promoting some good end. It is claimed that sometimes it is permissible to cause such a harm as a side effect (or 'double effect') of bringing about a good result even though it would not be permissible to cause such a harm as a means to bringing about the same good end." How is this principle used in analyzing real-world ethics? Is it true? Why or why not?

    Tags: Abortion, Academia, Catholicism, Crime, Duty, Ethics, Philosophy, Thomas Aquinas, War

  • Q&A: The Morality of Nuclear Weapons: 23 Sep 2012, Question 1
  • Question: When should nuclear weapons be used, if ever? Under what circumstances would a free society use nuclear weapons – or chemical or biological weapons? Are they so destructive that their use would never be acceptable? Or might they be used in self-defense to win a war or win a war more quickly?

    Tags: Egoism, Ethics, Firearms, Foreign Policy, Free Society, Military, Rights, Sacrifice, Self-Defense, Self-Interest, War

  • Q&A: Sacrifice in War: 5 Aug 2012, Question 3
  • Question: Is it a sacrifice for a soldier to fight for his country? Most people regard fighting for one's country to be a glorious sacrifice. The soldier risks life and limb, but gets little in return. Assuming a proper government and a justified war for self-defense, is serving in the military a sacrifice? And if so, is that sacrifice noble?

    Tags: Career, Egoism, Ethics, Foreign Policy, Free Society, Integrity, Military, Risk, Sacrifice, Self-Interest, Self-Sacrifice, War

  • Q&A: Justified War: 15 Jul 2012, Question 4
  • Question: When would a free society go to war? What would the attitude of a rights-respecting country be toward war? How would wars be funded and manned? Is isolationism or interventionism the proper approach?

    Tags: Ethics, Foreign Policy, War

  • Q&A: The Morality of Armed Rebellion: 16 Oct 2011, Question 4
  • Question: When is a person (or group) justified in taking up arms against the government? In other words, how despotic must a government be for violent revolution to be morally justified? Before that point, is a person just engaged in "terrorism"?

    Tags: Ethics, Law, Politics, Statism, War

  • Q&A: The Morality of Torturing Terrorists and Criminals: 18 Sep 2011, Question 1
  • Question: Is it moral to torture criminals and/or terrorists? We supposedly were able to track down Osama Bin Laden with information obtained by torturing captured Al Qaeda prisoners. Is it moral to torture criminals, terrorists or other evildoers to gain useful information to fight crime or help win a war? If so, should there be any limits on when and how torture should be used by the government?

    Tags: Crime, Ethics, Foreign Policy, Free Society, Law, Military, Politics, War


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