So we’re at war. Let’s make some assumptions now.
we’re at this war because we’re the good guys.
we’re going into Iraq to create democracy, on behalf of the Iraqi people, and not for any ulterior motive.
There are plenty of other threads to argue these points in, but they’ll kindof cloud the question I want to ask here.
So anyway. We’re in here, and we lob a missile at the Iraqi ministry of information, or whatever. It goes awry, and slams into a marketplace, killing, let’s say, Muhammed Generic Iraqi and his five year old son.
The standard rhetoric of war says that his life was a sacrifice, given up for the greater good. Or that he was collateral damage, a necessary casualty to acheive the stated aims.
I’m a little worried about that, to be honest. You see, the good of the many may outweigh the good of the few, but you can only make that decision, in my book, if you are the few. Just as I cannot spend your money unless you give it to me, I cannot sacrifice your life for you. Only you can give up your life. If I take it away from you, that’s not a sacrifice for the greater good: that’s murder.
So, what gives us the right to take someone’s life from them so that others can gain from their death, if they don’t want us to do it, and aren’t willing to give up their lives? Fair enough, Saddam has no such qualms, but isn’t that the point? What is the difference, in fundamental, real terms? Where do we get the right to kill someone else for our view of a greater good?