Michael Walzer 's Moral Principle Of Equality Essay examples

2493 Words Nov 18th, 2016 10 Pages
Michael Walzer’s Moral Principle of Equality
Traditional Just War Theory (JWT) contains at its core a principle Walzer calls the moral equality of combatants. According to this principle, combatants on various sides of a war possess the same right to kill, regardless of the justice of the cause for which they are fighting. Walzer’s argument is roughly that a modern day solider, whether for a just case or not, does not freely choose to fight. One is conscripted into service, or volunteers under strong social pressure of patriotism or felt moral obligation. In addition, a soldier fighting in modern wars is told by standard that the war that the soldier’s country is embarking is just. Even if this is not so, the individual soldier is not in a position to assess state leaders’ case for war. All things considered, the soldier who fights for an unjust cause either does not act wrongly or if so, the soldier is not blameworthy for acting wrongly. I object to these objections because they vary by degree and do not always apply.
A German soldier fighting for Hitler’s army during World War II has the same right to kill a French soldier that the latter has to kill him. This is so despite the fact that the Frenchman, whose country is under unlawful occupation, is fighting a just war, and the German, whose country is unlawfully occupying another sovereign nation, is not. The fact that Germany is in violation of international law does not mean that the German soldier is…

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