Caplan’s Pacifism

Bryan Caplan echoes my own pragmatic/consequentialist arguments for pacifism : P1: The immediate costs of war are clearly awful. P2: The long-run benefits of war are highly uncertain. P3: For a war to be morally justified, its long-run benefits have to be substantially larger than its short-run costs. C: [B]efore you kill innocent people, you should be reasonably sure that your… Continue reading Caplan’s Pacifism

More War: The Intervention in Libya

The war in Libya happened so fast that most of the commentariat seemed to be caught flat-footed. The international community had apparently decided to go to war without properly vetting their decisions with bloggers! As a result, we got more than our fair share of bad arguments. I’ve been trying to formulate a position of… Continue reading More War: The Intervention in Libya

Why I am still hopeful for Egypt’s revolution

It is said that revolution is what happens when a police officer is transformed from a legitimate authority into a man with a gun. If that’s true, then what we witnessed in Egypt yesterday is a classic counter-revolution: irregular hoodlums attacking peaceful protesters, whose only defense is the military standing by. To ask for the… Continue reading Why I am still hopeful for Egypt’s revolution

Three Thoughts on the Tuscon Shootings

The immediate response to tragedy ought to be a cautious silence and a quiet search for understanding. Yet when I attended a vigil on Sunday at the US Capitol building, a reporter from WAMU spent a half hour gathering quotes (none of which he used, thankfully) and in the process goaded a few vocal participants into… Continue reading Three Thoughts on the Tuscon Shootings

Wikileaks and War

Is this the argument? 1. (Our) wars are unjust. 2. Stopping (our) wars will prevent further injustice. combined with: 3. (Our) wars depend on secrecy in inception and in daily practice. 4. Thus, (our) wars can be prevented by eliminating the secrecy in inception. 5. Moreover, (our) wars can be stopped by eliminating the secrecy… Continue reading Wikileaks and War