On nationality and global equality: a reply to Holtug

I here defend some of the positions taken in National Responsibility and Global Justice against criticisms by Nils Holtug. I reinforce my suggestion that claims about national membership being ‘morally arbitrary’ are question begging and try to show how such membership can legitimately serve as a source of special obligations. I examine the claim that the problems involved in constructing a ‘currency’ of global justice also arise in the domestic context and suggest that appealing to ‘welfare’ as the relevant currency is not a useful way of responding to cultural differences. Finally, I respond to the hypothetical case of an unequally distributed life-extending vitamin by arguing that the discovery of such a substance would change our understanding of a normal human life, and thereby raise the bar of sufficiency. Keywords: moral arbitrariness; obligation; national identity; global egalitarianism; sufficiency (Published: 16 September 2011) Citation: Ethics & Global Politics, Vol. 4 , No. 3, 2011, pp. 165-171. DOI: 10.3402/egp.v4i3.8489
Keywords national identity  global egalitarianism  moral arbitrariness  obligation  sufficiency
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