Nonlethal Weapons and Noncombatant Immunity: Is it Permissible to Target Noncombatants?

Journal of Military Ethics 6 (3):221-231 (2007)
Abstract
The concept of noncombatant immunity prohibits the intentional targeting of noncombatants. The availability of nonlethal weapons (NLW) may weaken this prohibition, especially since using NLWs against noncombatants may, in some cases, actually save the noncombatants' lives. Given the advancement of NLWs, I argue that their probable appearance on the battlefield demands close scrutiny due to the moral problems associated with their use. In this paper, I examine four distinct cases and determine whether the use of NLWs is morally permissible. While it seems that the reduced harm caused by NLWs makes their use more acceptable, adhering to noncombatant immunity requires more than not killing noncombatants. It also requires that military forces treat noncombatants a certain way. In the cases I present, to use NLWs against noncombatants treats them as combatants and coerces them to do something against their will. While a consequentialist foundation for noncombatant immunity may permit this action, a rights-based concept of noncombatant immunity does not. I contend that only a rights-based concept of noncombatant immunity is viable, and that the availability of NLWs should not significantly alter the prohibitions prescribed by noncombatant immunity.
Keywords military ethics  nonlethal weapons  noncombatant immunity  just war theory
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/15027570701539552
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,182
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Just and Unjust Wars.M. Walzer - 1979 - Philosophy 54 (209):415-420.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Jus Post Bellum and Counterinsurgency.Rebecca Johnson - 2008 - Journal of Military Ethics 7 (3):215-230.
Do Non-Lethal Capabilities License to 'Silence'?Sjef Orbons - 2010 - Journal of Military Ethics 9 (1):78-99.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Can There Be a Just War?Karsten J. Struhl - 2006 - Radical Philosophy Today 2006:3-25.
Civilian Immunity in War.Igor Primoratz - 2005 - Philosophical Forum 36 (1):41–58.
Noncombatant Immunity in Michael Water's Just and Unjust Wars.Theodore J. Koontz - 1997 - Ethics and International Affairs 11 (1):55–82.
Can Information Warfare Ever Be Just?John Arquilla - 1999 - Ethics and Information Technology 1 (3):203-212.
Just War and Graduated Discrimination.Christopher H. Toner - 2004 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 78 (4):649-665.
Temporal Indiscriminateness: The Case of Cluster Bombs.T. A. Cavanaugh - 2010 - Science and Engineering Ethics 16 (1):135-145.
The Morality and Law of War.Seth Lazar - 2012 - In Andrei Marmor (ed.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Law. Routledge. pp. 364.
Ethical Immunity in Business: A Response to Two Arguments. [REVIEW]Andrew Piker - 2002 - Journal of Business Ethics 36 (4):337 - 346.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-08-24

Total downloads

35 ( #147,668 of 2,172,036 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #172,864 of 2,172,036 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums