Ethically insoluble dilemmas in war

Journal of Military Ethics 12 (2):95 - 110 (2013)
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Soldiers encounter extremely difficult ethical dilemmas during wars, as they must make decisions about how to follow the laws of war and their rules of engagement while still protecting themselves and accomplishing their missions. Scholarship on just war theory and military ethics generally describe soldiers' dilemmas as being ethical challenges that soldiers can overcome by using the correct ethical reasoning process. However, this essay argues that some of the apparent ethical dilemmas that soldiers confront are actually ethically insoluble dilemmas that cannot be solved using ethical reasoning processes. Dilemmas are ethically insoluble when soldiers do not have sufficient knowledge of a situation or control over it to apply an ethical decision procedure. In these situations soldiers must guess at the right course of action and leave the outcome to luck



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Citations of this work

Hard Moral Choices in the Military.Mark N. Jensen - 2013 - Journal of Military Ethics 12 (4):341-356.
Soldiers and ‘respect’ in complex conflicts: an Afghan case.Cornelia Vikan - 2018 - Etikk I Praksis - Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics 1:3-21.

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References found in this work

A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
Justice as fairness: a restatement.John Rawls (ed.) - 2001 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Mortal questions.Thomas Nagel - 1979 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Practical philosophy.Immanuel Kant - 1996 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mary J. Gregor.

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