This article advances a critical analysis of John Rawls’s justification of liberal democratic nuclear deterrence in the post-Cold War era as found in The Law of Peoples. Rawls’s justification overlooked how nuclear-armed liberal democracies are ensnared in two intransigent ethical dilemmas: one in which the mandate to secure liberal constitutionalism requires both the preservation and violation of important constitutional provisions in domestic affairs, and the other in which this same mandate requires both the preservation and violation of the liberal commitment (...) to international legal arrangements and to the rule of law generally. On this view, the choice to violate constitutional provisions and international legal arrangements is evidence of nuclear despotism. Moreover, this choice does not imply that the ethical foreign policy dilemmas were resolved. Instead, it implies that the dilemmas force liberal democratic governments into implementing ethically paradoxical policy outcomes. (shrink)
This paper critically examines John Mark Mattox's view of the nature of the moral appropriateness of particular response options. By so doing, I aim to engage the wider readership in a debate, which I hope leads to greater clarity and precision of thinking on these topics. After summarizing Mattox's view, I argue first that in order for Mattox's ultimate conclusion to hold in moral terms, he must abandon the argument on the permissibility of nuclear reprisal to re-establish nuclear deterrence and (...) instead anchor this response solely on the moral grounds of retributive justice. Secondly, I argue that the morally superior and politically efficacious counter-nuclear terrorist response is to hunt down the nuclear terrorists and hold them accountable for war crimes in the International Criminal Court. This response is consistent with just war theoretic principles, and it also affirms the moral virtues of honor, dignity, and humane treatment in contexts where they are needed the most? the holocausts of nuclear terrorist attacks. (shrink)
This article responds to issues raised in Ethics, Nuclear Terrorism, and Counter-Terrorist Nuclear Reprisals? A Response to John Mark Mattox's?Nuclear Terrorism: The Other Extreme of Irregular Warfare? by Thomas E. Doyle II, also appearing in the pages of this issue.
What rights govern heterosexual and homosexual behaviors? Two distinguished philosophers debate this important issue in Sexual Orientation and Human Rights. Laurence M. Thomas argues that a society which has the constitutional resources to protect hate groups can protect homosexuals without valorizing the homosexual life-style. He defends the view that the Bible cannot warrant the venom that, in the name of religion, is often expressed against homosexuals. Michael E. Levin defends the unorthodox view that the aversion some people experience toward (...) homosexuality deserves respect. He further argues that while homosexuals enjoy the same rights as others to be free of violence and discrimination, they do not have more extensive rights. (shrink)