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Current Moral & Social Issues Final Exam

Current Moral & Social Issues Final Exam - Gaurav...

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Gaurav Singh Current Moral and Social Issues 114006240 Final Exam PHI 105 CURRENT MORAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES FINAL EXAM Part I. Short Answer (80%) 1. Explain the three major philosophies of war and peace discussed in class: realism, pacifism and the just war theory. What is the difference between descriptive realism and prescriptive realism? Distinguish three different versions of prescriptive realism and two different versions of pacifism. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy discusses three major philosophies of war and peace. Realism is perhaps the most influential paradigm among political scientists and international relations practitioners. Its doctrine expresses a strong doubt in applying morality to relations between various states. Realists often believe that states should maximize their self- interests and act towards their own goals. “Realists believe that moral concepts should be employed neither as descriptions of, nor as prescriptions for state behavior on the international plane” (SEP 13). The following are five basic assumptions for the Realism paradigm: 5 Basic Assumptions of Realism 1. The world is defined by international anarchy 2. States are primary actors 3. States are egoistic (states help themselves) 4. States have interests (preferences over outcomes) The Pacifism paradigm states that it is never permissible to go to war. A pacifist always rejects war in favor of peace. Adherents to this doctrine dislike killing in general and therefore would object to a state going to war. They believe that there are no moral grounds, which can justify entering a war. War for the pacifist, is always wrong and morally impermissible. The Just war theory is the most influential view on the ethics of war and peace. It can be divided into three parts: jus ad bellum , which is the thought processes and justifications for entering war in the first place. jus in bello concerns the justice of conducts within a war as it is occurring. jus post bellum which concerns the justice of peace agreements and the ending of wars. The just war theory is a set of six conditions that need to be satisfied in order for war to be justified. These conditions are as follows: 1. just cause 2. right intentions 3. last resort 4. proper authority 5. probability of success 6. proportionality 1
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Gaurav Singh Current Moral and Social Issues 114006240 Final Exam Prescriptive Realism is a subset of Realism, which states that morality does not play a role in the international political arena. Moral principles do not apply to states. Advocates of this view believe that states should not act morally, but amorally. The paper states, “A state should, for prudence’s sake, adhere to an amoral policy of smart self-regard in international affairs” (SEP 15). States should disregard morality when considering policies pertaining to global politics. If they do not, they will be exploited by other states that are more ruthless than them. Descriptive Realism is the claim that states, either do not or cannot behave morally. This is the reason why morality does not play a role in international relations.
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