Unformatted text preview: ands of people who consider the consequences of their actions. Goldberg, in contrast, doesn't even address the possible downside of war--except, obliquely, in his aforementioned assurance that war in the Middle East won't breed any hatred. I suspect Goldberg is proud of the absence of cost-benefit calculations from his analysis. His is a moral argument--he uses the words "moral" or "morality" five times in his post, with a dollop of "evil" thrown in for good measure. Of all the annoying undercurrents and overtones of the pro-war rhetoric, this is the one that annoys me the most: the suggestion that those of us who are clinically weighing all the possible downsides and upsides of war, rather than spending all our time marveling at how evil Saddam is, are being something other than moral. When I think about war in Iraq, I think about the long-term results in terms of human suffering and human fulfillment. I consider that a morally grounded framework. The fact that, within that framework, I try to be rational, rather than employ the Iraq hawks' tone of pre-emptive outrage (a tone that is also used on the anti-war left), is not something I'm ashamed of. I agree that Saddam Hussein is a terrible man. The question is how you end his terror without creating lots more terror. THE PRIMARY BASIS FOR ETHICS MUST BE REAL SUFFERING, NOT UNIVERSALISM Sami Pihlstrom, department of Philosophy, University of Helsinki, PHILOSOPHY TODAY, Fall 1997, p. 387. The basic insight of James's ethical position is the idea that we should never be "deaf to the cries of the wounded." This suggests that the ethically relevant world is, for us, the empirical world of human suffering, blood, sorrow and death. In proposing pragmatism as a "new name for some old ways of thinking," James wanted "a philosophy that will not only exercise your powers of intellectual abstraction, but that will make some positive connection with this actual world of finite human lives. The theme was, in fact, already d...
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This document was uploaded on 11/20/2013.
- Fall '13