Saturday, March 12, 2005

You Had to Know This was Coming

Sterile Thunder: In Defense of Terrorism? tells of one Jason Gatliff.
Mr. Gatliffe has written a thesis for his degree candidacy at Bowling Green State. The thesis he will be defending is, "In Defense of Terrorism: When is it Permissible to Target Children?". The text seemingly does not get anybetter than the title.
"Mr. Gatliff proceeded from the absurd proposition that terrorism, per se, is wholly consistent with Just War Theory - an assertion which, one must admit, is revealed by even the most cursory of examinations to be utterly ridiculous" according to Luke Lindley of Stanford University.
Mr Lindly goes on to astutely observe:
if any activity whose defining characteristic is deliberate, disproportionate, and indiscriminate slaughter may be considered compatible with such a fundamentally Judeo-Christian ethical paradigm - Mr. Gatliff neatly sidestepped the issue of whether or not terrorism meets the criteria of just warfare in its declaration and initiation. In other words, Gatliff posited that: A) since there exists no meaningful distinction between terrorists and "traditional" military personnel; and B) since the state of a just war per se has been assumed (that is to say, the extant conflict was just in its declaration); the perceptive philosopher ought to instead turn his attention to what specific activities within this circumscribed martial state may be considered ethically acceptable."

"Gatliff argued that this criterion is not concerned in the least with 'objective standards of right and wrong.' It is instead concerned with a determination of what Gatliff termed 'moral necessity.' " since, as Lindly points out, that Gatliff has no problem with redefining, "moral necessity" can mean almost anything. having not read the document completely, I can only guess that it means exactly that.


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