Introduction to Ethics
Reasons, Emotions, Blood
“Never has there been a good war or a bad peace.”
Should I support the war? Or should I protest for piece? Even a year before I started asking myself these questions the Persian Gulf became a second home for a lot of western soldiers. The world was analyzing information, the US kept asking the United Nations to support a US-led military attack against the Iraqi Government. The US was in a rush for a revenge, the world was slow to respond, UN – too weak to come up with a strong opinion, and nobody cared about us, the little small people down there under the careless feet of the giant governments. We held up our little posters as high as we could and nobody even paid attention. We were shouting and yelling but nobody heard us. So we began long prayers for easy resolution and the soldiers started killing.
“Sir I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.”
48-hour countdown and the best TV show ever began. Better then “The Truman Show-, better than any “Blind Date- or “Jerry Springer- shows. Sadly enough not all of it is on TV. Why make such a grandiose show and not let me enjoy’ 100% of it? Many of us saw the equipment, the strength and the power of the western civilization but nobody showed the death and destruction in Iraq – it is just too much for the western world.
Enough sarcasm! Any moral problems here? I wish I knew where to start
Before the war became reality the context seemed relatively constant. It was when the action began that the deep thinkers and those who brew strong emotions started shifting their position. Although for the larger piece of the Earth’s populous having a standpoint was “as easy as 1, 2, 3- the real problem, the real solution and the right way to approach the conflict were far more sophisticated. Sorry Joe-Shmo , it is not just about going in Baghdad and “finishing the job-! Is there anybody that is 100% sure what the job is?
Is there one solution? Is there one moral principle to lead us to that solution? Is there a way to find what is right and what is wrong? I personally don’t believe so. Rationalists think deep and come up with something that Natural Law theorists don’t agree on. Kantian theories don’t work at all because there is not a single person to take a decision without moral consequences. And God did not say anything specific about Iraq in the Bible. Pure humans what are they going to do? Sarcastically but true, some kind of Virtue ethics principle seemed to fix the problem for now a nation with a great power as a virtue decided I would say – perhaps a few humans made the decision.
However, decision was made, actions were taken. Now what? My mind still hurts. Sometimes I keep thinking and I can’t fall asleep, then my body hurts too. Although it seems that most questions can be scaled down to yes’ or no’ answers, the reasoning behind them is immense.
I sit in my chair again, staring through the window. Nice and peaceful day, the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming. It’s spring for Pete’s sake – I am supposed to be happy and joyful. But I am not. It bothers me that people are dying not that far from my city of birth. I saw some pictures or Iraqi war victims the other night – my emotions changed since then too. I know I won’t be able to change anything, I know I am ignorably small compared to what is happening in the world and the forces that drive it, but I want to find peace for my soul at least. I sit and pray. God keeps throwing images and thoughts at me. I wish I were brainless bacteria or something Alas, my brain keeps running through those defective cycles of reasoning. They reach an end or solution. It feels like I have become a dual personality. Every time I think I have reached a conclusion I see things differently and my opinion does not satisfy my anymore. It makes me question my own self. Question my moral reasoning. It seems that I have more than just one way to make a moral decision. It is the narrative of my life and a few different ways of moral seasonings that make me make a decision and start looking for different, still own, opinion.
Should I support war or support peace? Should I protest against the military actions or support the soldiers and encourage them. I wonder if it would have been easier for me to support the war if the soldiers fighting were Bulgarian. Well, there are 150 Bulgarians there but I still don’t feel supportive. If I choose to support the war and the soldiers fighting it would be just because of the sense of nationalism (that I am somehow distant to anyway). It looks like a natural law to me that people from the same nation would support their own country and soldiers fighting for them. But then comes the question – what are they fighting for? Also who made them fight for that? I wonder if I should feel bad and sorry for people, who signed up and agreed to be trained to kill but are being killed themselves. While for the pure nationalists the latter sentence is a blasphemy, it is a logical and moral for the people that value life more than anything else. I do value life and think that I will choose to step on that specific stone. I will chose that path – I won’t support the fighters because I believe they chose their sad destiny. Although my heart goes to those who die on the battlefield, I believe that people get what they have asked for, unless they’ve been forced to. On the other hand I can see them being tools in the hands of governments. I am not exactly sure what approach to take. Are the fighters fighting because they like it or because they are loyal to the government, or probably it’s just a job for them? I cannot answer that question, so I will not base my opinion on that. That track does not provide me with any clear decision.
So I go back and start from the beginning. Should I support the military action? Well, saying “yes- because I feel bad about the soldiers has proven to be a rather sophisticated and uncertain road, so I take the other one. My humane way of thinking tells me unnatural death (i.e. killing) is bad. I naturally tend to oppose any action that would harm an individual and cause death. At the same I am beginning to change my thinking and using the Utilitarian theory I realize that there is a purpose for the war. We are trying to accomplish certain goal and it is probably good enough to where “the means justify the end.”” I analyze the situation and see that we want to bring freedom to the Iraqi people. That is the reason for this war I suppose. That is perhaps the reason why the operation is called “Iraqi Freedom.”” Or is that just a front face, acceptable phrase for something completely different? I am not going to deal with any conspiracy theories but moral issues. Freedom is good. I like my freedom. I wish everybody were free. I know that a lot of nations have paid different prices for freedom. I guess one would pay whatever price is needed to be free — it is one of those things that are priceless. But is perception of freedom the same globally across cultures and countries? Now that I thought about that I realize it is not. Now are we selling the Iraqi people freedom or are we buying it for them. It seems like they pay and we pay, but no matter what the business deal is I need to know what the object of trade is. Who is buying what? America wants to bring the capitalism-freedom. Do Iraqi people want that? Hm I am not sure. I will stay away from dealing with conspiracies and I will just look at what other good things the war might bring if not freedom. Ah, noting worthy at least not that price.
So I return back to the reasoning if it is worthy or not for people to be killed. I still ponder what the goal is. I will take the “no- approach this time. I truly believe that there is peaceful solution of the problem. The human in me, the built-in agape that I have and the love for life tells me death is not acceptable. I see myself here as a person with a divine command thinking. Jesus asked us not to be offensive and I follow that. So I come up with a solution – let’s use the forces driving the war to bring peace. Let’s use the money thrown for equipment and the people fighting to build new regime, whatever Iraqi people chose – new building and new life.
Or why not let the Nature decide. Don’t even spend the money for peaceful reconstruction. If the Iraqi people want freedom or different regime – they will find a way to change it. Let us spend the money for defense. That seems like the best solution if I follow the laws of Nature and what the Bible tells me. So let’s just not mess with the situation at all.
“Attack Iraq and bring freedom- or “spend the money for defense- – it all comes down to the same point. We serve our selfish purposes. We are looking for security and that is why we would either built tremendous amount of defensive weapons and systems or we will spend money, time, and spare the lives to bring security and why not even call it revenge.
When I look at the general picture now that I have thought of all those different and definitely not depleting areas, I see one trend. I see that selfish desires drive our actions. It all depends on the priorities that one has in his moral decisions, I suppose, and the narrative of his or her life. But there is one absolute truth, I believe, and that is the word of God. Jesus told us to sell everything we have and to give it to the poor, to turn the other cheek and let them hit us on the right one. He asked us to leave our human selfishness away. Agape – that is the weapon we should have used. And my reasoning for that conclusion is a mixture of everything. I believe it because God commanded it, I believe it because it is the most rational approach to the problem, and I think that this moral decision would be made using the best virtue one could have – love.
So I stand for peaceful solution. I stand for showing real Christianity and against the Jihad. I want us to fight fear and kill poverty. I oppose the nave and arrogant view of any blinded pro war theorist. I believe it is the lack of understanding, clash of cultures and religions that caused the war. Blood will fill the gap between those two worlds and our own stupidity will kill us the humans until we discover the absolute truth of God.