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what can philosophy do for the world peace?

what can philosophy do for the world peace?

First, philosophy can contribute to world peace by helping us think through the ethical importance of peace -- and of war. Philosophy has a long tradition of inquiry into the conditions for morally justifiable violence. A few philosophers have glorified war. Others have argued that war is justified when war advances a state's interests' ('realists') or when certain conditions are met (just war theory). Other philosophers have advocated for pacifism. Good overviews of these positions are available here:
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/war/
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pacifism/

Second, philosophy can contribute to world peace by undermining the conditions under which war tends to thrive and by pointing to alternative ways to resolve conflicts that might otherwise lead to violence. Starry-eyed though this might sound, philosophical inquiry tends to induce, on the one hand, modesty or humility about one's own beliefs, as well, on the other hand, as a greater appreciation for the merits of others' beliefs. Thus, philosophy can serve to defuse, or at least dampen, conflicts arising from clashing worldviews about ethics, religions, etc. Going along with this, philosophy offers us a non-violent model for resolving our disputes: through reasoned argument. Far better in most every case for us to reach a reasoned consensus that avoids war than to march toward an armed conflict.

Of course, philosophy is no magic pill, world peace-wise. But I'm pretty confident that a healthy dose of philosophy could do a lot to diminish the sad human tendency toward intercommunity violence.

First, philosophy can contribute to world peace by helping us think through the ethical importance of peace -- and of war. Philosophy has a long tradition of inquiry into the conditions for morally justifiable violence. A few philosophers have glorified war. Others have argued that war is justified when war advances a state's interests' ('realists') or when certain conditions are met (just war theory). Other philosophers have advocated for pacifism. Good overviews of these positions are available here: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/war/ http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pacifism/ Second, philosophy can contribute to world peace by undermining the conditions under which war tends to thrive and by pointing to alternative ways to resolve conflicts that might otherwise lead to violence. Starry-eyed though this might sound, philosophical inquiry tends to induce, on the one hand, modesty or humility about one's own beliefs, as well, on the other hand, as a greater appreciation for the merits of others'...

Some states mandate an automatic death penalty for murdering a law enforcement

Some states mandate an automatic death penalty for murdering a law enforcement officer. How can this possibly be just when it elevates the victim above that of common civilians? I agree with the Aristotelian conception of justice as only partially overlapping that of morality but consistency is crucial to rationality in both judgment and conduct. Actions ought to be judged similarly unless there are morally relevant dissimilarities between them so a law-abiding or even a vindictive police officer, already armed and aware of the risks of his profession, is the same as any other civilian, both legally and morally. Common law jurisdictions work on the basis that all citizens are equal in intrinsic worth--wouldn't the imperative be to either entirely repeal the death penalty for murder or use it in every single instance?

I'm going to largely duck your last question: I doubt even the most enthusiastic proponents of the death penalty believe it should be imposed for every murder. Most jurisdictions distinguish between first-degree murder, second-degree, etc., precisely because not all murders are morally serious enough to merit the death penalty (which it is not to say that any murder merits the death penalty).

But on to your main question: Should the death penalty be automatic for murdering a law enforcement officer but not automatic for murdering anyone else? I can think of three possible rationales for an affirmative answer. I'm not sure I find any of them convincing, but I'll leave that to your judgment.

The first is that killing law enforcement is morally worse than killing someone else and so automatically deserves a harsh punishment. Your position seems to be that this is not so: That in order for killing law enforcement to be morally worse than killing someone else, there must be something about the officer that lends the officer more 'intrinsic worth' than the typical citizen. I agree that is probably not a very promising way of explaining how killing law enforcement might be morally worse than killing others. But a slightly more attractive thought is that killing law enforcement reflects more negatively on the character of the murderer than does killing someone else. Perhaps killing law enforcement shows greater contempt for law and legal norms.

A second possible way to defend the automatic death penalty in such cases is to suggest that because police work is inherently dangerous, the law should impose additional penalties on killing law enforcement in order to discourage such killings. Law enforcement are unusually vulnerable to be killed, so preventing them from being killed may require punishments that are harsh and unambiguous. A further consideration of this sort is that perhaps it would be harder to recruit police without this harsh penalty for killing them.

A final rationale rests on what's often called the 'expressive' theory of punishment. This view says that punishment is justified as our moral condemnation of a criminal's wrongful act. If the killing of police induces greater outrage than the killing of others, then (according to this theory), those who kill police should be shown less leniency than those who kill others. Obvious question to ask here: What, if anything, justifies our greater outrage at killing law enforcement? It might seem that this rationale ends up requiring, or collapsing into, the first: that those who kill police show themselves to be morally worse than those who kill others.

And let me add: Great question! (To my knowledge, philosophers haven't taken up this issue directly.)

I'm going to largely duck your last question: I doubt even the most enthusiastic proponents of the death penalty believe it should be imposed for every murder. Most jurisdictions distinguish between first-degree murder, second-degree, etc., precisely because not all murders are morally serious enough to merit the death penalty (which it is not to say that any murder merits the death penalty). But on to your main question: Should the death penalty be automatic for murdering a law enforcement officer but not automatic for murdering anyone else? I can think of three possible rationales for an affirmative answer. I'm not sure I find any of them convincing, but I'll leave that to your judgment. The first is that killing law enforcement is morally worse than killing someone else and so automatically deserves a harsh punishment. Your position seems to be that this is not so: That in order for killing law enforcement to be morally worse than killing someone else, there must be something about the...

Is bearing a child really a right? The state does not know much about its own

Is bearing a child really a right? The state does not know much about its own citizens other than date of birth and tax information so bringing unwanted children into the world is unfair to the child and the rest of society that must deal with all of the associated problems. Irresponsible parents or single mothers cannot guarantee the welfare or even the survival of their wanted children so why not prevent problems by passing a law allowing the state to licence and decide what type of people are allowed to have children according to certain criteria just like a driver's license? Those denied a license can always reapply at a later date once they've proved they are responsible enough. Right to privacy ends once the child leaves the womb since it is then a separate human and legal entity.

Your questions touches on a number of issues within the emerging philosophical field of procreative ethics, the field addressing questions concerning the ethics of reproduction and parenting.

I concur with the spirit of your last sentence: It is interesting that landmark legal rulings in the United States establishing legal rights to use birth control and the right to abortion both appealed to the right to privacy. But if there is a right to procreate, it is probably not best modelled on a right to privacy.

Your comments about licensing parents echo a well-known argument given by Hugh LaFollette in a 1980 article (http://www.hughlafollette.com/papers/licensing.parents.pdf). Here's my reconstruction of LaFollette's argument:

1. Incompetent parenting is harmful to children.
2. Societies are justified in restricting access to activities that are potentially harmful to others if those restrictions significantly reduce the likelihood of harm from those activities. (Compare, for example, driving cars or practicing medicine: We license these activities precisely because of their potential for harm.)
3. Licensing would-be parents would significantly reduce the likelihood of harm from incompetent parenting.
Therefore,societies are justified in licensing prospective parents.

LaFollette notes that most societies have very stringent requirements for adopting a child, so if one thinks those requirements are justified (that we should 'license' those who choose to parent children who are already born), it would seem no less justified to require licenses of parents who create their own child.

I won't weigh in with my own appraisal of this argument, leaving it, as they say, as an exercise to the reader. One of the admirable things about LaFollette's article is that it engages with many objections. I'll conclude simply by noting that, in my estimation, the most serious worries concern whether the licensing scheme would violate other rights of prospective parents.

Your questions touches on a number of issues within the emerging philosophical field of procreative ethics , the field addressing questions concerning the ethics of reproduction and parenting. I concur with the spirit of your last sentence: It is interesting that landmark legal rulings in the United States establishing legal rights to use birth control and the right to abortion both appealed to the right to privacy. But if there is a right to procreate, it is probably not best modelled on a right to privacy. Your comments about licensing parents echo a well-known argument given by Hugh LaFollette in a 1980 article (http://www.hughlafollette.com/papers/licensing.parents.pdf). Here's my reconstruction of LaFollette's argument: 1. Incompetent parenting is harmful to children. 2. Societies are justified in restricting access to activities that are potentially harmful to others if those restrictions significantly reduce the likelihood of harm from those activities. (Compare, for example, driving...