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Richard Brian Miller on War and Morality

The initial relevance of the traditional doctrine [of just war] today lies in its value as the solvent of false dilemmas. Our fragmentized culture seems to be the native soil of this fallacious and dangerous type of thinking. There are,first of all, the two extreme positions, a soft sentimental pacifism and a cynical hard realism. Both of these views, which are also "feelings," are formative factors in the moral climate of the moment. Bot of them are condemned by the traditional doctrine as false and pernicious. The problem is to refute by argument the false antinomy between ware an morality that they assert in common, thought in different ways. The further and more difficult problem is to purify the public climate of the miasma that emanates from each of them and tends to smother the public conscience.


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