Advanced Search

Are the American Soldiers at Abu Ghraib responsible for their actions, and should they be considered the 'evil wrongdoers' they were made out to be.

I find it hard to see why anyone would suggest they are not responsible at all for their actions. But surely it is a good question whether they alone are responsible for their actions. And here, of course, the controversy becomes political. Did "higher-ups" issue orders that were tantamount to suggesting that such abuse would be tolerated or even welcome? Did the "higher-ups" turn a blind eye to what was happening and fail to supervise the prison properly, perhaps intentionally, so as to distance themselves from what they knew was likely to happen? This latter responsibility, for oversight, is particularly important, since we know, from the Stanford prison experiment and the classic work by Stanley Milgram , that otherwise decent human beings, when subjected to the right sorts of stresses, will do almost arbitrarily horrendous things to one another. Finally, then, one might ask whether what we know from these experiments does to some extent excuse the behavior of the soldiers at Abu Ghraib,...

I have an opinion I'd like some feedback on. My view on war is generally that it's a bad idea. Aggression against another country or similar entity is difficult to justify. However the fact remains that an outside force can invade and make war on your country. My opinion on this is that an invader should be destroyed completely. Ruthless exploitation of any weakness, and use of any weapon is completely justified to expel the threat, at least until they have ceased their aggression and given back any territory gained. After that it would be difficult again to justify continuing the use of ruthless tactics in an act of aggression towards your enemy in their own territory. My idea of using complete force against an aggressor comes from that you didn't make war on them. They brought war to you. For example, if you were being violently mugged, it would be justified to kill your assailant. However, it would be unjustified to go out and kill someone just because they might mug you. Or, if you were mugged and...

This much I'd agree with: There's a big difference between defending oneself against aggression and undertaking aggressive action oneself. What's not so clear is that one can (let alond should) do absolutely anything in response to aggression. Take the mugging case. It isn't at all clear that, if you are being violently mugged, then you are justified in killing your assailant. If killing your assailant were the only way you could protect yourself, then it would presumably be justified---or better, excusable. And if that were not the only way, but if you were to defend yourself in other ways that were justified and were to kill your assailant more or less accidentally, then you would not be blameworthy. But you do not get to kill someone just because they are mugging you. (And how violent exactly does the mugging have to be?) The same is true of war, even justified defensive war. Civilized nations have long recognized limits to the conduct of war. The use of chemical weapons, for example, is...

World peace is mentioned in popular culture many times and appears to be an ideal state for the world to be in. However, is world peace really capable of being achieved; or is it rather an illusion in all of our minds? It seems to me that there will never be world peace due to disagreements and conflicts that happen between people. Please fill me in on your views pertaining to this topic.

I take it that the desire for "world peace" is a desire for an absence of war. So my question to you would be: Why do you think that the fact that there will always be disagreements and conflicts means there must always be war? Surely there are other ways to resolve such disagreements. The United States has disagreements with Canada; Canada has disagreements with Japan; and so on and so forth. But they're not shooting at each other. The real obstacles to peace, I'd have thought, are things like greed, pride, and a desire for power.