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February 22, 2009

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Namit, did you happen to catch this philosopher's zone
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/philosopherszone/stories/2008/2223849.htm
on the morality and political violence? I thought it was really well done. I will go back and check later if it was this show or another one Sanders did, but there is an idea that going to war demands a just cause so that those calling for going to war would be themselves willing to die for the cause.

Thanks for the pointer, Peony. I thought CAJ Coady tackled well some of the ways of thinking about war and how violence is justified (transcript). As you suggest too, I think this robotics led war has the potential for significantly altering the debate: the costs of war are dramatically different to one side (fewer dead soldiers and injured veterans, for instance), which will tend to lower political resistance to war. It can be mobilized stealthily and conducted outside media purview. Also radically different will be the experience of war (fought by remote control from suburban hideouts), redefining things like heroism and courage in combat, loss and suffering. Welcome to a brave new world for war: another case of material progress without moral progress simply raising the stakes for humanity.

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