Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rank Utilitarianism now Reigning US (Immoral) Philosophy

This blog is dedicated to applying the principles of scholastic moral philosophy as articulated in the Aristotelian/Thomistic synthesis to the consideration of current events. Unfortunately, in much of the developed West, rank Utilitarianism (read perverted self-interest) has become the reigning/controlling philosophy where moral considerations are concerned. Were the "3" elements of every moral act [object, intent, circumstances] to be properly considered and expeditiously applied most of the world's pressing problems would either not have arisen or could be easily solved. Instead, individuals and nation states have embraced a disastrous post-Enlightenment philosophy which denies the existence of moral absolutes (exceptionless moral norms) in order to pursue their selfish aims.

The looming war with Iran is beyond all reasonable doubt immoral from the perspective of traditional moral norms as found in the "golden rule" ethic which for almost 2000 years has been embraced in the West. Over the past several decades however, Utilitarianism has all but extinguished it--resulting in a plethora of immoral public policies and personal practices. It is past time for persons of good will to recommit themselves to the golden rule ethic and to scholastic moral reasoning before life as we know it is irrevocably changed.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Attacking Iran is Immoral, Ilegal and Foolhardy

The MMIC (media, military industrial complex) with the Bush administration in the lead continues to "ratchet-up" its rhetoric against Iran. The powerful neo-conservatives of both political parties have cooperated by passing the so-called Lieberman/Kyle amendment which effectively places a target on Tehran. At the moment, both the executive and legislative branches are primed for an offensive war of aggression despite hoeing to the standard line that while "diplomacy is preferred all options are still on the table." As I wrote previously, all options include the nuclear option such as "tactical nuclear bunker buster bombs."

Any use of nuclear weapons in an offensive manner is completely immoral and contrary to the tenets of international law to which the United States is bound (NPT). Any kind of conventional offensive military attack is also immoral and illegal under international law (UN Charter, Geneva Conventions, Hague Conventions, Nuremberg Tribunals), including the preventive (incorrectly termed pre-emptive) war concept called for by the "Bush Doctrine."

The idea that the possible acquisition of nuclear weapons--by any nation on earth or even the knowledge necessary for constructing one--could cause our leaders to seriously contemplate another war of aggression is ludicrous. There is no evidence that Iran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons. All the relevant data establishes the opposite and this reality was recently attested to by the IAEA the UN body charged with determining whether Iran is diverting nuclear material. The same IAEA predicted that Iraq had no WMD prior to the US invasion of Iraq--which was proven correct. The track record of the IAEA is extremely good while that of the US is poor relative to determining which nations have WMD of any kind especially nuclear weapons.

Provided that Iran continues to cooperate fully with the IAEA there is no reason to interfere with the Iranian nuclear program. The process of on-going IAEA monitoring--to insure that Iran is complying with its obligations to restrict its nuclear program to peaceful (energy related) purposes--is well established. The latter is Iran's guaranteed right as a signatory to the NPT meaning that the US has no right to restrict Iran's ability to develop nuclear power.

The truth is that the United States can and should live with a nuclear powered but not nuclear weaponized Iran. This is legal under international law (the US is an NPT signatory) and continued non-proliferation is achievable utilizing well-recognized technical means. Only when Non-nuclear weapons state (NNWS) nations have failed to sign the NPT and nuclear-armed countries (NWS's) have assisted certain NNWS's (despite their NPT related pledges to the contrary) has nuclear proliferation occured re: Pakistan, India, Israel etc.

War is seldom salutary and almost never necessary if all other options are adequately exhausted. War should be resorted to as a last resort and from a defensive not offensive posture. Only then can it be considered potentially just. Attacking Iran is truly a fool's errand one which would have incalculably negative consequences for the US and the world.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert