Justification Quotes (168 quotes)
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This is thought-provoking stuff, Vera. While your point is well taken, I think the problem lies not in justification per se , but rather false justification and rationalization. Surely nobody would deny your point that it's bad to make evil appear good. But what if the act in question really was good? Or what if we simply are not sure?
The topic of this entry is not—at least directly—moral theory ; rather, it is the definition of morality. Moral theories are large and complex things; definitions are not.
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Anyone who cares about questions of war and peace — and who wishes to think deeply about how to assess those questions morally — should buy and promptly read Nigel Biggar's In Defense of War. Over the past few decades, many authors have written articles and books attempting to construct an apparatus for judging the morality of war. I know of none that approaches Biggar's book in lucidity and thoroughness.
Leaders throughout the western world expressed similar sentiments. It is common for politicians to represent the perpetrators of violence as acting outside the boundaries of morality; their actions belong to an incomprehensible realm beyond our understanding of what is good and right. But the Charlie Hebdo killers were not acting at random — they were following a moral code. Generally speaking, we think of most interpersonal violence, not just terrorist attacks, as immoral. This is a comforting notion — one that draws a clear boundary between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.