4th Nov 2009 6:30pm
Pavilion Parade, University of Brighton
Analytic philosophy, a concentration on ordinary logic, has a part to play in the division of labour on large questions of right and wrong. Should it take help from doctrines of human rights, international law, or just war theory – or from our hierarchic democracy? What is needed instead is the Principle of Humanity. Take actually rational steps to get and keep people out of bad lives – lives deprived of the six fundamental human goods: decent length of life, bodily well-being, freedom and power, respect and self-respect, goods of relationship, goods of culture. This determinate principle is better supported than other attitudes. With the aid of factual premises, it morally justifies a certain Zionism – what is actually necessary to the perpetual security of Israel within roughly its 1948/1967 borders. It also affirms that the Palestinians have had and continue to have a moral right to their terrorism in all of historic Palestine against neo-Zionism – the taking from them of at least their freedom in the last 1/5th of their homeland. There are other conclusions. 9/11 was wrong because it was an irrational means to an end at least partly defensible – resistance to neo-Zionism. Americans themselves share moral responsibility for 9/11. The Iraq War, a terrorist war, has been moral barbarism on account of the foreseeable and thus wholly intentional killing of innocents. As for such terrorism as that in London of 7/7, Brown, Blair and Bush have been friends to it – true enemies act on 'Tough on this terrorism, tough on the causes of it'. The preponderant aim of the massacre of the Gazans was not the saving of Jewish lives, easily achieved by the simple solution to the simple problem of Palestine, but neo-Zionism.