Tuesday, March 08, 2005

On Self-Defense and Foreign Policy

"No one would dispute that I have a right to use deadly force to stop an attacker that had broken into my home in the middle of the night. In fact, I believe it would be a sin if I failed to do whatever I could to protect my family.

But what if I wanted to take a pre-emptive approach to self-defense? Let's say that I have a pretty good idea which person in my neighborhood would invade my home and kill me or a member of my family if he had the chance. I am convinced that this person has the means to do it. After all, other neighbors have told me that this person has a collection of knives and guns, and it is rumored that he visited the gun shop across town to inquire about purchasing some hollow-point bullets.

Would anyone agree that I have a moral obligation to attack this person before he has the opportunity to attack my family or someone else's? Would I be justified in going over to his house, knocking down the front door and capturing or killing him or anyone else in that house who got in my way?"

Absolutely not! and this is the crux of the moral problem with neo-conservatisim.

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