Other Orienting Questions (Other than Glossop and Plato)
 

Ackerman and Duvall, "Introduction"

1. What do the authors see as the most important political change in the 20th century?
2. The authors argue that most groups use nonviolence to seek societal transformation not for moral reasons but because violence was not a viable option.  Explain.
3. What are the lessons of non-violence in the 20th century?  How do such lessons flout conventional wisdom?  Explain and provide examples.


Cady, Ch 1 "Warism"

1. Distinguish warism from pacifism. How are they different from passivism and what is the role of harmony vs. discord in each? Why are concerns of morality important in these terms?

2. Cady argues that warism is an integral part of our taken-for-granted reality, our world view in Western culture. Explain what this means and illustrate its pervasiveness in (a) advertising; (b) sex roles--learning to be boys and girls or philosophers; (c) foreign policy; (d) the educational system; (e) our value of patriotism.

3. How do the analogies to earlier understandings about women and racial oppression relate to a current critique of warism?

4. Cady argues that there are four major obstacles to a serious consideration of pacifism: our acceptance of warism, our equating pacifism with passivism, our regarding pacifism only as an extremist and naive position, and the tendency to associate peace with the status quo. Show how each is an obstacle. How might we overcome such obstacles? Explain.

5. Many writers on the topic of war argue that conceptions of justice are important. Cady does not disagree but suggests that, too often, we only consider when to go to war and how to fight and not should we go to war. What can Cady's point add to our discussions considering issues of war and peace? Explain.
 

Cady, Ch 2 "A Just-War Continuum"
1. What is the "war-realist position," and how does just war theory differ from it in relation to the applicability of moral principles to war? Between these two positions which one makes more sense to you, and why?

2. What is the distinction between jus ad bellum and jus in bello? Is one of these principles more basic than the other? Is it possible to satisfy one of these principles but not the other?

3. Cady lists six conditions that should be met to provide a moral justification for war. Which of these conditions do you regard as the most important? Are there any of these conditions that you think can never be satisfied or, at least, cannot be satisfied in the nuclear age?

4. In relation to jus in bello, Cady stress the principle of discrimination. What is meant by this principle? Why is the nature of the weapons to be used especially important in relation to this principle?

5. What is the difference between the principles of double effect and proportionality? How does Cady regard twentieth-century war as underscoring the difficulty of satisfying these principles?

Bonus Questions: Why do Ivory Tower Obfuscationalists, like "Billy the Philosopher," use Latin and other FOREIGN (i.e., ALIEN) terms instead of good ole' plain English? Do you think multi-syllable philosophical terms are the result of a severe case of stuttering or should these people simply be called "philoesoterticists"?
 
 

Cady, Ch 4 "A Pacifist Continuum"

1. What distinguishes deontological pacifists and consequentialist pacifists? In what ways do the former use a priori principles and the latter rely on a posteriori evidence?

2. Among deontological pacifists, how are absolute pacifists different from non-lethal force and collectivist (or lethal force) pacifists? How do deontological pacifists who are non-absolutists justify the use of force?

3. Among consequentialist pacifists, why do fallibility or epistemological pacifists find war to be unjustifiable in practice? What conditions make it easier to reject on epistemological grounds that a war is justified, and what conditions make it more difficult?

4. How is technological pacifism tied to level of historical development of civilization in ways epistemological pacifism is not? In what ways are nuclear pacifism and ecological pacifism subsets of technological pacifism?

5. How does pragmatic pacifism differ from just warism?

6. Of the various forms of pacifism, which do you find most plausible and which do you find least plausible and why?

Cady, Ch 5 "Positive Peace"

1. In what ways does Cady seek to advance non-violent options?  Which task seems most feasible and why?  Which task seems least feasible and why?

2. Of the three categories of Sharp that Cady discusses, which seems most feasible as an alternative to physical confrontation and why?  Which response seems least feasible and why?
 
 

Garver, "What Violence Is"
1. For Garver, issues of intent and consent play important roles in assessing whether violence has occurred. How does Garver distinguish force and violence, and how does he connect the denial of rights to cases of violence?

2. Garver does not want to restrict violence to overt forms or to personal forms. What dimensions are added by including covert forms, and how does admission of institutional forms introduce an element of moral ambiguity?

3. What would be an example of one of Garver's types of violence that he does not mention, and how does it meet his criteria? How could the arms race be viewed as an example of covert institutional violence?

4. Garver's discussion of violence is descriptive, rather than prescriptive. How does the prior development of a system of classification allow us to agree on what a situation "is" and leave open for discussion whether it is "right"?

Bonus Questions: Why did "Billy the Philosopher" choose an essay that focused on conceptual clarity regarding the definition of violence? Isn't violence like pornography--you know it when you see it? And now that you've seen "Billy the Philosopher" ... (Please complete this suggestion.)
 


Gay, "Weapons of Mass Destruction"

1.  In "Weapons of Mass Destruction" Gay defines and compares biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons.  How does Gay present weapons of mass destruction as instruments of terror, and why does he suggest we need to pay attention to how the term is used in relation to oneís own country and other nations or groups?

2.  In "Weapons of Mass Destruction" Gay address preventing biological, chemical, and nuclear attacks.  Do you feel progress has been made toward containing any type of weapon of mass destruction, and how do you assess the future prospects for containing or eliminating any of these weapons?
 

Gay and Pearson, "War in the Nuclear Age"
1. Summarize in a paragraph how conventional war has changed both quantitatively and qualitatively in the past few hundred years.

2. How has war changed with the introduction of nuclear weapons? Summarize the changes suggested in Table I. Have these changes meant significant change or just a bigger bomb? Explain.

3. What are the four perspectives emerging from the debate over nuclear weapons? Which seems most closely related to your personal perspective? Which do you think makes the most sense today? Explain.
 

4.  Do you think it is possible to live without war? Are any of the alternatives mentioned in the living without war section very plausible? Explain.Do you think it is possible to live without war? Are any of the alternatives mentioned in the living without war section very plausible? Explain.
 
 

Holmes, "Terrorism and Violence"

1.  How does Holmes define terrorism, and how does he compare terrorism and war in relation to violence and morality?

2.  What suggestions does Holmes offer regarding our outlook toward terrorists and our own responsibility?