"Assassination and targeted killings have always been in the repertoires of military planners, but never in the history of warfare have they been so cheap and easy. The relatively low number of troop casualties for a military that has turned to drones means that there is relatively little domestic blowback against these wars. The United States and its allies have created the material conditions whereby these wars can carry on indefinitely. The non-combatant casualty rates in populations that are attacked by drones are slow and steady, but they add up. That the casualty rates are relatively low by historical standards — this is no Dresden — is undoubtedly a good thing, but it may allow the international media to overlook pesky little facts like the slow accretion of foreign casualties." -NYT Opinionator: The Moral Hazard of Drones
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Jul 23, 2012 -
Is Civilization Decaying?
Will technological progress be accompanied by moral progress? Notes on a 1923 debate between J. B. S. Haldane (Daedalus
) and Bertrand Russell (Icarus
As John Brunner pointed out in an article in the New Scientist in 1993, these two books ... inspired two generations of science fiction writers."
posted by painquale
on Jul 10, 2005 -
"The study of feelings, once the province of psychology, is now spreading to history, literature, and other fields."
Scholarship on the emotions
is a rich field for historians and philosophers. Martha Nussbaum
(previously discussed here
) has written on historical views of the relationship between morality and emotion
, and delves more deeply into it in her recent book, Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions
. Of particular relevance these days may be M.F. Burnyeat's new book, Restraining Rage: The Ideology of Anger Control in Classical Antiquity
, which focuses on Classical views of anger and its proper place in human action. Many today could learn from Marcus Aurelius
: "as grief is a mark of weakness, so is anger, for both have been wounded and have surrendered to the wound." [First link via Ye Olde Phart
posted by homunculus
on Feb 25, 2003 -