Another matter that contemporary life might draw into the Jus in bello orbit is Drone Warfare or Targeted Killing. No longer the domain of science fiction, targeted killing is already within developed countries’ capabilities. Always in the vanguard of reality (and ethical thinking), the Star Trek universe foreshadowed humanity’s genius for self-extinction. The Original Series episode (#23) “A Taste of Armageddon” gives us a sense of how future war can be unbloody yet ‘civilized’ (easily Googled, by the way).
Any ethical valuation will certainly refer to the usual Utilitarian vs Deontological perspectives. But not much has been written and circulated. An additional light on the subject might be shed by Virtue Ethics (Module 8 in our Canvas postings). Maybe “What should we do” might be complemented by “What kind of people should we be?” If widening the circle of affected persons says something about torture, might the same widening be effective regarding targeted killing?
- Are our moral imaginations entranced by a paradigm of efficiency, low risk, and success?
- Have we settled for managing the conflict by focusing on military security, while lessening attention on human security that addressed the needs of people caught in the conflict?
- Should drone attacks be the default choice?
- What kind of people are we becoming through the wars we prosecute and the violence we inflict?
Assignment: Watch: “Eye in the Sky” (2015).
Essay: Given the above material and your viewing the movie, How would you morally evaluate drone warfare (targeted killing)? [I’m looking for a thoughtful, reflective essay]