In his article “Moral Judgment in Time of War” (DISSENT, May-June 1967) Michael Walzer has stated the case well for the need of a moral judgment applicable within the context of war. I think, though, that his argument is incomplete inasmuch as it concentrates on the standpoint of rule-ethics and does not explore the possibility of an approach closer to situational ethics or what I would prefer to call moral atomism. The one approach judges acts categorically by their conformity to categories or rules; the other individually, by their likely concrete consequences, creative and destructive.
I do not suggest that the general in the field be called upon to use his “moral discretion” on the spur of the moment to...
For just $19.95 a year, get access to new issues and decades' worth of archives on our site.
Print + Online
For $35 a year, get new issues delivered to your door and access to our full online archives.