Sure. Peter turned around and walked back to Rome. Paul continued his ministry knowing he would die for it. During the Crusades, knights locked themselves outside the walls of jerusalem to defend the city long enough for reenforcements to arrive, this was nearly 100% fatal as the muslim army outnumbered them 20 to 1.
Ends don’t justify means.
Sure don’t. That’s why I included the caveat that just war doctrine as well as the laws of warfare have to be followed. Namely: proportionate force, proper targeting, identifiable markings on the vector of attack, not using weapons of mass destruction, etc.
The question is, like I just asked PeterMuz above, is the same principle of ‘taking the bullet for someone else’ applicable to kamikaze etc? Given a more abstract sense of ‘taking the bullet’…
Yes, let’s weigh down both.
- I’m in world war II as an ally, I jump on a grenade to save my compatriots. Direct Effect: my compatriots live. Indirected Effect: more enemy troops die (because my compatriots continue to fight), possibility of victory for my cause increased, more people live as a result of the holocaust ending.
- I’m a kamikaze pilot flying against a german aircraft carrier (in my hypothetical situation from my last post). I fly my plane into the bridge of the ACC, thereby disabling it for months and allowing the allies to gain the upper hand in the naval battle. Direct effect: enemy troops die. Indirect effect: less of my compatriots die fighting an operational ACC, possibility of victory for my cause increased, more people live as a result of the holocaust ending.
The only difference between the two is that one of the direct and indirect effects is switched. The act itself nor the effects or morally negative, thus as long as the means employed are acceptable, this doesn’t present a moral negative.
Question for both of you:
We have agreed that to ‘take a bullet for someone else’ can be a good deed to do.
Let’s say, again hypothetically, that I take the bullet for my child when we are approached by a gangster. There is no guarantee that he will not shoot my child after I die. Is it still moral to jump in front and why?
Pax and thank you both for your responses.
Sure is moral to jump in front. You aren’t responsible for the fact that the gangster pulled the trigger the first time, all you are is virtuous for choosing to jump in front of it and die for the cause of protecting your child’s life. Likewise you would not be responsible for the gangster choosing to pull the trigger a second time, that is solely his moral choice and his culpability.
The troops who died in WWII weren’t responsible for the fact that the germans had conquered paris, and they certainly weren’t responsible for the fact that germany was choosing to continue on and try to take england either.