September 13, 2004

War, What Is It Good For? Monuments...

I've decided to add a little local flava to my postings, so I'll be bringing you all the Seattle and South Jersey news I care to look up along with my usual NTY and Salon stories.

Anyway, this is one of those "only in Canada" stories. I have to say that I agree that leaving your country to avoid going to a war you don't agree with is pretty courageous, I'm just not sure that's a festival I'd attend if it was in the states. It just seems like the sort of event that could get ugly if held here, but I'll bet the worst case senario is that pancake and maple syrup fight.

3 comments:

Drew said...

It is courageous, but it's also against the law. I think the best course of action, in terms of both morality and moral courage, is to go to prison. Civil disobediance is all well and good (when used in a support of a good cause), but fleeing the legal consequences of your disobediance rather undercuts the moral strength of your position.

MosBen said...

Does that argument hold true if the punishment is death? If not, aren't any lines we draw rather arbitrary?

Noumena said...

There's a strong tradition in modern (meaning post-Cartesian) ethics which says refusing to obey an unjust law -- whether you suffer the legal repercussions of it or not -- is perfectly moral, even virtuous. Think of Thoreau and the abolitionists.

The flip side of the same coin is the illegitimacy of the 'following orders' argument -- concentration camp guards in WWII were considered responsible for following immoral orders from their superiors.