Ten Questions for Monday

No more weekend. Work time now.

  1. Do the citizens of a nation bear any individual moral responsibility for the wars fought in their name, and the consequential death and destruction? If so, does that responsibility have any practical meaning beyond a purported burden of conscience? Does a claim of the war’s justness relieve that responsibility?

  2. Do citizens who advocate abandonment of a national war effort bear any individual moral responsibility for the subsequent fate of their abandoned allies? If so, does that responsibility have any practical meaning beyond a purported burden of conscience? Does a claim of the justness or practical necessity of the military withdrawal relieve that responsibility?

  3. Do the participants in a leak of classified or otherwise secret information, and those who endorse it, bear any individual moral responsibility for the subsequent fate of those named, implicated, or otherwise affected by the leak? If so, does that responsibility have any practical meaning beyond a purported burden of conscience? Does a claim of the leak’s justness relieve that responsibility?

  4. People who encourage – through their expressed moral support, through their own practical efforts, or through their endorsement of their government’s policy – the citizens of another nation to rise up in rebellion against a tyrannical government: do they bear any individual moral responsibility for the consequences of a failed uprising? If so, does that responsibility have any practical meaning beyond a purported burden of conscience? Does a claim of “best intentions” relieve that responsibility?

  5. The citizens of a nation that does not act to prevent or relieve the clear oppression of another people, or to intervene in a genocide: do they bear any individual moral responsibility for the consequences of their nation’s failure? If so, does that responsibility have any practical meaning beyond a purported burden of conscience? What claims might relieve that responsibility?

  6. Do the citizens of a nation bear any responsibility, up to death in conflict, for the national policies of their own democratic government?

  7. Do the citizens of a nation under a tyrannical leadership bear any responsibility, up to death in conflict, for the warlike or aggressive national policies of their own government? Should the citizens of other nations face injury or death from those aggressive policies because of the failure of those under tyranny to risk their own lives in order to overthrow their despotic government?

  8. Should government employees who leak secret government documents be held legally accountable for their act? What if they believe their actions served a higher moral good? What is the moral responsibility of journalists in such cases?

  9. Should government employees who help maintain the secrecy of government documents, when the documents appear to hide clear wrongs, be held legally accountable for complicity in those wrongs? What if they believe their actions served a higher moral good? What is the moral responsibility of journalists in such cases?

  10. Why was the writer, even then, obscure?

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