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Just War or “Might Makes Right” The Melian Dialogue and James Alan Gardner’s Hunted.

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Presentation on theme: "Just War or “Might Makes Right” The Melian Dialogue and James Alan Gardner’s Hunted."— Presentation transcript:

1 Just War or “Might Makes Right” The Melian Dialogue and James Alan Gardner’s Hunted

2 Thucydides (c.460-c.400 BC) and the Melian Dialogue Athenians demand during the Peloponnesian War (Athens vs. Sparta) that the Melians join their side. Melos refuses and the Athenians proceed to destroy them. Melians argue for independence and the right to remain neutral Athenians argue the rights of war and power and that it is practical for the Melians to join them.

3 What is Justice? Athenians: The standard of justice depends on the equality of power to compel and that in fact the strong do what they have the power to do and the weak accept what they have to accept Melians: And how could it be just as good for us to be the slaves as for you to be the masters? 5.92 Athenians: You, by giving in, would save yourselves from disaster. 5.93

4 “Aliens R Us” The “Expendable” Universe, where aliens are not only highly superior to humans, but they do not look anything like them. Unlike our universe...

5 Is the Balrog a benefit to Kaisho? Festina on Kaisho: “Her mind gets more and more integrated with the Balrog every day...” Edward on Kaisho: “Odd. Someone hiding and ashamed for being made better than she was to start with.” Kaisho on Kaisho (and the Balrog): “Other people have parasites. I have a highly beneficent symbiont.” P140 &178

6 Might Makes Right? “Who will do the harsh things? Those who can.” Samantha: “People in the Technocracy are no longer able to govern themselves. Someone more gifted has to take charge.” Pp Athenians: [Those who are still unsubdued] are most likely to act in a reckless manner and bring themselves, and us, too into the most obvious danger. (Thucydides 5.99)

7 Might Against Might Alexander York: This is what it always comes down to.... Naked aggression: might against might... I’ve devoted myself to life’s one overwhelming imperative. Festina: Killing those who threaten you? A. York: Yes. Festina: Eliminating those who are dangerous to you? A. York: Right. Festina: The strong subjugate the weak. A. York: Correct. p. 397

8 Questions to ponder: How do the two sides differ in their understanding of justice? How does the stronger side justify its actions? What does classical political theory have to do with our understanding of the modern notion of the “just war”?


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