Disarming nuclear apologists

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 28 (1-4):153 – 176 (1985)
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Here I distinguish the four logically possible ways in which nuclear weapons might be used: in an all?out nuclear strike, either first or second; or in a limited strike, either first or second. I go on to show that neither of the two most basic moral perspectives, consequentialistic or deontological, would permit nuclear weapons to be used in any of those four ways; nor would they permit an empty threat to use them. Nuclear weapons are thus shown to be morally useless. Given the moral opportunity costs of maintaining this morally useless arsenal, nuclear weapons should therefore be abandoned, universally if possible and unilaterally if need be



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Robert Goodin
Australian National University

Citations of this work

Who Can Endeavour Peace?Onora O'Neill - 1986 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 16 (sup1):41-73.

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References found in this work

Utilitarianism: For and Against.J. J. C. Smart & Bernard Williams - 1973 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Bernard Williams.
Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1958 - Philosophy 33 (124):1 - 19.
The Tragedy of the Commons.Garrett Hardin - 1968 - Science 162 (3859):1243-1248.
An anatomy of values.Charles Fried - 1970 - Cambridge,: Harvard University Press.
Punishment.J. D. Mabbott - 1939 - Mind 48 (190):152-167.

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