Thursday, April 14, 2011

Civil War musings from my blogroll

Yesterday marked the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War.

Mike's take.

Dr. Vallicella's take, found at the beginning of this post.

Elisson's take.


1 comment:

Charles said...

I, of course, had absolutely no idea.

One thing that strikes me about Dr. Vallicella's argument against the distinction between wars of choice and wars of necessity is that he is pretty much arguing that nothing is a necessity. A nation that refuses to defend itself against a foreign aggressor is more or less the same as an individual that refuses to eat. Yet we consider food a basic human necessity.

So it seems to me that Dr. Vallicella is using a different sense of the word "necessity" than John Kerry (who I believe was essentially trying to distinguish between "just" and "unjust" wars). You can take issue with Kerry's terminology if you want, but that doesn't necessarily invalidate the underlying argument. (And, of course, taking issue with the counterargument doesn't validate the original argument, either.)