More than Moralism: How Values Matter to Nuclear Security


by Rev. Tyler Wigg-Stevenson
Review of Faith & International Affairs
August 2011


Nuclear weapons are devices; a means to a variety of ends. Ethical analysis must have compelling moral ends as the primary point of reference. By morally examining a society’s practice of security, one can develop a descriptive explanation of what that society believes it means to be a human person. Just war theory can be used in a case study of moral reasoning about nuclear weapons. Three criteria of just war theory in particular are irreconcilable with the use of nuclear weapons: discrimination, proportionality, and macro-proportionality. Further, even nuclear deterrence cannot claim moral legitimacy today, because it does not deter in our post-Cold War, post-9/11, globalized context.



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