The Anthropic Prohibition on Preemptive Warfare Between States

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The Anthropic Prohibition on Preemptive Warfare Between States When considering the pre-emptive strategic approach, it is useful to reduce hypothetical scenarios to a humanly comprehensible level. War, natural disasters, and other events of this magnitude are beyond a mind’s comprehension in their totality. By using a domestic analogy, such as advocated by Christian Wolff, where “states are regarded as individual free persons living in a state of nature,” the moral and legal implications of pre-emptive actions can be seen more clearly (Jus Gentium Methodo Scientifica Pertractatum, §2, p.9). The advent of pre-emption has coincided with an explosion of non-state actors on the military stage, and it is therefore important to expand the analogy beyond states; the analogy is otherwise only applicable to nations in a macroscopic political arena, such as existed before World War I. This paper will expand Wolff’s conception of the domestic analogy to embrace and differentiate state actors and non-state actors, and use this expanded principle to produce scenarios in consideration of pre-emption. The examination of these scenarios will yield that preemption is a morally wrong military strategy between states, though state interaction with non-sovereign actors is far more ambiguous. We can extend the domestic analogy of Wolff, to make a general anthropic principle (human-like principle), which states that any group of people, whether a state or an organization, can be made analogous to one person. Both states and organizations have governing bodies composed of people, and these bodies make individual decisions, which in turn affect larger groups of people. Though it is more difficult to reconcile many competing individuals vying for a specific decision or policy within one organization, this can be represented as competing elements of a human mind, such as emotion and reason or desire and conscience. Usually, a conflict between elements is resolved in some manner and a decisive moment occurs, whether it is an individual or an organization. This anthropic principle can continue farther in analogy and embrace more unorthodox situations as well. A state thrown into anarchy, without any discernable authority, is similar to some mental disorders, where competing elements in the mind eliminate the faculties of reason. The actions of terrorist organizations, nations, independence movements, and any other artificial construct to group people can all be compared to the actions of one individual person for ethical examination. This is an important acknowledgement, because the Al Aqsa Martyrs brigade, the Tamil Tigers, al Quaeda, and the Irish Republican Army are all significant players in the current geopolitical stage: global politics are not limited to state entities.

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