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Deontological Pacifism decrees that moral agents have an absolute duty

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Deontological Pacifism decrees that moral agents have an absolute duty  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2018, 09:34
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Deontological Pacifism decrees that moral agents have an absolute duty to avoid aggression or waging war against others. Held as a duty, it is incumbent on the pacifist never to aggress, use force, or support or engage in war against another. Duties are moral actions that are required or demanded in all pertinent circumstances.

The first problem for deontological pacifism is the potential collision of duties. What if force is to be used to halt an aggressor who endangers the pacifist’s life, or the life of an innocent? Regarding the pacifist’s own life, it can be argued that he or she possesses no right of self-defense (and must “turn the other cheek”), although this is typically the position of those who place not much value on living this life in favour of living in the realms beyond. Among such adherents are absolute pacifists. Another example: does the duty to respect others outweigh the duty to respect oneself? The aggressor obviously transcends any duty of respect he should have towards his victim but does that warrant the forfeiture of his life? Those pacifists who admit the right to defend the self against a threat can admit the use of restraining or disabling force and even, if the threat is deadly, the right to kill an assailant. Deontological pacifists can claim that others’ rights to life are of a higher order duty than the duty to intervene to save oneself. But that hinges upon a moral evaluation of the self compared to others, and it is not clear why others should be accorded a higher moral evaluation; for after all the self is in turn one amongst many others from a different subject’s point of view.

If the pacifist argues that his life is his own to lay down in the face of aggression (as a moral principle, as a moral example, as an example of martyrdom, etc), the problem intensifies when the life of another is threatened, whom the pacifist is in a position to assist, and who, as a living subject, may prefer life over death.

The pacifist who claims that he has no duty to intervene in saving others’ affairs treads a precarious moral path here; the immediate retort is why should the moral life of the pacifist be morally more important than the life of threatened innocent? For the sake of his own beliefs, could the pacifist consistently ignore the violence meted upon others? Yes, from two possible prespectives. The first is that the ideal of pacifism retains a supremacy over all other ideals and is not to be compromised. The second is that the life of the pacifist is morally superior to the life of the threatened innocent, even if that innocent happens to be a fellow absolute pacifist.

Deontologists argue that certain kinds of moral actions are good in themselves, hence deontological pacifists claim peace to be a duty to be categorically upheld.

1. Which of the following, according to the passage, would the deontological pacifist consider idealistic?

(A) Resorting to self defence in the face of mortal danger.
(B) Using a tool to save an innocent’s life.
(C) Devaluing one’s life in favour of an ethical conduct.
(D) Doing one’s duty as a soldier in times of war.
(E) Eliminating the assailant, by using violence, if he is harmful to society


2. Which of the following does the statement “…self is in turn one amongst many others from a different subject’s point of view” support?

(A) It is logical for the pacifist to jeopardize the safety of self.
(B) It is logical to consider the aggressor to be of a higher moral order.
(C) Force may be used to halt an aggressor who endangers the pacifist’s life.
(D) The pacifist can go to the assistance of a fellow pacifist.
(E) It is rational for a pacifist to think that protecting the life of others is his
moral responsibility.


3. Which of the following is the author unlikely to agree with?

(A) it is not incumbent on the pacificist to perform duties in all pertinent circumstances.
(B) The notion that there is a potential collision of duties is non-existant.
(C) Self also should be given the same moral evaluation as any other.
(D) The ideal of pacifism should not gain supremacy over all other ideals.
(E) The ideal of pacifism is not worth adhering to especially in modern times when terrorism and extremis on have become the order of the day.


4. What according to the passage is NOT implied by ‘collision of duties’?

(A) Duty to protect others from an assailant or the virtue of pacifism
(B) Being a passive recipient of aggression versus the duty to protect oneself
(C) Duty to forfeit one’s life or the duty to respect another’s life
(D) Duty to accord a higher moral value to the lives of others rather than to oneself
(E) Duty to protect the life of the aggressor as against one’s own life

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Re: Deontological Pacifism decrees that moral agents have an absolute duty  [#permalink]

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New post 02 May 2018, 10:51
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Can we get explanations for Question 2,3 and 4?
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Re: Deontological Pacifism decrees that moral agents have an absolute duty  [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2018, 17:26
Could someone provide explanations for these OAs?
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Re: Deontological Pacifism decrees that moral agents have an absolute duty  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2019, 19:50
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Re: Deontological Pacifism decrees that moral agents have an absolute duty  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2019, 20:39
Please provide explanations for 2,3,4
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Re: Deontological Pacifism decrees that moral agents have an absolute duty  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2019, 22:06
Hi,

Can someone please provide explanations for all the questions above?
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Re: Deontological Pacifism decrees that moral agents have an absolute duty  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2019, 00:23
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5 mins 24 secs... got 50% correct. Brutal passage! Will take an attempt to explain the questions...

The passage talks about deontological pacifism and the corresponding dilemma's that a pacifist faces. In a summary of the collision of duties, the author goes on to show how the pacifist deals with pertinent questions of defending oneself against an aggressor & defending a potential innocent victim against an aggressor. This "it is not clear why others should be accorded a higher moral evaluation; for after all the self is, in turn, one amongst many others from a different subject’s point of view." is one of the central questions being discussed. As final answers to the questions stated above the author conclude with 1. The first is that the ideal of pacifism retains supremacy over all other ideals and is not to be compromised. 2. The second is that the life of the pacifist is morally superior to the life of the threatened innocent, even if that innocent happens to be a fellow absolute pacifist. Finally describing the pacifist's claim that certain moral actions are good in themselves (even if their results are contradictory?)

A highly dense and confusing reading which I could not grasp even after spending 3 mins. :-(

Easiest of the lot. Direct detail question based on the ideas presented in the passage
1. Which of the following, according to the passage, would the deontological pacifist consider idealistic?

(A) Resorting to self defence in the face of mortal danger. This is under discussion and author does not consider idealistic according to pacifism standards
(B) Using a tool to save an innocent’s life. Discard. Self-defense is not propagated in this ideal.
(C) Devaluing one’s life in favour of an ethical conduct. Bingo - the author talks about this in 3rd short paragraph.
(D) Doing one’s duty as a soldier in times of war. Discard. Nonviolence ( peace) is a virtue that the pacifist would uphold at all costs. No wars for them.
(E) Eliminating the assailant, by using violence, if he is harmful to society Opposite. Discard for same reason as option (A)

Detail question that requires one to look at the surrounding info around the statement to understand what exactly it supports
2. Which of the following does the statement “…self is in turn one amongst many others from a different subject’s point of view” support?

(A) It is logical for the pacifist to jeopardize the safety of self. Opposite view - noone claims that jepordizing self safety is "logical"
(B) It is logical to consider the aggressor to be of a higher moral order. Credited answer - but one that I feel is lacking.
(C) Force may be used to halt an aggressor who endangers the pacifist’s life. BINGO - I feel this should be the correct answer. As this statement -"But that hinges upon a moral evaluation of the self compared to others, and it is not clear why others should be accorded a higher moral evaluation; for after all the self is in turn one amongst many others from a different subject’s point of view." implies that author does not think it is correct of the pacifist to give high moral value to other over self.
(D) The pacifist can go to the assistance of a fellow pacifist. Discard. Not being discussed with resepct to this statement. irrelevant.
(E) It is rational for a pacifist to think that protecting the life of others is his moral responsibility. Same as above - irrelevant to the statement. Discard

Unlikely to agree- so we are looking for a statement that the author disagrees with. It is very difficult given the dense nature of the arguments made.
3. Which of the following is the author unlikely to agree with?

(A) it is not incumbent on the pacificist to perform duties in all pertinent circumstances. Discard. Verbatim from the passage and surely something the author agrees with.
(B) The notion that there is a potential collision of duties is non-existant. Discard. Again straightforward from the passage
(C) Self also should be given the same moral evaluation as any other. Credited answer - but I feel this is incorrect in light of the discussion in question 2. If the author feels that self is at a lower level than other than why does he use the analogy "self is just other from the point of view of another" and claim that it is not clear why other should be given more value than self
(D) The ideal of pacifism should not gain supremacy over all other ideals. Irrelevant as we do not discuss other ideals.
(E) The ideal of pacifism is not worth adhering to especially in modern times when terrorism and extremism on have become the order of the day. May feel out of scope but the author in the concluding paragraphs states that pacifism is good in itself (even without logical backing) so author could likely disagree with this option.

Q4 - Did not understand this question. Will add an explanation when I get a different point of view or spend more time on it.

Let me know what are your thoughts on Q2,3 & 4.
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Deontological Pacifism decrees that moral agents have an absolute duty  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2019, 00:31
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Looks like this passage has been picked verbatim from Internet encyclopedia of philosophy. Scroll down and check the 2. Absolute pacifism second topic... deontological pacifism header. The first paragraph has been jumbled but rest is word-to-word.

What is the source of the questions?

I think this passage could be a let down due to low-quality questions on a difficult passage. :-(

tarunanandani dave13 nightblade354 others... please attempt once to share your views on the same.

Thank you. :-)
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Re: Deontological Pacifism decrees that moral agents have an absolute duty  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2019, 05:30
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10+ mins to solve, 3/4 correct... A very dense and difficult passage to grasp with very tricky answer choices...

Here are my thoughts on the questions:

1. Which of the following, according to the passage, would the deontological pacifist consider idealistic?

As per the passage, ideally a deontological pacifist would not indulge in any kind of violence. Reference lines: 'Deontological Pacifism decrees that moral agents have an absolute duty to avoid aggression or waging war against others. Held as a duty, it is incumbent on the pacifist never to aggress, use force, or support or engage in war against another.'

All the options except C talks about some kind of violence and hence are incorrect. By POE, correct answer choice is C.


2. Which of the following does the statement “…self is in turn one amongst many others from a different subject’s point of view” support?

Lets re-read the lines from the passage to answer this question:
'Those pacifists who admit the right to defend the self against a threat can admit the use of restraining or disabling force and even, if the threat is deadly, the right to kill an assailant. Deontological pacifists can claim that others’ rights to life are of a higher order duty than the duty to intervene to save oneself. But that hinges upon a moral evaluation of the self compared to others, and it is not clear why others should be accorded a higher moral evaluation; for after all the self is in turn one amongst many others from a different subject’s point of view.'

(A) It is logical for the pacifist to jeopardize the safety of self. ---Incorrect, Not supported by the above lines of the passage.
(B) It is logical to consider the aggressor to be of a higher moral order. ---Credited answer. Deontological pacifists would agree with this but the lines asked in the question seems to question such a view.
(C) Force may be used to halt an aggressor who endangers the pacifist’s life. ---Seems to be a better choice than B as the lines asked in the question support the view mentioned in the above lines, highlighted in green color.
(D) The pacifist can go to the assistance of a fellow pacifist. ---Incorrect, A fellow pacifist is not mentioned in the concerned part of the passage.
(E) It is rational for a pacifist to think that protecting the life of others is his moral responsibility. ---Incorrect, Moral responsibility is too extreme and not supported by the passage.


3. Which of the following is the author unlikely to agree with?

(A) it is not incumbent on the pacificist to perform duties in all pertinent circumstances. ---Incorrect, the author is likely to agree with this.
(B) The notion that there is a potential collision of duties is non-existant. ---Incorrect, same as A.
(C) Self also should be given the same moral evaluation as any other. ---Correct, as discussed in Q2, the author disagrees with the notion of moral evaluation of 'self with others' because he thinks that self or other is just a matter of perspective.
(D) The ideal of pacifism should not gain supremacy over all other ideals. ---Incorrect, irrelevant, ideals are not discussed.
(E) The ideal of pacifism is not worth adhering to especially in modern times when terrorism and extremis on have become the order of the day. ---Incorrect, too extreme a choice. One has to assume a lot in order to infer such a view. The last paragraph of the passage only shares pacifist views and nothing as such of the author's.


4. What according to the passage is NOT implied by ‘collision of duties’?

The second paragraph gives examples to the cases pertaining to the first problem, collision of duties, for deontological pacifism. Lets refer to those examples to answer this question.

(A) Duty to protect others from an assailant or the virtue of pacifism ---Incorrect, reference lines: 'What if force is to be used to halt an aggressor who endangers the pacifist’s life, or the life of an innocent?'
(B) Being a passive recipient of aggression versus the duty to protect oneself ---Incorrect, same as A '...halt an aggressor who endangers the pacifist’s life...'
(C) Duty to forfeit one’s life or the duty to respect another’s life ---Incorrect, reference lines: 'The aggressor obviously transcends any duty of respect he should have towards his victim but does that warrant the forfeiture of his life?'
(D) Duty to accord a higher moral value to the lives of others rather than to oneself ---Correct, by POE.
(E) Duty to protect the life of the aggressor as against one’s own life ---Incorrect, reference lines: 'Deontological pacifists can claim that others’ rights to life are of a higher order duty than the duty to intervene to save oneself.'
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Re: Deontological Pacifism decrees that moral agents have an absolute duty &nbs [#permalink] 04 Jan 2019, 05:30
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