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airborne
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Arms dealing to regimes in Africa? Immoral?

I do think it is immoral as it is allowing evil to continue to survive. Politically though I do not oppose it.

If the arms are going to totalitarian regimes that use those weapons to strengthen their grip on power and oppress their populations, then the sale is immoral. Particularly if the seller is a society built upon principles of liberty. I am not sure why you would morally oppose it yet politically sanction it, however.

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I am not sure why you would morally oppose it yet politically sanction it, however.

What is the difference between me saying I ethically oppose it vs morally oppose it?. What I was trying to say is that I may think that animal torture is immoral but I have no right to tell someone else not to do it if they're not interfering with my freedoms.

Edited by airborne
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What I was trying to say is that I may think that animal torture is immoral but I have no right to tell someone else not to do it if they're not interfering with my freedoms.

Why would you think you have no right to tell someone else they are doing something wrong? Why would you think you that you have to sell your products to someone using them for a purpose you think is evil?

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Why would you think you have no right to tell someone else they are doing something wrong?

I didn't say tell him they're doing something wrong. I said tell(force) them "not to do it".

Why would you think you that you have to sell your products to someone using them for a purpose you think is evil?

I don't think I have to. But I'm not sure if I should be forced not to. I'm just trying to figure out whether arms dealing to evil regimes or questionable ones should be a political issue(especially when they don't pose a threat to your country).

and again whats the difference between me saying something is morally questionable vs ethically questionable(I remember someone saying animal torture was ethically questionable although it should not be banned by government).

Edited by airborne
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I didn't say tell him they're doing something wrong. I said tell(force) them "not to do it".

Well, you did say "tell";

but I have no right to tell someone else not to do it

but thanks for clarifying that you are referring to using force.

However, the example 'animal torture' is not analogous to a totalitarian government that is, say, mass murdering it's 'rebellious' citizen population and those of neighboring countries. We don't attack someone just because they are committing immoral acts (as there are many immoral acts that do not involve violating people's rights), though we might attack someone if they are systematically violating other people's rights. Perhaps the distinction you are looking for is immoral vs. rights violations?

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You need to start thinking about the "values" of the manufacturer of arms. Most of us try to avoid doing conscious harm to others, particularly those who have in no way harmed us. If the manufacturer's values do not include any concern for how the product of his efforts will be used, then I'd have problems with his values.

Most manufacturers have begun their operations through their scientific discoveries. The Krupps, Armitage, Colts, Lockheeds, etc all became operations independent of their native countries. They felt entitled to sell their goods to anyone with the money to pay for them. I suspect that this is more an amoral state of affairs than good or bad. It's business. This is a personal matter, when it comes down to one's personal assessment of the manufacturer.

In these days, though, most of the arms sales are made through the government of the manufacturer's country. Any sales from the US or UK to a country in Africa are a government to government affair. This is a political statement of support and approval of the actions of the recipient of the arms. The selling government is doing this to gain an advantage, as is the recipient country's government. If the arms are not truly needed to counter an external threat, but rather to enslave the local population for the benefit of the ruling class of the recipient country, and ultimately for the benefit of their supporters in the wider world, then the level of coercion is such that it has to be morally condemned.

The world is now awash with weapons. Anything which would stop the arms trade from continuing to expand would be a good start.

Capucine

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However, the example 'animal torture' is not analogous to a totalitarian government that is, say, mass murdering it's 'rebellious' citizen population and those of neighboring countries. We don't attack someone just because they are committing immoral acts (as there are many immoral acts that do not involve violating people's rights), though we might attack someone if they are systematically violating other people's rights. Perhaps the distinction you are looking for is immoral vs. rights violations?

Yes, I think so.

I see a difference between 'animal torture' and a totalitarian government posing a threat to 'us'(citizens of a semi-free state). However, I don't think we have a responsibility to help the world suffering from rights violations(totalitarian dictatorships in Africa which don't pose a threat to 'us').

So following this it would be logical to conclude that selling weapons to these countries should not be banned but is morally questionable? But then above fletch mentioned that "I am not sure why you would morally oppose it yet politically sanction it, however."(which would seem to imply banning animal torture because it is immoral?)

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However, I don't think we have a responsibility to help the world suffering from rights violations(totalitarian dictatorships in Africa which don't pose a threat to 'us').

I don't think I implied that we have a responsibility to address all the possible right violators around the world. Rather, I was addressing whether or not we had a right to force them to stop. However, as it relates to your arms dealing question, refusing to sell them arms does not require going around and saving the world. Silence isn't always sanctioning evil; sometimes you just don't have the resources to 'talk' (use force). However, selling them arms is not simply sanctioning the evil, it is actively furthering it.

If a hit man walks into a gun store and tells the shop owner that he needs a gun to kill the president, do you think the gun store owner should be free to sell the hit man a weapon? Do you think the gun store owner should be free from criminal culpability just because he isn't the one who actually pulls the trigger?

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If a hit man walks into a gun store and tells the shop owner that he needs a gun to kill the president, do you think the gun store owner should be free to sell the hit man a weapon? Do you think the gun store owner should be free from criminal culpability just because he isn't the one who actually pulls the trigger?

No - because it is his president - of the government protecting his rights, but should he be free to sell a gun to a guy who tells the shop owner he is going to Rwanda to kill people for fun?

Edited by airborne
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No - because it is his president - of the government protecting his rights, but should he be free to sell a gun to a guy who tells the shop owner he is going to Rwanda to kill people for fun?
Are we supposed to take that seriously? (As in, the claim of the buyer). Uttering ridiculous words don't have any probative value. A better way to ask this is, if you know that a person is going to violate rights with the weapons you sell him, is it moral (no) or should it be legal (fill in the blank)?
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Are we supposed to take that seriously? (As in, the claim of the buyer). Uttering ridiculous words don't have any probative value. A better way to ask this is, if you know that a person is going to violate rights with the weapons you sell him, is it moral (no) or should it be legal (fill in the blank)?

I'm now inclined to say "no", it should not be legal.

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