Recently, Robert P. George offered on these pages a much needed warning against the indiscriminate drone use that that has become characteristic of U.S. foreign policy. Yet what are Christians and others who believe in aboslute moral norms to make of the morality of drone use itself? Writing in the Guardian, philosopher Bradley Strawser offers a view that strikes me as quite sensible:
My view is this: drones can be a morally preferable weapon of war if they are capable of being more discriminate than other weapons that are less precise and expose their operators to greater risk. Of course, killing is lamentable at any time or place, be it in war or any context. But if a military action is morally justified, we are also morally bound to ensure that it is carried out with as little harm to innocent people as possible.
The best empirical evidence suggests that drones are more precise, result in fewer unintended deaths of civilian bystanders, and better protect their operators from risk than other weapons, such as manned aircraft, carrying out similar missions. Other things being equal, then, drones should be used in place of other less accurate and riskier weapons. But they should be used only for morally justified missions, in pursuit of a just cause.
More here. I’d welcome links to opposing views in the comments.
Via Lee M.