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Killing in War and Moral Equality *

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[Do innocent civilians who will be killed in a justified attack on a nearby military target have a right to defend themselves by shooting down the bomber pilot? I argue that they do not, and that Jeff McMahan’s view that they do have such a right—that there is a moral equivalence between pilot and civilian—is flawed in much the same way that Michael Walzer’s moral equivalence of combatants—a position that McMahan has so persuasively refuted—is flawed., Do innocent civilians who will be killed in a justified attack on a nearby military target have a right to defend themselves by shooting down the bomber pilot? I argue that they do not, and that Jeff McMahan's view that they do have such a right—that there is a moral equivalence between pilot and civilian—is flawed in much the same way that Michael Walzer's moral equivalence of combatants—a position that McMahan has so persuasively refuted—is flawed.]

Affiliations: 1: Department of Political Science, William Paterson University 300 Pompton Road, Wayne, NJ 07470, USA, shaloms@wpunj.edu

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