A Hypothetical- Moral Dilemna

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A Hypothetical- Moral Dilemna

Unread postby Strategist » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:37 pm

You are the sovereign in charge of a country with a federal system. It is explicitly written into the Constitution that the Federal Government is given control of certain taxes, Defence, Trade, and Foreign Affairs- nothing more. Although having a Western-style constitution, however, the country has an unusual culture. One of the ways is that so far the country has been highly faithful to it's Constitution so far.

One of the states, as they clearly have the Constitutional power to do, is commiting genocide (the Founding Fathers didn't think of it). The court has ruled that they have the legal power to do so, so they are exterminating an ethic group consisting of two million people (in case scale matters) out of a state of ten million, in a country with a total population of 250 million.

This is all happening is in a world prior to Nuremberg. The concept of 'war crimes' does not exist. You have the support of the army behind you to the point where you could get away with declaring yourself a military dictator if you wanted to.

Questions involved:
-Do you stop the genocide by force, even though you have no legal power to do so? This opens a massive slippery slope, as your actions are those of a vigilante. If you support vigilantism now, how can you suppress it in the future?
-If you do stop the genocide by force, do you invent the concept of war crimes and try those responsible for it? There is a clear moral problem with retroactive punishment, especially as it is unreasonable to expect the state leaders to even realise you would punish them. Not every culture has condemned genocide as morally wrong, after all...
-If you don't, do you resign to avoid association with the genocide? You could still try to save people without the problems of hypocrisy.
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