Am I a murderer??
Am i a murderer?? This was the question that lingered in my mind all weekend as I read several times and tried to understand Mike Walzers’ article, Political Action: The Problem of Dirty Hands. In the twenty two page document Walzer raises the disturbing question of whether a moral person can choose to enter political life, knowing in advance that the exigencies of politics will almost certainly, sooner or later, lead that person into making immoral decisions. On page 164 of Political Action, Walzer goes on to say that “the men who act for us and in our name are often killers or seem to become killers too quickly and too easily.”
As a Political Science major with life dreams and goals of becoming a politician of some sort one day (i.e president,governor,state representative,congressman..), what do i make of such words? Am i immoral for wanting to enter the political life? Do i have to sacrifice personal virtue in order to make good reforms for our country? The “dirty hands” theory refers to politicians who make decisions to break a law or utter a falsehood in order to serve the public interest. Is it wrong to lie for the greater good?
I for one am a strong supporter of utilitarinism. This is a just theory that states that the greatest number of people should be the main consideration when making a choice of actions; a belief that if “the ends justify the means,” then a decision is moral. If as president you must torture one to save thousands of your citizens, I say DO THE DAMN THING! I do not believe politicians are as immoral, cruel, and vindictive as Walzer tries to persuade readers that they are. There are many great politicians today with goals of serving citizens and doing what is right.When faced with toughed decisions you must serve the general public, and thats what politicians do. There is no “problem” with dirty hands, so long as they were for the greater good. There’s nothing wrong with doing what is right.
So,am I a murderer???