Meredith McFadden

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Meredith teaches at the University of California, Riverside, where she is completing her doctorate in Philosophy. Her research interests include philosophy of action, biomedical ethics, and the nature of justification.

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"USS Cape St. George (CG 71) fires a tomahawk missile in support of OIF" by Kenneth Moll is licensed under CC0 Public Domain (via Wikimedia Commons)

The guiding concern of just war theory is that it is wrong to harm people, therefore it is wrong to harm people en masse, as we do in war. Thus, just war theory stems from the observation that aggression of all kinds requires justification, and the theory attempts to lay out the justification for acts of war. War is aggressive, and it harms and kills individuals as well as damages nations, and therefore we should take seriously the moral weight of the obligations to avoid it. The two principle realms that just war theory addresses are jus ad bellum (justified principles for entering war) and jus in bello (justified principles of conduct within war).

"Mike Pence and Karen Pence walking the parade route" by Pvt. Gabriel Silva is licensed under CC0 Public Domain (via Wikimedia Commons)

On March 28th, a Washington Post profile on Mike Pence’s wife, Karen Pence, emphasized the closeness in their marriage by reiterating a controversial policy of theirs: Mike Pence does not eat alone with any woman besides Karen, nor does he attend any event that has alcohol present without her. While some laud this commitment to honoring and protecting his marriage, others have voiced concerns about the practicality of following such a rule and fairly performing the roles of his professional position.

"National Progress Party flag" by National Progress Party is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)NPP National Progress Party Flag" by National Progress Party is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)"

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is known for advocating an understanding of feminist values that is inclusive and diverse. Race and gender play important roles in her largely personal works. Best-selling author of “Americanah” and “We Should All be Feminists,” she emphasizes that fundamental to feminism is that “’because you are a girl’ is never a reason for anything,” and that, “I matter. I matter equally.” Her focus in much of her writing, especially in her latest project, “Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions,” is how to raise a daughter and that feminism is a project that binds mothers and daughters (she discusses the shaming dialog with her mother surrounding her first period, for instance).

"Interstate 5 in Washington" by I, Cacophony is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (via Wikipedia)

On Friday, March 3, a man was shot in a suburb outside of Seattle after being berated and told to go back where he came from. He wore a turban, and the shooter presumably interpreted him to be of Middle Eastern origin. The man was a Sikh, a population that is enduring harassment and worse alongside Muslims in the United States’ most recent rise of Islamophobia due to the widespread ignorance of the religion.

"The contents of a needle exchange kit" by Todd Huffman is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)

Under new legislation in Maryland, spaces will be provided for illegal narcotics to be ingested in clean facilities under the supervision of medical professionals. There are nearly 100 such facilities worldwide, largely in Europe, where they have existed since the early 1980s. In the United States, where rates of accidental death from opioid overdose have “quadrupled since the late 1990s,” these facilities are still largely a controversial possibility.

Screen Capture of "Arrival Trailer (2016) by Paramount Pictures (via Youtube)

Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers for Arrival and Passengers.

If you were to see your life unfold ahead of you, with all of the triumphs but interspersed with the tragedies in all of their grittiness and grief, would you choose to experience it, in all of that detail? Not just in spite of the inconveniences and harms, not full of regrets, but could you wholeheartedly say “Yes!” to the life that will be, or has been, yours?

"Anti-Nazi Antifa Graffiti" by Cogiati is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)

The days since the inauguration of President Trump have been filled with demonstrations and protest. The inauguration itself was viewed significantly less than those prior, and what may have been the largest protest in our history followed the next day. It is noteworthy that while over three million people gathered in the Women’s March nationally, it was “peaceful,” with no arrests at the main locus of the protests in Washington, D.C., or at the sister marches in Los Angeles and New York City.

"Net" by Unsplash is licensed under CC0 Public Domain (via Pixabay)

This year will mark a variety of experiments in alternatives to standards models of welfare in the West.

Traditionally, revenue collected from taxes is devoted to programs that provide particular services to citizens in need of assistance. Some form of credits or relief from paying for groceries, rent, school tuition, and medical assistance are standard areas of government aid.

"Pinochet en Historia Plitica BCN" by Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional de Chile is licensed under CC BY 3.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)

Just before Christmas, prisoners serving long terms for human rights abuses during Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile received a mass and asked for forgiveness from the families of their victims. Some families of the victims protested the mass, and many human rights advocates dismissed these moves by the prisoners as empty, and not genuine steps towards earning forgiveness.

Forgiveness is often seen as a virtue, a good-making feature of a life well lived. To forgive is to let go of the blame we feel towards those who wrong us. Letting go of negative feelings can seem like an obvious good, a move towards a more positive way of living. When we hurt each other and let one another down, we make amends, apologize, and aim to get past states of blame and hurt. When someone who harms us apologizes, forgiving them is how the relationship can move forward.

"Mujer musulmana en Pamukkale, Turquia" by Edgardo W. Olivera is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (via Flickr)

On Tuesday, December 6th, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a speech calling for a ban on the full-face veil worn by some Muslim women. Earlier this year, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere also called for a ban on the full veil in public places. In defense of the ban, politicians appeal to society cohesion, and adherence to the values of Germany.