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The moral equality of combatants
The moral equality of combatants

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Glossary

Jus ad Bellum
The conditions that specify when it is morally permissible to go to war.
Jus in Bello
The conditions that specify what actions are morally permissible in war.
Just War Tradition
A long historical tradition, starting with St Augustine, which lays out a set of conditions that say when a war is just, and when killing in a war is permissible. Standardly the Just War Tradition presents Jus ad Bellum conditions and Jus in Bello conditions: if these are met, then the combatants are fighting justly; if not, then they are fighting unjustly.
liability
Someone is liable to a harm if they have no right not to be harmed. If they have a right not to be harmed, they are immune from that harm and they ought not to be harmed. If they are liable to be harmed, then they are not immune from that harm, and it may be permissible to harm them.
material non-innocence
The state of being a physical or material threat, contrasted with moral non-innocence and with material innocence.
moral non-innocence and material innocence
The term ‘innocence’ derives from the Latin word nocentes, which means people who are threatening or injurious. In the Just War Tradition but not in ordinary discourse, innocence tends to mean material innocence, and contrasts with harming, not with guilt or culpability.
moral equality of combatants (MEC)
Combatants on both sides of a war, regardless of the justice of their cause, are equally permitted to kill each other and equally liable to be killed (see liability).
moral non-innocence
The state of being morally culpable, contrasted with
material non-innocence
In ordinary discourse, but not in the Just War Tradition. The opposite of innocence is guilt, or culpability; that is, we tend to mean moral innocence and moral non-innocence.