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Justification: Self-Defense - Conclusion

defender testament violence delicate

The debate over which limitations should be placed on the right to self-defense arises from the delicate balancing of interests of the aggressor and the defender. The disagreement is testament to the quandary self-defense represents to the belief in the sanctity of life and the suppression of violence: The goal is to craft a formulation of self-defense that maximally protects the autonomy of innocent victims while not authorizing such excessive violence as to turn the aggressor into another victim. Another dimension to this delicate balance is the relationship between the defender and the state. Putting it in the terms of Locke's and Hobbes's social contract theory, the law of self-defense ideally should not so overly restrict the defender so as to provide less protection than would be enjoyed in the state of nature. Nor should it be so uninhibited so as to usurp the virtual monopoly power over the use of force that the defender has ceded to the state to better the dismal condition of mankind in the state of nature. The proper balance lies somewhere between the vengeance of the Old Testament and the pacifism of the New Testament.

Justification: Self-Defense - Bibliography [next] [back] Justification: Self-Defense - Defense Of Others

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