Unethical orders in the military

This involves whether soldiers have liberty in denying the unethical orders or they are required to execute the orders under any circumstance. Question of how far a military should go to avoid harming civilians have generated a heated debate. Key Issues Issue 1 Under the military oath, soldiers are required to follow the command of their seniors that raises concern on the viability and acceptability of orders that contradict ethical principles. One of the major issues that soldiers face is to execute the military orders when they are assured that it might result in killing of innocent people.

Unethical orders in the military

Military Orders that May be Unethical Utilitarianism is a philosophical theory states that ethics are determined by the social group in which the moral determination is made. It has been described by various philosophers as the great happiness principle or pleasure principle.

In essence, what is ethical or moral is determined by what makes a person or a group of persons the happiest. If a course of action brings the majority of people happiness, then it is ethical.

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On the contrary, if a certain set of actions brings the majority unhappiness, then it is unethical. Utility is thus the ultimate form of happiness and the best way by which to achieve happiness both for the individual and for the majority of the population within a given society.

This seems logical but can become complicated when applying the concept of utilitarianism to a larger group, such as a government. Whether the government in question is a democracy or a dictatorship, the individual soldier will likely encounter an issue wherein his or her personal views on an issue are counter to what has been ordered of them.

A government which is built on a philosophy of utilitarianism will believe or at least assert that it is doing what is best for the people, but ethics can be an individual consideration as described by the philosophy of ethical egoism.

Essentially, what one person considers to be ethical may be counter to the majority and vice versa which creates a conflict within the soldier. In a utilitarian realm, the government will make rules for the good of the people and the leaders will give orders to soldiers for the good of the people.

According to John Stuart Mill, the author of Utilitarianism, "Whatever can be proved to be good must be so by being shown to be a means to something admitted to be good without proof" Mill ,-page 4. Good or bad are moral distinctions which are designated by the society which imposes them.

Good is an adjective which is applied to moral scenarios wherein the majority population approves whereas bad is the adjective which is applied to those scenarios which the population majorly disapproves.

The government, as an instrument of the people, will largely make rules which correspond to the will of the populous, although that can be different in a dictatorship or a totalitarian regime. Utilitarianism has two forms: Rule utilitarianism demands that what has been determined to be the source of greatest happiness for the masses will become the law of a given community.

This is largely seen in democracies or even monarchies where the will of the people can impact the power of the monarch.

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Act utilitarianism, on the other hand deals with the action which would create happiness for the individual.

Actions are performed which will be of most satisfaction to the person instead of what is best for the majority population. This form is usually applied in cases of a single, unchecked ruler such as a dictator Bayles In discussing utilitarianism and its application to the real world, the position of the soldier can be applied within the parameters of these two types.

If a soldier is ordered to commit an act based on what is seen as best for the people then he or she will have to deal with act utilitarianism, that is to say his or her own happiness and whether or not following orders will violate their own pleasure.Apr 21,  · The order must relate to military duty, which includes all activities reasonably necessary to accomplish a military mission, or safeguard or promote the morale, discipline, and usefulness of members of a command and directly connected with the maintenance of good order in the service.

Virtue ethics can be categorized as intellectual or moral principles of ethics, which comprise of intellectual virtues such as prudence, fortitude, justice, temperance, justice and wisdom. In analyzing unethical orders in the military, it is crucial to contrast the perspectives brought by principles of.

UNETHICAL ORDERS IN THE MILITARY 3 also be distinguished from virtue ethics because virtue ethics emphasis on habits and acts that lead to happiness. A leading unethical order in the military, in my .

Unethical orders in the military

US psychologists designed and oversaw the unethical, brutal interrogations used on detainees in military custody during the war on terror with approval from the American Psychological Association.

Psychology graduate students appear to receive little instruction about these matters and thus seem vulnerable to violating international law again in the future. Ultimately, it's not whether or not the military member thinks the order is illegal or unlawful; it's whether military superiors (and courts) think the order was illegal or unlawful.

Case in point: In , Spec-4 Michael New was serving with the 1/15 Battalion of the 3rd Infantry Division of the U.S.

A Duty to Disobey All Unlawful Orders

Army at Schweinfurt, Germany. Virtue ethics can be categorized as intellectual or moral principles of ethics, which comprise of intellectual virtues such as prudence, fortitude, justice, temperance, justice and wisdom.

In analyzing unethical orders in the military, it is crucial to contrast the perspectives brought by principles of.

Military Orders That May Be Unethical Utilitarianism Essay - Words