Title: Blood Diamond
Studio: Virtual Studios
Producer: Warner Bros.
Director: Edward Zwick
Country: United States of America
The following essay will examine ethical issues addressed through the movie “Blood Diamond”. The two main issues identified and discussed are; child soldiers and conflict diamonds. My main lens of ethical theories will consist of the four western theories, this includes, egoism, utilitarianism, ethics of duties and ethics of rights. Even though these theories are based on ethical absolutism, I will still try to apply a pluralistic view. Additionally, some of these theories will be expanded and other theories that do not tend so much towards ethical absolutism will be added. The following section will concentrate more on how these issues occurred and try to give some potential answer to the problems. In order to do so descriptive ethical theories will be tools in the examination. Finally the conclusion will be presented by a combination of a film review and a short summary of the findings in the text.
1.1 Children with guns
The first of the two ethical issues that will be examined is the use of kids as soldiers. In order to do so I believe I have to take a subjective role on the subject, looking from a rebel soldier. The reasons for this is because I believe objective or western views on this topic will in the end state that this is neither moral or ethical. In order to get a more interesting view on the matter, I will use an alternative approach and try to look out of the eyes of a soldier taking the use of kid soldiers. The question is; how can the use of kids as soldiers be justified?
The situation described in the movie tells us about the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), which is a rebel group fighting the government in Sierra Leone 1999. To put the situation in a soldiers mind, one could argue that his or hers thoughts were, “I am being invaded by the west, they are stealing my diamonds, the government is corrupt, how can I win this fight?” This perspective is based on RUF as one minded soldiers, of course they are not, but in order to make this argument the assumption is so. The first ethical theory that can be linked to the response of child soldiers is egoism. The main concept of this theory is justified with one having to focus on one self; to control all other things is to hard (Crane and Matten 2010). It is important to distinguish from selfishness, and one can argue that this action can be justified as an egoistic mindset, not a selfish point of view. They do not fight only for their own winning; they fight for what they believe is best for the country and RUF. The rest of the world would probably disagree to the use of kids, but how can they judge a situation that for most of them is so far away that they can only be prejudice not knowledgeable about the situation? One can even go so far to say that both the consequentialist theories supports the actions performed by this rebel group, they are fighting for their own desires and what they believe is the greater good. In order to do so they have to utilise the resources available, ergo using children as soldiers and living in utilitarianism. Consequentialist theories focus on the outcome, and one can state that is what has to be the focus in order to actually use so young people for means in war. The differences between the theories are that egoism focuses on the decision-maker while utilitarianism casts an eye on the wider community, which RUF seems to do as well when fighting against the government (Crane and Matten 2010). For the remaining theories on this issue, there is no one that can be associated with the use of children for these actions. Both non-consequentialist theories have clear moral guidance that will not support the course of actions taken by the RUF. Ethical duties have three main maxims, and I believe no RUF soldier would want the use of child soldiers...