The struggle to define right and wrong is one centuries old and continues to be relevant day by day. In issues concerning the military and acts of war, this struggle takes on new meaning. The ethics of military orders quickly become a problem when studying right and wrong. The problem ethics raise concerning military orders is solved using the theory of utilitarianism, and though opposed by ethical relativism, in this situation utilitarianism is the answer. The study of morality is called ethics. Morality is made up of the acceptable limits that the group “society” or individual has regarding good and evil and right and wrong. Ethics is one of the three divisions of Philosophy that “tries to determine which things are morally good and which actions are morally right” (Velasquez, 2010). These acceptable moral norms are subjects and actions that people apply huge importance to. They are the threads of goodness that make the fabric of society. “For example, most people in U.S. society believe in moral standards against lying, theft, rape, enslavement, murder, child abuse, assault, slander, fraud, and law breaking” (Velasquez, 2010) . Matters concerning these issues to most United States citizens and their military are universally shared and could be considered morals that apply to everyone, everywhere, which is called ethical absolutism. (Velasquez, 2010) Philosopher Simone de Beauvoir believes the foundation of ethics to be rooted in freedom and a human existence free of oppression, which would coincide with the fore mentioned moral standards of the United States. (Melchert, 2002) There are different institutions among cultures, such as the social institution and the political institution and within these institutions different ethical standards exist. This is due to the different environments these institutions operate in. Where the institution of society operates on the general cultural level regarding one another in a general...
References: Eric, S. K., & Mike, O. L. (2002). Utilitarian vs. humanitarian: The battle over the law of war. Parameters, 32(2), 73-85. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/198169943?accountid=32521
Melchert, N. (2007). The Great Conversation, 5th Ed, Volume II, New York, Oxford University Press.
Mosser, K. (2010). Introduction to ethics and social responsibility. San Diego, Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Muhammad, A. K. (2010). "The most moral army in the world": The new "ethical code" of the israeli military and the war on gaza. Journal of Palestine Studies, 39(3), 6-23. : http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/jps.2010.xxxix.3.6
Velasquez, M. (2010). Philosophy: A Text with Readings Expanded Version,11th Ed., Ohio, Cengage Learning.
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