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A military platoon is on a rescue mission Two of their men are trapped on a hill and under fire Both men were seriously wounded and would be dead within a few hours if not rescued A minefield lies in between the platoon and the men obscuring the only rescue path The lieutenant notices a civilian walking through the minefield clearly walking around the mines as though he knew where each one lay After detaining the civilian it becomes clear that he has no intention of helping the platoon get across the minefield safely Should the lieutenant violate the laws of war and torture the individual into telling him so that his men might die Major Tony Pfaff uses this example to illustrate his article on virtue ethics in the military versus other rule-based methods This dilemma would be relatively simple to solve based upon a utilitarian viewpointyou would do what ultimately benefit the most people while at the same time minimizing unhappiness to others Kantian theory would throw a red flag at the prospect of using the civilian as a means So what do you do when you dont have a clear-cut rule to follow According to this author virtue ethics is what the United States military leaders need to followespecially in the times when each moral decision causes suffering Virtue ethics is not a consequential theory so the outcome of the situation would not matter when making your decision What matters is instead of doing the right thing are you being a good leader And how do you determine what that is One of the main issues with virtue ethics is how you determine a set of virtues to live by One suggested way to solve this is to understand what it means for a human to function and therefore flourish well This leads to problems in itself One problem with this is each culture tends to have different sets
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