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most wanted terrorist took place in Abbottabad, Pakistan. In August 2010, the compound in which Bin Laden was suspected to be hiding was placed under surveillance. Satellites were used to watch over the house, then unmanned drones, and finally a local Pakistani spy. They got information that there was a man in the house who did not have to do any of the chores in the house. They also found out that there were women and children in the house, possibly Bin Laden‟s family. Soon, there was enough evidence to claim that Osama was indeed hiding in the said compound. 79 Navy SEALs plus a dog were sent to perform the mission at midnight. One of their 4 helicopters crashed, but the troops were all safe and they proceeded to do their mission. In the compound, the troops encountered and killed 2 men and a woman while they tied up all other women and children. At the 2nd floor, they killed Bin Laden‟s son. At the 3rd floor, they saw Bin Laden looking at them. For the first time, they got confirmation that Bin Laden was indeed in the house. Bin Laden returned to his bedroom. 2 other SEALs went after Bin Laden and his wife. One of those SEALs shot the wife while the other fired at Bin Laden twice. Bin Laden was killed without him being able to use his AK-47 and pistol in the room. This paper will look at the morality of a SEAL‟s decision to take part on such an operation. There are various ways in looking at this objective. For this paper, deciding to take part on such an operation tantamount to being a Navy SEAL, that is, doing their
His rationality regulates his passions so that he does not engage in his passions too much or too little. Virtue is the mean. The challenge is to use our rationality in regulating our irrationality. Specifically. This is human excellence.duties as a Navy SEAL because missions are orders. when one should. This is best done by developing the habits of right thinking. is being a Navy SEAL Team 6 member morally good or morally bad? IS THE ACT MORALLY GOOD OR BAD? (ARISTOTLE’S DOCTRINE) Aristotle‟s rationalist and teleological moral doctrine tells us that “living well” is the purpose of man and that his rationality should dictate his behavior in the direction of adhering to this purpose. Being virtuous is living well. Vice is the extreme. The . this paper seeks to answer the following questions: (1) using Aristotle‟s doctrine. This act of engaging our passions in an “average” manner is called virtue. is being a Navy SEAL Team 6 member morally good or morally bad? (2) Using Thomas Aquainas‟ doctrine. to the extent one should and for the reasons one should (Hermida. 28). They are not given choices. Man is more inclined to being irrational but he has the potential to be rational. Being virtuous is to act as one should. 27). Man is more inclined to being irrational because of his passions. . Man has a soul and this soul has both irrationality and rationality. His rationality guides him to engage in his passions at an „average‟ magnitude. The relationship between the two is that the human soul‟s rationality should control its irrationality. Man must discover the proper meaning of excess and defect and thereby discover the appropriate mean (Hermida. right choice and right behavior. to whom one should.
emotional and mental and also who carries his weapon around is a man of virtue. mental and emotional capabilities. according to Aristotle‟s doctrine. He is being a man who protects his people in the best way possible.aspx . They carry their weapons in preparation for any attacks on their nation.sealswcc. And this is the kind of man that Aristotle argues us all to be like. The usual issue surrounding the morality of being a Navy SEAL is that their duty has them inflicting pain. Therefore. The terrorist carries it to hurt. When one sees them. being part of that team is a morally good act because he follows orders and these are orders that requires the best physical. 1 2 http://www. one should feel protected from harm. A Navy SEAL who achieves the best physical.sealswcc. A Navy SEAL who achieves the best physical. the military do not carry weapons to inflict pain.training1 of these Navy SEALS is designed to develop these habits.a virtuous him. Following the order to go and assault that compound housing the most wanted terrorist shows how much of a virtuous man he is because. Let us have a closer look at this dimension of their duty2.com/navy-seals-buds-training-stages-overview. emotional and mental state and also who carries his weapon around should not be feared. mental and emotional state from him.aspx http://www. Inflicting pain just comes with what they have to dodefend their nation. The military-man carries it to defend. Navy SEALs go through such rigorous training so that they are able to defend their people in the best way possible. They are made to endure extremely strenuous physical conditions using only their physical. he is being the Navy SEAL that he should be.com/navy-seals-missions. In general. Their primary aim is not to inflict pain. This is really the main difference between a terrorist carrying a gun from a military-man carrying a gun.
finite and relative historical forms. we delved only into the discussion on the divine law.IS THE ACT MORALLY GOOD OR BAD? (AQUINAS’ DOCTRINE) “But whereas Aristotle envisioned a naturalistic morality through which men could achieve virtue and happiness by fulfilling their natural capacities or end. It is not enough for a man to be simply a man and to exercise his natural functions and abilities in order to achieve perfect happiness. 64) The higher end‟s revelation is unique in every person because the medium of revelation is dependent on the person. There is a double level of morality corresponding to man‟s natural end and to his supernatural end. Aquinas added to this his concept of man‟s supernatural end. revelation is . using Aquinas doctrine. Though shall not kill can have several interpretations despite a Christian‟s belief that it is one of the Ten Commandments. concrete. etc. “The divine law is available to man through revelation and is found in the scriptures. a moral assessment on the same act will be done considering man‟s supernatural end.” (Hermida. Again. 47) Using Aristotle‟s doctrine. Now. especially. a moral assessment was done considering only man‟s natural end. Aquinas also has doctrines without much consideration for the supernatural end of mandiscussion on eternal law. Being a Christian. It is not the product of man‟s reason but is given to man through God‟s grace to ensure that men know what they must do to fulfill both their natural and. Therefore human nature does not contain its own standard of fulfillment. 61) Revelation is a common human phenomenon but it can only be received in particular. human law. (Haight. How the higher end is revealed to you is based on your experiences. their supernatural ends. specific. Aquinas taught that human nature has its source and ultimate end in God. But here.”(Hermida.
a human act is deficient or evil if it does not have what should be real in it according to the essence of a good human act. it is innate to us. etc. ”(Hermida. We cannot determine the divine law that is „unique‟ to everyone for each soldier. there will be complications on determining whether a human act possesses goodness or is deficient or evil. According Aquinas‟ doctrines there are three factors that determine the morality of the human act: the objective of the act (Ex Objecto). 65) We refer to the Divine Laws of Roman Catholicism to resolve the issue on the norm. we utilized a divine law prominent here in the University. It manifests itself in various ways and this paves the way for an understanding of how a person should respect other ‟s beliefs. Instead. morals. the intention of the moral agent (Ex Fine) and the circumstances affecting the human act (Ex Circumstantia). In resolving this. Being a revelation. “A human act possess goodness insofar as there is something real about it and that it is completely good or simply good if it has all the reality that is required by the norm of a good human act. And again. Again. On the other hand. the usual issue surrounding the morality of being a Navy SEAL is that their duty has them inflicting pain. Using the doctrine of Aquinas stating that the morality of an act depends on the objective of the act. their primary aim is to defend their nation . Roman Catholicism. Roman Catholicism will be used because. Aquinas doctrine and Roman Catholicism will be used. There is a law within each of us that we should always abide. the identities of the members are not divulged to the public. the intention of the agent and the circumstances. we cannot properly tell what their faiths are. Hence. again.a common human phenomenon. Aquinas‟ doctrine argues that there are moral doctrines revealed to us.
The SEALs intended to kill Bin Laden. According to Aquainas. Contrary to initial reports. both are the same. it must proceed from deliberate will.sealswcc. 3 http://www. the objective of their act was to kill him. the mission was a shoot-to-kill mission. In their operation to take-down Bin Laden. All three criteria have us concluding that their decision was morally bad if we utilized the norms of Roman Catholicism. According to Aristotle. for an act to be voluntary. There are acts wherein the intention and the objective are different but in this act. for an act to be voluntary. the results would have been otherwise. The SEALs were ordered to kill Bin Laden upon sight and that really was what happened. we look at whether the acts of the SEALs were voluntary.and unfortunately. inflicting pain comes with that objective when necessary.com/navy-seals-enlisted-general-requirements. VOLUNATRINESS OF THE ACT (ARISTOTLE AND AQUINAS DOCTRINE) Now. For us. it was the nature of the mission.aspx . Bin Laden was shot to his dead in the chest and in the head. These SEALs make sure that they minimize inflicting pain. a shoot-to-kill mission that really spelled it to be a morally bad act. it must originate in the agent and the agent must know the „particulars‟ of the action. The circumstances of the act are show that the act was deliberated upon by so many experts including President Barrack Obama and was done for self-defense. Had there been an opportunity for Bin Laden to live. The best way for us to assess this is by checking whether the screening process of the Navy SEALs involved anything that could possible hamper a voluntary decision of the recruits3.
things are clearly ethical. mental exams and even checking his family background. 4 http://www.aspx .Their screening involves ensuring that the person who decides to enter the Navy SEALS is physically fit. mature and resilient Apart from these screening procedures that just involves the candidate. their families and loved ones are being well informed of what their son or loved one is going to go through. their screening procedures also involves preparing the family of the candidate 4 . This clearly helps ensure that the people involved in the screening and training wish to respect and also take care of someone whom people like their own families hold so dear despite all the harmful things they will have the candidate go through. the recruiters make sure that the candidate‟s decision originates from him by running a comprehensive background check on the candidate through physical fitness tests.sealswcc. This checks if the person is in a state of coercion. Looking at Aristotle‟s first criteria and Aquainas‟ criteria. mentally sharp. they surely are.com/navy-seals-family-role. Even more. Looking at Aristotle‟s second criteria which is to whether the candidates are being made aware of the „particulars‟. With the technological innovations that they use for their background check like massive computers running very complex searching algorithms.
http://www.aspx 3. 2011). NJ: Paulist Press. “Dynamics of Theology”.youtube. http://www. http://www. Philippines: Ateneo de Manila University. “Lecture Notes in Moral Philosophy”. Discovery Channel Documentary entitled.sealswcc. http://www.sealswcc.REFERENCES: 1.aspx.com/navy-seals-enlisted-general-requirements. by Roger Haight (Mahwah.com/watch?v=4F4swvIze3o. 4.com/navy-seals-buds-training-stagesoverview.youtube.aspx.sealswcc. Navy SEALs website: http://www.youtube. “Killing Bin Laden”.youtube.youtube. by Ranilo Hermida (Quezon City. 1990) .sealswcc.com/watch?v=owwa3ip2Qrc&feature=related.com/navy-seals-missions.aspx. Sites were: http://www.com/watch?v=Ll471tUc9GA&feature=related http://www.com/watch?v=16uM21HD6bQ&feature=related 2. http://www. http://www.com/navy-seals-family-role.com/watch?v=vlDcybIIbmk&feature=related.
DYAD PAPER ON THE MORAL ASSESSMENT OF THE DECISION OF A NAVY SEAL TO ENGAGE IN OPERATION NEPTUNE In partial fulfillments of the requirements for Philosophy 104: Foundations of Moral Value Alfred Crespo Jude Salinas .
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