Module 2 - Relativism, Pluralism / Constitution I. II. III. IV. V. VI. Case Study – “Our Values or Theirs” Case Study – “USS VINCENNES – Sea of Lies?” Relativism and Objectivism Play “A Few Good Men” a. Relativism: i. Values are a reflection of attitudes and prejudices of our society. ii. At the extreme, values are a matter of opinion; whatever is right for the individual is right. iii. Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” b. Objectivism: i. Values are objective truths ii. Societies do not create values; they are not invented. Instead they gain insight and understanding. iii. Moral judgments are not revealing something about ourselves or our society, but insight into the moral nature of an act. iv. Cite common values between cultures (e.g, the Golden Rule) c. So what is right and wrong? i. Permissible vs. acceptable ii. Permissible codes of conduct/laws determined by society 1. Legal code 2. Global convergence on acceptable behavior (e.g., human sacrifice, human bondage) iii. Acceptable conduct differs – it may be legal to do what I want to do, but is it right? iv. Empathy and intellect Killing for one’s country and ethics in the military Constitutional Ethics a. “To support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America…” b. Fear of standing armies and omnipotent military civilian and military leaders c. Most references to the military are imposition of constraints. Constraints also serve as checks and balances: POTUS, Congress, courts, and the Supreme Law of the Land i. POTUS: CINC. No military leader can contravene POTUS’ direction ii. Congress: 1. the power of the purse, 2. legislature of regulations (e.g., the UCMJ) 3. War Powers Act time limits on use of force w/out Congressional approval iii. Judiciary: not likely to intervene in military affairs, but instead on legal rulings iv. Supreme Law of the Land: Constitution, treaties, POTUS proclamations or executive orders acknowledging provisions of customary international law.to defy or oppose execution of Constitutional provisions. v. Practical application of the Constitution – The 4 Principles of the Constitutional Paradigm 1. Hierarchy of Loyalties a. Constitution – Mission – Service – Ship or Command – Shipmate – Self. Individuals may have others such as family and God; the oath is still being complied with as long as they don’t interfere with the loyalties of the profession. 2. Resolution of Conflicts: refers to externalgenerated conflicts, not internal. Must first resolve conflicts and then act. Can’t change the order. 3. Unresolvable Conflicts: find a different line of work. 4. Withholding Loyalties of First Principle: in event a lawful order is so offensive you must stand up to it vice executing principles 1-3. But following prerequisites must be followed sequentially: a. Issue must be in response to a fundamental violation of justice such as 1) foolish squandering of lives, 2) continuation of patently unjust laws that fundamentally diminish and demean dignity of millions of Americans, 3) deeply held views of the sanctity of life. b. Try to change the law vice disobeying. c. Must make your disobedience public knowledge to so those in authority are fully aware. d. Person disobeying must be willing to accept the full legal consequences of the act. d. The Principles and Constraints – Examples i. Presidential: McArthur vs. Truman ii. Congressional: Public Law 94-106 requiring assignment of females at service academies. Oath requires ZERO mental reservation or purpose of evasion. Gender bias and discrimination is not upholding the spirit or intent of the law, and cane be considered tantamount to treason. iii. Treaties and Customary International Law: Troop execution of LT William Calley’s orders to murder helpless old men, women, and children at My Lai during the Viet Nam war. iv. Use of Force: Gen Ray Davis, MOH recipient, wrote an article espousing “No more Viet Nams” meaning no more wars we don’t intend on winning. Sounds logical…except wars are fought to achieve political ends, and thus may fall short of military victory.