Virtue Ethics: The Shot Killing The Sniper

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In this particular case study a shopping mall is under attack by a sniper hiding in the center of the malls clock tower. Rifle shots ring out and several people, including children drop to the ground. This goes on for hours while police try to get the sniper to surrender. He refuses and continues shooting into nearby parking lots, store windows, and nearby streets. One of the officers is a sharp shooter with a high powered rifle. He manages to get into a position for the perfect shot. Unfortunately the “perfect shot” is of the snipers head and will most likely be fatal. The officer takes the shot killing the sniper and ends the brutal standoff. In this essay I will first discuss the theory of virtue ethics and how it applies to the above case mentioned, and what I believe to be the…show more content…
I will then be discussing another theory called utilitarianism and will be comparing how a person following this particular theory may respond differently or in the same manner as that of a virtuous person. Finally I will discuss the Kantian perspective and how a person following that theory would respond to the same dilemma. I would first like to talk about virtue ethics and what I believe would be the virtuous solution to this dilemma. Virtue ethics is a theory that focuses more on a person’s character and less on the outcome of their actions. I believe in the case above the virtuous or responsible thing to do would be to kill the sniper. There are too many innocent people’s lives at risk, and a virtuous person would have the courage to stop the sniper. I also feel that the sniper was acting unvirtuous, making the actions taken against him justifiable. While I don’t think it is a normal character trait of a virtuous person to ever want to kill, I think the specific situation at hand presents a unique case in which the number of lives at risk will

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