Flight 93 and Utilitarianism in Times of Crisis

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Flight 93 and Utilitarianism in Times of Crisis

Flight 93 and Utilitarianism in Times of Crisis On September 11, 2001, United Airlines flight 93 was hijacked by terrorists with the suspected intention of crashing the aircraft into the United States Capitol. The hijackers never reached their destination because they were overtaken by the 40 passengers on board the flight and forced to crash the aircraft into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, killing all 44 people on board. Consider the possibility that this version of Flight 93's journey were inaccurate. Imagine that the United States military had shot down Flight 93 rather than the passengers ultimately forcing the aircraft off of its intended path. Would the intentional sacrifice of American lives be acceptable considering a higher number of American lives may have been saved? The possibility of our own military intentionally taking the lives of innocent Americans is a horrific notion but, so is the thought of our military standing idly by while a large number of American lives are taken by terrorists. I feel that most moral dilemmas should be solved consequentially and also that this theory is exemplified in the case of Flight 93. It goes without saying killing innocent people is wrong. It is also wrong to do nothing when there is a possibility lives can be saved. In the case of Flight 93, the preceding events provided insight into the intentions of the hijackers. The earlier attacks and the flight path of the plane made it easier to project that the hijackers intended to crash the aircraft into the capitol. Possessing this knowledge allows us to realize the possibility that many more lives were in danger. When asked what would have happened if Flight 93 had reached the capitol, Norman Ornstein said, "Hundreds of people could have been killed, Hundreds of others could have been gravely injured.…...

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