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The September 11 attack on the United States by terrorists that were linked to the Al Qaeda terrorist group would forever remain in the minds of many Americans. In line with this, there have been many arguments in regard to the actions plans that could have been taken in order to avert the damages that were caused to property and the lives that were lost in the plane crashes that took place on this particular day. Some of them would support military plans to shoot down Flight 93 had it not been crashed by passengers’ decisions while other would oppose them (Buell, 2003, p.50). One of them is the utilitarian school of thought that has always considered the benefit of many at the expense of the minority.
Arguing from a utilitarian point of view, it is important for one to understand that human life is very valuable and cannot be taken for granted. Yet, there is need to preserve the lives of the majority by sacrificing the few whenever an emergence arises. Following this point, as a utilitarian, one could support the downing of Flight 93 if the passengers on board this plane had not taken the actions that led to its crash. In reference to Presbey (2007), bringing down any passenger plane that was headed to Washington was an excellent decision as it could save the lives of the Americans at that time (p.212).
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Therefore as a utilitarian, shooting down of passenger plane Flight 93 was the most rational decisions that could have been taken since the lives on board this plane was only 40 people as compared to hundreds or probably thousands of lives that could have been lost if this plane was allowed to reach the destination that was designated by the hijackers (Butler, 2002, p.1217-1222). Therefore, the US military would not be held responsible for their action to shot down such a plane as their action was for public good, considering the opportunity cost in terms of the number of lives that could be lost in either case.
Therefore, as a utilitarian, the actions by the military to bring down such a plane as Flight 93 would be justified since this was an emergency and failure to do so would result in many more lives being lost, i.e. lives in the plane and those on the ground. This would result in even more losses such as property.
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