I started a paper for my Morality of War class over the weekend.
I begun by summarizing a problem. Jim is a soldier. He is fired upon in a small town. He fires back at where he thinks the attackers are. Jim accidentally kills an innocent man. Is Jim morally guilty?
He was defending himself. He was following orders. He was scared to death. The attacker attacked him in this area. He may have been able to foresee this event. In the end, he pulled the trigger.
I then summarized how current ethicists view the problem. I then picked apart why current views are incomplete. Basically they are far too forgiving. It's hard to pick apart the arguments of professional philosophers, but this actually went OK.
Now for the tricky part. I have been trying to think of a better set of rules for determining innocence or guilt...
What a silly project. I choose between this and a take home exam. I choose to pick an intellectual fight with a logic professional... back to the drawing board.