chapter  1
12 Pages

The Duty of Diligence: Knowledge, Responsibility, and Selective Conscientious Objection

ByBrian Imiola

The soldiers must employ moral diligence to attempt to obtain knowledge concerning any conflict they are asked to participate in. While soldiers may be fulfilling their contract with the state when called upon to deploy and fight the state's wars, their service to the state does not eliminate their moral responsibility to examine the moral justness of the wars they are being ordered to wage. In addition to loyalty and obedience to the state, an important aspect of the professional military ethic is loyalty to one's fellow soldiers. A key component of the professional military ethic is trust between military professionals and within the chain of command. It is not the case, as put forth by King Henry's common soldier that obedience to the King wipes the crime out of us. An excellent starting point for a discussion of responsibility and knowledge can be found in Shakespeare's Henry V.