Essay by Trusk1883College, UndergraduateA+, April 2002

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September 11, 2001 is a date that will be etched in the mind of Americans and those around the world forever. The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center of New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. have caused Americans to step back and take a look at what patriotism really means. Also, Americans now ponder what it will take to protect our rights as United States citizens. The terrorist attacks have certainly brought about many ethical issues that have rarely been considered prior to the September 11 events. These ethical issues create a dilemma for many Americans, in which we must determine what is right and just and true.

The ethical dilemma starts with the fact that these terrorists were doing what they believed to be ethically and morally right. They reasoned that by destroying a major center of American business they were obeying their god's command to destroy evil.

The terrorists and followers of bin Laden have a Divine Command approach. Their god was "the source of all moral and spiritual truth and communicated his will to creation by means of commands that are easily understood. The ethical response is to follow those commands; the unethical response is to ignore or violate those commands." Bin Laden had convinced his followers that America was an evil country, which was in every way contradictory to their religion. In a way, he convinced these terrorists, using Divine Command theory as his reasoning, that their ethical response was to destroy the major American symbols of freedom, which in turn represented evil.

The ethical dilemma continues when those in authority must determine the fate of those who took thousands of innocent lives. Is it morally right to repay evil for evil? Some would reason that the Bible does say "an eye...