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Hurricane Katrina has devastated New Orleans. Following the hurricane, which in itself did not do as...

Hurricane Katrina has devastated New Orleans. Following the hurricane, which in itself

did not do as much damage as some had feared, the levees that protect the city broke,

and the city was immediately flooded. Many families, especially in Ward Nine and

others of the poorer districts, were stranded by the flood and in terrible danger—from

drowning, from disease (there was no potable water), from hunger, from lack of access

to health care, and eventually, from roving gangs. Somehow, they had to be gotten out of

there.

Why hadn’t they left earlier? As the hurricane closed in on the city, the mayor had

ordered a general (voluntary) evacuation, either to areas outside the city or as a last resort

to the Superdome. Experienced residents sized up the relative dangers of hunkering (or

sheltering) in place, risking severe winds, or of being evacuated by school bus to unpre-

pared areas outside of town, to a mobbed Superdome, or to some distant city, while their

property stood empty and unprotected. Many stayed.

Then the flooding started, and the mayor had ordered a general evacuation. All the

usual means of transportation were useless. Only boats could be used for evacuation,

so the National Guard was put into boats to bring the people out. The entire nation was

watching, angry that the residents had not been brought out earlier; there was a lot of pres-

sure to get the job done.

Then the difficulties began. Some residents willingly climbed into the boats with a

small well-organized pack of personal goods. Others would not leave without their pets.

Some of these were coerced into the boats and wept miserably the entire trip. Some had

aged spouses or parents who were too sick to move. Some pointed out that the gangs

would ravage their houses if they left, and refused to leave. What were the Guardsmen

to do? Herd them in at gunpoint? Respect their free choice and leave them in the flood,

perhaps to die?

Eventually more facts came to light: the Superdome had turned into a living hell when

it lost electricity and water; the places out of town were sometimes no more than camping

places under bridges, in the broiling heat of summer; the distant cities were less than wel-

coming to second and third waves of refugees. Meanwhile, as municipal, state and federal

governments feuded over who bore the ultimate responsibility for the mess, Ward Nine

was abandoned to its fate; it will probably never be completely rebuilt.

Put yourself in the Guardsman's shoes. Answer the general question, "what would you do and why"

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Answer #1

If I were the guardsman, I would definitely do my duty of getting people out of the flooding areas because firstly, being alive is more important to rebuild one’s life. According to duty ethics an act should accomplish duty without worrying about the consequences and utilitarian suggests that an act should increase utility and reduce harm. I would try to move the people even if I have to use force because for me fulfilling my duty as the guardsman is very important and saving people from dying in the floods is more important as a human being.

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